• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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The shop window effect:

His figure was a protrusion every December, suddenly there was the overwhelming sensation he was everywhere at once — on mantelpieces, in shopping centers, in minds and adverts simultaneously. Even for people who didn’t believe, they knew and they thought about him at least once or twice as the big month passed. It got more abrasive every year. Over time, his secret had degraded, a precious stone reduced to an uneven, coarse pebble. If you were to hold him in a handful of small marbles in your palm, let them roll them against one another in a rotating cupped hand, his surface would have hardened, acquiring an unpleasant jarring sound against the others, interrupting the quiet knocking of their silky chatter. He was devoid of subtleties and brutish. It was crude, really, that he didn’t have a voice to address this lack of mystique he’d somehow acquired. It was true that his existence depended on being thought about, but it was never meant to be the attention-grabbing interjection it was now. It was a sensory overload. He should exist in the thin cracks of ice on a window, hardly determinable to the human ear. Or as a lingering presence in fading embers on cold nights.

Though from the shop window displays or the bitten shards of chocolate forgings you’d never know it, he was disillusioned and drinking too much. All this repurposing of his image was giving him a headache.