Them Digits

We now enter a world where you’re fucked if you don’t remember your digits.

See that old man sitting there in the corner seat of the metro trying to type his grand-daughter an SMS? Doesn’t look like he remembers too much, now does he? Let’s see if he remembers.

“Whaaaat? Of course I remember my digits! I’m not a savage you know!”

Did you see his expression? Did you see the way his eyes became larger and his nose smaller? Did you see how his forehead became furrowed, how the lines around his eyes became deeper? That man was shocked at the nature of the question. It was almost like we asked him if he remembers his name. See, even that guy remembers his digits.

 

What about her? Yeah, that girl sitting at 12 o clock taking those selfies. Whoa, that’s like 10 selfies in like 10 seconds, each with a different expression. Are you seeing this, mate? Let’s ask her.

“This your way of asking me out for a bevy huh? I don’t give my mobile phone number to strangers. Oh, those digits! Well of course I remember, why? Oh, you’re doing some research for a documentary on Discovery? Wow. Where did you say you wanted to take me for a bevy again?”

Dumb woman. Nice cleavage though, I’ll give her that.

 

Let’s ask one final person. Look around you, who should we ask? That guy in the suit? Cool.

“Digits? Hmm…digits…digits. What are my digits? Oh shit, I think I forgot my digits. OH NO, MY DIGITS! I FORGOT MY DIGITS, HELP!”

Oh, we have one here. This guy is losing his shit. He’s taking his tie out and trying to strangle himself, screaming for his digits all the while. The metro has stopped, here come the police aaaaand they’ve taken him.

“Digits…digits….digits. What are my digits?”

Poor guy, he’s gone mad.

 

So, ladies and gentlemen, whatever you do, do not forget the digits in the pin of your credit card.

You’ll be fucked if you do.

 

 

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Behind Your Head

No matter what you do, you will never be able to see what is behind your head.

What lies hidden in this blind spot of your existence? It could be the face of your worst fear hiding, breathing down your neck. You’d expect to scream once you turn around to look at it, but then you realise that it’s still behind your head and that you’ll never be able to see it; you’ll only ever be able to feel it.

Sometimes it doesn’t bother you, its existence is negligible. But then again, there are these notorious situations known as ‘the other times’. Yeah, those times.

“Gaberliski?”

“Huh? What?”

“Didn’t you just hear what I was telling you about this pretty cool sausage festival?”

“Sorry Neorcoro, I think I got a little lost in thought back there.”

“So, you don’t remember anything about what just happened?”

“No, I think that you’re going to have to start over.”

“Then who was I talking to right now? You seemed pretty normal till about 30 seconds ago.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry about that. I put myself on autopilot so that I can venture into the depths of the land behind my head.”

“I hate it when you do that.”

“Well, you know what they say- you’ve gotta do what you gotta do.”

“I prefer- you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Anyway, looks like we’re done here!”

Gaberliski paid the barber for the haircut and ran his hand down the back of his head so that he could try to assess the situation back there; feeling it with his hands all the while because he knew that he could never see it.

 

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The Proofreader

“ Please line up in a single file and do not loiter! Lost thoughts will not be entertained after 11 PM, as that is the stipulated night night time for today!”

The line was long, like really long.

The cleric behind the desk leaned out of his chair to examine the exact length that he would have to go through before night night.

The line extended far and long and the end of the line was as nigh as the end of the horizon usually is.

“Looks like it’s gonna be overtime tonight, Pineal!”

The blob like figure turned his head from his otherwise slouched bag of potato chips position and let out a huge heave.

“I’m still processing. Do not disturb me.”

“Whatever, nobody really understands most of what you say anyway.”

Pineal slouched back into his position and let out a soft heaving kind of sound. Maybe it was an external sign of his irritation or maybe he was agreeing. Like the cleric said, nobody understood that purple blobbish guy.

“And what is your purpose here?” Asked the cleric as he went on with his colossal duty of burning through as much of the long line as he could before night night.

The cleric pushed back his specs and looked at the tiny lean man standing in front of the desk from the tip of his nose. The man looked nervous.

“Actually sir, I represent the thought that we should go out and get wasted tonight.”

