Running With Ideas

It was a matter of urgency.

Jake worked at a table in the big room with many tables and many boys. Despite the many boys in the room it was very quiet as all the boys were thinking. They were trying to come up with ideas.

Abruptly, Jake’s mouth fell open and his eyes widened as an idea floated through his mental awareness. It was the perfect idea! It was the answer.

Dropping his pencil on the table, Jake turned and left the big room. Once out the doors he began running as fast as he could. He had to report his idea immediately.

Past the parking lot, Jake ran onto the nature trail that connected to the park. It was a path he walked several times a day. He knew every tree, bush, squirrel, and rabbit in the little forest on either side of the path. But he was running now and barely noticed the things he normally noticed when he walked. And his mind was fixated on an idea and reporting it as fast as possible.

The park was filled with many kids. Though he noticed several familiar faces, he did not stop, though he waved. In his short years Jake had spent countless hours in that park. Memories acted like friction to slow down his trajectory.

His legs and chest were hurting. The burn was setting in but he pushed himself to run even faster. He had not run this fast in a quite a while.

From the park, Jake entered Southside Avenue going into the downtown area. He ran on the sidewalks and barely slowed down crossing the streets. At East Holldale St. he turned right. He barely noticed the merchandise in the shop windows or the traffic in the street or the people walking or the pigeons who quickly scattered as he approached.

He ran, dodging in and out between the pedestrians, his urgency unabated.

Coming to a five-story brown brick building, he turned into the alley running next to the building. The alley was barely wide enough for one vehicle. He ran for two blocks past dumpsters and the back doors to restaurants and shops. His pace did not slow at all.

Jake then arrived at a five-story concrete building with a metal fire escape on the back of the building. He barely slowed down as he climbed up the black metal stairs. As he climbed up five stories his stamina was beginning to evaporate. He was breathing heavily and seriously slowing down as he reached the top.

He then opened a door and entered the top floor of the building. Through a long narrow hallway he tried to run — thank goodness it was at least level now — but he could just walk quickly. He did not have enough stamina left to run.

It was a long hallway with many doors and when Jake finally came to the door marked 504 he went straight in without knocking.

It was a dark and musty room with only two narrow but tall windows. The sun coming through the windows lit the dust in the air. There was the smell of old wood and tobacco in the air. The walls were covered with bookshelves and in the center of the room was a huge oak desk.

Sitting at the desk was a portly fellow of advanced age. His sleeves were rolled up and his vest was unbuttoned, a pocket watch chain dangling from a vest pocket. His gray hair was thin and wispy and very long.

Turning loudly in his squeaky office chair, the man put on thin wire-frame glasses as he looked at Jake. A smile erupted on his face,”Do you have an idea?”

Jake was out of breath and could not talk.

The smile on the man’s face slowly diminished as he waited for Jake to catch his breath. But other than the smile he sat utterly motionless in his chair in anticipation.

Finally Jake had slowed his breathing enough to begin talking, “Yes, I have an idea.”

As soon as he said that, he forgot what the idea was. It seemed to have disappeared into thin air. He could not remember a thing about it. His eyes bugged out and his mouth dropped in utter horror. Bringing up his hands to his head he placed his fingertips in a circle around his head as though to gently coax the idea back into existence through massage.

But it did not work. Jake simply could not remember the idea he just had back in the big room. He remembered it during the entire run but now as he stood before the old man his mind was completely blank. He had forgotten everything!

He dropped his hands down to now cover his mouth. He tried harder to remember but he still came up blank. Slowly dropping his hands away from his mouth, he somberly said, “I’m so sorry. I forgot the idea.”

The old man bent his head down and looked at Jake over the top of his glasses, saying nothing. After a very long moment he turned in his squeaky chair back to his desk and went back to work.

Feeling utterly humiliated, Jake slowly turned around and walked back to the big room.


Copyright by White Feather. All Rights Reserved.

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