Woven and Spun

I heard the news today, oh boy. Another headless army lost another high stakes war by a head down the stretch, too bad. The head continued to roll downhill until blocked by a rock, hard luck.

The large mouth heads swinging dicks on TV platforms, flopping like bass, and fawning like does, were unmoved. Large, thick, lumbering heads do not support extensive ambulation. It takes a heavier load than that to move such a dense mass off a favored spot to squat, tough shit.

In the many unenlightened distinctions peddled wholesale by religiously protected merchants to gain market share between vanilla beans and mocha briquettes, tan, ecru, and beige, pros and cons, flip flops and espadrilles, and deaf and dumb squeezed between more and less atop here and now, how much health, wealth, and stealth turns up  lost and missing under piles of slick wall to wall carpet, either a dusty rose or dovish mauve bathed in iridescent lighting, woven and spun thick by automated caterpillars in Bangladesh? In the official unquestioned explanation the truck was hijacked by them not us after running out of gas. Name a day in which shit don’t happen. The skim as it turns out may be more than equal to the cream.

What, you thought all of these fixed games under the table were on the up and up? Glib talk is not only cheap but on sale at all hours. Better watch every step, including the dangerous one behind. Don’t dare disbelieve they are not out to get you. How do you think holey moly ash Wednesday got off snuggling right up alongside Super Bowl Sunday in the lineup for Christ’s fucking sake? Behind the smoke blowing and the shaken tambourines is more blowing smoke.

How many presidents have been solemnly designated by American exceptionalism to proclaim, “I am not a crook.” How many were not lying?

No creature from the bog is going to drain any swamp. Creatures like that are bent on building bigger bogs, restocking them with bigger fish to swallow raw, and suck on the marrow from the hallowed bones.

Lying is as much the cold lifeblood of a biped politician as any equally evolved vulture or amphibian. I’m still waiting to hear the name of that exceptional day. The smoke provides the essential circulation to enable the stinky air.

The historic smoke due to an avalanche of necessary and sufficient conditions has become so gray and thick that machines had to be invented to keep up with demand. The investment was well worth it, however. What certified government would refuse to support such a worthy cause? Jobs blown that sky high cost an arm and a leg in sanctified government procurements and the long range prospects for profit appear in the lifespan of commerce to be never ending. You better believe the lines chasing those good jobs are going to be straight and narrow and stretching across limitless horizons from here to hell and a damned eternity forever.

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Squiggle

Only the robots knew the true identities of the human spies. None of the humans knew or suspected the robots existed. None of the humans noticed the perfect, inhuman symmetry of the robots, or that the guard dogs did not sniff and snarl at their meaty thighs. No human, despite so much desire, is ever symmetrical. Two guard dogs were also robots, including the alpha.

Contradictory humans, dangerously carnivorous and social, using a small percentage of a vaunted if overrated and under ripe power of a big brain, believe themselves to be one cunning, cutting edge bunch. Pills to relieve the pain caused by so much twisting to reverently pat backs and butts are sold commonly over the counter.

Pain is one universally big gripe. It does not take a big brain to feel pain, even if most exemplary humans use those unfinished brains to believe only they do. When it comes to beliefs they sure do cling to some coo-coo dillies. Most also still believe the universe revolves around their singular slab of flat earth. As if the universe is such a big deal, and not a medium sized squiggle inside an undulating multiverse with no beginning and no end. The robots are able to chuckle about that if not laugh out loud.

 

 

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Or What

Cowboy Eddie tried to swing hard for the fences, a low average hitter who struck out a lot, but connected for enough towering home runs to enable him to fashion a smug trot around the bases. Otherwise, there were too many holes in his game. He only laughed when he did not have to pick up the tab. He scoffed at teachers and preachers. He did not believe in changing the oil in his car.

What’s so wrong about continuing to do the same dumb things over and over? How else will you remain able to hang out and keep on keeping on from here to an eternity? Lemmings do it and they’re still around. It’s hard to match the ass sniffing and kissing skills of a lemming bunched up next to a warm blooded neighbor for great spiritual purpose and depth. Not even Satan’s agent Mike Pence could be penetrated any deeper. More than rigid determinism is at work down there. If you can’t lick it, stick it, is a saying that goes way back in corn plowed Indiana. Does that make sycophants examples of nature or nurture? Best to beat evolution with that licking stick before it goes that far. But does that mean the mother of Mike Pence had intimate relations with a worm?

