Meeting Peter 
by Alexis Massie

I'm meeting Peter for lunch. He apologizes for the fact that he's late and then launches into a long explanation of why he hates his job.

It is the second time that we've met for lunch, though the continuous nature of our email correspondance has lent a sort of familiarity to the conversation. I already know, for example, that he likes having strange animals as pets. Ferrets, tarantulas, llamas. I know that he spends too much time thinking about work. He habitually stares at walls as though they hide the secrets of the universe. Maybe they do.

And he stares out the window often, as we eat and talk about the inevitable death of the WIMP interface and how much he would like to own a blue macaw. His eye-brows bunch up. He concentrates with such intensity that you can perceive your presence being zoned out, ceasing to matter or even to exist.

It has come to be a habit that when he slips into these reveries, I remain completely still and take advantage of the time I am given to look at him.

Peter is a very attractive man.