Can I Borrow a Feeling Pt. 2

“Gaft you making shitty products now? I thought marketing was only for dumb crap. Isn’t your brilliant gift to mankind luminous enough to sell itself?”
“Fuck you Smiles. I knew you’d be fucking useless you god damn economic parasite! You ever think of any of the shit you market? You ever have an original god damn thought in your life?! No, it’s people like us that do the thinking and the creating and you translate our genius into moron for the dipshit consumers who’d be dead without the technology we create.” Adrenaline flash flooded every tiny capillary in Gaft’s body. He slammed his cell phone down into the tired cracked cement. Every crack on that sidewalk from the grandest fissure to the meekest hairline fracture told a tale of human emotion. “Fucking finance… marketing cocksuckers, they’re the reason…Fuck!” Gaft stomped on the little green microtransistors and ground the glass shards of his phone screen into the sidewalk. He ground the glass into dust under his heel, lifting his sneaker periodically to inspect his work. He didn’t stop until he couldn’t tell the difference between the glass dust and the other sediment in the cracks of the sidewalk. “What the fuck are you all looking at!” Gaft shouted at pedestrians who couldn’t care less. “I made this, and I can destroy it!” Gaft knelt down breathing heavily and ran his fingers through his hair. Down on all fours he noticed the mountainous topography of the sidewalk. He ran his fingers across the sidewalk feeling its peaks and valleys. Pollen, decayed cigarette butts, river rock bits, glass, spit, gum, tree leaves, thriving weeds, all reclaiming the cracks from the sidewalk. “This sidewalk knows the meaning of entropy” he thought to himself. “Decay is the great equalizer.” he said pinching sidewalk sediment between his pointer finger and thumb. “They’ll all be dead someday. Every last one of them no matter how many stupid games they win. Smiles will be dead, Emototech executives will be dead, that tub of lard staring at me will be dead. Some day.” Gaft sat down on the sidewalk and breathed in deep.
“Gaft… [grunt] my naive friend…[grunt] you don’t fight fire with water.” Smiles muttered mid thrust “[grunt] You fight fire [grunt] with fire. [grunt]Fire is so raw [grunt] and powerful, that’s why [grunt]they’re using it against you. [grunt] Don’t you respect the ferocity of fire? Don’t you bitch. Feel the fire.”
Gaft smiled and laughed a little. “There’s no fire and water Smiles,” Gaft said in between deep breaths and sighs, “there’s just fucking Emototech reverse engineering my tech into snake oil.”
“Gaft for christ’s sake,[sigh] work with me here. I know……ahhh, christ jesus yeeees yes indeed.” “Oh man… good on you mate.” Smiles said in the last throes of orgasm. “you understand what I’m saying here.” he said in between deep breaths, “I know you understand what I’m saying here. You don’t fight lies with the truth. You fight lies with more lies.”
Gaft layed back humiliated and satisfied. “I knew you’d say something like that. Everything out of your mouth is like a fucking patronizing supervillian speech. God the shit you’re willing to do just to hawk a few more widgets.”
“Look Gaft, do you want to crush these guys or what? Do you want to win or lose?” Smiles said looking him directly in the eye. “Jesus they’re so blue and sparkling in the sunlight” Gaft thought to himself
“Win what?” Gaft said his libido swelling “This isn’t a game, these people robbed me, they’re fucking throwing people in jail because of these things Smiles.”
“Look, it’s just a game. It’s a game to them and it’s a game to me. Everything is, grow up man. You win a bunch, then you stick your dick in the trophies, then you fucking die. Your ancestors tamed Wooly Mammoths, walked hundreds of miles through glaciers, beat the plague, slaughtered entire races of enemies, enslaved legions of losers, tamed the ocean, tamed nature, then fucked like they had never fucked before on the corpses of their enemies. You are here because they were fucking winners, I’m here because my ancestors were fucking winners, Emototech is here because their ancestors were fucking winners. The human species is a tournament and you’re in the semifinals here. Did your genes come this far just to lose in the semis. You want to be the weak link?”
Gaft kissed Smile’s neck, chest, stomach down to his swelling penis.
“I’ll…ahh yes…I’ll take that as a yes I want to win Smiles. You’re…[deep breath]…lucky I can literally sell ice to eskimos. [deep breath] Was on the cover of Forbes for that one remember?” he said smiling with his hands behind his head. “Like I was saying,” Smiles grabbed the back of Gaft’s head and gently guided it, “We fight lies with more lies. [deep breath] We’re going conspiracy surfing….ahhhh, well done. Alright, good job down there. Grab a notepad and start surfing youtube.”
“What do you mean, surf youtube for what.” Gaft said cleaning himself up
“Did you know cellphones cause cancer?….and…vaccines cause autism, and GMO takes all the vitamins out of carrots?”
“No no no. I’m not fucking doing that. We are not starting conspiracy theories about fucking emotometers. I’m a scientist, I can’t.”
“Look, truth is down the drain here. People don’t know shit about how these things work, they’re just buying them because they saw it in some magazines. No matter what anyone does, the truth is gone. This is the only way you can hurt these guys. Trust me, my dad founded Rumormill LTD, we took down entire companies David and Golliath style. My dad’s a fucking genius, he figured out all the math and shit behind rumor formation and spreading…”
“Graph theory model of communicaton, yeah I know his work. I read his paper explaining how fucked up marketing is and how easy it is to spread ridiculous rumors. He was trying to kill commercialism and create informed fair consumer producer relations.”
“Yeah, he was naive back then. You know, people know that shit. People know that Billy Mays talking fast and Kim Kardashian drinking a soda doesn’t mean a product is good. They know calories, and quality, and durability are what’s important. People aren’t brain dead, ask them if a commerical with a skateboarding cheetah makes them want to buy cheesedoodles? They’ll all say no, of course not, that’s stupid. How come it all works then? People love the lie, they love it. Advertising is just telling people what they want to believe. The truth doesn’t matter man, you have the right to choose what you want to believe. The truth is that this world is a hellish, Hobbesian, Darwinian nightmare, and we are all going to die. You don’t know when you will die, it will just happen one day, could be today. You want that truth blaring in your ears? You want the truth about how many people died today and how many greiving people sobbed into the night? You want to tell the fat ugly girl the truth, that she will never be loved? Maybe I want to offer her some hope. Hey don’t worry, I’ll tell her, once you find the right makeup people will like you. People will give a shit about your feelings and thoughts once you use Mabelline’s newest formula. This pill will help you lose weight, don’t worry about your glandular metabolism issue. You can be beautiful, you can be loved. False hope is better than no hope. I’m not tricking her. She wants to believe that. She wants to believe the lie. We get rich and people get some much needed hope. It’s like reading a novel and getting lost in a fantasy world. We know the novel isn’t really happening, but we tell our mind to believe the author’s lies. Just for a little bit, we are living in a better world. We are living in an interesting magical world where the good guys win and you are the hero you tried to be all your life. We have the right to believe the lie when we live in a world as harsh as this.”
“God, you are diabolical. You really believe that shit? You think that’s a good enough reason to just bury genius and the beauty of nature under UFO stories and illuminati conspiracies?”
“Shut up, jesus. Science will not die if the public believes Emotometers cause Melanoma. Are you just going to let Emototech get away with this, huh? Are you just going to kneel down before them and surrender. Why don’t you just go blow the CEO and thank him for the cum in your eyes. Let’s both just go out and buy some Emotometers.”
“Yes, you are trying to manipulate me with anger, good job.”
“Well it’s working isn’t it?” Smiles said lighting up a cigarette, “Don’t fight that rage Gaft, that rage saved your ancestors from annihilation. That rage killed packs of ravenous wolves bearing down on your ancestors. That rage killed men trying to seduce your future mother with its bare hands. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that rage Gaft. Rage doesn’t always do evil, sometimes it motivates man to fight injustice.”
Gaft slammed his head into the bathroom mirror again and again until it shattered. “I fucking hate you Smiles.”
“Don’t be that way,” he said running his hands through Gaft’s hair and picking pieces of glass out of his face. “You’re going to be fine, just trust me.”

