…or the story of how it all started again, this time 4000KM away from the place where he first typed something into a computer that resembled a story. It was also almost 30 years later…
There was something wrong with the coffee this morning. A metallic aftertaste that made him remember the taste of rusted nails he used to pull out from used planks, every time he and his father dismantled some obsolete shed or barn around the old house. It seemed like another life. There were thin, spiderweb-like threads that connected him to that period, each line, a memory. Many cords were broken, but those summer days when he and his old man worked side by side, tearing down wooden shacks survived.
Cat entered the room, looking at him with those golden eyes, the pupils as thin as nails.
“Again with the nails… it’s going to be one of those days”, J thought. He did that often, fixing on some material thing and seeing it everywhere. He tried figuring out where this compulsion came from or when it first started to manifest, but so far he couldn’t pinpoint it.
An acute meow woke him up, signalling it’s time for breakfast. Cat, as the name implies, was literally a cat. Too lazy to come up with a name that would suit the little ball of dirty fur he found one day hiding away under a car, he just named it Cat. She didn’t seem to mind.
Even today, he couldn’t remember what made him stop and take it home. There was nothing special about it and in that part of the city, there were hundreds of stray cats he passed by every day. In three years, he didn’t feel in the mood to help any of them, until that morning, almost half a year ago.
With the house pet, now munching away happily, J decided to finish that long overdue article. Arne wasn’t the most patient of editors, but writers who’ve lived before and through the Awakening and lived to tell the tales were scarce. J knew that and took advantage of it. Delaying it also helped him. Residues from a time when working under pressure was a choice but one driven by a corrupt reality.
Of course, not Arne and not anyone else knew what “working” meant back then or how close J was to those despicable beings called “marketers”. They knew he worked within the travel industry, but not that his first job was as a writer for a magazine that brought praise to the appalling advertising industry. If they only knew…
“That’s a story I’ll never write”, J thought, while writing down some ideas for the article’s title.
“Ignorance was bliss.”
“The years the Earth stood still.”
“We did start the fire!”
None of them was good and he wouldn’t use one, but J loved playing with these cheesy titles. It reminded him how the entire world strolled towards its end: by reading motivational quotes, drinking bad coffee in very tall paper mugs and listening to shitty music. There’s an entire database that documents it, visible to everyone at the Minister of Unrepeatable History. It’s called Instagram.