Man pauses to breathe, gives audience fleeting false hope that he’s done talking

Impromptu speaker keeps tormenting listeners by not stopping

Written by Kelly Chia, Staff Writer

It’s Thursday afternoon, and we have a breaking headline coming in from the conference room in the West Mall Centre. The speaker, a young man, pauses to take a single breath . . . and despite the momentary hope his action telegraphs, he does not stop speaking. 

We go to Janet, a student in the conference room who contacted The Peak with a time-sensitive tip.

“Yes, hi!” Janet meets our eyes before getting shunned by a collective stare from the rest of the listeners. She continues in a hushed tone:

“He just started standing at the podium and speaking . . . we’re not sure who he is, but it felt rude not to listen.” 

Janet suspects that the man is a 20-year-old political science student who has gone off the rails between his midterms and defending his political beliefs. No further information on the man’s background is available at this time, as social mores have held us hostage too tightly for us to interrupt him with questions about his identity. The aforementioned defense of his political beliefs is not actually lucid enough for us to be certain that that is, in fact, what it is. 

The student continues his infernal rant about how his relatives are swayed by Facebook posts. Just when it seemed like the student had all but exhausted the topic, he cruelly continued. 

“Communism works in theory, but. . .”  The man pauses, air passing through his lips and expanding his lungs. He takes a swig of water. He gives the audience a long, meaningful stare. The tension in the room is evident as the listeners lean forward, waiting for him to speak up — or not. 

It’s madness, momentarily. And then he exhales again, speaking up on what he alleges his professor from two semesters ago told him about the flaws in practical communism.

We probe another audience member whose eyes are beginning to droop: “How long has this been going on?”

“For 20 minutes,” they respond tiredly — so tiredly. 

Inevitably, the student has started talking about Freud to sustain his theories on the political state. While his speech has the cadence of academic expertise, the actual content was not worth penning. He seemingly finishes, and a student lets loose a single clap. The student sublimates into the air under the heat of a judgemental hush from the rest of the audience, who by now are invested in suffering the ordeal as a unit. 

At this time, the student still has not stopped. No indications have been given of when the impromptu speech might end, and the situation has gone from mildly inconvenient to truly obnoxious.

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