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Walking with Elephants

Walking with Elephants
Suze Hall is at a crossroads. Her nemesis at work, Wanda, has been promoted and now will be her boss. Her husband, Bob, is leaving her and the three kids for a six-month sabbatical down under. To top it off, her best friend, Marcia, is missing in action—playing footsie with some new boyfriend!

Adding to this disaster stew, David, the gorgeous hunk who broke her young-girl's heart has coincidentally popped back into her life and has something she desperately needs to keep her job.

Walking with Elephants, a lighthearted slice-of- life story, brings to the table the serious work/family issues facing women today. It explores the modern dichotomy of a workplace that is filled with homemakers who still must cook, clean, carpool on nights and weekends, shop for prom dresses, and "create" the holidays—such as Suze. But it also is filled with women who have the same drive as men, have no family responsibilities, and will do what ever it takes to get ahead.

So step into the shoes of Suze Hall and commiserate over workplace politics, titillate your sexual fantasies, ride the wave of a working mother, and fall-down laughing.
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“Suze, whatever is the matter?” This question spills out from some professor’s wife whose name I can never remember. I am startled that she can read my mind. But then I remember that old body language give away and I unknot my eyebrows, shift my stare from my feet, and stop saying shit under my breath. I smile and look past her; as if she has said nothing. Why respond? She wouldn’t get it anyway. I know her type; no cobwebs in her ceiling’s nooks and crannies; all socks have mates; and 1600 SATs bring Harvard scholarships for Mary, Ted, and John Junior. I look for the cash bar and realize that Ian and Marcia have continued into the mix. Even though I have stopped looking at her, Joan or Jane is rambling on about being excited in regard to some new artwork. As I peruse the Lounge, my eyes catch the back of a familiar head, a familiar stance—no it can’t be—and then an uncanny feeling takes hold of me just as she says, “Have you met the artist, David Braemer? He’s sooo charming.”

In an instant the Earth has become a big slippery marble spinning out of control under my feet and my stomach dislodges itself from my abdomen. All biological functions have stopped and I am on autopilot as I float out of my body.

“What did you just say?” I manage to mumble as my eyes dart all over the room trying to pretend that I do not see, have not heard, that David is…here! David, who has stayed comfortably in my fantasies. David, who I could conjure up when I needed to feel young again or when I needed to feel that I had made the right choice. David who would push his way into my thoughts whenever…well…whenever… And then Juno’s speech about coincidences jumps out of my short-term memory holding pattern and into my mind. Pay attention to coincidences…ha! The coincidence of bumping into David on an evening when I feel like a fat eunuch is a coincidence that the universe can shove up its great black hole!

Whattaya say to that Juno?

While I’m frozen in thought, Joan or Jane must have looked for more interesting conversation (or any conversation) because when I come out of my trance, I am standing alone. I realize that being transfixed on the back of David’s head might call attention to myself, so I turn my back to him, try and get a grip, and plan my next move. I could slip out and…what? Grab a cab that would cost 100 dollars? Take the car and then make the others grab a cab? Spend the night pretending to be sick in the bathroom? All options that get me out of here are viable. I know one thing, though, I’d better quit standing all by myself at the entrance to the Lounge.

Now I’m hyperventilating.

“Hey Suze, are you looking for me?” It’s Bob. He grabs my arm and spins me around just when David’s attention is turned in our direction. Probably heard Bob call my name. Lightening flashes and rumbling thunder drumbeats from a blip in the time/space continuum when we look into each other’s eyes. I am instantly recognized and a big smile of surprise lights up his face. He excuses himself from his small circle and strides over. That stride, that confident gait, that grace; no arthritis in those bones! But is that really David? That’s David? I’m so startled at what I see that I hope my mouth has not popped open. Wow! He looks…great!Better! His hair is short and still all there; thick, gray hair. That wonderful, thick hair; but short and all spiky on top. David in a crew cut! Clean shaven. And there’s a cleft in his chin, I never knew he had a cleft in his chin! This is too much, he’s so different and yet it is David. And a suit! I’ve never seen David in a suit; and geez, I think it’s an Armani! (Thanks to Elliot I’ve become an Armani detector.) My David only wore hiking shorts and sandals in summer and jeans and combat boots in winter. This David has gone corporate, and he looks… goood! I assumed the war against the establishment would always be fought by David. Hell, this is too much to digest! I can’t stop these thoughts from whizzing into my head faster than the speed of light. It’s almost like they are feelings more than thoughts.

“I can’t believe it,” he says as he hugs me. “This is too much! How wonderful to see you again after all these years.”

I sense Bob’s bewilderment, but I am caught up in the sensuousness of being embraced by David. I guess the chemistry is still cooking in the old Bunsen burner. This is going to be tougher than I ever could have imagined. I mean, I never imagined that I would meet David on this night, in this way, but I have wondered maybe six or seven million times what it would be like to see him again.

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