Thomas was tired. Garish lighting stung his eyes as he glanced impatiently at the disproportionate dial of his wristwatch. An afternoon meeting had turned into tennis. Never one to back down from a challenge, he'd played six sets, skipped a meal, and by now he was feeling faint. Surely someone would come let him out soon? That painting ogling him didn't help. Was it moving? He could have sworn the lines... He blinked, blinked again. Turned to scrutinize the other picture in the room. The horse slacklining was still. If he squinted, the horse did a little bounce, as if to regain its balance. It must have been the light flickering. It must have been his astigmatism. Better turn on the other lamp. Thomas recoiled after he touched the carved wood. A splinter had snagged his cashmere Cornelliani pullover.
His promise for Økern was simple: Shop. Dine. Enjoy! Not bad for a scoundrel with a BA in Retail Management. He was a hands-on project director: energetic, ambitious, pro-active, inventive, synergetic, inclusive, loved leading, lived to motivate. Manic operative focus. When asked in job interviews what his biggest weakness was, he always said: I'm a terrible overachiever. Often he visited sites after-hours to get a feel for them, how they would be inhabited, how people would move through them, meet, relax in the comfort of their homes.
Now, he pressed his nose against the window, waiting. How did he get here? He'd forgotten. Did he park out front? Outside was an endless stream of long-bodied Model S's passing. Any of of them could be his. Like fish in a tank, he hummed to the melody of Islands in the Stream, using his tongue to spell out his name on the dewy glass. Økern has an excellent infrastructure as a major hub in Oslo which makes the center easily accessible by car, metro and bus. Adjacent to the metro, a new bustling square with restaurant and cafés will offer a welcoming ambiance for people to shop, dine and enjoy! Was there really nothing to eat?
No food. Just generic beer with ridiculous calorie content. Thomas sighed. It moved! This one definitely moved! His heavy exhale had moved some crusty flakes on a framed picture directly in front of him. Looking around the kitchen for a knife, he was saddened by the state of things. Like some kind of parody of his prospects. True, there were the grey walls, the brass details, but the grime of it all, he couldn't take it.
By now, Thomas was pacing from room to room. It's the peripatetic nature of my job, he droned, passivity is death, keep moving. Surely, someone would let him out soon? He knew it wasn't a dream, as he was fully clothed. But could he be having a stroke? The same, annoying ad had been on the TV for hours, repetitive like water torture. The picture from the kitchen had moved into the bedroom and changed size. Thomas stood in front of it, arms akimbo. I dare you to move. It was still. I dare you to move! He hollered. It moved. Thomas was really hoping someone would come let him out soon.