"Please, be seated. This will only take a few minutes. If you prefer to stand, kindly move to the back of the room and help yourself to some of the refreshments."
The man at the front of the room takes off his coat and folds it neatly before putting it in a drawer. He strokes his beard, who has sat there silently throughout the morning classes and still into the late afternoon. She's artificial, top of the line, but no one has said anything to the man and he continues to address and interact with her like a real non-doll.
"Needle licker's osteomyelitis," he continues, "is tricky business. Dogs, you see, may seem like a good substitute for that quick saliva hit for a junkie on dry mouth, but the results are the same. Dirty."
The others in the room start to fidget and look sideways to one another. This was not the class they expected to be in. This was certainly not the presentation they were looking for. As far as the attendees are concerned, the words coming out of the man's mouth are Lingua Ignota, like Esperanto filtered with uncomfortable chairs.
The man, who we'll assume is some kind of teacher, drags out an arm, cut from the shoulder, with a syringe sticking out from the inner elbow. It's infected, or at least left to fester a few days from the signs of the pattern spread around the needle insertion point. He continues to talk and his voice drowns out as the carousel turns to the next situation.
This is the show they were looking for. The one they signed releases to. Bathed in their jahalia, they sit and watch as a little girl and a little boy play with building blocks. Stacking them and knocking them over to build them up again. They stop and sit upright, turning to the people watching them. The audience leans in, eager to spy the next reaction.
At three minutes twenty, the walls start to close on the audience. Everyone rushes toward the back, but they can find no refreshments.
Written on Sunday, 11 May 2014