He rounded the bend and the straight opened up ahead of him. This was the part of the track that Blan-Blan Pastishuini was used to, the part that he usually cleared in ten seconds and could then stop and recover. Not today though, he staggered down it, his legs well aware that instead of running for ten seconds he had been at it for half an hour already. His body felt too heavy, as though he were a rhinoceros with the legs of a chicken. He was so far behind now that there was no point in continuing, but he had run so far that there seemed little point in stopping either. So he just continued round and round.
It was an Olympic year, but the problem was everyone was too busy for the Olympics this year. There was so much going on that there was just nowhere to fit it into everyone’s hectic calendar. So the IOC hit on a compromise – they would condense the Olympics and cram it all into one week. This neccessitated changes to several sports and they had not all been a success. The combination of horse racing and boxing had been something of a bloodbath and there was a similar outcome in the golf/shooting contest.
The centrepiece competition was, as always, the athletics, only this year there was a difference. Instead of there being several separate disciplines on the track all the athletes started running at once and medals were handed out to whoever led the rather large pack at 100m, 200m, 400m and so on.
Which was why Blan-Blan Pastishuini, 100m medal hope, was doing some serious overtime. He had reached the 100m point in fourth place and pressed on, determined to win a medal. But by the time the 800m point had been and gone he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be doing. He wasn’t used to running this far and felt like he was in alien country. And so he just continued round and round until they told him to stop, his legs going slower and slower like a clock gradually winding down.
When he returned from the Olympics, tired and somewhat disillusioned, Blan-Blan vowed to never run again. Instead he decided to find a new career path, and the first thing he decided to try his hand at was being a DJ. His first night was a success but at the end of it he sat down and thought about it. He had put records on, they had spun round, people had danced, he had put more records on and people had danced some more.
He searched for a new fulfilling career but with every job he found the same problem. He tried working as a chef but really all that happened was: he cooked the food, the people ate it, he cooked more food, more people ate it, it all went round and round in their bodies. He became a mechanic and spent all day fixing things. They just broke and came back round to be fixed again. When he worked as a postman he delivered the letters only to have to deliver similar-looking envelopes to the same houses again the next day. There seemed to be nothing that would break this repetitive cycle.
In the end Blan-Blan gave in. From his spot in the lego factory he could see all the pieces moving round and round on conveyor belts, he just had to pick them and put them in boxes. There was no illusion here and he was happy with that.