Week of February 14, 2021

“Hello, can I help you?”

“Hi, I have a list.”

“A list! Wonderful, yes. What’s the first item on your list?”

“Uh, the first is 158.”

“One-five-eight, here it is. I’m ready for the next.”

“Mhm. 336.”

“Indeed! I wasn’t expecting that, but a pleasant surprise. You can speed it up if you like.”

161 and 225.”

“And two-twenty-five, yes this is coming together.”

“Uh, sure. 3811.”

“Now just a minute.”

3845.”

“You aren’t serious.”

3850.”

“No. No, absolutely not. This is joke. A cruel prank. You’re doing this for your channel. You’re doing this for views. Well I will not stand for it, I will neither like nor subscribe and I certainly will not ring that bell.”

“I don’t have a stream.”

“I see. This is one of those experimental things. It’s noise! The harshness is the point! You record amplifier feedback and think it contains truth.”

“I can come back later.”

“You reject the past and think it is courage! I don’t need to read your manifesto, for I already know the shape of it. You believe you are embracing a kind of beauty, but you embrace nothing, and are saying nothing!”

“Next week, maybe.”

“You think that you are better than them.”

“Than who?”

Exactly.

“Are you okay?”

“Look, tell me the next one on your list, there, on your important list, and I’ll show you, I will make it clear.”

“I—”

“This will be helpful to us both. Go on, I insist.”

“Uh, okay, fine. Five—”

“Yes?”

“—five—”

“You wouldn’t.”

“—four.”

“Ah! Yes! Yes, that’s more like it. Five five four! You had me going. Back on track, aren’t we. Well that was unpleasant, but I think we’ve both learned something, haven’t we.”

“We have?”

“Of course we have, of course we have, and we are the better for it. This is how we grow! Well, haven’t got all day, and I’m sure you have places to be. What’s next?”

893.”

“Get out!”