The Mediator.

I’m working at a local art gallery space, volunteering my time and presence while the exhibition remains open during the week before the final awards show bash tomorrow night.

One of the 24 art pieces as submitted by artists from all over the UK sits beside me at reception. The piece is an arrangement of 20 or so clinical looking name tags/cards akin to the kind that doctors carry around their necks or name tags attached by a safety pin for VIP visitors to a champagne launch. On each of the cards is typed one word, each sharing a suffix of ‘tor’, examples being operator, negotiator, indicator, allocator, abbreviator and so on.

One of the artists has popped in with her mother to see the exhibition before the big show tomorrow and upon looking at this piece next and deciding which ‘role’ they would assign each other, the mother asked me which I’d choose for myself. I lied and said I’d picked one last week; one of those lies that generates rapport like a rapport wanker.

“Mediator,” I said, after denouncing it as boring, though with a smile locked in place like those on toothpaste adverts.

“Ah,” replied the mother. “See, I thought that one for you. Must have been a psychic connection. It must be your calmness.”

When a man like me is frustratingly shrouded in self-made insecurities, it’s the little reminders like this one that tells me humans are great. We all have our flaws but ultimately we also have our strengths, and without knowing, this lady just reminded me of one of mine.

How the mind tangles itself like seaweed, unable to untangle like chewing gum in hair. But like that chewing gum, I must find a way to snip out or freeze out these recurring dreary reticent thoughts. Not before learning from them first.

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