Herbert was having a nearly normal Monday morning. There was a delicious mocha resting on a stone coaster on the table in front of him. The table was smooth mahogany, highly polished and stretching widely away from him, down the length of an elaborately decorated room with a wall of windows to his right and a wall of obsidian to his left. His chair was leather and rocked slightly as he bounced his feet against the floor, feeling his toes dig into the soft inside of what were presumably quite nice shoes. Herbert smacked his lips as he looked at all the faces that lined both sides of the table, each wearing a similar expression of confusion as they stared at him.
“Sir?” one called out from halfway down the table. “You were saying?”
“What’s that?” Herbert replied.
“You haven’t finished your sentence, sir.”
The people to either side of the tremulous man scooted slightly away from him and made eye contact only with a spot on the table about two feet ahead of Herbert.
“Ah,” said Herbert. “And what was I talking about?”
The committee members cleared their throats nervously, adjusting ties or turning their coffee cups in place as they all sought different spots on the table to examine. The questioning man began to sweat.
“You were just telling us you had a new direction, sir. A new idea, you said. You, um… you haven’t told us what it is yet, sir.”
Herbert nodded absently, staring out the window. A cloud of birds had just swooped down between this building and the next, across the wide street, and he watched them dance for a moment before they flew out of sight.
“We should go outside,” Herbert said.