by Jason Nelson
Something is connected to the chairs. A long auditorium brash and fired with more comfort tinged benches and loud speaker islands than what is required by this smallish mingling of tirading humans. Of course, tirade is an exceptional word, much like playing lonely golf in a fat man’s pocket is more or less a handshake. These humans have bank accounts that require membership and the allusion of community response, the needy soft-serve of ice creams, is met by this hall. However, the auditorium isn’t being used tonight or tomorrow’s night or any of the other toppling days that follow. The last event to bark through concerned computer glitches, shakingly aimed at those without access to such technology and briefly advertised in 1998. But still the cleaning staff is required to sweep and polish, preparing something for something else that might come someday. While this might seem the laziest of jobs, there are still the chairs. Wrapped around each of the speaker clusters (there are eight to ten without counting) are a “small group of my understanding peers” chaired geometries. Some are hierarchical triangles arranged for a significant leadership and signified development. Others are communist circles lapping at equality and realignment. What makes these chairs such a difficulty to the cleaners is that they cannot be moved without machines. The largest group of the strongest men in the lowest possible gravity environment could not move these seats. Wheeled organic mechanisms, appearing to be half duck and half bicycle, are hitched to the chairs, and after pedaling in place well past the sweating point, the chairs move only enough to allow for more accurate and complete dusting. One day the auditorium will burn, and as all buildings, be condemned. Throughout whatever takes the buildings place will be immovable squares of ash, and stationary columns of smoke, stationary steel swirls rising through holes in the floor boards.