Sunday November 13th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the road map.

Spent the day hanging out with Kat, Max, and Miles. It was pretty grey and wintry outdoors, so we didn't venture very far. For the most part it was good, but we did make a run into town mid-afternoon just to get out of the house.

Not much currently on the schedule for tomorrow. We shall see what comes along to pass the time.


Its edges are worn and frayed, the lines zigzagging across its surface are faded to the brink of illegibility - and beyond in many places. There are stains - coffee and sweat and dirt of course, but blood as well. This map... this map has seen things.

We protect it, keep it safe. Treat it like food or water, for it is just as precious. We would be lost without it. And not only in regards to direction.

Hope would vanish like dust in the wind.

What little remains to us now, at any rate.

The landscape is changed, certainly. Broken and shattered at nearly every turn. Bridges collapsed, roads washed away, tunnels made impassable with rocks or debris. But the map is still useful. It gives us a framework, a foundation. A destination.

We all agree that it is, in the end, better than having nothing.

For we have plenty enough of that already...


Greg said...

That sounds like a nice day! I'd have to turn email and skype off before I could imitate that, and then I'd just have anxiety all day over what people were breaking when I couldn't keep an eye on them :-D
I like the idea that the roadmap brings hope (here in the world of Product a Roadmap is just a collection of promises that the tech teams will break over and over again, while the Director of Tech proclaims it's anybody's fault but his), and I really like the last pair of lines with their commentary on nothing. You're on form with your analogies and metaphors, which are always a treat.

The roadmap
The King left Ernest's suite shortly before midnight and as the door closed behind him Ernest yawned and stretched his arms above his head. After checking that the door was locked he pulled his clothes off, discarding them on the floor at the end of the bed and stumbled through into the bathroom. It had been a long day and travel was wearisome even over short distances; he felt dirty and his brain ached even though his body was rested. The shower cubicle was sparklingly clean and the water was hot and direct and as the steam rose, obscuring everything in the room, the sticky sensation of everything about the day adhering to him eased off. When he had finished and was towelling himself dry on a bath-sheet so thick and soft it could have passed for a throw-rug, he finally relaxed. He put on the hotel-supplied dressing-gown, sheer silk in burgundy with chinese dragons chasing one another in relief over the surface, and sat down in the bedroom chair.
His travel bag, really little more than a monogrammed leather satchel, was lying on the coffee table and his face wrinkled momentarily as he thought about its contents. Sighing softly he opened it and took out a pair of notepads. Both were sympathetically linked to notepads elsewhere, and he flipped through the pages checking the messages written there. Nothing caught his eye as essential, so he set them aside to deal with in the morning and the sigh this time was returning to his relaxed state. He allowed his eyes to slide shut, making a mental note to himself not to fall asleep.
A timeline, the precursor to a roadmap, limned itself in pale green line in his inner vision as he contemplated everything he'd heard today. He weighed the King's words and the political vision he was pursuing, bringing his analytical skills to bear on the likely consequences of the actions that the King was proposing. As the timeline firmed up in his mind he noted where there were gaps, where there were opportunities for intrusion. A faint itch of worry tickled his hindbrain.
With a little effort he translated the most immediate things on the timeline into a roadmap for the next few days, key events and actions appearing to him as neat, colourful boxes laid out in order, dependencies reflected by spider-threads connecting them. Now that he had the vision there, the holes in it were like missing teeth in an otherwise perfect smile. Annoyingly the first one occupied the following day: what could happen before the funeral that might achieve the aims of their unknown opponents?
A soft chime caused the roadmap in his vision to dissolve and he opened his eyes. The chime came again from the watch on his wrist, and he checked the time: it was 2 am. He smiled to himself: he set the alarm on the watch for exactly this case: if he were already asleep he'd never hear it, and if he weren't then he should be. Bed beckoned.

Marc said...

Greg - I recall roadmaps from my corporate days. Delightfully useless things, as long as you knew enough to not expect them to be useful.

Really enjoyed the descriptions of Ernest's roadmap - very clever stuff. And I like that this works as a gentle segue into the following day's coming events after a lengthy, adventure filled day of travel and meetings.