Noisy Buggers

He was finding his intuition had become redundant. In his simpler, quieter world this had been his pocketed secret weapon. But the landscapes were much busier now, and noisier. The sound of violence was drowning out thunder storms, and bird song that had only been a branch breath away was lost now in the masses.

Having to surrender this secret had been harsh. It was like an addict discovering in a new world order that the promises of one’s current drug were being seduced by the promises of another, and in that essentially human moment, one form of survival trumped by another.

It was part surrender but it was also part resilience that sight became this new dependence, and at that time I really did believe that his sight was superior in the new worlds of gloss and surface. So, with his own mug shot valiantly absent, his eyes became his telescopes, his cornea his aperture, and his vision his mantra.

I’d hear of his talent and wonder at the transition. Yet much later, when I came across him on that long city-stretched day, I questioned my own wisdom. He had a small set of binoculars strapped recklessly around his neck, he was caffeine alert and his skin overdosed. His conversation, peppered with confusing visual add-ons, Botox consumables and box-seat tickets was so vivid that my own words felt sandblasted. It seemed he’d merged with a world infinitely re-imagining its own vanity, seducing its own observations, and gluttonising all other competition. However, above all else, this world appeared to nurture a fear so potent that my tongue could taste it’s coagulation.

I retched. Then looking right at him, my own eyes assessed the fallout. His had believed in the lie of a soul mate…in another face and another name. Curiously though, and just as one sometimes questions the chances of salmonella poisoning when finding an expired use by date, I wondered out loud if it was time, really time for another, kinder form of dependence.

Noisy Buggers

Robert Knapman

Adelaide, Australia

  • Artist

Artist's Description

As it is…a stand alone short story.

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