error of judgement

Posted on June 6, 2009

6


– don’t you want to say good-bye, said the riding teacher to the little girl who had wandered off to follow a donkey whose behind was swaying back and forth in an interesting manner of swaying. the little girl did not hear her. her uncle who stood next to the teacher, shrugged and smiled an embarrassed smile. he was, however, not unhappy to be able to engage the young woman in conversation. he’d see where it would go. probably nowhere. the woman was tall and slender & had jumped to the riding patch straight from her permanent place on the cover of cosmopolitan. he carried a paunch as his most prized possession, had hardly any hair left except at the temples & was anxiously holding eye contact, careful not to let on that he thought her breasts beleaguering & more absorbing than any discussion on childrearing could ever be.

– you are really lovely with the kids, he said. he wanted to say ‘it’s been a long time since i touched breasts as firm as yours’ but of course he didn’t do it. i never do say what i really want to say, he mused, considering whether to drop into an extended period of self-inflicted depression, but his good sense won & he nodded instead, not knowing what the young woman had answered if anything. how do others keep talking while making decisions on what to talk about or how, he wondered. oddly enough, a billboard with the line ‘pathetic loser on the rampage’ written on it in flashing letters was dangerously hovering over the scene.

at exactly this moment, something unforeseen happened. the code run to sustain the simulation contained an error in a subroutine. the program entered this subroutine because the man was so stricken & sullen & oscillated back and forth between not one but several mental avenues, some of which were: self-pity, self-disclosure, panic, self-loathing, and blowing himself up down and above in order to overcome a shyness that was his birth right and his gift, which, however, he looked down upon as upon an eczema.

this error in the subroutine had never been entered before. it did not cause the entire program to stop (or else the world as we know it would have ended). instead, the man, the woman & the patch of grass on which they stood were cut off from the rest of the universe existing inside god’s head.

suddenly, the man felt an incredible lightness of heart, and the woman felt it, too. without knowing what he did, he hugged her and she hugged him back. they stood like this for a long time, eyes closed, oblivious to the fact that, besides the patch of grass and themselves, there was nothing left of anything.

when auto-debugging was finished, the program rewrote itself correcting the mistake. bitrows were aligned and lose ends were tied back to the public stream.

– what are you doing, the woman cried & noticed that she was holding this strange balding man as if her life depended on it. he withdrew, blushing stammering something & staggered a few steps away from her, grabbing a pillar of the fence to steady himself.

– i don’t know what happened, but something has changed, didn’t you feel it, he said, unsure, mumbling. this was exactly like one of those headfucks he gave himself all the time, except it had felt real. he had not just lost it, she had hugged him back, he knew as much. she knew it too & kept her mouth shut & tightened her fist around the leash of the horse which had dangled lifelessly from her wrist a moment ago.
–  i better not keep amy higgins waiting, she muttered.

he shook his head as if to fend off a fly and nodded.

© 2009 finnegan flawnt

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