I stared at my friend in silence, her face a motionless smiling mask. It took me a few moments to realize that she was expecting a serious response to her question, that she wasn’t joking about Dr. Shiny’s “speech.” “Uh, no,” I said. “I haven’t forgotten.”
Her smile grew wider. “Of course not. How could you? ‘Creativity will save the world.’ My God. What a genius, you know? Just… No one ever thinks about it that way. It’s so simple, but it isn’t. How do you even come up with that, you know?”
I gave a noncommittal grunt. “What are you working on?” I asked with a nod towards the legal pad she’d been covering with her writings and drawings. Her smile became a full grin, and she held the pad out to me with both hands, a child eagerly presenting a piece of art and ready to be praised.
“Dream board. What do you think?”
“A dream board! You know. You write down your dreams and hopes and goals, and you make a road map of how to accomplish them, and through sheer force of will and by invoking the name of Bematis the Wanderer, you manifest the reality you wish to experience. I mean, duh. Come on.”
I blinked in confusion for a few seconds, then shook my head. “Yeah. Duh.”
“So what do you think?”
The dream board, if lunatic scribblings on a piece of paper can be called a board, was an indecipherable mess. Lisa’s handwriting was sloppier than I’d ever seen it, alternating wildly between cramped and looping, occasionally broken up by meaningless flourishes and arabesques that served no discernible purpose. There were drawings of humans and animals, lone words dotted about the page (FLY and HAPPINESS and MEAT and CREATIVITY furiously underlined and circled.) There were lines and arrows and circles and the whole thing had the appearance of a flowchart that went nowhere.
“It’s… really something,” I said before smiling and offering the legal pad back to Lisa.
She smiled and nodded appreciatively, as if I’d merely confirmed something she’d already known.
There was nothing else to say or do. I excused myself and went back to my desk.