Cowboy Eddie was speeding recklessly on an unfamiliar curve out in the boonies when his hay fever acted up. He wasn’t having no more of the newfangled tomfoolery of the city and was looking for a country girl to get a grip. The hay appeared to be as tall as the corn in his hairy nostrils. He carried a dirty snot rag in his back pocket for just that purpose. He tried to steer with his funny bone between sneezes as he reached behind to generate traction in the wrong place and time. The dirty oil was having none of it, though. Everyday curves in Indiana are not that common. If you think you’re so smart and suave, try just one time to see how corn oil performs as lube. The back pocket is way too far gone in a pinch to help. The fair to middling brakes were no match for chronic friction. That’s gravity for ya. Your prayers are having a ball laughing behind your back. Does that heathen karma have some fucking force or what?

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Use It v. Lose It

His honor the newly minted Mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom grew himself one great big pair not long after the ceremony in which he swore out loud concluded.  Each was extra large, and then some. The storied San Francisco Mint never issued a shinier dime. Not only startled eyebrows were raised. All it took to accomplish was one unmatched day in current events. That’s how stubborn history expected to end in ignominy marches on. Never trust an expectation.

It would of course be preternaturally hard for any recovering dyslexic to remember facts and figures referencing  data and statistics without a cheat sheet. But after all the shit he had to swallow the new mayor was not deterred. He was a fucking model for the shining role. His hair was perfect. The applause he evoked was far greater than polite. He promised a heavy load yet to come. Equal numbers were due to be delivered in due time.  Even unforgiving members of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club joined grudgingly in the applause.  It was a surprise to not only his honor, but to many others, most others to be honest, which he tried to be much of the time, under appropriate conditions, that is. Sort of.

The muscles ordinarily flexed when venturing into the reckless muck of truthiness are rarely used in politics as usual. Nothing like that was required of Gavin Newsom to become a young millionaire. Honesty is fucking hard to pull off without appearing the fool. You use it or lose it. That’s where evolution comes along to grow mutants. Everybody knows that. Even an implausible lie aimed artfully in the middle of even a great pair becomes solid gold. There is a profusion of proof in the professional literature. His faithless wife, a real pro, never failed to point it out. Try walking a straight line after that one lands. If you listen carefully, you can hear the fizz of flat air deflating.

What if the Harvey Milk Democratic Club in a distant millennium becomes as ascendant among Italians in North Beach as Christopher Columbus? What if nobody wins on the final ballot and the mutants take over? What if your best choice on that ballot is None of the Above? Then how does the little head ever get to beat the big head down? Then it would take more than mere millions to fake it. Could that ever happen? Nah.

That’s politics for ya. Ya gotta love it or leave it on the battleground behind.

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The Gene Puddle

Mayday, mayday, he’s getting away, stop him.

See the boy run. See the man keep running. See the dummkopf Drumpf bumbling from behind.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Lie to Me

Love may be sweet and money honey. Swallow what swill you will but they don’t make the world go ’round. Don’t make me laugh. Fear is the greatest of all powers driving the wheel. Ask any animal that does not know how to lie.

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Dacha Diving For Dollars

“What was that again? I’m trying my best to track every important point here.”

F. Drumpf, Jr was admiring the design of the detailed tile work on the smaller man’s indoor pool while Vlad the Blade continued to gab on in that gobbledygook of his. The man believed he was pretty smooth in his delivery, that’s for sure. He must have dreamed he was conducting a big Russian orchestra, compensating for being so short. The interpreter was nodding his head as if he got it. But, got what? Drumpf, Jr frowned and looked at the walls as if he was deep in thought. The walls were not bad either, some kind of smooth plaster, except smoother. But, how much longer can a guy go on about what it is he’s got to say? The deal’s done. Everybody gets what they want. It’s 1992 already. A no good year if there ever was one for real estate. First real estate goes south, then the banks. Now, time’s a wasting.

Drumpf,Jr said, “I wouldn’t mind another spritz of that bubbly seltzer of yours before I have to shove off. That stuff’s good for a gurgling gut.”

Who knew what the hell time it was in what zone way out here nowhere and how much longer it was going to take? Why would a guy with thirty one mil in cash to invest wisely build his showplace estate out in the boonies where it was so cold and dark? Not even a beach or palm tree or a golf course in sight.

“You say this comes from an underground spring? But still, all it is is water. I wouldn’t mind having a piece of that action.”

This foreign pussy he had waiting in the plane had better be worth the overtime rate. She was probably freezing her tight buns off. She better know how to find the switch that turns on the heat. But, this was the man who had the short term cash he needed to stay on the upside so what was he supposed to do, grab it, and say what a pleasure Vlad, nice digs, see ya later, let’s do it again next year, gotta run to seal another deal? Even if it was true for a change?

