Smiles start diplomacy. Conflict resolution without blood shed. Gallons and gallons of too much blood shed and it wasn’t from passion. Was actually very cold. Indoctrinated passion…unnatural.

A Work Of Friction (a work of fiction) By Ade Sluzky in Guest Articles

Ade Sluzky

They told me incredible stories and I did not believe a word of them. I stared at them but gave the impression of someone listening, someone believing, but the inside of my mind wondered if these people were actually aware of how full of shit they really were or whether this level of self delusion was truly possible. Belief is some kind of mystical force that possesses the wit and steers the hapless meat automaton to a predestined outcome. I can prove this, I don’t have to.

On my way home from the bar, the Guinness had smeared enough of my sharpness away so I could enjoy the tide ride along the curb. The dusty decay of the day to day was the usual view along the way. The orange hue of the street lamps lit the otherwise black corners of the shadowed and enclosed slits, slats, holes and crevasses. The last dregs of my tobacco sat mournfully in its tightly thin wrapping of cigarette paper. I flamed its end away and sucked a puff in, lungwards. So sad to need a device with which to sigh in public.

Wherever I lay my media, that’s my home. I’ll ponder why I’ve not kept track of the countless items I’ve pushed on people in other days. The screen awaits my choice. Do I venture for something new or something tried and tested? Something new may bear the usual up tone of liberty propaganda but I’m not sure I really want to be patronized right now. I think it’s time for nostalgia. I plug in a film from the year I was twelve, a film I was then too young to see. It carries a different tone now, I can see the people. Beforehand, back then, these were not people but essences of adulthood, they were legitimate in totality. Their scenes were eventful but now, they were synthetic. The man whose pain had occurred in such a way was the same man who had I since seen run a line of tomato ketchup along a taco top and I was not in the mood for his taco tears. I blipped the screen away and my eyes relaxed back in their sockets. I hate toothpaste, yet I still cake my teeth in it.

The dark used to be a fearful thing but I see too much in it these nights. The noises that ruin silence are always there. There is something I like about the light travelling across my ceiling due to passing cars. The swoosh that accompanies the light show was interstellar travel in my earlier years. I know we are traveling through space. This is banal. Sleep is banal, I do it.

Dry eyes. Awake. Current media. I hear more soldiers have died. This could be building up to something. I read the information, fill in the gaps with my imagination. The gaps being as large as they are, conjure scenarios of machine gun futures, police state possibilities and firing squads, occupying my commuting time to the call centre. They will all be there, of course, those people from last night. The social circles that our employment has created seem almost designed to keep us isolated. The job follows us home, its targets become our targets and I fall in love on the train again. Today she is taller than me. If I had kept a record, I would imagine that the women I find attractive on my morning commute would actually correlate with my level of self esteem. I hear talk of leagues from the smug fuck machines of the higher, middle ranks and I avert my eyes so as to not make her uncomfortable. She is a feminist, the badge says so. I like feminists. In my mind, I can have a fantastic conversation with them. When I have tried, I think my heartfelt understanding sounds like salesmanship and my patriarchal privilege pokes its nose in.

Work. Bright. Phone. Screen. Talk. Superfluous to the universal experiment of evolution it may well be but the subject matter comes falling out of my brain hole and into the ear funnel of the human at the other end. We abstain from humanity for an average of five calls per hour. Quality and efficiency are the wicked stepmothers of this pantomime. I smile.

There is a teasing beauty in all things; this is an ugly truth. Revolutionary, radical activists get hosed down on my lunch newspaper and the vending machine is broken. Five calls an hour could be six calls an hour with the correct attitude. Four calls an hour would improve the quality of our service with the correct attitude. I looked at the notice board and noticed I was bored.

Ade Sluzky
Guest Blogger
Dragon Intuitive

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  1. Savage

    Excellent story, Don. Powerful imagery. I liked the way you structured it in flashes of consciousness, seemingly random thoughts that string together a narrative which paints a scene of a day in the life of the narrator. Very effective writing style.

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