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5 thoughts on “Can I Borrow a Feeling Pt. 2

  1. Wow, like the way you worked in that sex! You know sex sells, he he he! Definitely keep writing story, wanna know what happens.

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    1. When I write I have themes in mind and characterizations in mind and I then need to figure out a way to drive them home to the audience. I’m a big believer in show don’t tell, like don’t just explain who your characters are or what they are thinkings/ doing. Exposition should be minimal, let the reader figure all those things out organically just from the story. So, I was trying to bring out love-hate relationships as a theme. Love-hate relationships between concepts, people, etc. Having a sexual relationship between two people in which one partner hates the other was the best way I could think of to bring that theme out to where I wanted it. I feel like most interesting character arcs involve a love-hate tension morally, spriritually, interpersonally, where the character is torn in multiple directions. Resolving that tension, or not resolving it, or just exploring it is how the character develops. I’m using love-hate relationships, in multiple contexts largely symbolically, as a motor of character evolution. I actually usually dislike writing that uses sex, just because it is almost always done tokenly and incorrectly. Sex is a very formative part of the human experience, but lots of writers just throw it in for shock value or to sell. I put sex in here because it actually made the characters feel human for me. They seemed a bit robotic if I only described Gaft doing circuits and Smiles selling stuff. In a short story you have to develop characters quickly. The sexual parts of the narrative are an intimate setting where the audience can quickly get to know a lot about these guys. Maybe more than they wanted to know.

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      1. Yea, I didn’t think it was gratuitous and was kidding you about “sex sells” cuz it went along with the marketer character. It was a little surprising because I thought he was outside on the sidewalk and the next thing there was a sexual thing going on? It does add a whole other dimension to the story for sure!

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