Sunday, January 27, 2008

On The MC

SF waited in the corridor for the pamphlets to arrive. He had been waiting since early in the morning. The corridor was beginning to fill out and the morning bells were about to go off any moment. Some people entered the rooms with their doors ajar, most others waited outside. There wasn’t anything particularly new about the morning. It felt very similar to yesterday morning, and the morning before that. In these places, routine mornings tend to repulse unnecessary novelty. The beginning of the day is very consciously normal. It is meant to be specifically usual. It is meant that people come in like they regularly do. They ought to try and avoid being conspicuous; just simple regularity does fine. SF wanted this morning to be unlike the one the day before. He waited patiently and he waited eagerly. He knew that he had in line a very clear possibility of irregularity. He was going to use it. The pamphlets arrived shortly afterwards. They looked very forlorn and badly made. The standard colour was red, or somewhat red. The front of it was badly printed, missing letters toward the margins. The lettering was done in nondescript fonts, the one above very different from the one below. This place worships uniformity. The pamphlet clearly didn’t mind it one bit. It wasn’t glossily made. It was dull and frayed. It looked like it had nothing important to say. Pamphlets usually don’t, but some at least lead you on to things you mightn’t be indisposed to. This pamphlet, in its own way, was about one of those things. It was about a meeting on Revolution. It had a few names catalogued on the back, names of speakers who would extol, or not, the Revolution. No one specific type was mentioned; it was meant for the general idea. It coincided by dates with that special, superannuated Russian one, but that wasn’t the main thing. The main thing was the exposition. They wanted people to talk to, talk at, and to Initiate. The point was to lease some sense of contingency. One stock of pamphlets lay by the window.

It wasn’t noticeable from where SF stood, but he came over and took one. He looked around. No one had seen him take it. That was essential; he didn’t want people to notice. No one normally noticed people reading pamphlets anyway, but in his mind, everyone around meticulously noticed. Everything was exposed to judgment; everyone was vulnerable to others’ thoughts. He walked quickly over across the corridor and sat by the library. The sounds of doors shutting and the beginning of lectures came partly to him. Otherwise, he was reading the pamphlet. It was very important now, wasn’t it? He’d been waiting to read. He looked across to the bottom of the note and saw the name he’d expected. He read it twice and checked it over again. It was that name. It was that name on the pamphlet. He’d known it would be, but this was different. He had wanted to find out this way, to pick away one pamphlet from the lot and read it alone. In fact, in his mind, he’d rehearsed it so many times over. In his mind, he sighed loudly on discovering the name; he raised it over his head, saying, ‘What rubbish! Not this one again.’ He saw himself heroically tear it. But now, with it in his hands, he didn’t do any of that. It would be too conspicuous. He wanted to say to someone passing by, ‘What rubbish! Not this one again.’ He couldn’t. In that one moment, he couldn’t say anything denunciatory. He could only think it. His rehearsed hate and feigned discovery fell by the wayside of his momentary stillness. He had said it so many times in his mind. Now, though, it all precluded voice. It was frightening to feel that way; to come to terms with the disability of anger. If he could, he’d take it right up to the person and tell him everything. Tell him about his phony, petulant call-to-arms, tell him about the weaknesses and faults of his technique, tell him about how he won’t definitely get away the next time. Tell him everything upfront.

Unfortunately, the bell rang that time, and he had to go to class. He fixed his askew glasses. He picked up his copy of The Catcher In The Rye and walked away. As he walked away, he began to mutter to himself the beginning of his rehearsed diatribe, but stopped midway. He couldn’t complete it.

1 comment:

Achala said...

Which college publication is this?

So we rehearse and rehearse and rehearse within our own heads (lonely little worlds that they are) and finally, produce nothing of what we've worked on?


I liked.