People are always angry at me. I hear them cursing, yelling at me when they think I cannot hear. They think they are safe to criticize and curse because they are acting inside the confines of their own skulls. No one is really safe. Nothing is really private. I hear them jabbering like monkeys and throwing shit at one another. I know them, each one. They are all as insignificant as dust.

The fat slab of humanity, made up of segmented joints, sits in the waiting-room. Each joint believes it is unique, an individual. Each joint is nothing but a jumble of nerve cells. The waiting room is a nursery that inculcates survivalist behavior, fang and tooth tactics, and war maneuvers. The joints are eager cannibals happy to gobble up their weaker neighbors. “Works in the real world,” General Joint tells the commissioned troops, “better to stay alive then be eaten alive.” The waiting room is always full. New recruits arrive hourly.

Jeremy always waited. When he was a child, he waited in the principle’s office because the teacher reported him for bad behavior. He knew he was bad, but he didn’t really know why. Jeremy waited for his report card hoping it might never arrive. He waited for his parents to get angry. Jeremy waited to become an adult so he could leave home. When he was older he waited when Lisa said she was pregnant with his baby. Jeremy sat listlessly in the hospital waiting room.

The angels were created by scientists who wanted to create a utopia. Science was the scalpel used to reshape and sculpt the human genome. Perfect people were the result. A hive mind was manufactured from quantum computers and recycled logarithms. An angel could plug into the hive and gain access to all the information that composed known reality. The hive was an enormous waiting room where angels fluttered make-believe wings while they waited. A Monitor, known as Oculus Prime, was in charge. Oculus assigned each angel certain requirements that had to be fulfilled before the angel could move to the next level of enlightenment. Each new level offered exciting opportunities that could relieve boredom, however the waiting game always led to more boredom.

Jeremy had an active imagination. It was the only way he could escape from daily drudgery. He never loved Lisa. Once the baby was born she admitted that Jeremy was not the father. He suspected as much since he was gay and never really had sex with Lisa, but he stayed with her. He waited for the marriage to end. While he waited he dreamed the Monitor would call his name and assign tasks he needed to undertake in order to have a better life. Jeremy knew there were all kinds of tasks that had to be completed, lessons learned, and hardships to be endured. A task could be as simple as waiting in line to pay for some necessity; or as complicated as undergoing an MRI while waiting for a physician to outline a plan of surgery to remove a brain tumor. Waiting was part and parcel of every task. The surgery was expected to be a total success: the tumor would be removed, but the patient might never recover. The waiting room was always full.

Waiting Room

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