The Pros & Pros of Dictatorships

(excerpts from ‘Adonis Expelled from Yoga’)

French cookies in the office — Oil & war in Iraq from a T.V perspective— The kind dictator—The homogenization of quote loving & well-being — The lame jokes of your general manager

The day at the office started horribly. It was raining outside. It was even worse inside. Adonis’ colleague was drinking her coffee vehemently and grinding cookies like a ruminant animal chewing herb. She was coldly citing the advantages of the French cookies compared to other sweets. The small cards she hung behind her desk were a source of torment for Adonis. Those were cards with some lame and stupid quotes like “love is the key to success” and “smile at life.” Adonis pictured himself as a dictator. He would ban these ruminant noises and lock such people up. He would also impose fines on useless morning discussions that made no sense. He will distribute the revenues to creative people who enjoyed the morning silence. Such people would have quiet children who will not talk bullshit to fill the void around them when they grow up. They would probably not buy books titled “How to reach your goals” or “The eight habits of ambitious people” or even worse “The lessons of a vegetarian yogi.”

Time went by very slowly. Adonis looked at his watch every five minutes. His watch always showed 10 AM. Yet, this was a well-functioning Casio. He pretended to work but his thoughts were elsewhere. In his head, he sang the song that was playing this morning on his neighbor Bechara’s radio. He thought about the bookstore girl. He wondered where she was right now. She could be on the bus or still in bed under her covers that smelled like tobacco, jasmine and a French shower gel. She was probably wearing the pink silk panties that she bought one Saturday afternoon in early summer when she was feeling lonely and careless.

Adonis’ colleague interrupted his thoughts with a cold and irritating voice, like the voice of the McDonald’s drive-thru machine.

- I’ve been waiting for Mr. Rizkallah’s file since yesterday.

- Be patient. Have a fruit juice or somethin’. It will be ready tomorrow. I am finishing up Jamil Zarif’s file.

In fact, Adonis had been working on this file for a month but hadn’t opened it for the past week. Still, Mr. Nkoula liked him and gave him a two percent raise.

- You’re wasting my time. Give me that file as soon as possible; otherwise, the general manager will be upset. I have career projects. I smile at life! Your nonchalance will cause me some serious problems and ruin my reputation.

When she said “I smile at life,” Adonis was troubled. His nervous system most likely failed to analyze this phrase. “Why did this bitch have to utter all these words?” he wondered. Then, he calmly opened the window to his right and threw the documents out, one by one. He did that coldly while looking at the sky and the diverse buildings behind the flying sheets. The day ended at the office of the general manager. The man started the conversation with a quote probably by Georges W. Bush or Jacques Chirac. Mr. Nkoula had come along Adonis but he remained silent all the time.

- Adonis, our firm is a large family striving on respect and solidarity and one that has a social objective and well-defined values, concluded the general manager.

The young man recalled he had heard that exact same speech yesterday on TV. The director of a powerful British oil group was launching some exploration operations in Iraq. This is definitely one of the outcomes of the war launched against the people who lived peacefully between the Tigris and the Euphrates.

Adonis decided not to speak for himself. He thought that justifying one’s actions was useless. He wondered if the general manager always memorized speeches like the speech of the Oil God. Did this asshole know that the museums of Mesopotamia were torched and that some precious art works were on their way to London, Switzerland and some rich Arab capitals? Of course not Adonis thought. Had he known that, the manager would have warned Adonis’ colleague and banned her from eating cookies. However, he opted for giving a first warning to Adonis. He also deducted five days of pay from his salary. Adonis responded with a head nod. He left the office of the general manager calmly along with Mr. Nkoula who seemed sad. When he went back into his office, all his colleagues eyed him in a funny and strange manner. Everything was similar in this place, even people’s looks he thought. He went out on the balcony of the tenth floor and lit himself a cigarette. Mrs. Oum Chayban brought him a cup of coffee with a smile.

- She’s a shlekké. Everyone knows she provides private favors to the general manager, the old lady said.

Adonis never really liked the general manager who always made some loud, old-fashioned jokes. He then waited for his employees’ positive feedback like Kim Jong-un but with much less charisma and authenticity. He was so devoid of ethics that he fired his previous secretary, Marie. She was pregnant at the time. He told her that a machine could easily perform her tasks at a lower cost. But the truth is, Marie was replaced by a young, “devoted” girl, with big boobs. To partially mask his stratagem, the general manager purchased a Japanese copying machine. He convinced the others that the machine and the new secretary cost the firm less than Marie’s salary.

(excerpts from my first fiction “Adonis Expelled from Yoga) to be soon published

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