Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Prison of Our Own Making

My friend Katdish featured a writer on her blog who seems to be doing a sort of blog carnival called snippets. Every week she is posting a phrase and allowing us to become inspired by it. I thought I'd attempt to take part in it this week. This week's snippet is "And when she finally spoke, her words dropped like pebbles in a tin pail." I was "inspired" to write a bit of realistic fiction.

And when she finally spoke, her words dropped like pebbles in a tin pail.
She definitely had our attention. Everyone was listening. Everyone in the room heard her speak his secret. They knew more about their coworker than they had a right to know. They also learned more about her than she realized she shared, just because she broke his confidence. Some of us laughed at his shame, while others of us shook our heads at her lack of it. I can't look either of them in the eye any longer. Gossip sucked out the possibility of forming a true friendship with either of them. If only my ears could unhear what they've heard, and my respect for myself be restored. I listened instead of walking away. Still, I will forget that juicy bit about him long before I forget that she can't be trusted. I will be warning people to watch their backs around here long after I have forgotten why. Yet, I don't want to contribute to the gossip. I suppose that means I should tell them to keep an eye on me as well. The foundation of our imprisonment in our cubicles is not cardboard walls covered in fabric, but the grapevine. I could have attacked it when it was small, and perhaps we'd be free, but just one rumor made it too strong to be cut. Forget the water cooler. I'm bringing my own bottle from now on.

4 comments:

katdish said...

It's so easy to get sucked into that. And you're right, we just need to walk away. What is heard cannot be unheard. You're title is spot on. Great post, Helen.

♥ Kathy said...

That was good Helen!

Boy Crazy said...

I'm so glad you're playing along with Snippets! I love where you took the prompt. I'm so interested in seeing what tone people take from it - and you did a great job in your writing depicting that loud plink-plunk that drops into silence when someone says something others weren't meant to hear. Nicely done, and thank you for playing along!

-elizabeth

Candy said...

I think deep down everyone likes a piece of gossip, but so often you wish you hadn't heard it. Restoring respect is like putting toothpaste back in the tube.

Super post, Helen.