He did not answer. He sat studying her silently. Her slender body, about to slump from exhaustion, was held erect by the straight line of the shoulders, and the shoulders were held by a conscious effort of will. Few people liked her face: the face was too cold, the eyes too intense; nothing could ever lend her the charm of a soft focus. The beautiful legs, slanting down from the chair’s arm in the center of his vision, annoyed him; they spoiled the rest of his estimate.
She remained silent; he was forced to ask, “Did you decide to order it just like that, on the spur of the moment, over a telephone?”
“I decided it six months ago. I was waiting for Hank Rearden to get ready to go into production.”
“Don’t call him Hank Rearden. It’s vulgar.”
“That’s what everybody calls him. Don’t change the subject.”
“Why did you have to telephone him last night?”
“Couldn’t reach him sooner.”
“Why didn’t you wait until you got back to New York and —”
“Because I had seen the Rio Norte Line.”
“Well, I need time to consider it, to place the matter before the Board, to consult the best—”
“There is no time.”
“You haven’t given me a chance to form an opinion.”
“I don’t give a damn about your opinion. I am not going to argue with you, with your Board or with your professors. You have a choice to make and you’re going to make it now. Just say yes or no.”
“That’s a preposterous, high-handed, arbitrary way of –”
“Yes or no?”
“That’s the trouble with you. You always make it ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Things are never absolute like that. Nothing is absolute.”
“Metal rails are. Whether we get them or not, is.”
She waited. He did not answer.
“Well?” she asked.
“Are you taking the responsibility for it?”
“Go ahead,” he said, and added, “but at your own risk. I won’t cancel it, but I won’t commit myself as to what I’ll say to the Board.”
“Say anything you wish.”
She rose to go. He leaned forward across the desk, reluctant to end the interview and to end it so decisively.
“You realize, of course, that a lengthy procedure will be necessary to put this through,” he said; the words sounded almost hopeful. “It isn’t as simple as that.”
“Oh sure,” she said. I’ll send you a detailed report, which Eddie will prepare and which you won’t read. Eddie will help you put it through the works. I’m going to Philadelphia tonight to see Rearden. He and I have a lot of work to do.” She added, “It’s as simple as that, Jim.”
She had turned to go, when he spoke again — and what he said seemed bewilderingly irrelevant. “That’s all right for you, because you’re lucky. Others can’t do it.”
“Other people are human. They’re sensitive. They can’t devote their whole life to metals and engines. You’re lucky — you’ve never had any feelings. You’ve never felt anything at all.”
As she looked at him, her dark gray eyes went slowly from astonishment to stillness, then to a strange expression that resembled a look of weariness, except that it seemed to reflect much more than the endurance of this one moment.
“No, Jim,” she said quietly, “I guess I’ve never felt anything at all.”
– Atlas Shrugged (p. 22 – 24).
This week was really hard for me. Existing as spot-on applicable to my experience, this passage of Atlas Shrugged gave me comfort, a sense of belonging. With each passing day, I grow increasingly convinced that Ayn Rand wrote Dagny Taggart for me. All week long, I wanted to write here about my dilemmas, but instead I chose to be quiet, pouring myself into yoga.
And today, Saturday.
I haven’t experienced a Yoga Saturday like today since my old school yoga days. It was amazing. And somewhere during my afternoon practice, after almost one whole week of being off, everything silenced. My brain went from being annoyed and disenchanted with the world to its normal state of being relaxed, happy, and determined.
Because I have not shared food pictures all week, I hereby show you today’s glorious lunch. It was so good.
And tonight we celebrated in mermaid fashion.
What a perfect day.
We’re off to watch Top Gun with a martini.
Have a good day, and namaste.