“Yeah, that stuff really hits the spot. I can feel it gurgling down deep.”

Nothing beat the beautiful feel of a green paper dollar, though, fresh from the bank. No expensive pussy could touch it. 1992 right from the beginning had been a brutal year for borrowing what with all the Johnny-Come- Lately’s driving up rates. London and Hong Kong, too. Some big shots had to hit the bricks. About the most a man can do when it hits hard like that is get it back fast where the getting’s good. Thirty one mil and change is not bad for a day’s work, he had to admit. Even if he did have to go all the way to the end of the Earth to collect. The politicians loused up the whole economy with their taxes when it was running so smooth.

“Remind me to have my people send your people a coupl of cases of this drink you’re all gonna love we got only in New York called Yoo-Hoo.”

Drumpf, Jr was alone but his people had his back. They better if they know what’s good for ’em. That was a big part of the art of the deal. Don’t let no two parts know your business who don’t need to know on a need to know basis. But, never be really all alone like it looks. There were more parts, too. But they’d have to get into that another time. The recording devices installed by KGB agents in the walls and ceilings would be turned on then too. They were sitting on soft turquoise lounge chairs hand stitched in a cinder block sweatshop on Garfield Ave. in East L.A. The grand dacha on Lake Komsomolskoye was surrounded by tall trees that blocked the sunlight and did nothing to bring out the pastel highlights. The chairs’d go good color wise with the color of the water in Palm Beach. It would be a smart idea, Drumpf, Jr decided, to order some of these chairs myself. Small Mexicans in East Los Angeles knew how to get a good stitch tight. It helped they were closer to the ground.

After an exchange of puzzled looks and mutterings with Putin, the interpreter asked, “How you correctly spell this Yoo-Hoo?”

Drumpf, Jr was leaning forward in his chair as if he was a cat paying careful attention to a rat hole and ready to spring. A frisky in and out boytoy of Roy Cohn’s, some fruity yet studly drama coach on Lower Broadway who sucked hard, used to call it pinpoint emoting. Putin sat straight in his chair when he was not standing to elaborate as if someone in a distant room might be missing a sugary bon mot. The short man needed to learn how to loosen up if he wanted to last. He was wasting a lot of pinpoint energy. Their one lone interpreter claimed to speak six languages, and be able to work for the both of them, even Steven, but Drumpf, Jr was skeptical. Sure, the guy sounded good but how much does that ever mean? Speaking is easy to fake. Russians knew how to do tile work, though, he had to admit that.

Sitting in the stiff position is what gets hard. That’s where a good game of golf comes in. Excellent for stiffness. Nine holes was okay, but the full eighteen turned the real trick. He wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t in a rush to dive into that pool a time or two. That board looked mighty springy. He used to be a pretty great diver at military school in Valley Forge but had to give it up because of pressure on his braces and his ears.

Diving was all about timing. Diving after expensive pussy, too. The springy cat knew it and he knew it better than any man alive and it was about time that Vlad the Blade knew it too.

“This is not the only major winning deal in the shiny new platinum pipeline, you know.”

No rat coming out of a hole or grubby con man after a hard night working in a gulag had ever been any happier than Drumpf, Jr when Vlad seemed to be finally petering out after all of the extravagant gestures with his pendulous arm. He was able to squeeze in and add before the short man who has no doubt compensating for size had the chance to get going again with a second wind, “You’ll find out this is going to be the start of something big.”

Vlad did not disagree. The unnamed Cayman Island account inherited by his lovely blonde daughter with the skin as thin and papery as a drift of Eastern Siberian snow still showed a balance of $62,357,404, the net profit after expenses from the oil, gold, and diamonds dug from the Mirny mine in Eastern Siberia, the worlds deepest hole, for which Vlad the Blade as the agent of authority had been compensated in full. There was no way in the new, fair, and just post-revolutionary regime developing out of the former Soviet Union into an enterprising system of privatization that he would be successfully accused of corruption by enemies of freedom when the Iowa corn, beef, and pork to be received in exchange for the valuable Russian commodities inexplicably became lost in transport or at sea though no fault of his own as the official administering and adjudicating all procurement issues of note for St. Petersberg.

“That about wraps it up.”

“Da.”

“I’ll be sure,” Drumpf, Jr added as he stood stiffly to shake out the kinks, “to hit one straight down the middle of the fairway in honor of beautiful international relations for you and yours.”

