So…I wanted to really challenge myself this evening but am having a pretty healthy dose of “no-creative-energy-whatsoever-no-matter-how-much-coffee-I-drink” lately. I started and stopped several paragraphs before I tossed the notebook page in the trash and decided to go this route instead.
For my #transformationtuesday I’m going to take an old piece (the one I shared on this exact day last year) and transform it. Rewrite it. Spin it. Shave off some pounds and give it a new haircut.
Some of you might remember the original piece from the old blog but I’ll copy and paste it all here and then start editing, deleting, and work my little caterpillar into a butterfly.
(One year ago today)
February 23rd, 2015 @ 5:19 p.m.
For something new/different, I tried an online Character Name Generator. I stumbled across one that not only created a name but a personality to go with it. Thought it was kind of neat!
My character’s name is:
-She is a European American female.
-Personality: The Overseer.
-ESTJ: Extravert Sensing Thinking Judging.
Sociable. Group oriented. Attention seeking. Outgoing. Does not like being alone. Practical, traditional and organized. Likely to be athletic. Likes to be in charge. Capable at organizing and running activities. A good citizen who values security and peaceful living. Loyal and hard-working. Has clear visions of the way things should be. Focused. A leader, planner and finisher. Responsible. Decisive. Punctual. Hard working. Clean. Conventional, realistic. Norm following. Respects authority. Regards rules and regulations as important. Follows the rules. Regular. Does not like weird or strange people or things. Intolerant of differences. Strict. Disciplined. Aggressive. Assertive. Emotionally stable. Anal, stiff. Fearless and self-confidant. Content. Happy. Proper. Formal, strict with self. Meticulous. Strong sense of purpose.
Psychological Disorder: Passive-Aggressive.
Favored Careers: executive, CEO, supervisor, business consultant, manager, strategist, financial planner, business person, office manager, public relations manager, international business specialist, business analyst, management consultant, operations manager, loan officer, lawyer, marketing, sports management, government employee, investment banker.
Unlikely Careers: poet, artist, songwriter, musician, novelist, art therapist, theatre teacher, art curator, film editor, video game designer, photo journalist, travel writer, actor, record store owner, camera operator, art historian, music teacher.
“Maybe you should lay off the hot dogs,” I laughed, sliding into the driver’s seat. The warm leather of the SUV shot pricks of heat through the back of my thighs, the summer heat devouring the black interior. The pencil skirt I’d chosen for the event tucked tight against my legs and my feet already ached in the pumps I’d picked to match.
“Yeah,” he smirked, “well maybe you should lay off the judging, prissy pants.”
Merging into traffic, I reached over to smack his shoulder lightly. Britton’s freshly pressed, navy suit accented his trim figure, the run of a day old beard roughening his jawbone with ginger fuzz. Scarfing down the dog, he snatched his cell phone off the dash and dialed out.
“Michael, good morning. It’s Britton. Just a heads up Isabelle and I are en route,” he stated, flicking bun crumbs off his jacket. “You can expect us in fifteen minutes,” Britton smiled, tucking the phone safely into his side pocket. Long, eyelashes the color of rust caught the last bit of sunlight coming through the windshield and dimples carved pits in his freckled cheeks.
“You look extra handsome today,” I murmured, turning to steal another peek at his down turned face. “And you’re smiling a lot. Wouldn’t have anything to do with the very stunning, very single lady walking around in snakeskin stilettos at the Michael Hullington Residence now would it?”
“You know, sometimes you notice way more than you get paid for,” Britton said, straightening his cuffs and his backbone. “Let’s just focus on what we’re going to do when we arrive at said residence. Want to go over it again?”
I had it all memorized. He knew that. Nights of only one or two hours of sleep had accumulated quickly, leaving me with nothing but the imprint of the file on my brain. Politician’s names, their wives, their children, their favorite drinks, their connections. On and on. I’d thrown myself into knowing every single main figurehead at the event backwards and forwards.
