The Complaint (part 14)


“So, what’s good on TV tonight?,” she asked.

“I don’t know, love. To be honest I don’t watch it much since I got here, it makes me miss life. There’s a bar in the adjacent building, I was gonna get a beer, do you want to join me?”

“Why not,” she said, wondering what everyone’s reaction would be when they walked into a bar together. She imagined they would think she was paying him.

They walked down a tube that was made entirely of glass like so many structures in Hell. Dollar bills fell from the sky above the tube and blew around and around it in a maddening, hypnotic dance.  Ellen couldn’t help but want to grab them, even though she knew they were worthless there.

“The tubes are a spectacle the first time you see them,” Kyle said breaking her trance.

“There amazing, do they all have singles or are there some with higher denominations?”

He laughed, “They don’t all just have money, some have pornography, some have video games playing all around others have meat or drugs or weapons.  Some days I just go for a long walk through all the tubes, you should try it this weekend.”

“I was going to ask if there were still weekends here.”

“I should warn you they’re only every ten days and there is a mandatory play that you have to watch.”

They arrived at a bar called Arbuckle’s which was an impressive three story establishment with a restaurant on the main floor a dance club in the basement and a small tavern on the third floor. Kyle began to head downstairs.

“I should warn you I’m not a very good dancer,” Ellen said looking for an out.

“Oh, were not the ones that will be doing the dancing.”

“Oh, is it like strippers?”

“Nothing that much fun I’m afraid.”

They entered the basement to find several naked, middle-aged people hopping up and down on hot coals. Some of the patrons lobbed rotten eggs at them.

“Who are they,” she asked.

“Former bureaucrats; they were lazy in life and so they’re never allowed to stop dancing, or trying to.”

 He grabbed several eggs and handed them to Ellen. He grabbed a handful for himself and they began throwing them. At first Ellen found it hard to get angry, she didn’t even know these people. Then she remembered an aggravating financial aid rep she had to deal with at Jr. college and a rude employee at the DMV. She lobbed her eggs a little harder at the thought of them.

She couldn’t help but be a little envious of the punishment planner who thought of this one.

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