Inashortfiction's Blog

slavery

Posted in writing, short fiction by Psychopoliticus on January 20, 2010

Why am I standing here? 

These were the half-thoughts of a woman who worked at a bakery. All she could think of doing the entire day that she stood behind the register was to run home faster to her obelisk and call him by a diminutive name. 

She had an irresistible desire to call him by a diminutive name. When actually done, this ellicited suspicion; a calculating eye looked at her and moved. But why, she thought, should she have to justify this desire any more than why “red” means red. 

She didn’t actually think this of course– she only thought something like that. 

Often she came up to the obelisk while he was lying down and said “I love you”. Then said it louder. Then even louder. Then shouted. Well, she did not really shout. She only thought she was. 

Oftentimes she felt something analogous to these thoughts: It cannot be that the good times have already all long elapsed. And this is because–when I bring a child into the world and they will, at some time, look back upon their childhood with fondness and nostalgia, they will remember that I was a part of it–and that I was young then. But since that time has yet to come, surely the best times have not yet happened.

 Yet there was something perverse for sure in using a hypothetical offspring’s perspective as a unit of happiness. 

 When I awake in the morning, and I am happy about the sound of the pigeons and the dusty beam of light, then I will be living, she thought. Well, she did not really think this; she just felt something like it. 

 One day  she will be hit by a bolt of a realization that will probably send her into a fit of laughter: He is an alligator!

 Ah, then it will make sense why he likes to lie down and why he likes moisture. No wonder, she’ll think, he was unable to respond. He doesn’t speak a language!

But she does not know this yet. And her world seems narrow and cold as she stands behind the counter selling bagels. 

For a second, it frightened her that there was no fact of the matter about what she saw until she saw it. But it wasn’t so bad, now that she saw him as an alligator.  Perhaps he could keep the flies away.

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