Fingers converse with the keyboard in little clicks like naughty pupils whispering in class after lunch. The clicks fill the room. He haunches over, hitting the buttons in the desperate rush to beat the deadline. It is 12.47. The news is supposed to be on at exactly one. So he fights, absentmindedly grabbing the cup and sips the tea. His eyes do not leave the monitor as if he is in a staring contest with the monitor.
This happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He seems to love every bit of it for he sticks to his seat as if he has been glued to it. The cover of his arm chair is faded at the arms and the sitting area while the others bought at the same time are still shimmering and dark.
He gobbles every story. Internalizes it, analyses the slant and the scripts and the words. He transforms intros into catchy leads. He replaces words with weighty ones that convey the message. He trims the script until all the rodents are out in the light and then gives that crucial nod. Otherwise the story will die.
This is his playground and he entertains no mediocre players. If you can’t, then retire and let the able ones work. Once it is on his desk, he skims through it and snaps his finger. And that is where all the trouble begins. That is where the illness begins and the story either battles out or perishes in the ordeal.
His voice is neither soft nor husky. It is however somehow heavy. His cheeks are bloated; perhaps from all the frowning at the poorly done stories. His back is stooped from all the hunching. He is always in a hurry but never to leave his center where stories meet their ultimate fate.
He never looses his temper except when he is irritated by mediocrity in a story, which happens all the time. When he is, he loses his words. He takes to dismantling it and rebuilding it into something worth of air. Then when he finally gets his voice back, he issues a stern warning.
When the heat is up and people are losing their heads, he always has his to bring people back to their selves. The heat never bends him. It just can’t reach up to his boiling point. He is like a father in the middle of fighting kids.
And then he never laughs unless he just has to. His laughter is so rare it could be valued alongside precious metals like diamonds. Even when finally the story flies into the viewer’s TV. Perhaps one day he will laugh so much everyone will be disgusted. But as for now, we will make do with the quest to put a smile on his face.