Monologue Alone [short fiction]

A room, sparsely furnished. A desk and chair facing a window, from our point-of-view, upstage, exposed by open curtains. It is afternoon sometime in a future always near. It is raining.

A man, sitting at the desk looking out the window onto concentric circles forming and reverberating on the surface of the puddles two-stories below. The puddles have accumulated here and there along the paths that wind in a snake between the lawns mis-kept on purpose by the sought-after incompetence of the maintenance workers hired by the landlord’s managers who consciously or unconsciously impose the will of the landlords.

The landlords remain invisible to the tenants and many of the managing agents. They have little or nothing in common with the residents. They do bear an oblique resemblance in their manners with many Wall Street CEOs, at least insofar as the residents are concerned, that is, by the contempt they have for those their greed allows them to condescend to, these owners of the building complex where our man lives. This notion is a certainty in the imaginations of the residents, or so the owners think and say to those they know as an attempt to deflect bigotry but remaining a protestation too much.

As far as anyone concerned for minor truths could find, if he would only open his eyes, as so many who do not question what others in their imaginations have concluded for the landlords . . . yes, if he would only open his ears, but what then is gained by opening one’s eyes and ears in a manner dictated by some very special or specified conventions?

Our man has special concerns for the capital ‘T’ version, Truth. Any other anonymous man would say, as our man sitting at his desk then might say, “Truth does not meet in a one-to-one correspondence with the received ideas of a society. Truth and what is true are often at variance, no?”

What then does this mean or say-at, by intent or by accident? This society is now no different than any other has ever been, or that any other is now, or then might be in any future, there are universals, there are generalities, there is a human nature and thus a political nature, irrespective of what too many idiot Americans conclude from mis-reading (or dis-reading) in their second, their or fourth hand reading of French Post Structuralist thought, if the successive regurgitations of some other ejaculatiobns could be called thinking?

What the landlords are is of little factual concern for those intent on playing hop-scotch with the Truth, or anyone so formed or framed by contemporary received ideas, the propaganda disseminated, as our writer might think, by our media, meant to keep power and money in the shadows, as well as maintaining marketed images of people and peoples to suit the interests of Order for the sake of order kept in line with the demands of Money and Power, never the People, always now functioning as a Public, the latter always the people in service of the State for which it always stands in support of Power and Money . . . landlords are landlords are landlords, especially the kind you meet in New York, most of the worst kind of landlords.

He sometimes let’s himself imagine what murdering them would be like, the landlords of his building complex, understanding that the Good of any society are those content to dream what the evil ones actually practice. No? Not very Christian, I know, and I am talking metaphysically, not the everyday Christian who is not in tune with Christ.

He sits watching the rain drops dropping in the puddles outlining the path. He seems intent on continuing his gaze, watching, looking, at least until he feels the spark to write. He does for a very brief moment think about having walked the other day in the sunshine on the path outside his window below; yes, on the path to the laundry with his laundry cart full to the brim. He would not go to the laundry on this day; if he were to need clothes to wear, he would dress for the rain and go buy the clothes he needed rather than wheel his laundry cart full in the pouring rain.

The man begins to type on his laptop on his desk facing the window with the curtains opened. He is writing in his blog. It does not matter what political affiliation he has in this America. He writes a political blog for anyone who understands but most especially for those who never will.

The window the man is looking out of onto the rain, again, is upstage from our point-of-view. The curtains of the window are parallel with the curtains of would be the proscenium if this were a play, his room then the mise-en-scene of the stage. There is nothing down stage, there are no other objects on stage–the property is scarce, sparse is what it is. There are no other suggestions of a room or an apartment that we see, what we are looking at in imagination as we read. There are only these curtains, this window, this desk, its accompanying chair and the man with his laptop. That is all. One must never allow oneself completely to suspend disbelief, yet one must never persist in concluding that this is only a story or that this is only a play, if it were a play, as the exposition here could allow you to conclude.

He, typing; speaking out loud as he does, says:

“Only in America can the People be co-opted into serving a propaganda function for the State through social media while being lead to believe that they are furthering democracy in their continued dependence on social media for most of what they think they need to think, most of what they imagine they should imagine, too much of what they have habituated, addictively, as necessary for connecting to other people, thus what each of them needs to be complete.

“American pluralism is where being American now means the people have lithified, where they have become a monolith of the most massive proportions. Pluralism here is a brand of politics seriously devoted to praying before the icons of our mass media, in imitatio de stelle. And we do look to our media icons to pray to devotionally; what then is TV than pseudo-live-motion saints, chapels in a box with an aerial tuner.

“There is a ritual life in our entertainment world aligned secularly, one we gratefully participate in. True enough, for sure; but then there is often nothing more difficult to see than the truth. The media president is no different in this way; he has been one thing every four years–perhaps we believe she will differ?

“President Obama is as much a media president as any other, if not more so than any other, including Reagan. But what about the media man and the media woman, the media American; the media person complete with media personhood, a media sense of self, a media informed sense of duty of obligation of freedom of liberty of pedagogy of voting behavior of ethical conduct et cetera . . . television has been ruling our minds, almost as near to how people feared the medium in the fifties . . . we do take too many history and political lessons from Hollywood, as heinously complicit in the degradation of the American people as a public as any media institution. Flip the coin of greed and manipulation and see the faces and tails of Hollywood and Wall Street; other denominational coins will reveal the White House, Capitol Hill, Major League Sports, Oil, and so on.

“TV evangelists have always bugged the American liberal establishment because the former are simply more overt forms of what the latter is politcally, secularly. Obama is none other than a new Billy Graham of the contemporary secular liberal establishment. True enough, we might know if . . . ; enough truth, though, we wonder in exactly that way doubt has become wisdom.

“And this is for mass media, particularly the designs and the in-effects of TV, but then what of social media, now come into its own? If Kennedy was the first TV President, then the Donald is the first Social Media President, as scary as that might be, and I cannot stand too many of those who have fallen in love with the antics of dismissing critique as a way of not being real or as an inability to cope with the painful president–yes, those of you who critique our government, our system, our Democrats and republicans, our epistemology, our ontology, our metaphysics are often ridiculed, especially by recent or a little more than recent graduates of four year colleges across America, no demographic group less independent in thinking or voting behavior . . . exactly the ones the Media has been proposing will be the ones to save us, as our politicians now get on board, especially Democrats, yes, oh, yes, let’s allow the Millennials to save us . . . as baldly false as accepting that age must equal wisdom, unilaterally and universally. Yes, there are critiques of critique that sharpens its rhetorical edge on the whet stone of Adulthood–it is adult to deal with the painful present as it is, but  mostly as if everything has always been exactly as it is today, just those of us without historical consciousness, or the correct social and historical consciousness, have misread this heinous present. And this notion that things have always been as they are usually accretes around the center of one or more differing ideas, one of them being that anyone who critiques the system is Naive–go ahead, try to critique the Democrats and the Republicans ands where you get with the mass of the other’s supporters . . . and I a mass because there are still far too many people supporting one Party or the other, and I have been saying since the late seventies through the eighties that Party realignment was necessary, but I will not get into that here, not now, it will take too long and I want wind up, finish, conclude–did you know that ‘conclusion’ comes from conclusus, which is Latin for a kind wall, thus only a damning up, stopping of the flow.

I no more believe in a Golden Age than I think that Now is the only time, any more than I imagine that there is a Golden Age in our future, any more than  I do in any other way of thinking about time, history, its progression or regression or  . . . time and history are not rivers as I have read recently in an essay by my friend Jay . . . history as time is an ocean.”










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