November 22, 2007

Paragon’s People (10 of 11)

Thread: Paragon

The student couldn’t bear the repeated clicking of the remote – the thinker had kept channel surfing for the last hour, as if trying to prise out some truth of this strange and, frankly, unbelievable turn of events.


The President’s chin and calm, friendly white teeth smile filled the screen as his recorded address calmly explained his reasons for standing down and handing the reins over to the Vice-President. Talking heads droned over him, as usual adding nothing to the reported news, but subtracting everything they could to bolster their own celebrity status.

‘God fucking dammit,’ the thinker said. ‘God fucking damn this fucking fuck thing to hell.’ He threw the remote across the room. ‘Fuck!’

The thinker wasn’t the only one feeling wronged somehow. The student felt like he’d taken a punch to the gut, all his fire and plans – pissed on by this second-shit preacher whose chiselled jaw bulged with ingratiating smiles. It just didn’t make any sense to throw away all that power, not now.

The athlete said, ‘I don’t believe this.’

‘Oh will you change the record,’ said the musician, trying to straighten out some wrinkles in her top; her rainbow didn’t seem to be smiling any more. ‘None of us believes it.’

‘No, I mean it. I really don’t believe this. Is this for real? This kind of thing is, well, unprecedented, totally.’ He pronounced it unpreecedented. ‘He was a popular guy. We were underdogs.’

The thinker growled. ‘That’s the problem! The face is changing but his plans are still in motion. Now try getting people on our side. They’ll all say, well, look the guy you’re worried about is no longer in power, so take a chill fucking pill, man.’

The student got up to leave. He wasn’t even sure he believed there was anything worth fighting for either. More than a face had changed. The Vice-President wasn’t the same man at all. The student remembered him squirming when facing some questions on the CNN over the British fallout from the ethical signatures, the sweat resting on his brow.

‘Where are you scooting off too?’ said the poet, who had remained fairly quiet throughout the news. His only discernable reaction was the act of folding his arms.

‘Campus,’ the student replied. ‘I can’t sit here and watch this crap all night. We’re supposed to talk about how we change things for the better. Things are changing faster than we can bloody talk about changing them. I can watch TV anywhere.’

‘I don’t believe this,’ said the athlete.

The student’s girlfriend, looking shell-shocked by events, stood up too. ‘Yeah, let’s go. I need to shake my head of this.’

‘We’ll still meet up, guys, right?’ said the thinker, desperation seeping in. ‘There’s still the cause, right?’ He raised his fist in a distant, weak echo of the student’s bolder thrust earlier.

‘Whatever,’ the student said. ‘You have to fight for something real.’ He pointed at the TV bearing smiling white teeth that bobbed and weaved in slow motion. ‘He isn’t real any more. I’ll come back if you have something to fight for.’

He gazed at each one of his compadres, and noticed the only person who was pleased was the cop’s daughter, the first smile he’d seen on her face since attending these meetings. She was the only genuine one here, her only goal to change how things were. And things had changed and she was happy with that. An honest challenger with no ego invested. He saw that everybody wanted to change things because they simply wanted to reshape life to suit themselves and to hell with other people: a mere excuse for narcissism.

Perhaps he should be happy too but his map of personal destiny was in tatters. Bliss’ attentions had prodded him forward inch by inch, and now he was in the middle of nowhere, falling into an unmarked pit, waiting for the bottom to claim him. Suddenly – he was alone.

The student left the thinker’s apartment, with his girlfriend in tow.

Posted by: The Harbour Master @ 1114

2 Responses to “Paragon’s People (10 of 11)”

  1. Jennifer wrote on 22-Nov-2007 @ 1212:

    Wot now for our intrepid student and his girlfriend?


    oooh Bliss!


  2. Jennifer wrote on 22-Nov-2007 @ 1212:

    Wot now for our intrepid student and his girlfriend?


    oooh Bliss!


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