Fragment #205 – 1 November 2018

This particular piece was a flash I tried to have published in various places, but alas!  No bites, no interest.  And so, here it is.

A-and this is the story of, well, he doesn’t want to big-note himself, but it’s about him.  Me. Needless to say in recent times – and, I don’t want to complain here folks, but – he has the certain feeling of being watched, monitored.  Recorded. Catches glimpses of people staring at him out of the corner of his eye. Just yesterday, while walking in the city, he noticed that out of the forty or so people eating lunch, only thirty-eight appeared to be legit, above-the-line, cool.  And two were not. They had intentions and motives. And he’s not stupid, he knows-

-He’s not stupid, he knows.  Kids figure this stuff out early, far quicker than we think.  Gee, your son says, smiling brightly, holding up a plastic knock-off that is distinctly not the whizz-bang gaming console he has been angling for, pleading for, doing chores and extra jobs for, Gee, he says, Dad, this is exactly what I wanted!  And then you, you’re just dumb enough to believe him when he adds, This could be the best Christmas ever!, but after a little while you think: don’t push your luck, Chuck. Bad actors overdo it. Imposters. The kid pushed it too far and now they’ll have to replace him.  Overhead there’s nothing – no helicopters. In the water, nothing. On the tee-vee, nothing. No cameras, no microphones. You didn’t notice anyone swapping out your real son, but they must have. Actors are so good these days. Cheap, too. It’s a career like any other. Why, all you have to do is take up your chosen path and follow it, and-

-Take up your chosen path and follow it, is Dr. Capgras’ motto.  The doctor, lymphatic, coughs wetly and says that the more successful one is at thinking, the greater the rewards available compared to those who do not.  If Archimedes could balance the world on a pivot, he wheezes, then you can annihilate the universe with those thoughts of yours. Just find out what you are best at <wheezing> and do it.  Direct your attention away from paranoia and be productive for god’s sake. You nod, smile, and ignore the burning fires all around you both. What’s so funny, Dr. Capgras asks, and you say, If I’m laughing now it’s because I’ve a gentle heart-

-I’ve a gentle heart, it’s true, a-and I ain’t talking.  It’s too late.

* * *

The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website.  I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.


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