Each week I'll be doing writing exercises with a couple friends here in Seoul. This week's assignment was to write about a mentor. It can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or whatever a person wants to bring to the table.
Haru Musaki worked as a Molecular Geneticist for the Tamatsu Corporation in Tokyo City Proper. His job mainly involved shifting molecules. This may sound particularly scientific, but it was actually firmly rooted in the marvels of modern technologies’ ability to disguise the most complex operations into pushing a sequence of buttons in a particular order to make them flash an appropriate color and designate that molecules had been shifted properly, until another shift in color required a new sequence to be inputted into the system. This complex organization of gears and pulleys was tucked safely away in the mechanism chamber in the room beneath him. The only visible mathematical quotients to acknowledge his work and years of research were a series of numbers that jut out from an oblong box on the left corner of his desk. These numbers appeared in a sequential order and were currently flashing a red and blue pattern whose hue in the darkened room gave Mr. Musaki’s somewhat gaunt face a menacing intensity. Occasionally, Mr. Musaki would notice his reflection in the large convex mirror that was placed in the upper right corner of his office to allow him to see the chemical stores that were kept behind him and helped prevent potential theft. If he happened to glance upwards during a haunting red and blue fanfare, he would often fail to recognize that he was menacing because his acuity was on the task of inputting numbers and he rarely looked at his reflection with any interest. Mr. Musaki’s motivation to peer past his menacing guise and see the dark circles that had become a fixture on his mother’s face in old age now begin to deepen within the lines of his own face was prompted by a comment made by a singularly attractive female colleague to whom he had made his passions known in a drunken and unattractive fashion over mandatory company Karaoke two weeks prior. Ayaka Hana, the woman with whom he had exchanged words, took the incident as flattering, and did not view it as harassment or incendiary, since drunkenness was the culprit behind the tearful confession. Additionally, she decided to make an extra effort to assuage the situation with small talk in the company break room out of a hidden fear that her position might be jeopardized should Mr. Musaki’s affections be declined with too much vigor.
“Mr. Musaki,” she had said. “You look fairly miserable. It might be a day for a bath and massage.”
“Yes,” Mr. Musaki agreed. “It might.” He tipped his plastic hardhat and walked quickly through the metallic doors to the lab, letting the hinged flaps come together in his absence with such force that the black rubber flaps at its ends ricocheted off one another with a high-pitched thud.
Ayaka Hana was startled by the relatively cold regard for which Mr. Musaki had offered in his rushed exit. She thought his behavior could have had something to do with the new cancer outpourings from Tokyo City Former that had recently been brought to the attention of the Cytogenetics Teams of several leading firms in molecular research at the Tamatsu Corporation. Mr. Musaki could have been in charge of a lead team, although Ayaka did know that his days as a leading geneticist had dwindled since recent technological advances in genetic implants allowed politically-favored individuals to be implanted with new processing components, which made non-implanted employees like Mr. Musaki overseers for lower levels of process operations. Still, this was Ayaka’s only formation of reasoning, unless she was to access unhappier possibilities that Mr. Musaki was now holding her in contempt. Such a potentiality was not one that Ayaka hoped to contain while completing menial tasks, so she allowed such thoughts to drop from her consciousness.
“Download mutated sequence for chromosomes 12 to 63,” she said aloud to the virtual component above her. The alloy-based cube spun quickly, giving off a gentle hum that rattled a series of test tubes that lined the back shelves of her dimly lit office.
Mr. Musaki’s need to move with celerity was not an indication of effrontery at Ayaka’s comments. He was rather pleased at the gesture that Ayaka had taken the time to notice his condition, and was contemplating her intentions simultaneously with his thoughts of getting plastic surgery for his wrinkles, as he stared past the red and now, green and purple hues that cascaded off his face.