KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 326 words

In a certain sense, the Good is comfortless

by Kimmo Rosenthal

In order to gain an understanding of this aphorism by Kafka, let us look in on the provost at a prestigious liberal arts college. This paragon of the college sits behind a large mahogany desk befitting a judge, where he prepares the talk he will give later that day on “interfaith and the new spirituality,” a subject dear to his heart after a life spent pursuing the Good. The uncharismatic demeanor and costive smile bespeak youthful summers at Bible camp where, in fact, he met his devoted wife who has been his spiritual bellwether and helpmeet. He appears at the moment in a state of agitation and discomfiture—yes, that is the right word, for he feels his life is comfortless. Although he is afraid to admit it, the source of this anxiety is that whoreson of lust he constantly feels gripping him with its insidious claws. You would be surprised—no, not surprised but more likely shocked—to find that underneath the folders on his desk reposes a print of Balthus’ Therese Dreaming, which has recently inspired reveries that distract him from his more transcendent lucubrations. Looking closely at his face we notice beads of sweat on his upper lip and brow, as his lubricious gaze follows the heavenly, callipygian form of his young assistant Alex (yes, we might agree that her pertly swaying behind could be considered a physical manifestation of heaven) leaving his office after having been bent over the cabinet vainly searching for a file which was already on his desk. At this point you would no longer be surprised to learn he is thinking of the comfort he could find with Alex. Before long, his imaginings achieve a poetic purity imbued with a new kind of spiritual fervor, as he is enraptured by visions of venery, unspeakable thoughts of exalted and beatific transgressions with Alex that give new meaning to the word Good.

[Editor’s Note: The title of this story is Number 30 of 109 aphorisms written by Franz Kafka from September 1917 through April 1918, which were then published by Max Brod in 1931 (six years after Kafka’s death) in a volume entitled, The Zürau Aphorisms.]

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