Saturday, October 29, 2016

Split Screens

A security guard stared at a bank of split-screened, black and white monitors. He yawned. This was the worst job he'd ever taken, twenty-four floors of hallways, and elevators, only occasionally occupied by people. He yawned again.

He propped his feet up onto the desktop and pretended it mattered the way he usually did. He listened intently as he opened a Sprite. Snap-pop, fizz, a relief from the soundless screens.

Then, a movement on the screen took his attention, another relief. A woman, only her back view at first, but it was a woman who walked onto elevator two. Great. Something was alive in this building.

He knew he shouldn't but he selected the screen and refocused the camera as she stopped, turned, and looked up at the floor numbers above her. He zoomed in and wished for the millionth time it was all in color. His life, a black and white 50s documentary on the content of hallways and elevators. Dry. She was framed beautifully in the screen, eyes, hair, mouth, and cleavage. Thank God for push-up bras. That cleavage was perfect. He zoomed into them for a moment, then backed out until her eyes came into the picture, then her hair just barely fit the screen.

Most people, he thought, took photos from too great a distance. The beauty was in the details.

Then, the woman adjusted her bra. Priceless. He thought that maybe he shouldn't be watching and yet he continued. What she didn't know couldn't hurt him. He almost laughed but stayed silent, feeling like she might somehow hear. Nasty. He could feel it, the nastiness. She deserved this, dressed the way she was. Wasn't that like a woman? To dress that way and then claim to be all innocent when something happened to her. He zoomed out quickly, but as he watched her with that one hand down into her bra and the other supporting the large firm breast, he breathed, moaned really, out loud. She looked up as if caught.

It was funny how many times events on a screen lined movements up with what was happening in his monitor room. It wasn't the first time. This woman was new. The coincidences were not. Life was funny that way, he thought.

Then, she used a compact mirror to put on a fresh coat of lipstick, slowly, deliberately. She rubbed her teeth to get a bit of lipstick off them. Even that seemed like a seduction. Nasty.

Time seemed to slow way down. He didn't even wonder if the elevator was moving, why she hadn't walked off of it by now and onto the next screen. He was mesmerized. What color was her hair? Blonde? Red? He wondered if it was natural. He couldn't tell anyway.

The woman lifted her skirt and adjusted strappy underwear underneath. She needn't have bothered. She was perfect. He was in agony. He groaned again.

At that - another coincidence, he wondered? - she looked directly into the camera lens. She smiled. He shivered at the odds. Those cameras were well camouflaged. He couldn't even see them when he was in an elevator looking for them. And yet. He stared at her. She stared back, then stuck out her tongue.

He leaned back in his chair, unable to look away. She blew a kiss. It landed. Then, she opened her mouth in a smile that widened into a rictus grin. Her face split vertically and snap-pop, fizz. He could hear the sound of it right in his ears. And then there were two.

But two of what, exactly?

Thank you for listening, jules

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