Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero
Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 09
There is a crowd outside in the lot of a restaurant under the blue sky. A man in a suit arrives to the packed lot and immediately takes note that no one has been permitted to enter. Fiddling with his cuffs the man conceals a brace on his wrist and then takes out a laptop. Dusk falls as the crowd is still outside yet no one gives a compliant as if following a script. The suited man suspects a ruse but sticks around a bit longer in hopes of getting answers.
Maple wooden doors open signaling the patrons to enter and Une closes his laptop as he enters the establishment. Entering the hall there golden candles sparkle inside of a glass chandelier which is suspended from the ceiling. Club music blares in the air and the man enters the dinning room in search of his assigned table. After finding his table the man scans the crowd as he makes his way to the appetizers. Holding a plate Une reaches for a tong when a man several decades his senior reaches for a plate and exposes a Sine emblem tattooed on his hand.
The Sine Standard proclaims that the masses must wear braces, however, there are exceptions to the rule. The affluent have used their wealth to get the corporation to look the other way for not wearing the mandated brace. The distinction in social standing is made apparent through the implementation of the brace. Arbitrary Numbers face adversities because of the brace which makes it challenging to rise to the top. They’re ostracized under the Sine Standard due to their desire for independence which is considered “a major threat.”
Une’s cuff descends revealing his brace for a moment but he quickly lifts the sleeve. The Sine patron saw the brace and nonchalantly drops a ceramic plate on the floor and walks off. Walking back to his table Une grabs the program for the evening and confirms the potential lede’s presence. As the evening slowly unfolds the music pauses as the host rouses the crowd. Then he quickly reviews the program but makes one crucial amendment and Une closes his laptop as he looks toward the host in disbelief.