The Wrong People


He lowered his voice to a hoarse whisper at this point in the conversation and started looking significantly around the room, “I won’t say any more on the matter because the wrong people may be listening…” He gave me to understand, by virtue of an expressive movement of his eyebrows, that the wrong people could indeed be anywhere. Perhaps even including me, he seemed to be indicating. His eyes were continuing to dart around the room in what was starting to be a rather alarming fashion. I nodded wisely, pretending to know what he was talking about. I knew but I didn’t know. I had been stuck in this conversation a long time it occurred to me and there still didn’t seem to be any indication of a way out. It had lasted longer than any conversation had a right to last. He leaned forward, his voice dropping to a throaty whisper, “I’m not going to say any more at this point because the wrong people might hear me…” he winked conspiratorially and I nodded profusely, aware but unaware of the significance of his comment. Aware but unaware of the tenor of the conversation. The wrong people could be anywhere. I myself might be numbered amongst them. Some might say. Quite possibly so. Best to say no more. The crowd thronged drunkenly around us, like some sort of a composite entity, dozens of conversations impinging in on us from all directions. A sea of sound, some bits of which seemed to make sense, others not making any sense at all. Mostly not. My friend furrowed his eyebrows meaningfully – the moment seemed to be lasting an awful long time. Longer than any moment had a right to last, it occurred to me. It seemed best not to say too much so I nodded wisely, in full agreement with the terror of the situation. I knew but didn’t know what was going on. It made sense but didn’t make sense at the same time. He leaned forward conspiratorially, his voice dropping dramatically to a husky croak, “I will say no more,” he said, one of his eyes twitching dramatically as he spoke, “you never know who may be listening…” I had been trapped in this conversation an awful long time it occurred to me, and there didn’t seem to be any indication of it getting anywhere….







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