“No,” I sighed, tightening my hands on the steering wheel. “I’ve got it Britt. Really.”
Nodding his approval, his chin dipped once again to study the paperwork in his lap. Exhaustion brimmed at the edges of his eyelids, tiny dark half-moons lining under his eyes. He very rarely showed any signs of exhaustion but maybe I had been pushing him too hard.
“Go over the names again,” I suggested gently. “Just to keep me on my toes.”
“You don’t need to know the names, Izzy,” he grunted. “Your profile is spot on. Your mojo is juiced. You’re looking at me like a puppy you want to pick up and cuddle. Quit it.”
Reaching across the console, I squeezed his hand quickly, loving the sound of his sarcasm. He was my best friend, a line that shouldn’t have been crossed because of our work positions but I valued him above any other human being I knew. I respected his authority and he didn’t push me to be something I wasn’t.
“Izzy,” he started, “don’t mention anything about Miss Snakeskin Stilettos, okay?”
A wide smile pushed its way across my lips, the admission bringing me an unfamiliar twinge of joy for my partner. It seemed like ages since he’d felt anything for a woman or at least openly shared it with me. He’d been engaged not long after I’d started working with him but it had ended quickly when she couldn’t stand the danger and the workload his job proved to be.
“What you feel for the girl isn’t a single bit of my business, Britt,” I stated, smiling. Glancing over at him, he rolled his eyes at me then fell back to his all-business face. “We’re five minutes out. Dial up the boys and let them know we’re almost there, please?”
I listened as he dialed out the security detail and informed them of our location as I continued to drive.
Truth was, Britt’s affection for the girl was my business. I could feel it oozing out of his pores like melted chocolate over strawberries. It clung to his skin with a dewiness which was tangible when he was within ten feet of me.
“Go on then,” he snapped. “Tell me what you’re absorbing over there. You always get quiet and have this far away look in your eye when you’re sucking in energies.”
Glaring across the seat at me, his eyebrows raised in question at my intake of breath.
“I don’t share details like that,” I murmured, eyeing the massive iron gate we had just turned to face. “Time to turn your party face on.”
Facing a guard with a raised hand, I brought the SUV to a halt outside the gate and handed him my government ID. The guard was fully decked out in a bullet proof vest and helmet and I immediately rejected the metallic shine of his oversize ego trying to claw its way into my field.
“Breathe,” Britt whispered just low enough for only my ears. Britt could read me after several years of watching my fits. My shoulders were clenched and tension was radiating up and down my spine. “Sir, is there a problem? I called in our vehicle five minutes ago?”
Sharps jabs of aggression fed off the guard into my hands on the wheel as he pulled his eyes up to meet Britton’s. I watched my knuckles turn white like little moonstones in the ascending darkness. Resentment ghosted out of the guard, tacky and cottony, sticking between the muscles in my neck.
“No,” the guard forced.”Just being thorough. Go on in.”
Tossing my ID hastily back into my lap, I rolled the window up and inhaled the AC.
“Drive, Izzy,” Britt pushed.
Pressing my foot down onto the gas pedal, I took in the well manicured yard and landscaping lining the mansion inside the gate while my legs shook. A gravel circle drive welcomed our entry to the front of the house, no signs of any other vehicles. The look of the place was superficial and showy, no heart or warmth.
Reaching the door handle, I went to pull but was brought up short when Britton’s hand closed around my arm.
“First,” he mumbled. “Get it out. Now. You’re no good to us if you’re off your game. You almost went Rambo on me back there.”
Leaning my head back against the seat, the back of my eyes buzzed with edge and nerves.
“It’s getting worse,” I whispered, massaging my temple. “It’s like I can’t filter it all out. I feel…everything. How the hell am I supposed to do this in a room of a hundred people when I can’t even keep the emotions of one, stupid guard out of my waves? God. I have to do this, Britt. I can’t mess this up. I’m on such a tight leash as it is.”
