Searchers | George Britton



George Britton

The First Rule Of Nabokov Award

“Resiste et Mords” reads the sprawling wall of the subway, the words echoing from the colourful backdrop they are set upon. The bold yellow and lime green shapes that have camouflaged the subway wall reverberate through the tunnel as the flickering lights create a colourful mist that haunts the cattle as they drive through.

Men in suits, women in skirts, dash through clutching their cup-shaped syringes, periodically injecting themselves, some are hunched over glaring demonically at their little screens but the small white glow fails to break through the harsh yellow radiance. As you move deeper into the tunnel, the walls begin to speak more – “call in sick” and “thug loans-4-u” are printed shyly on opposite sides, almost as if the walls are making a snide remark towards the herd who carry on walking by in blissful ignorance.

Faded posters advertising a new play in the theatre, the latest crime-thriller from a forgotten author or a new car you can’t pronounce or afford, are all lost in the transient communal daze. The blind leading the blind, they all have a direction to go in, but are they really going anywhere? I know that long before I stepped into this subway, and long after I step out of it, this will continue. The human conveyer belt will keep churning, the corporate machine will continue to send these innocent, feckless creatures to the office abattoir and all you can do in the face of it is resist and bite.

As I’m sure you’ve already realised, yes, there is a strong level of hypocrisy in what I’m saying to you now – Where is my resistance? Where is my bite? I’m afraid that my zeal has been robbed of me and what I once had in youthful curiosity and passion, I now have conformity and reluctance. Well, at least I could always call in sick.