The man was not familiar with the building. They had driven for over two hours to get there, through many a twisting back road, past the swamps and fields and he was simply lost. He had enjoyed the ride despite the stress. It had allowed him once again able to view the swampy southern landscape that he had called home during his childhood and into his late teens.
The cotton was very nice. It had been so long since he’d worn a soft fabric like this. They had done a fine job of picking out something that he’d be comfortable in; jeans, suede shoes, a white cotton shirt and a nice, light-weight blazer. The jeans and suede shoes were purely for comfort, and the only part of his attire that would really matter would be what could fit into the head-and-shoulders view of the camera.
He walked for what seemed like an eternity through cinder-block hallways and echo-chamber stairwells. The entire time, his escorts did not speak. At last the hallway opened into a large room that appeared to be a cafeteria which had been converted temporarily into a small scale media room. One got the feeling that a lot happened in this cafeteria; there were conflicting lines on the floor used for a variety of sports; basketball back-boards hung from the ceiling; folding tables covered a portion of he floor; a small portable stage had been erected at the far end for some kind of ceremony or presentation; there were flags belonging to a variety of military units hanging from the rafters; and there was boxing gear hanging from pegs on the nearest wall.
His care-takers lead him to one corner of the echo-filled room that was obviously intended for him. There were cameras, lights on tripods and several chairs and desks. Ahead of him was a woman sitting behind one of the desks and across from her an empty chair. The chair was in front of a camera, the woman was sitting off to the side, out of camera view. Upon seeing him arrive she greeted him warmly.
“Hello, Mr. Templeton, welcome to our makeshift studio” she said. “It’s not much, but if we have down time I bet we could find some Twinkies in the cafeteria’s kitchen,” she said with zest. Mr. Templeton smelled her perfume and it rocketed through his olfactory lobe without delay. It was the same perfume one of his loves had worn so many years ago, back when things were good. It stirred something in him, something that felt like a hint of Spring air on a February day but was also littered with sadness.