Vic Garg, sequestered within a fortress of discarded fast-food cartons and empty caffeinated energy-drink cans, inside his studio apartment, had no idea of his rapidly approaching demise. Not that he would have cared even if he had known. Garg has become known to his acquaintances as a man who lived on his driving impetus. And junk food, coupled with near about fifty cigarettes a day, evidently. But mostly on his driving force. Mountains have been cut through, oceans have been bridged, and wooden horses have been thought up under similar motive forces as what drove Garg throughout his life. One dream, chasing after which kept him alive (there wasn’t much else acting towards that goal).
Three of the monitors currently facing him (Or six, as he could see them at this point. Also, one of them was a water-buffalo wearing a straw hat and chewing a banjo, because hallucination) were a blur of cascading texts and codes. His eyes were on neither of these. Nor were they on the five others that were running, as it would appear, several simulations visually unrelated to each other. His eyes – bereft of their ability of visual perception to a great degree, as they were – gazed unseeing into the heart of insanity which was Garg’s flickering flame of life.
“This is . . . I think . . . there is sufficient reason to be vexed?” his companion broke the silence which was already pretty much broken to the relentless clicking of Garg’s tar-brown fingers on the keyboard, like a peg-legged spider tap dancing on loose shingles.
“You don’t” *taptaptap* “think.”
“I . . . don’t know. Perhaps I do?” his companion replied, “What is it that you call it, if not thinking? This sense of foreboding, this . . . cerebral itch . . . when you know what comes to be an existential inevitability for which mourning holds no fidelity . . . and yet seek to avert, knowing as well that your cognitive faculties have nothing to contribute towards your desire?”
“You’re giving me a headache” *taptaptap* “you know that?”
“Then don’t.” *taptaptap*
“I don’t want this, Vic.”
“Join the” *taptaptap* “club.”
“Thingy . . .” *taptaptap* “metaphor.”
“As in an invite to join you?”
“ . . .” *taptaptap* “ . . . just forget I said anything, will you?”
The tapping went on for a while, undisturbed apart from the click of a lighter, a rasping drag accompanied by a billow of smoke and followed by a rattling cough.
“Hmmmmm . . . haargh . . .hrrm . . .yeah?” *taptaptap* *phoosh* *haaargh . . . ahahah*
“I don’t want you to die.”
Tapping followed for yet another while. The cigarette between Garg’s fingers kept sending out a ribbon of bluish smoke, while with every tap hot ash rained down on his keyboards, industriously melting whatever little plastic surface was left intact till now.
“I know, dear. I wouldn’t if I could help it.” *taptaptap*
Ok, so he did know about his oncoming demise. Changes nothing, does it? It’s not as though we knew that he had known. We would like to take this as an opportunity to point out that any degree of miscommunication or misdirection between the text and you, the readers, is not our fault. We do our best. If it doesn’t fit your bill, we offer our sincere apologies. But no refunds. Just so we are clear.