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Jan
9

the efficiency monologues – the boy

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;

 

“It isn’t that, with me. I can’t write…. I had one splendid teacher. He used to talk about things right in class. He said that most educated people think that intellect is a matter of making fine distinctions—of seeing as two separate points what the unintelligent would believe was one point; but that this idea was finicky. He wanted us to see that intelligence might also be a matter of seeing the connection between two things so far apart that most people would think they were always separate. I like that. It made education mean something, because it made it depend on imagination instead of grubbing. And then he told us about the history of our subject—grammar. How it began as poetry, when every word was an original creation; and then became philosophy, as people had to arrange speech with thought; and then science, with more or less exact, laws. I could see it—the thing became alive. And he said all knowledge passed through the same stages, and there isn’t anything that can’t eventually be made scientific. That made me think a good deal. I wondered if somebody couldn’t work out a way of preventing anybody from being poor. It seems so unnecessary, with so much work being done. That’s what I want to do. Thanks to you.”

 

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 Horace Holley’s play The Genius 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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