Absorbed

“Absorbed”

A Short Story

“Your appointment has been canceled, sir.”

“What d’ya mean,” Winston asked.

“Just that.  Your appointment has been canceled.”

“By whom?”

“I can’t tell you that.  It’s classified.”

“Classified?  An absorption technician has access to classified information?”

“Evidently,” the technician answered.

Winston had been looking forward to being absorbed into the hive for months now. Ever since his particular penchant for discovering the truth was smashed upon hearing that his wife of 20 years had been getting it on weekly with a statistical engineer at the corporate shithole they both worked for.  The final straw was realized when his wife told Winston that her and her lover enjoyed rattling off mind-numbing statistics right before crashing into bed for boring, yet statistically stimulating sex.

“So, I just have to live with this shit?” Winston asked.

“Evidently.”

“Look,” Winston began, “others have been absorbed for far less offenses…like, forgetting to take the Winter vaccine that would make them think of butterfly’s flying about in the dead of winter, or forgetting the propaganda vaccine given when one is having a hint of a doubt that everything one might come across on their hand-held radiation device, or blaring at them via computer of television screen is bullshit.  I have real shit experiences.  I have to be absorbed.”

“Why do you think your case merits particular attention to absorption?” the attendant asked.

“Because I’m out of my frickin’ mind right now, and have been ever since my wife left me to have bad sex with an engineer type who hasn’t a clue of what genitalia to stimulate.”

“Hmm – Well, since you frame it as such, maybe we need to reconsider your absorption.  After all, continuing to live with the reality that a statistical geek could satisfy your wife better than you could after 20 years of cohabitation…that just might be some serious shit that even we haven’t considered. Pardon while I step out to consult the authorities.”

Winston was thinking of a thing called purgatory…a place that he remembered his parents telling him that they hoped to arrive at, rather than casting their sails into Gehenna, where, instead, in purgatory, the soul could make amends for the tomfoolery a soul might partake in from time to time. Tomfoolery that the gods never, ever considered as anything other than what it was to be a human being.

“Your attraction to the female leg, along with a somewhat depraved fascination with the kept foot leads us here to conclude that absorption is not warranted, as absorption into the hive will lead to an obsession of beauty – something the hive cannot tolerate,” the attendant rattled off.

“But the hive cleanses everything…right? Winston asked. “The hive takes the negative and turns it into positive affirmations that are good, right?”

“The hive is here for one purpose only…to collect dead minds and souls and give them a false hope that all their worries, all their perplexing thoughts, all their dread they feared can be continue to be channeled into the absurdity of the unabsorbed.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Winston offered.

“Exactly.”

“So, the obsession with sex, the obsession with political parties, the obsession with knowing…anything…it all means nothing?”

“Exactly what we hope each of you believe.”

“So what are the unabsorbed left with,” Winston asked?

“Life; honesty; hardship, bad and glorious sex – kindness, care, concern and devotion to truth, wondrous music, art and writing – yet above all, love. Yet we have found that most humans cannot tolerate such things, and opt out for the gutter. And thus they must be absorbed.”

“And will you let me be to experience a life of the unabsorbed?” Winston asked.

“Probably not.”

***

Tonight’s musical offering:

Mendelssohn – Midsummer Night’s Dream – Scherzo

Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

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