The Elephant in the Room
I was in a meeting this morning with upwards of 30 people and I can’t help but notice certain things between myself and them. And the phrase “elephant in the room” couldn’t be more apparent to me. The phrase itself is in regards to something glaringly obvious but that no one pays any attention to.
As I sit listening to someone drone on about work-related stuff, I feel the pressure of my phantom ears poking out the top of my head through my hair. This of course makes me pay more attention to the fact that my tail is hanging off the side of the wooden chair, half-dangling in the cool room temperature. Damn if I don’t want to touch that area just to feel the fur between my fingers even though I know I’ll only touch empty air.
Then my mind starts to wander to things more interesting than figures and what’s going to happen at work next week. The feeling of running through a field where the long grass is dry and brown from a summer under the sun as my paws hit the hard-packed, cracked earth. Of running between pack mates, ducking and looping, just for the joy of it.
My attention snaps back to whoever was last speaking, jolting me back to the reality that while I feel the invisible fur, I see before me naked, pink monkeys nodding in a consensus to something nonsensical to me. As I inhale the scent of polished old wood, dusty bookshelves and humans all around me, I’m reminded of the heavy scent of pine and dead needles carpeting the forest floor and of the fresh, crisp scent of the sea far away from me.
No one around me notices that my attention isn’t peaked and no one seems to notice if I drift in and out of paying attention. They all have their own agendas and don’t give me much heed so long as I remain that calm and impassive little female who sits quietly and doesn’t want to be bothered. We all have other places we’d rather be, things we’d much rather be doing, none of us wants to be bothered in this meeting because we all just want it to be over quickly so we can get back to what matters to each of us.
So I am left alone, despite this glaringly obvious thing that anyone who knows what they’re looking at would see. The slightly cocked head when I hear a faint and interesting sound or the way I sit in the uncomfortably hard wooden chair so as to better feel my tail.
I am the elephant in the room; a wolf among the sheep.
Originally written April 7, 2011