There is an Object Center in a commuter town. There is a large parking lot with curbed islands of freshly laid mulch. The islands are rectangular and arranged in uniform rows throughout the parking lot of the Object Center. There are streetlights planted in the center of each island, wired with electrical cables beneath the pavement from island to island.
Behind the Object Center there are dumpsters. Behind the dumpsters is a drainage ditch full of emaciated cattails and empty soda cans. The cans float in a puddle of stagnant water where birds bathe. In the water, a dead cat floats. There is no current. The water has been sitting there for months. When it rains, the ditch fills. When the sun rises, the water evaporates. The cat decomposes. The ditch smells like fish. The birds peck the cat’s decaying fur. Delivery trucks come and go, offloading groceries and office supplies.
There are fast food restaurants on the other side of the Object Center. There are two different burger places. There is also a chicken place and a taco place and a Chinese place. There are people ordering food from their automobiles. The people take their food and park in the parking lot of the Object Center and eat in the automobiles because they are too lazy to climb out of their automobiles. Their faces appear emotionless and without conflict. They are swollen and blotted with perspiration and unsightly blemishes. They drop french-fries on the floorboards and lick the salt from their fingertips and wipe their saliva on their pants and the upholstery inside their automobiles. Humankind is doomed.
There is music playing from hidden speakers throughout the Object Center. People window shopping for objects unknowingly hum and sway their hips to the music’s ambient rhythm. The music coming out of the speakers is comprised of computer generated synthesizers played on an infinite loop. It is toneless and out of date. It is called ‘Easy Listening.’
There is an adolescent girl at work. There is a cash register. There are barcodes and a barcode scanner. There are paper and plastic bags. She is listening to the music and chewing gum. The gum tangles on her braces. She dislodges it with her tongue. Her mouth is open and she is blowing bubbles inattentively as she grates her cuticles with a nail file. A man’s voice comes on the loudspeaker and says, ‘Price check?’ The girl hides the nail file beneath her apron. It is against company policy.
There is a group of men in the parking lot of the Object Center. They are laying mulch around the streetlights on the islands in the parking lot. They are dark-complected. Some of the men are mustached. All of them are undersized though noticeably well-fed. They are irritated because the sun is out and air is humid, because they feel like laboring objects. Their t-shirts become saturated with sweat in glandular locations. Everyone around them is eating and shopping for things to eat. They work slowly and frequently stop to wipe their tan foreheads. They glare at the passing shoppers who are carrying their objects in paper and plastic bags and pushing shopping carts full of objects.
There are object. Their objects. They are objects. They purchase objects with other objects and they carry them, themselves home to other objects. Everyone has objects, is an object, and obtain new objects and forget about their older objects, including people which are also objects, including their relations to all of their other objects in their lives.
The adolescent girl steps in front of a sliding glass door. The motion sensors scan her body and door glides open. She steps outside and takes a cigarette out of her apron. She stops and lights the cigarette with an object. The men working in the parking lot stop and stare. They pretend to work as they watch her making stylized exhalations. They try to work but they cannot keep their eyes from gravitating towards the girl. She sees them looking and looks away. Then she looks back. She wants to smile. She smiles. Her braces are exposed. She likes feeling like an object. The men smile. The men like looking at an object. The girl finishes her cigarette and walks back inside. The men go back to their work.
The Object Center is in a commuter town, like every other town. There is a large parking lot with curbed islands of freshly laid mulch. The islands are rectangular and arranged in uniform rows throughout the parking lot of the Object Center. There is music playing from hidden speakers. Behind the Object Center are dumpsters full of discarded objects. Behind the dumpsters sits a drainage ditch full of emaciated cattails. Empty soda cans float in a pool of stagnant water. In the water, cat decomposes. It resembles a gnarled husk of corn. Around the Object Center, there are people ordering food from their automobiles. They feed in their automobiles. They sweat. They lick salt from there fingertips guiltlessly and without awareness. There are object. Their objects. They are objects.