Changing track

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Listen —

What follows is a telling (no, retelling)

Of error forced by ego (built by spelling,

Grammar, diction, and nice punctuation)

Of premature relief and exaltation

Of man — of boy — of child — of wond’rous pain

An Intern who made edits all in vain.

(Of a lot of really avoidable failure on the part of the character in question, to make things entirely clear. Also, to be extremely clear, the character in question is in absolutely no way related to the writer)


The scene: a bustling day in Hollywood

The boulevard is rustling as it should

Ambitious Sun emits his morning rays

As Intern scurries to receive his praise.

Praise, you see, is assured to come;

The Intern had been tasked to edit some.

Grinning and scuttling, the man — the boy — the child —

Enters the building.


The Intern bids his cubicle to breathe:
“Now mouse, now screen, now desk, now chair, now keys —

Our calling — or, MY calling — is now calling,

And as such, we must cast away the folly

Of poorly written prose.”


A hum, a shimmer of rattling clicks descends

As Intern edits files from end to end.


And then they come to him the first time

And question him: “Did you track your changes?”

Says Intern: “Sirs, I’ve done what’s been asked —

This thing that vaguely has to do with tax

(For I cannot divulge its truer nature;

Constrained am I by pledge of nondisclosure).

Be sure to rest quite easy. Fear not.”

And so they leave.


Snaps, buzz — the whirring does resume

“Dare they question me? Dare presume?”


And then they come to him the second time

And question him: “So, you’ve track’d your changes?”

Says Intern: “Truly, sirs, you ask not much;

This simple chore is solved with just a touch.

Let me do my work. Let me work.”

And so they leave.


Fluttering, susurrous swishing of noises colliding

As Intern is struggling to maintain a rhythm, he’s flying


And then they come to him the third time

And question him: “Yet, we see no changes.”

The Intern rests his forehead on his palms

And breathes a breath before he airs his qualms.

“With more than due respect, I must admit

That to mine own just anger I submit.

I can edit, I can write, I’ve track’d

Changes for a very long time, in a variety of situations, so please just —”

They point in unison.

They speak as one.


“You know, Microsoft Word has a ‘track changes’ tool. Makes it easier for us to accept changes — those weird marks that you keep making kind of throw us off. Mind fixing that?”


And so they leave.


Twenty thousand words. Two days’ work.


Intern begins to type.

Contact Arjun Savel at [email protected].