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stanley.lieber's picture

680 words by Stanley Lieber


"Every time I walk past your desk you are reading that damn feed."

"Do you see the flaw in this?" Violet said. "Every time you see me reading the feeds you are away from your own desk. You'd never know I was breaking the rules if you weren't up, walking around, breaking them yourself."

Frankly, there had been little to distinguish her until fairly recently. The commencement of spring financials had perhaps brought something out in her. She'd taken well to his instruction. Christopher mused (to himself) that perhaps what he now admired in her was nothing more than his own reflection. But this was a profoundly disagreeable notion, and he discarded it immediately. He would try again. There could be no harm in trying.

"No Violet, Newton did not hold that the Green was eternal. A gentleman of his era would not even have been able to perceive the Green."

"Now you're just not telling the truth," Violet said.

"Nullius en verba," sighed Chris. "Don't take anyone's word for it. Or in other words, do your own research. You see, it doesn't matter if you believe me or not. This is not a relative matter. There was no Green in the seventeenth century -- that's not merely an argument I'm posing, it's a simple statement of fact."

"According to your essentialist bias," Violet said. "What are 'facts,' anyway?" There was no answer. It was a meaningless question. But, Violet's mouth creased acutely at its edges, her eyes tracing out the arc of the golden ratio, and Christopher shifted in his work trousers, unsure of how to proceed.

Oh, she was distinguishing herself now. He couldn't remember what he'd been saying, or why. He stopped typing in order to formulate his response.

"What you have to know about Newton is only this: his work with optics may have indeed set the stage for the eventual overturning of his work on motion."

"That's seriously not even true," said Violet. "Einstein was very clear that his work should not be seen to supersede Newton's, but merely to build upon the solid foundations laid by his able predecessor. Newtonian mechanics are still quite viable from a macro- perspective. Even today. No joke."

"And yet, you still cling to this notion that Newton knew of -- communed with -- the Green."

"Didn't he?" asked Violet, rolling her eyes behind her face-mask.

"No," said Chris, finding himself increasingly frustrated, in more ways than one.

Violet drifted away. She thought to herself: When I lay my head down now, my dreams are stories instead of the psychotic, Dadaist collages I am accustomed to. Humble narrative. But what is more important to me? Lucid memories of my childhood or the lifting of this block, this veil that has descended over me and so complicated the machinery? She was unaware of what her meandering thoughts had projected onto the interior of Christopher's mind. Consequently, she was oblivious to his agitation. She did not yet know what her mask did to other people. She had only recently succeeded in separating it from herself at all. She had also neglected to fasten the top few buttons of her blouse.

Christopher excused himself and continued to the men's room where, after satisfying himself that he had latched the stall and was well and truly alone, he took down his canvas trousers and began to masturbate furiously into the toilet. Once spent, he noticed that there was no toilet paper left on the dispenser roll.

He got the door of the stall open with some difficulty. Then, operating mostly with his wrists and elbows, he retrieved a few napkins from the sink area, wiped off the toilet seat as best he could.

As he turned to leave the restroom he noticed another man was present, standing at a urinal. He could not remember the man's name (he felt as if he should have remembered the man's name), but the fellow had stopped urinating and appeared as if he were trying to stifle a laugh.


To be continued...



1OCT1993 | INDEX

Gus Savoie's picture

Mr. Lieber, I salute you.

When Christopher returned to his desk he felt an unusual breeze on his genitals as he squatted on the the huge plastic ball that HR had so annoyingly replaced his chair with. He swallowed a cry of embarrassed surprise to discover he had walked through the entirety of the cube space with his cum-tipped penis dangling out of the front of his pants. He stuffed it back into his trousers and wiped the pecker trail off his office-ball with the cuff of his shirt.

"Forget something?" It was Wilson, the creep from the end of the row. Wilson had been here, in this corner of the farm for longer than anybody else on the floor.