Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Scientist - Character Description - Jag

Hassan needs to shave. Rubbing his weak chin, he feels the hundreds of tiny spikes stabbing his hand and moves his bamboo-chute fingers to rub his eyes. Dropping his hands back onto his expansive desk he stares out to the end of his office. His desk lamp, always pointed down to his work, has given off a rebound of light causing a glint near the door.

Hassan removes his glasses to focus on the glint. These thick, out-of-style frames, for his near-sighted vision. A reminder he needs help to look at the paper in front of him. His equipment to aid in keeping his head down. Always down on the work. The office, the house, the whole goddamn city is just a case - a holding cell -  for his desk and his papers.

The glasses tap the desk lightly as he removes them. He can see the glint clearly now. It's his medal. Hard to believe that was ten years ago. "I'm so much older now" he actually says out loud to the office. His voice coming out sounding hoarse and unused.

His hand gently rubs his shoulder and moves down his arm, lightly finger the nicotine patch on what used to be a bicep - now a soft, pale wand for typing and scribbling. Hassan stands up, knees cracking as he stretches. Another rub of his porcupine chin and he begins opening the drawers to his desk. There should be a couple of cigarettes left in here somewhere. He was doing well, but who's going to complain if he lights one up now? Marta is long gone.

He hoists a loose Marlboro from underneath the cover layout concepts for the last version of his textbook and heads to the door of his office. The cigarette, unlit, dangles from his mouth as he approaches the door and notices the medal again.

He always forgets the inscription on the gold disc, but the night he received it remains vivid. Marta looked incredible that night. She was so nervous to meet the president, Hassan thought she might not even want to leave the hotel. But she knew what an honor it was. She knew how important Hassan's work was.

Hassan pats the pocket on his cheap, Wal-Mart button-up but finds no lighter or matches. He removes the cigarette from his mouth and places it gingerly in front of the medal, making sure not to break it. He takes one more look at the medal's inscription before sitting back at this desk to look over his formulas: "For The Greater Good."

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