Fiction

A Shot of Global

A story by Peter Primer

December 2017

We’re in Székesfehérvar, in close vicinity of an as-yet unused university campus building, close by, but not there, for the gentlemen in our focus only sleep there, and we’re now in a small pub found in the post-war socialist projects, post-war, post-socialist, post-projects.

It has plastic chairs and plastic tables with red tablecloth on top, typical for the country – some would say it’s the „classical” place, and then this also expresses class-(un)belonging.

We’re talking about the state of the world today.

Feri, homeless since three years now, listens with commendable patience to the musings of Jocó, dumped to the street two years ago by his family. He loves to listen: it is a blessed thing when the world lets you just listen, and blessed are the fruits of it.

“The spermarket”, Jocó is saying, in a scholarly reference to supermarkets, “that is globalisation, you see. They are everywhere, every place looks alike because of them. They are like… migrants!”, he adds, and Feri doesn’t object.

The silence of patient listening is broken by Géza.

“There’s less of ‘em these days”, he proposes, and Feri is ready to give this to him.

“Alright, alright, but assuming, while not permitting, that they might be here… if the migrants were here, they would be like that, too”, he responds, and continues with his train of thought that shall not be derailed by minor inconveniences. “So this is globalisation, the big picture. But there’s a smaller kind of globalisation. Look at those posters with the Soros, or the cracks in the pavement decorated in colours by them Two-Tailers. Those are everywhere, too, but everywhere only within this country, so that’s a smaller globalisation, a national one!”

The others are humming along in agreement at this impressive association of spermarkets, migrants, George Soros and the Party of the Two-Tailed Dog. Jocó feels encouraged to go on.

“There we are, finally, you and I, my dear old Feri, we have been to all the good places in this neighbourhood. We ourselves are the smallest kind of globalisation, you see?”

Feri and Géza stare back at him bluntly, desensitised to the stimuli of their immediate environment by the divine revelation in Jocó’s words. Divine, for… where did this come from? Did he breathe this in on campus, last night? Was it the work of those nanobots of the university of the future that Feri once read about in a magazine he found in a garbage bin?

“We are global, if I say so! No one rolls back globalisation!”, adds Jocó for emphasis and, to run the point home, grabs Feri as well as Géza by the shoulders – this time he doesn’t forget that Géza is also a part of the circle – and from the money remaining in their pockets they order pre-Christmas shots, of the two-component vodka served by the owner from under the counter (two components: denaturated alcohol + aroma).

It’s almost Christmas, that neither fully global, nor only nationally global, time of holiday cheer.

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