...that the telegram was mislaid; your invitation lost in the mail; your phone message transcribed by a teenager.
...that you were not previously advised.
...that the toy which sat on the top of the box, too beloved ever to be put away, now lies broken in the back of the closet, accumulating oily dust and the black mold that can never be scrubbed off.
...that your award must be rescinded due to the recent allegations, however unfounded they may eventually prove to be.
...that where once there stood a shining laboratory full of white-coated researchers striving to split the conversational atom, there now howl only lobotomized baboons and stray bald-shaven macaques, picking at their stitches amid broken retorts and overturned assumptions, uncomprehending.
...that catchphrase generation has fallen to an all-time low.
...that the ghost factory has been closed and its operations transferred overseas.
...that the crisis has not been averted through any of the half-hearted measures implemented so far by a pusillanimous leadership with too much invested in the current moribund infrastructure.
...that the biopsy came back positive.
...that the State Department has issued an advisory strongly warning against travel in the area, whether for business or pleasure.
...that this is not a drill, nor any tool with a point.
...that you have been betrayed by those in the best position to do so.
...that massive bribes have changed hands, and official reprimands are unlikely to be noticed, much less have any effect on business as usual.
...that those legs in the sand are surrounded by a desert of our own making.
...that replacement parts for that model are no longer available.
...that the Holiest of Holies has been defiled. Mendicants and priests alike have fled for more fertile territory. The baobab has taken root in the courtyards, and snakes nest in the split rock of the temples.
...that she is, in fact, with me now.
...that followups have been set.
...that there is, after all, no app for that.
...that the exodus is always and ever ongoing.
...that things fell apart; the centre could not hold.
Credit where applicable to Jenny Holzer and Wm. Blake
©2011 Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.
Last updated September 21, 2011.