The Unilever Series: Dominique Gonzales Foerster - TH.2058



By Rob Dysaut

Fat drops of wet splash upon my naked eyes. This is because my head is tilted back as far as it can go. My throat exposed like a ready sacrifice: it’s not a comfortable sensation and an ache has coalesced in the base of my neck and is steadily creeping down my spine. Presumably this is the work of gravity. How embarrassing; an unfashionable ache. Who does gravity any more? Certainly not the towering monument that looms in front of me. Surely it is no mere structure of girders and glass, subject to the quaint science of up and down. It is a vast digit that salutes the heavens and the earth. The old beliefs are made a mockery within the shadow of it‘s achievement: disproved, discredited, defunct.

Forget about them. Keep looking forward. Keep looking up.

I’m feeling a bit dizzy. Maybe that’s why I’m tempted to open my mouth and swallow some of the rain. Not a good idea. Too many reports on what resides within that teeming swarm. Swirling against those electric lights, each droplet is a perilous luminescent jewel. Any one of them could contain some dreadful poison and I have no way to tell as I don’t have my microscope and my sight is slightly blurred. With every blink a block of colour hovers over my vision. Attempted revelation perhaps, or a liquid prism stinging against the iris?

And when I open them again, more blocks. One rectangular window on top of the next, each with an identical neighbour on either side. The only way I could possibly see to the end of them would be to lie upon the slick paving slabs. Far too smooth to allow puddles. I don’t do that of course. Because of fear more than anything. An image is conjured into my mind of a corpse lying beneath a grotesque headstone. I shudder at the thought of all those workers getting to their offices, scurrying over my decomposing flesh. Or is it a fever coming along. The pain in my neck throbs sinisterly and I think I feel a tightness in my throat. I did take my prescription today. The requisite number of vitamins and proteins and pro-biotic bacteria to secure my health and well-being, but are such precautions enough? Keep calm and look at those screens. No disturbing visions of mortality there. Better to force my head back a little further; just a little further and I might see right to the top. Maybe if I was to keep the pose for long enough, evolution would steal away the ache in my neck.

Forget about that. Still far too young to get morbid. How old are we now?

I can see everything. All of the picture is on display. Burning at you through those cool windows. The rain softening the glass canvas in a vain act of modesty. Pick a scene at random. Room number 2058 perhaps. The protagonists sit behind desks, plugged into work stations. Smaller than life. Yet each figure is powerful in their indifference. After all; who is the spectator here? Those beings are unreachable, unknowable. We can see each other well enough, but if I was to reach out my hand, I would not feel the touch of flesh but the unblemished surface of a screen.

Time to draw back I think. Try not to get too involved. After all I do not know those creatures parading before me. Better perhaps that they are oblivious. Keeping my eyes fixed upwards I start walking backwards, until the figures are only smudges against the glass. Indistinct and wavering as wraiths. With every step I take though, the building appears larger, a vast slab against the night.

The rain runs rivulets down my face and I am exposed to the phosphor eyes of the brooding tower. A behemoth studded with uniform rows of spotlights emanating from it’s concrete torso. What can I do? Each harsh beam searches greedily. To raze away the shadowed contours of identity.

Forget about it. Someone has to watch over you. To keep you safe.

I think my head has been in one position too long. I feel I could be getting delirious. I try to move it but I‘m stuck. A wave of panic momentarily washes over me. No. No, it’s just the rain. My head does eventually move, in a painful grinding sensation. I rub my eyes, to try and relieve the soreness. They feel battered by the rain and searing lights.

I close them tight shut and anxiously wait. At last a soft dawn glow shines pale against the tempest. I rub away the ache in my neck and give a relieved sigh. I am not yet blinded and a future vision waits to be formed.

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One Response to “Revision”
  1. Karen Says:

    I really like the imagery in this piece. Though I’m not sure exactly where it’s set, that adds to the sense of metaphor.

    It seems like the narrator is standing in front of some great obelisk – like the future is towering over him.

    It really evokes a feeling of anxiety, mixed with a shimmering of hope, for the future that I can identify with.