Where Does Your Love Live?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A course in emotions management

Where Does Your Love Live?

Once again, the room was stuffy, crammed, the projector was on and the course attendees were quiet; nothing new. They were mainly looking down at their desks or at the clock, or they were pretending to be fiddling with their small audio recorders. They were obviously embarrassed, because to be here, in this course, definitely meant that their lives were not - so to say - in perfect shape. It was much different from the other courses Peter had ever attended up until then. There was no enthusiasm and youthful zeal to be found here; the attendees were sort of middle-aged, slightly hunchbacked men with the first signs of excessive weight gain and nervous, anxious women with dark circles under their eyes.

As always, the course included a presentation created in Megasoft’s Powerline.  With flames in the background on the first slide, a title was written in white letters:

Emotions – Management and Control

It naturally seemed senseless to Peter at first to enroll into this course of Emotional Management on the advice of Sonya, his secretary.  Yet while trying to recount the emotions that had overtaken him during the day, as the course leaflet had advised him, he could not recall a single one. Is it that he has no emotions inside him? Or maybe that no one else in the company does? Why does he never seem to have the time to sit in front of the house and strike up a conversation about it with the occasional passersby? Certainly they must be in a hurry somewhere too…

The lecturer finally turned towards the audience. He looked incredibly like the lecturer from the course of Time Management. Peter couldn’t believe it! Was this the same man, or just his brother?

The lecturer raised his arms and two men in uniform ran into the room.  Apart from being white, their uniforms were identical to police uniforms, but had stripes with large red hearts on their sleeves. They took plastic objects from large baskets and distributed them among those present. Only three geometric shapes were in the baskets: cubes, pyramids and balls.

“These are your emotional objects or ‘buddy-objects’.” the lecturer explained, “Each of you will receive one into your possession, which is included in the course fee. Concentrate on these objects; give them all of your emotions. This scientifically based method will allow you to become aware of your emotions, to complete their transfer. I expect these objects to become your best buddies in the days to come. Whatever your emotions may be, inform these objects of them. They will always be there and will always have time for you and your problems…”

And Peter received one plastic ball. He did not know what to do with it. He tried to concentrate, he gave his all to summon his emotions; yet no matter how hard he tried, he could not succeed in doing so. In no way could he break free from the thought that the ball was hollow, that inside there was nothing. It was quiet in the room, only the heavy, deep breathing of the ecstatic attendees could be heard, excited by communicating with their buddy-objects for the first time. But Peter was bothered by this sound, everything sounded so hollow…

Then the session ended and the participants received printed forms, or rather a kind of a diary in which they were to write down all the emotions that swept over them during the day. The following emotions were allowed and planned out:

-anger

-fear

- guilt

-sadness

-bitterness

-resignation

-love

-joy

Peter looked it over, unsuccessfully trying to pair his states of mind with the words on the page. And then, all of a sudden, the lecturer raised his hands and shouted from the top of his lungs.

“Show where your love lives! Show where your love lives!”

Peter did not know. He looked around himself, and the others were all looking at each other as well. The majority of them finally pointed to their hearts, while several people pointed to their stomachs and chests, and another pointed to his head…

The face of the lecturer was radiant. He observed his course participants carefully, as though he was looking for something. He finally asked Peter, “Why have you not shown where your love lives? Do you not know?”

Although only several weeks ago, Peter would have probably followed the others in doing so and would have most likely apologetically pointed to his heart, as would an American athlete listening to the Stars Spangled Banner, this time Peter kept rebelliously quiet. He was a bit surprised at himself for refusing to do what was expected of him.

“Your love is not in your heart? Nor is it in your head?”

The lecturer asked cautiously, his smile betraying the fact that he had recently underwent the famous teeth whitening treatment Extensic.

 “No, it isn’t.”

“Well, where is your love? Is it somewhere in this room?” he asked, which made several middle aged ladies straighten up a little in their seats.

 “My love is not in this room, there is not any love in this room, there is none in this building or in this city, and even if there were, could it be mine or yours? Since when can love be possessed?”

The lecturer was slightly surprised, but he would not give himself to confusion. He lifted his right arm and with a motion of an experienced professional tried to calm the audience down, who had already become slightly agitated.

“Of course, of course, these are philosophical questions, but if you knew the answers to them, if you knew how things stood with your emotions, you wouldn’t have enrolled in this course after all. Whether love can be bought or sold is pure metaphysics, and people have been banging their heads over this for thousands of years. But us, you, you are interested in daily problems, for example: how to cope with your job and not go insane; how not to kill your wife when she reminds you that you haven’t brought all she had wanted from the market; how to preserve your relationship, your marriage; how to sleep peacefully; how not to kill yourself; how to succeed in life…”

He made a pause. His undermined authority became well balanced again with these magic words. The lecturer continued: “You will learn to control your emotions. You will learn. You will succeed…”

The lecturer was clapping his hands and shouting:

 “I control my emotions! I know where my love is!”

The lecturer recited, and the audience followed:

 “I control my emotions! I know where my love is!”

Like a Televangelist, the lecturer continued his sermon…

“Emotions! Emotions! Emotions!” Peter choked on this word; he drowned in a sea of this word while some women of the audience had tears well up in their eyes. The episode with love’s dwelling place had been forgotten, yet Peter felt his doubt towards the imagined world around him more powerfully than ever before. Like a thief he slowly stole away from the hall and closed the door behind him. He was still holding the plastic yellow ball in his hand, his “buddy-object”. He looked around and made a few steps towards the opposite wall. There, in the corner, he gently dropped his buddy-object in the trash bin, as if he were afraid to not wake it up.

 


Submitted: December 27, 2020

© Copyright 2021 markoc. All rights reserved.

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