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7

the efficiency monologues – Gerardo

Alex was an Efficiency Expert.

Not a sterling first line but it’s short, concise and gives you the information you need to move forward.

I was going to start with “Alex designed, developed and evaluated integrated systems for production processes to increase efficiencies across an organization” but then I thought “How would Alex say that?”

Alex was an Efficiency Expert.

For the purposes of this story it doesn’t really matter what he does for a living.

Or does it?

You be the judge (without being judgmental, if that’s possible).

That night he had three dreams scheduled;

  1. The one where he has sex with the neighbor (the wife… for a change).
  2. The one where he wins the lottery.
  3. The one where he designs a better integrated system for a production process and increases efficiency across his organization.

The first two dreams go off without a hitch.

The third however…

began with him rising from his bed and sleepwalking to his own front door. He took a few steps back from his front step and began a monologue;

 

“You may believe that, but nobody else does. We artists are merely a luxury for the use of the bourgeoisie. When I stand there on the stage I feel absolutely certain that not one solitary human being in the audience takes the slightest interest in what we, the artists, are doing. If they did, how could they listen to “Die Walküre,” for instance? Why, it is an indecent story which could not be mentioned anywhere in polite society. And yet, when I sing Siegmund, the most puritanical mothers bring their fourteen-year-old daughters to hear me. This, you see, is the meaning of whatever you call art. This is what you have sacrificed fifty years of your life to. Find out how many people came to hear me sing and how many came to gape at me as they would at the Emperor of China if he should turn up here to-morrow. Do you know what the artistic wants of the public consist in? To applaud, to send flowers, to have a subject for conversation, to see and be seen. They pay me half a million, but then I make business for hundreds of cabbies, writers, dressmakers, restaurant keepers. It keeps money circulating; it keeps blood running. It gets girls engaged, spinsters married, wives tempted, old cronies supplied with gossip; a woman loses her pocketbook in the crowd, a fellow becomes insane during the performance. Doctors, lawyers made….

(He coughs.)

And with this I must sing Tristan in Brussels tomorrow night! I tell you all this, not out of vanity, but to cure you of your delusions. The measure of a man’s worth is the world’s opinion of him, not the inner belief which one finally adopts after brooding over it for years. Don’t imagine that you are a misunderstood genius. There are no misunderstood geniuses.”

 

He then went back inside, climbed the stairs to his bedroom and went back to sleep. He only knew about what he’d done that night because he’d recently installed a new doorbell that records everyone and everything that happens in front of it. He watched himself the next morning.

He’d never seen Frank Wedekind’s play The Tenor so he had no idea how he could recite something from it word for word.

He had no idea what it could possibly mean.

That’s where you come in.

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