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Hacktreks 2

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The International Writers Magazine
: A planned meeting

Form Follows Function
Dorothee Lang

I sit on a red chaise lounge that belongs to a furniture store. Opposite of me, in an yellow armchair, is Jill, a cappuccino cup in her hand.
“We thought about buying this sofa for our living room,” Jill says, and points to a sofa made of grey leather. “But then, they didn’t have it in the color we needed.”
“Finding the right sofa is the hardest thing,” I say.

Jill nods.
To prove my point, I get up, and try the pink chair. It follows neither form nor function.
“See,” I say. 
“They have them in the theatre, too,” Jill explains.
“These chairs?”
Jill nods, and I try to remember the chairs. “I have been there last month, to see this piece that plays in a laundry shop,” I say.
”The laundromatics,” Jill states.
This time it’s me who nods, and Jill who tries another sofa.
We walk and sit and talk, walk and sit and talk. I am not sure why they are there. But now that we are, we can as well try the different sofas.
In the evening, we meet again, to go to the café near the beach. There are two groups of people, the group we belong to, and another group, a film team. First the groups sit on different tables, but then the tables mix. They are supposed to meet up here. It’s part of a project, almost like a meeting, only that it isn’t called this way. The plan is to pretend that it’s all not part of a plan, but happening by itself.
The one who made the plan isn’t there. He is somewhere behind the scenes, checking to see if things turn out the way they are supposed to. The location is well chosen. There is nowhere to walk to, besides the sea.
I get another glass of wine, and on the way, I meet the director of the film. He wears black trousers and a black shirt. Like me, he knows that the scene is a set up. We sit down at the bar, and drop hints of what is going on, yet play along as well, while Jill is watching us from across the room.
Half an hour later, a boat arrives at the café. A steward appears in the door, and invites everyone to get on the boat. This, too, is part of the evening, part of the meeting.
“Life’s a show,” the director whispers.
“And we are the great pretenders,” I tell him.
On the boat, groups are forming and reforming. Business cards are exchanged. Ideas are taking shape. All works out, just as planned. There will be a show coming from this show. “How easy it is to manipulate the human mind,” the director whispers to me, ten days later, at the same place, alone.
“Indeed,” I say.
Again, we are playing the pretending game. He still believes that this is his show. I won’t object. This, also, is part of the plan.

© Dorothee Lang March 2005

Dorothee Lang lives in Germany, worked for several years in the advertising division of a media company, and is now a freelance writer and web designer. Her work has appeared in The Sunday Herald, The Mississippi Review, Pedestal Magazine, Drunken Boat and Artzar, among others. She lives in Germany, edits the travel magazine subside.zine, and for some yet undiscovered reasons only gets published abroad

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