He wandered through the streets, accidentally humming the wrong tune. All of the other people--the smart ones, the hip ones, the connected ones--hummed the locked-on song. The one distributed by the net-clones. The piece designed to be loved the instant it was heard.
The web designed conformity, sculpting it into a masterpiece of sameness. Crowds were beautiful when they worshipped the same savior, but more importantly when they hummed the same notes. Noval didn't care. He had fallen in love with the ditty he'd composed in the shower that Wednesday morning, and it permeated every fibre of his existence.
The people on the subway glared. The bus driver turned away. The man in the urinal next to him peed on his shoes. Noval broke the rules accidentally, incapable of shaking the song out of his head. It was catchy and fresh and cool.
"Sing it low, my baby, we're low down.
Let it grow now, honey, we're downtown
But when I-- "
The web-police officer shoved him into a booth to jack in. "We'll get that song out of your head, punk. Get you back on track."