The gray haired man patiently explains things to his son: "If Microsoft
had been given free rein we would still be using DOS." And the sons
quiet stare says "So?"
The oriental man, pencil in hand and hunched over a paper, impatiently
explains some problem in mathematics to his teenage son who sits tight-faced
and still. The man takes off his ball cap and thinning gray hair bushes
out in a thoroughly asymetrical way.
"Do you see now?" he says to his son, "Do you see?"
I am a writer...scriptwriter and a tv producer. Aging fast. Sick maybe.
They have taken my creations away from me. "New," they say,
the word "new."
They make me appear on celebrity game shows. I struggle to be funny, to
stay awake, to hold back the terror.
"I havent seen you around here before. What happened to old
"Im the new night watchman, Mister --," he replies with
"Strange, nobody told me about this...and how did you know my name?"
"Oh everybody knows you, Mister --."
The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or
condition exists or continues. A continuum which lacks spatial dimensions
and in which events succeed one another from past through present to future.
I look out at myself from the pages of an ad for the Famous Writers
School...a black and white me looking, now in this light, out of place,
ill at ease, sorry for all the people who bought the product. What? The
question? I dont know the answer to the fucking question. Quick,
something... How many more shows are we going to tape today? Who are these
The office is dark. Since when do they let it get so dark? That new watchman
didnt give his name.
One reader writes...
Wendy's always has the best hamburgers, how do you do it?
Glad you asked, Dave replies. First of all we use fresh beef. Most other
places use frozen beef. (Don't ask me why.) We never make a hamburger
up ahead of time. We wait until you order it. That way it's served hot
off the grill. Plus, you get to pick your own toppings. And we make sure
those are fresh, too. When it comes down to it, it doesn't take magic
to make a better tasting hamburger. Maybe other places just don't think
it's that important.
That's us asking. An unreal us, which we nevertheless except. A foil for
the unreal Dave -- who was real, at one time. A real old fat guy, who
has now become simply "Dave." We don't mind. We take solace
in the fact that we are equal in our unreality...an unreal us, an unreal
Unreal voices down the road as well. At Wal-Mart. People in blue are speaking
with their backs. At WAL-MART, Our People Make The Difference say their
smocks. Every moment of the work day their backs give voice to the words
of others. Branded.
We take solace in the equality of our unreality...but some pay for the
hamburgers, some speak with their backs; others profit. Man is born free
but everywhere he is in chains.1995 Wendy's.
All Rights Reserved.
Also by Greg: THE BARN
Bloomfield Twp., Michigan
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