This time he was on a train; he had never actually been on a train, so it was completely imaginary. Everybody had their own booth and played video games, but the booths were picture-taking booths, so they would take quarters and feed the slots and snap shots would fly out the sides of them gleefully pounding buttons and devastating cartoon enemies. Outside, out through the windows, the countryside was nothing but gravestones. Millions of them, they were the horizon, they were the sky, they were the ground, the tombs. Somewhere in the distance, as if maybe it was the soundtrack to the complimentary train shoot’em up, was a silly hippy guitar solo, backed by silly hippy drums and psychedelic subtle flanges. As he stared, he tried to blink and catch the whirling tombstone’s engravings. He blinked, J, he blinked, O, he blinked again, B, and then all the words were clear. Job, rest in here, from then until now. Every single one of them said the same thing, and as they blurred past, the words began to take over. They became closer and more distinct even as the stones they were written on receded and became more blurred. The words were coming to the windows.
The clicks and whirs and god damn its and fucks and shits were slowly being invaded by the seemingly always present rumble of the wheels of the train. Whizzing past the windows now was an endless newspaper headline, inches from the glass. It all looked freshly printed, glistening black ink, wind smearing the letters into one-sided devil’s calligraphy. A woman in spiderman colors walked pompously down the aisle, and all middle class heads turned for a moment from their virtual reality in vague looks of envy. Envy of real reality, the real reality of physical beauty. The letters repeated endlessly, here lies Job, as if Job was not telling the truth, from then until now, rest in piles, rest in decay. No, the words were constantly changing now. The video game booths all froze in a unified tilt, causing all the passengers to scream in consumer like indignation and begin banging the sides of their booths. The pictures began to flow out of the sides in a vomit of thin colored paper. And as soon as Job thought that it might be so, it was so; all the pictures were of the same face, writhing in mock agony, laugh-screaming, eyes blazing in green-fired hatred. And offhand Job noticed that at the bottom of each picture was a trademark sign followed by the words, Bonjour Beefcake Inc. eatyourself@me. And then the photos stopped shooting, all lay on the ground of the cabin face down, and Job could not remember the face, what face, even if it had been familiar eluded him. Looking up, all the people were gone. Looking out, the train had stopped, or at least the newspaper words had, and all that remained was the static image of a newspaper page completely smeared with blurred ink.
The picture was there to, but it and its headline were both smudged beyond all recognition. All was still, except for the humming. And then fifty doors simultaneously opened along the sides of the car, and simultaneously fifty burly men slammed them back shut, and simultaneously slammed Job back into the world of the living. It was nearing dark, and men were leaving the plant to go to their warm illuminated homes.
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