The snap of Britt’s briefcase opening brought my eyes to his, his eyelashes catching gold in the direct sunset.
“I’m trying, Izzy,” he sighed. “I am trying so hard. I just can’t quite get it right. This is going to hurt.”
Sticking my arm roughly with a syringe, I felt the familiar surge of light-headedness from the needle.
“Now, you need to vent. Get some of it out before we go in here and face the monsters,” Britton continued, pulling a recorder out of the briefcase. “Describe it all.”
Glaring at the recorder, I threw my hands up and pinched off a scream.
“Fine. You want your personal vibes being recorded for all the doctors at the lab to hear, so be it. You’re most of the problem, you know. Even from ten feet away, I can feel the way your hands stay clenched because you’re scared you’ll accidentally touch her. When she bends over, I can feel your pulse-“
“Alright! No recorder. God damn,” Britt snapped, tossing the recorder back into the briefcase and closing it firmly.
Feeling somewhat mug, I glanced in the rearview mirror to touch up my makeup. Trying to distract myself. Trying to give myself something practical and normal and fixable to focus on. The summer heat had already taken its toll on my dark eyeliner, the edges smudged from the humidity.
“Continue,” Britt said, eyeing the still empty driveway. He had laid the briefcase in the floor, all signs of the recorder gone. I knew he was only doing what he was supposed to do but I wasn’t a lab rat to be monitored by my friends or coworkers.
“The serum isn’t working like it was three weeks ago. I feel things on a whole different level. Richer, layered. Like yesterday, when you handed Miss Snakeskin Stilettos the file folder and your fingers accidentally brushed? It felt like someone pumped my gut with a nine iron. I felt your attraction for her come on so strong I thought I was going to have a nose bleed.”
Britton hummed a noncommittal snort, choosing not to comment.
“And that guard back there? Made my vision black. My teeth hurt from the weight of his self-loathing. I hate those mixtures of cockiness and self-pity. It’s like a mixed drink gone wrong. He hated us for being above him. Hated looking at a woman who had a better job than him. I don’t know. My body doesn’t know how to process all those emotions coming into my waves at once. I struggle dealing with teenage girls fixing my coffee at Starbucks and the other day there was a pregnant woman is in the same elevator as me. God. It’s suffocating.”
Slamming my hands down on the steering wheel, tears pricked along my eyelashes.
“Izzy, you’re never going to be normal,” Britt cooed. Even though I knew it was the truth, the words still stung. “You’re you. And that’s the only person anyone will ever ask you to be. You put too much pressure on yourself.”
“Yeah,” I said, sighing into the windshield. “It’s just, I had finally gotten accustomed to handling certain people and certain emotions. Why all the sudden do I feel everything from everyone? I can’t do my job like this. I’m responsible for just as much of his life as those guys with the guns.”
My head spun for only a moment before I shoved it all down. A roller coaster of emotions would do me no good on the most important night of my life. I needed to be straight and sharp; I couldn’t do that if I let my heart override my brain and muscle. Nodding to Britt, we unloaded the SUV, walking around to the back steps.
The silk blouse I’d slipped on draped soft down my chest and across my shoulders, giving me direct access to the cool breeze dancing through the yard. It did miracles for my rattling head and warm cheeks and after walking several feet, I felt more myself.
Several men dressed in expensive suits with glasses of amber liquid passed us on our walk, either nodding hello or ignoring me completely.
“Isabelle, I have to say, green suits you,” a sultry voice called. I followed the voice up and over to the top of the stairs where a man dressed in a charcoal paced his way down toward us. “Britt, good to see you as usual.”
Shaking hands, the men exchanged quick and quiet pleasantries while I felt out the new emotions swirling around us with his arrival.
It was like leaning into sunlight after being stuck in the subway too long. Relief, gentle caresses of warmth, and invigorating confidence cocooned me in a wave coming off of my newest job placement: Rayle Garrety.
The President of the United States.
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