The Thoughts of Strangers
Piscina Nadya; April 6, 2009
[Sin]In as early evening as she can manage. Pisces finds a nice rooftop that overlooks a Subway station, sits Obfuscated, and watches the people pour in and out. She watches the crowds for people who look particularly interesting, happy, or eager to get to wherever they're going. Then she tries to break into their minds and stowaway in their thoughts and lives for a while. Once she's caught someone whose thoughts intrigue her, she relocates from the rooftop to a safer place and stays sitting quietly inside the person's mind, watching and listening and generally violating their right to privacy in the profoundest way possible.[/Sin]
You manage, likely with the help of some manner of hobo-building-climbing-buddy (You are a woman of few Physical Attributes) to ascend to the top of a building for the purposes of vouyeurizing. As the first evening shuttle unloads, you watch the small flurry of passengers below. Some are still in work related uniforms. Many are trying to keep a brisk pace.
You find a man who is rushing home to his studio apartment to return to his Level 63 Dark Elf Hunter. He is anticipating a guild meeting. He considers the satisfaction that a warm plate of formerly frozen jalapeno poppers will bring him as he transforms into Shy'ral'yah and lets the scent of filthy dishwater from the restaurant he buses at evaporate into nothingness. He has no obligations tomorrow - nothing except feeding his gecko. He can stay up until dawn and later and it will be glorious.
You spot a woman who is fretfully adjusting her hair every few steps in the night wind. She has the weight of a full size chocolate chip bran muffin sinking into her stomach and every few moments she guiltily stops to calculate the calories in her mind. 350? 500? 750? The skin of her stomach feels tight against her garments and she wonders if Ken thinks she's ugly. She tells herself she'll walk around her apartment block three, five, ten times before knocking on the door. She can't purge it now. He'll smell it on her teeth if he kisses her. Will he kiss her? She can never be sure. Better not risk it.
There's a spiteful old man whose thinking of how much he wants to smack the girl who walked away when he asked for bus change. "Just a dollar fifty, ma'am. A dollar fifty." It wasn't even that she didn't pay up. It was that she walked away. Not stopping. Walked away as if he was invisible. It's New York goddammit, but he still exists, and stuck up cunts like that don't know the half of it. He didn't need it for the bus, of course, but that's the polite lie that everyone says it with their "Godblessyous" and "youdon'tknowhowmuchyou'vehelpedmes" Nobody wants to acknowledge that they're paying a buck fifty so some fuckup like him can get a 40. Politeness. That's what he figures it is. Couldn't the bitch just be a polite liar back and tell him she was out of money in her fancy ass designer purse? Shit. Shitshitshit, couldn't she just have given him a buck fifty. Shitshitshit. He wants that 40.
A student frets over the slight plagiarism she hopes her professor won't check. She only has until midnight and she knows the article is real even if the author isn't. An investment banker wonders if he did any real work today. A shy teen with bangs that cover his eyes wonders if Merideth opened his e-mail and whether or not she's laughing at him now. He sketches pseudo-pornographic skeletons in his notebook. A video store clerk goes back in his brain and tries to think of a retort for the idiot who yelled at him for Pan's Labyrinth not being in English. An overworked mother thinks of whether or not her children would notice if she just stopped cleaning up their messes and went on strike.
Eventually you land on a nervous and well manicured man who seems to have a habitual state of worry to him. He's gotten out of his therapist's. Pedophile. Never touched a child, but there's that word again. Pedophile. Even the psychologist looks at him like he's done it. He hasn't. Never looked at anything worse than girls' gym meets and photos from Little Miss Deep South beauty show (Except that once, but that was a drawing). Never driven his car slowly around playgrounds like the grabbers always do in those creepy True Crime Documentary reenactments. Never done anything, and they're still all going to crucify him. It's Good Friday nearly, and he hates religion as much as he hates anything tonight. He hates Jesus' allegedly infinite acceptance, and his mother's exhortation to read the bible more and he hates his co-worker's occasional jokes about Michael Jackson, and while he's at it, he hates the mechanical sex he endures with Katherine and he hates his one faggot drinking friend who talks about politics in a nasal voice. He hates fags in general. People wave their Prop 8 flags and wear their "Legalize Gay" shirts, and talk about how horrible it is that the other deviants are getting stomped down. He's not like them. He's not proud of it. His deviance isn't going to be a "lifestyle choice" anytime soon and it's just as immutable.
He goes home, loosens his tie and surveys the meticulously neat apartment. He trims two dying petals from the orchid he keeps in the kitchen and gets himself a glass of organic apple juice. He logs onto the Internet and checks Forbes, Slashdot, his Google News Channel with the customized feed from the UK and throughout the night smolders in impotent rage, stretching his hand up to the keyboard every few moments as if to type something horrible into the Google image search. LOLI HOT SEX. LITTLE GIRLS GET RAPED. TINY LITTLE SLUT TORN APART. He resists each time, and a pained sensation of the gummy residual sugar lingers in his hot mouth. He turns off the screen and walks toward the bathroom mirror to brush his teeth, pausing once to spasm his body and connect his fist to his jaw. It's not a heavy-handed blow. It's difficult to hit yourself very hard.
He hopes it will get the bad out.
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