Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Riding with apathy


"This is a beautiful country" She says.
"I love this city."

He looks at Her in his rear window mirror. "Yea. It is the best country of all," He agrees.
The traffic is horrendous. It would usually take Her 10 minutes to get where She was going. Roadworks are plaguing the streets.

"Elections are coming up. They need to act as if they're actually doing anything around here," She mutters, annoyed.

"In that case I wish we had elections every year!" The eyes in the mirror say.

"Everyone should cast a blank vote. Maybe if the whole country did it, it would shake them a bit. The message would get across," She says, staring out the window at stationary cars stuck in a traffic jam that breathes fumes of soot and fuel and carbon.

"What's the point? There's no point," He answers, " I don't intend on voting at all."

"Your voice should count for something" She adds, hearing the words become naive as they come out of her mouth, mingling with cigarette smoke, saving it slightly by adding "That's apathy. That's a very strong weapon to go against. Apathy is the biggest demon. You're giving up."

"Listen, its not a matter of giving up. We tried, it didn't work. That's it. You know, this woman who was running for a position ten years ago won by 45 votes. 45 votes! It's enough to have your family vote. No my dear, this country isn't going anywhere. It's not going to change," he replies, his eyes lost in a thought that no longer exists, an image of happiness that no longer applies.

"But you can't just give up..." She says, partly to herself as she looks at a nearby soldier fixing the strap of his rifle.

"Listen, I've been young, and now I'm older. You haven't been older yet. The things we've seen, the obstacles we've gone against. It's a lot. Sometimes you just see that things can't change so easily. Maybe in 200 years..."

His eyes lock onto her reflection, and He notices She is fighting disappointment. And is stubborn.

"I'll illustrate with an example," He says, clearing his throat. "Imagine you open a business. Lets say a Butcher's. You used to sleep 6 hours before you opened it. Now you sleep 4 because you wake up earlier or sleep later to work on it. You're putting effort into it, because you want it to work, and give you profit. Ok. You do this for a month, two months, three. Nothing. No change. Sooner or later, you take back those two hours of sleep, maybe even more. You realise there's no point in working so hard if nothing is going to come of it. You understand my point?"

"I don't agree" She says.

"You're young. I commend your patience and passion and determination. I am not telling you to let it go. But I'm telling you it won't result in anything."

"Well then I'll just keep trying. I'll get tired. We'll get tired. We'll rest, and then get up again. You can't tell me that there is no point. You can't tell me it'll be for nothing. That would end me." She says, feeling her face get warmer.

He falls silent. He seems a bit ashamed.
"Don't lose yourself kid." He mutters.

"I'll get off here please," She interjects, and as She closes the door, looks Him in the eyes, without the middleman mirror and says "I can see it's already too late for you. I'm sorry."

The exhaust pipe chokes on a few coughs of smoke, and She's left on the pavement, her lips pursed, hands in her coat pocket, head held high, staring as apathy takes over another wheel and drives off.

4 comments:

marooned84 said...

I wish I can believe her..

JoannaD said...

"Well then I'll just keep trying. I'll get tired. We'll get tired. We'll rest, and then get up again. You can't tell me that there is no point. You can't tell me it'll be for nothing. That would end me." She says, feeling her face get warmer.

^ Brilliant! I agree. Khalas dont give up hope, keep fighting, it will amount to something, and even if the change isnt big, i'll be fine with just changing a tiny part in this huge world, and so should you.

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