The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.*
And such was the sky that greeted me when I left the house today at 8 am, on a wonderful Saturday, after I tiptoed through the quiet, slightly smelling apartment building and crept out the door. I wasn’t up at this unholy hour on a weekend because I wanted to. It wasn’t like I was hustling drugs or looking for a job as hired muscle or getting a new set of cybernetic enhancements. Nope, nothing fun. I dragged my tired ass through the drizzle and the wind to university for a conference. A conference at which I had to present. This wasn’t my choice either.
The wind near knocked me down. There’s been a storm brewing for a good two days now, bringing 120 km/h winds. At least today I didn’t have too bad a migraine to nurse. Migraines are not just headaches, because that would be easy. Migraine for me means dizziness, impaired depth perception, failing hand-eye coordination and generally feeling like I’m on day six of a week long bender. The hands are the worst. Just a day before they randomly started shaking as if I had Parkinson while I was buying groceries. The human brain is a beautiful thing, but it is also hella susceptible to meteorology.
The locked doors of the department didn’t further my enthusiasm for the day. Like most of our presenters I had to sneak in through the fire exit. Someone somewhere did just not think about keys. By that point I just wanted today over. My body knew it was supposed to be still in bed for at least four more hours.
Basically, I bullshat my way through my presentation, as I’m wont to do. I wasn’t really prepared, talking-wise. I had planned my jokes and relied on the slides for everything else. I did well enough. No need for feedback, I’m confident. Confident that I suck at public speaking and that this will never change. I’m waiting for humanity to develop telepathy. Or to communicate entirely in writing. Then maybe I would finally come up with a kick ass first sentence.
*William Gibson, Neuromancer. Not the favourite book because I don’t have one, but definitely among the top 100 I would save in the event of an apocalypse, and you should all go read it.