“You again! You come back every night. To what ends do you suggest this course of action?”

“Um, i-i-it would be fun?”

The small thought’s offer did not impress the cleric even one bit.

He pulled out a placard from his draw and put it in front of the weak thought.

“Do you see this?!”

Said the cleric as he pointed towards the words “Proofreader” written on the placard.

“Do you know what this means?!”

“N-no sir.”

“This means that it’s my job to proofread the hell out of distracting thoughts such as yourself. How can I do my job if you keep coming back every day!! Now move out of the line!”

The clock struck 11:00 PM.

“Lights down mode, I repeat, lights down mode.”

The lights became dimmer as the loudspeaker blared the unseen voice.

“Great, just bloody great. We only have 10,00,001 thoughts to go before this is done, and it’s already night night! Pineal, it’s time for you to help me out here!”

_________________________________________________________________

The boy tossed and turned in bed as he tried to get some sleep.

It was already 11:30 PM, half an hour past his bedtime.

“Damn, I think a lot.”

Little did he know that he was going to be bombarded with a couple of hundred thousand thoughts before the sleep could actually kick in.

 

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The Insatiable Itch

Every time that I lie down on my bed, I look up and see this empty bulb socket staring at me in the face. I look at it and I think about it.

I like to think that there was once a bulb tightly screwed in there and then imagine that one night it fell out and onto the face of the person who once lay on this bed before me. I know nothing about the person who occupied this small space, but I keep discovering signs unintentionally left behind by him or her. I think it was a her. The bathrobe that still hangs behind my bathroom door, a pinkish yet clear bottle of perfume left behind in what is now my bathroom, even a leftover a pair of spectacles with very low power. It probably was a her, I’ve heard stories.

There are many lights in this room, but just one empty and cold light socket. I like to imagine that she didn’t screw a new bulb into this socket for fear of it falling out again.

Behind the light socket, there’s this long crack in the ceiling. It fades away in places and disappears, only to reappear after a small gap. I like to look at it like a sentence, with words and spaces in between each word. Maybe the crack is a seamless flow of a combination of words that I’m waiting to discover: the right combination of them is what I mean.

When I put the lights off, I no longer see that crack, but I still feel its presence. It bugs me a little bit because it reminds me of an itch that is insatiable because it lies not on your skin, but under it. The only way to scratch that itch is to tear away at your skin until you reach the under part, the spot where the itch is. Scratching that itchy spot is probably the easy part, but putting the skin back on top of it to cover up the exposed part is the hard part, and who knows, the itch may come back once the skin is fully repaired.

And then all of a sudden, I snap out of it to the cracking sound of a knife spreading butter on an overly hard toast in the morning. It’s a happy ending that ends with a crunch. Funny how those even exist.

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Disappointment

What’s the first disappointing experience that you have ever had?

Let me tell you mine.

I was a small kid, I don’t remember how small but I’m pretty sure that this was before I even knew that alphabets could be used in mathematics. Only after algebra came into my life did shit really start to become complicated.

Anyway, back to that one early disappointment in my life.

At the time I was really fascinated by stars and what lies beyond our planet, I still am to some extent. I used to gaze up at the stars and be filled with a feeling of wonder.

One day, my dad came back home with a telescope. I remember being so excited about it. I spent hours just looking at the box that it came in, and then happily opening up one of my encyclopedias and looking at pictures of Jupiter and asteroids and comets. I felt like one of my dreams was about to come true, and the intoxication of that feeling is something that I can’t explain- it’s something you have to experience for yourself.

The day to open up that telescope and to gaze at the wonders of the sky finally came.

As I watched my dad put the telescope together, I once again revisited beautiful images of space and stars and planets in my mind.

We pointed the telescope at Sirius, which is the brightest star in the sky. With an immense amount of anticipation, I shut my left eye and looked through the lens with my right eye.

Had I been as old as I am today, I probably would have said something like, “What the fuck is this bullshit?!”

I didn’t see the beautiful scenery of space. I didn’t see the stars. I didn’t see the colourful space dust. All that I saw was a close up view of a bright light. It was almost like taking a magnifying glass to a light bulb. I remember being really disappointed about that.

