In a Smoke-Filled Room, How's it Goin Then? Is it Goin' at all?

by Ivan R.

I once wrote an article about the nature of Feelings versus the nature of Emotions. In it I assigned Feelings to our perceptive senses, and Emotion I defined as Feeling plus Thought. There was a discussion in my office regarding my article. I concluded the article by saying that Thought and Emotion ought to be gutted from humanity, that they have been allowed some few thousand years to exist, and unless properly refined they will continue their graceless butchering of humanity. Callum was quite upset by it, being the editor of the philosophical section of the magazine, and he paraded into my cubicle championing thought as the very thing that will save humanity. “Rational thought! Listen, Cor, you know I love you, mate. But this trash will not be published.”

“Rational thought is an oxymoron.” I said. He was fed up, and stormed off into the smoky distance of the other cubicles.

The article was published. On my way home, I attempted to freeze my thoughts. It was quite nice, and I regarded every drop of rain upon my windshield as incredible. I gave my father of seventy-two years the article. He was, after all, its inspiration. He garbed his bluish round bifocals, and began reading, intently it seemed, until he resumed his original relaxed posture. He lay the manuscript on the table. He looked slightly about the room, with little to no movement. Was I disturbing his rainy day?

“Am I disturbing your rainy day, father?”


“Am I disturbing you?”

“No, son.”

“I am afraid that you dislike the article.” I said. I was very afraid to say such childish things as, I am afraid; father, you taught me well that fear is the most disgusting disease upon a life. He picked up the article, without his bifocals, considered it briefly.

“My dear son, I am sure it is a wonderful article.” And then he laughed in the most disturbing and stentorian manner. I was a bit shaken. He told me to look around. I looked.

“I have already looked at the rain, father. It is very incredible.” He grew quite grave, intense.

He sighed. He slumped back in his easy chair.

The next day at the office, Callum drank coffee and smoked a cigarette, leaning over Lena, sitting inside her decorous cubicle. “Oi! Corey, I read the article again. I apologize, mate. I honestly don't think its so bad after all.”

“Thank you, Cal.”

It was not raining but there was something peculiar and cold about that morning. My phone vibrated and shone through my trouser pocket. The smoky office seemed illuminated by a light that I was producing.