The Line
She said draw a thick black line. It can either be a straight or a dotted line, a vertical or a horizontal line. It doesn’t matter. But be careful not to cross the line. Although I have fine lines around my eyes and my face was lined with agony I couldn’t see there was a line between showing interest in what I was doing and interfering in it. So I traced the line of her jaw with my finger. Around us there was a long line of timber. Suddenly the place was lined with cheering children. I have never seen such a scene but it was at least better than seeing people waiting in line for something at a department store. She came from a long line of doctors passed down to her through the male line. In the hospital she is the second in line to the chairman. I still remember the first two lines of a song she sang when she was in line for promotion. She said I want to have children to prevent the family line dying out. But I wasn’t enthusiastic about that. Then she said: learn your lines and like me you’ll make it. Don’t give me that line about having to work late at night again I said. She said: I have to bring you into line with me and then said something along the lines that I wouldn’t achieve success if I didn’t work harder. That was the worst chat-up line I have ever heard or the thin line between love and hate.

So I decided to talk to a friend instead on the phone. Unfortunately while I was talking, the line went dead and I was forced to pay him a visit. But the train I took was delayed because a tree had fallen across the line. Later I had to get off and keep walking in a straight line. The place was in a direct line between the city and the coast. Finally I was at the end of the line. When I entered his house I saw the walls were lined with books. I asked him whether he can give me a line about art. The first thing he told me was: you can’t do much in the art line without training. Then he kept giving me that line about his computer not working properly when he was on line. Later he went on to talk about football. But football’s never been my line. He said: if art is not your line, start a fashion shop for casual clothes: They are starting a new line by the way. It is summer. I only thought of the clothes line in my garden and left. Two days later I dropped him a line in which I said I couldn’t read between his lines and I didn’t think his approach to my problem was on the right lines.

Now I lined my pockets with whatever cash I had to line my stomach at a restaurant. After all I couldn’t be in line with such people or if I may put it differently I was out of line. I have to lay it on the line now or choose the line of least resistance. If I couldn’t put the whole matter on the line I should line up for a different job. But I knew I was walking on a fine line.