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Professor Gray
So I gather.
Fri Dec 8, 2017 20:45

Hearing himself referred to as ‘professor’ was strange but not, it turned out, quite as strange as hearing his actual name in this context. Grayson was – well, technically it was his name, on documents and such, but in practice, it was his father’s name. This caused a momentary, and amusing, mental image of some terrible mistake being made and poor old Dad being thrown into a production meeting where none of the other participants had ever met Gray and therefore didn’t realize they had the wrong person….

He shut down that line of thought quickly. For one thing, it was impolite to daydream when people were talking to him, and for another, laughing out loud for no visible reason was not the sort of behavior which was encouraged in adults for reasons other than politeness – it made them think the laugher was a bit insane, though Gray hated to think what this implied about the people who thought that. Did they really just float though life doing things, never thinking at all? Sounded dull, though Anne argued that having an imagination was really just proof that he hadn’t made enough efforts to create a life that was more interesting than the stray thoughts he could make up stories to follow.

Anne, however, was of a different sort than Gray – she’d been psychoanalyzed and then married a rich guy and had a rich baby and surrounded herself with people. Gray avoided doctors as much as humanly possible and was somewhat solitary by nature. He thought it was a family dynamics thing – her mom and dad had apparently been nervous, dramatic, somewhat unstable people all their lives, and their neighbors had proven even worse, while Gray had been an only child’s only child, spending most of his early childhood with no-one but his not-particularly-fascinating parents for company. He’d had to either learn how to entertain himself or die of boredom, so he’d done the former.

One of those entertainments had been listening to the radio, so he suspected he had a slight kinship of sorts with Cleo there. The difference, of course, was that she’d listened to stuff he’d developed and written. “Oh, yes,” he said quickly, realizing his question might have seemed a touch accusatory. “Very pleased, thank you – just surprised. Chessmen is still available, then? I enjoyed that one.” That was why he was not entirely surprised that it had been like pulling teeth to get the second series released on record, and why doing so had taken a good two years after the show ended. He knew it had had an audience – he’d had the even-more-surreal-than-this-one experience of seeing someone dressed up as Bartimaeus the White Pawn at a Halloween party, a person who’d had no idea who he was (the person had seemed to think that Gray’s name was Carl) and had made multiple unconvincing interjections into his monologue about the character about how the costume had been his kid’s idea, apparently embarrassed in hindsight to have admitted the nature of the costume – but he supposed it would take a lot more such encounters before he stopped being mildly surprised to put faces and names to the vague idea of ‘an audience.’

  • She nodded, smiling brightly as he assured her she was getting better, and to keep working on it. “I will,” she assured him, “I find it’s getting better more quickly in Charms. In Defence,... more
    • So I gather. — Professor Gray, Fri Dec 8 20:45
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