Never-Present

by Deirdre

Never-Present
Deirdre (deirdre@x-philes.com)

Rating: G | Category: V | Spoilers: None Summary: The view from behind a desk.
Archive: Archive freely; this story is released into the public domain.
Author's Note: Thanks to Kristenk2 for the title.

From behind this desk, I have seen many things.

A good assistant sees all, yet few see her. She fades into the background, no more memorable than any welcoming smile and soft offer of coffee or water. I am not the one they are here to see; even to the paranoid minds who plot the course of history, science and politics, I am unimportant.

That is my value to my boss.

For years, I have scheduled his meetings--tracked those written in ink on the desktop calendar, as well as those for which no record can exist. I have seen and read many documents which have crossed my desk, then filed those that remained and forgotten those that did not.

I have smiled at his visitors and not-visitors, watched with downcast eyes as people exited who had never entered, and ignored the smoke that escaped through an opened door in this non-smoking building. I have patiently listened and not-listened to the mumblings of soft conversation, the rise and fall of intense conversation, and the clear sharpness of angry conversation.

I have provided him with soft advice on topics I know nothing about, on conversations I have never heard. He has listened and pretended that he did not hear. He knows his job as well as I know mine.

I know more than anyone--even him--suspects that I do. That is my job: to fade into the background; to be ever-present and neverpresent; to know all, yet know nothing. To quietly process what occurs and file away the results, whether in cabinets or in memory. To politely smile at those who ignore my presence, and rejoice in their dismissal.

For if they did not dismiss me, if they considered me with a suspicious eye, then would be my ultimate failure.


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