I remember going to bed looking up at the ceiling still picturing the beautiful landscape of extra-terrestrial space. I remember beating myself up about being stupid enough to actually think that what I saw in the pictures was true.

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Resentment

“Who do you resent?”

“What?”

She looked at me with what I interpreted to be a shade of uncertainty. Maybe she felt like a foreign entity was inside her body, probing deep into the areas that made her uncomfortable.

“You heard me. Who do you resent?”

“I’m not sure why you’re asking me this.”

“Does everything have to have a point?”

She looked away and scoped the room, trying to take in the wannabe glamorous ambience of the café. I guess it’s too bad that they chose to go with the tablecloth that they did.

Her head moved like a rotating turret, stopping only to glance towards the renaissance inspired painting.

I couldn’t tell if she was deep in thought or just uncomfortable. They say that half the love is lost when you think about what the other person is thinking about. I tried to stop analyzing her every move, but I guess I just couldn’t help myself. I wanted to know more.

Her eyes met mine.

“I don’t think that I do resent anybody.”

There was truth in her eyes. Truth with a glimmer of madness. I’d been trying to get her to reveal that side of herself to me. The only progress that I’d made so far was the scenic view that the windows to her soul offered me.

“Who do you resent?” She retorted.

The toughest questions to answer are always the ones that you end up asking other people, and not yourself.

“Does resentment mean feeling like punching somebody in the face?”

“I guess not.”

She drew her attention to the slight fold in the tablecloth and smoothed it with her black nails. She knew that black is one of my favourite colours. Did she wear that black nail-polish thinking about how it would please me just like I wore this blue formal shirt to try and please her?

“What is it then?”

“Hmmm. I think resentment means disliking somebody  because they don’t meet your expectations.”

The slice of pastry finally arrived. Unfortunately, it had a marzipan filling. I didn’t quite expect that.

I guess you could say that the only thing I resented that day was that slice of pastry.

Deep down though, I already knew who I would grow to resent because of these far-fetched expectations that had blossomed deep in some void in my body.

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Inside A Traffic Light

traffic

“Peh! Peh! Peh!”

“All bloo-blahs, prepare yourself for reddening! Red pools are now open for reddening!”

The alarm (and the voiceover) blared as the green bloo-blahs made their way to the red pools for the reddening.

It was a bit of a hustle-bustle, with the orange bloo-blahs criss-crossing with the red ones as they  made their way to their next station to prepare themselves for their greening which would follow shortly after. It was messy. It looked a bit like a two year old’s drawing from afar, except that the colours were moving. They have a term for it, I think they call it a glitch or something.

In its life-span, each bloo-blah would participate in a countless number of greenings, orange-ings and reddenings. Their lives involved moving from one coloured pool to the other to soak in so that their body colour changes.

The complex that they lived in was quite spacious- it had three storeys, each one having a giant circular window. The interior of each floor consisted of three coloured pools- one orange, one green and one red, each for the bloo-blahs to soak in. This complex was not very complex, unlike other bloo-blah complexes. Some of them had more than three storeys, but I can’t tell you how those ones function since I have only visited a three storey bloo-blah complex.

On the middle floor was a giant digital watch, which always had numbers counting down to zero on it in cycles of 30 seconds and 60 seconds.

A life of a bloo-blah is a life of constant and unlimited deadlines, but the bloo-blahs didn’t mind; they went about their daily routine and conversations. Their conversations mainly revolved around the colours that they had changed to, stuff like “Your colour has come along quite well!”

The countdown was about to reach zero.

“All bloo-blahs in the reddening zone, prepare for red light!”

It was absolute chaos as the bloo-blahs all made their way to the third storey, climbing up the ropes that connected the three levels.

“Red light mode is go, repeat, red light mode is go!”

And with that, all the bloo-blahs ran and jumped onto the giant circular window on the level and stuck themselves to it. The vast sea of red blocked every square millimeter of the window.

Outside of the structure, the red light of the traffic light came on, and with that, the 60 second countdown to the green light began.

I guess you can imagine the events that would transpire inside the traffic light until the next green light now.

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