Waiting for feedback is like reaching the theatre an hour before showtime. You know you’re early. And yet, the optimist in you wishes that someone would miraculously flick on the movie then. You indulge in restless fingernail-scraping. And try to listen to the negligible sounds they make when rubbed against each other. However vain, the attempt to kill the time might seem.
When you’re working on a piece that’s in anticipation of feedback, you try your best not to slip. For instance, there is a tendency to craft a write-up with extra caution when you need to send it for feedback. You double-check the draft for suitable sentence constructions and grammar. And then, edit it over. Inadequately pleased, you give it another bout of mowing and pruning. Finally, there comes a moment when you throw your hands up in the air. Not to utter Hallelujah, but to interject surrender. That, it is time to make your submission.
And then, the waiting begins.
You tap your feet. First the left and then, the right. You count the number of times you’ve done it, and equalise it on the other. You head to the kitchen and fill a glass of that odourless, transparent liquid. In slow motion. The little splashes of the spilling water fascinate you. You find it funny how you never paid any attention to this convention earlier. You take an incumbent sip. For you do not want to give away the air of being unoccupied at the moment. In the hopes of having passed a half hour in the kitchen, you race back to your room and check your phone. Doubtful of the internet detecting on your mobile, you wake your laptop up from its sleepy stupor. And refresh your mailbox with a constant, annoying ticking sound. A little part inside you can’t help feeling but dejected.
You want to get back to reality. Having emailed the article six minutes ago. You try to forget about it and move on. Like Ross’s and Rachel’s concept of being on a break.
A growing anticipation piles up within. You pore over the piece even after having emailed it, to check for errors. Even if you don’t find any. Even if it’s including an unnecessary comma. The prospect of a third eye commenting on your work is exciting. At the same time, it is inclusive of a waiting period – an anxious feat when you are at the receiver’s end. You’re eager to receive an input. Because this is somebody unrelated to you by blood, telling you, that you have talent. There is a possibility that the same person transforms into your audience tomorrow.
Another day strolls by, calling closure, and paving its way to the ink-dipped skies. The sun dyes its near-and-dear ones with a lazy shade of tangerine. Its quotidian absence beckons to the descending twilight. Although you do not like the sound of it, you drag your feet off and lift your lazy rear from the chair. To get on with all the pending and impending chores. A couple of hours pass by. The need to feel in control quashes the need to have obsessed over an email all this while. The former wins your inner tug of war. You feel better and get back to running your errands with a renewed zest.
Just before turning in at night, you give your phone a cursory glance. It is no more than a habitual nightcap. There are a couple of notifications. But deep down, you know your eyes are looking out for just the one.
There you see it. And hear your heartbeat thump simultaneously.
The much-awaited email is lying in your inbox. You check the time and notice it had arrived forty minutes ago. Now, that’s far from being qualified as a damsel in distress. It was a busy evening after all! You check an active chat window that has an acknowledgement of the sent email. In the snap of a finger, you push all the floppy emotions that consumed you through the day to the quayside. And respond with a coolness that you didn’t realise you had in you all this while.
As you’re ushered into the theatre, you succeed in discerning the faint sounds made by rubbing your fingernails. They need to be barely a centimetre away from your ear. Hallelujah!