Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Judith Smiles

There's a lady in my office named Judith. I don't know much about her other than that she is a writer, and tends to seem rather grumpy. Her voice is staggered, like a crumpled piece of paper. She usually stays at her desk concentrating on her computer screen. Most days, she and I don't say much to each other. I'll hear her chatting back and forth with our graphic designer complaining about something or other. The context is inaudible, but I know it's a complaint. The other day she expressed her annoyance with the printer in that "grandmother" kind of way. Banging it, referring to it as "this thing", placing it into a human category. Her glasses falling slightly further down her nose as she looses her composure for a moment. Still, adamantly lady like.

But today, for no particular reason, in passing me in the hallway, she smiled. Not that dismissing smile, that women tend to exchange between them like passive compliments. It was genuine and free formed. I smiled back without thinking. Her face was warm and softened. It was a smile seeping from her lips, eyes and cheeks equally, and if it had been waiting there all along.

For some reason, I found it to be noteworthy.