It was the center of attention in a modest real estate office. I brought it and fixed it without the owner’s permission knowing that it would flatter the flamboyant side of his pretentious character. It was a crystal-like globe with a blue tint that endowed each ray of light that was refracted with the azure of the skies. My intention was to distract the clients from pestering me with their unwanted attention and compliments that glued to my mind during the day and stalked my dreams throughout the night. It was interesting to see how the moment their eyes rested upon the door knob, they fell into silence and became mesmerized by the interweaving of lights that incessantly went on within its heart. They immediately forgot to remark on the ebony of my hair (whether it was henna or a unique type of dye), the olive of my skin (whether it was Greece, Italy or Spain that gave me the look of a Red Indian), and my luscious lips (whether it was the miraculous feat of a plastic surgeon). Then the day came when a client fixed her eyes upon my face, so when I started wondering about her immunity to the charm of my magical ball, I noticed its disappearance. My heart stopped bumping blood for a split second. I gasped for breath like a newly resuscitated fish, then instantly averted my eyes from the object of my suspicion. She had asked for a glass of water and when I offered her some from my bottle, she said that she preferred it from the tap. When I left my desk, I made the mistake of also paying the bathroom a visit.
I maintained a calm mien and decided that I had to retrieve my valuable possession without causing any ado because it would upset my boss who would readily sacrifice my knob for any fraudulent client. His business was prospering and he was only inches away from purchasing a more elegant office. I meditated over a series of actions that would sever her hand from the clutched shopping bag.
“Would you like another glass of tap water?” I gently asked.
“No, thank you,” she responded, looking startled.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, but Mr. Jones is inspecting a property and it would be a while before he comes back. I cannot leave the desk but perhaps you may make yourself a cup of coffee in our tiny kitchen,” I said with a radiant smile at the prospect of regaining my piece of charm.
She looked very pleased with the idea of paying a visit to our private kitchen or it could have been my relaxed jaws that made me look quite unaware of the disappearance of the sparkling object.
“I would rather you steal our supply of coffee than take away my dear door knob,” I mumbled to myself as I slowly headed to her shopping bag. I carried it to the adjacent room and emptied its contents on my boss’s desk. There were myriads of objects whose presence made no sense: a gilded cigar case, a necklace that should have adorned her sunburned neck, an embroidered purse that was empty of coins, and in a soiled scarf lay my knob wrapped, with so many blemishes from her greasy fingerprints. I grasped it with affection and washed it with my bottled water over a flowerpot. It took me a while to put it back where it belonged, but the client was not back yet.
The triumphant look on her face disappeared as soon as she viewed the door. She hesitated for a moment then headed to her seat with a bowed head.
“I hope you like our coffee,” I said.
“Yes,” she mumbled without looking at my jubilant face. She inserted her hand into her bag to ascertain the presence of the remaining objects.
When with a furtive glance she looked at the reclaimed knob, I seized the opportunity to veer the subject to the regained object.
“This door knob cost me a thousand kisses,” I said.
She met my eyes with apparent alarm but kept silent.
“I used to give my grandfather a kiss every time he allowed me to hold it. He kept it in a locked drawer for years. It is not worth much. It is less expensive than it looks, but to me it is a treasure of warmth,” I said with emphasis on the last word.
She drank her coffee with difficulty then as soon as she emptied the cup, she told me she could not wait any longer for Mr. Jones because she had another appointment. I showed her to the door with unusual courtesy to make sure my door knob was safe from a sticky clutch.