The Candidate

He sighed, and stirred up the ash in his pipe with the pick. He felt great –for the moment. The fireplace was radiating a soft yellowish glow, dressing everything in his study into  warm colors. The book in his lap was great; he had always found Dostoevsky refreshing. He used to love Kafka, too, but recent events made him increasingly uncomfortable. Reading Kafka lately filled him with feelings not unlike you get when you lift a stone up, and find a mass of wriggling worms and spiders underneath. Way too real; way too close to home to enjoy.

But the peace is not going to last for long, he knew. It was almost time. Time to leave his own little word, and assume the role of the person he has become. First he thought it would be funny to put up a mirror in front of the whole world; a statement of some sort about today’s shallow culture, and about the media built on manufactured outrage. But it snowballed out of his control… it became, well, alive. Hell, it became larger than life, and now he was unable to do anything to stop it. He had to swim with the flooding water, or he would surely sink.

Just by thinking about what was awaiting him, he felt the peace and quiet ebb away. He cannot enjoy the book with this knot in his belly… might as well get ready, and get on with this charade. What color should he choose for today? Red of white? What should be today’s headline? Mexico? That’s a dead horse; he should pick something fresher. Muslims? That is old news, too. Women’s rights sounds good… Women it is, then. Now, where’s that ridiculous wig? The cameras are waiting, and he has an interview to give.

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