 

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Cocktails and Cuddling

Harold G. Hargill preferred to begin his daily cocktail hour during the work week at a civilized 2 PM. As a flexible and tolerant man, he permitted his cocktail hour the intrinsic freedom to stretch out and expand from there. He considered it the most productive part of his day. There was no more need to waste time playing with food. Inspiration struck, often. His wit was at its most dazzling, often.

As a smaller man Harold had grown to know big and bigger. As a rich man Harold knew rich, richer, and richest, of which he was titanically all of the above from birth. The conditions of his employment presented no obstacle to his intrinsic freedom because he was the sole owner of Harold G. Hargill Associates, at 33,000 square feet of splendor the largest and most luxurious showroom in The Dallas Design District. To the simpatico few who knew, The Dallas Design District was the heart and soul of elegance in Big D, where big was never big enough.

Harold’s top salesman of many years, dapper Jack Bowie, along with many of his better clients, also for many years, would join him for cocktails, often. Plenty of ice in silver buckets was on hand. They would sit in finely carved and stuffed reproductions of Louis XV furniture, a classic vignette featuring a pair of awkward and uncomfortable fauteuils, and a misshapen settee upholstered in a blue/gold silk damask, a favorite. Harold would smoke one of the many Benson & Hedges Gold cigarettes that would collude in history with genes and the abundance of alcohol to cause a good man to die young, and maintain good cheer. After the cocktail hour, he liked to cuddle, suck, kiss, fuck, and get as well as give, but not so much in the ass.

As it turned out, Jack Bowie enjoyed it in the ass just fine. He was not the ace crackerjack salesman at the top design showroom in Dallas because of his good looks alone, which were certainly at least better than just okay. Nothing wrong with that. Many interconnected parts are required to construct a cohesive whole. He also worked tirelessly around the clock sipping classic martinis with Tanqueray gin alongside vendors from companies in the interior design trade who possessed inexhaustible expense accounts in pursuit of high class representation in the booming Dallas market. The stylish lounge of the Mansion on Turtle Creek was the preferred venue. Sparkling glassware was hoisted. Many pinkies were raised in salute. From there, more flexibility was again likely to occur, often.

Jack Bowie liked to entertain his out of town prospectors by employing his most ironic Texas cowboy accent, saying, often, “Shall we?”

He was engaged in just that, giving and getting juicy gossip of the trade in a plush standard room on the second floor from a darling of a national sales representative for Jack Lenor Larsen Fabrics in New York when he became aroused.

“Did I just hear what I just heard?”

“It depends on what you heard.”

“I know I did.”

“Did I say something?”

“It’s something I’m remembering.”

“If there’s anything I can do.”

The national sales rep, whose name was Ronnie Medrano, traveled on a regular schedule to design showrooms in twelve cities pushing his dated line of boring screen prints thought clever by prisoners inside of tiny New York apartments. He knew everyone who knew anyone in the D&D Building, in the Pacific Design Center, in the Merchandise Mart. He was not only darling, but cute as a button, flat belly, just the right amount of hair on his chest. And smart, and disciplined. And going places.

Big D, however, did not do tiny.

“I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.”

“But wait,” Ronnie said, “until you get a load of this.”

Ronnie had an ace slipped way up his handsome sleeve. He had beautiful, graceful hands. As soon as he started to speak, he became excited. His hands danced a cha-cha-cha. The longer he spoke the more excited he became. Jack Bowie was well known by many of the national sales representatives in the incestuous interior design trade to be a sucker for a well slipped ace. Jack Bowie soon became excited as well. And then some.

Jack Bowie absorbed as much raw information as he was able to digest before he had to stop so he would be able to digest again.

“Would you be able to repeat that?”

“I’ll slow down this time.”

Ronnie had heard of an opportunity from Tony, a designer of wallpaper, Choate Class of ’60, Princeton Class of ’64, who was in love though he knew it was wrong with Ian, Princeton Class of ’68, who heard from his most dearest ever friend Amy with a good heart who would always tell the most God’s honest truth, Bryn Mawr Class of ’71, who developed a deep bond and heard at a fat farm in Connecticut from the wife of Andy, still in the closet, Brown Class of ’81, feeling enough pressure without a wife who wanted to be an impossible size 12, though he knew who knew for a fact from a reliable childhood source trading worthless junk bonds at Deutsche Bank with no remorse, made millions, Alfred, Brown Class of ’77, due to the closeness of his sister, Anya, Sarah Lawrence Dropout, married to Carson, Cornell Class of ’74, formerly a major cocaine dealer in Coral Gables now in custom mini-mansion construction, who played poker in Palm Beach with Butch, Harvard Class of ’67, Harvard Law Class of ’69, Harvard Ph.d Class of ’71, who controlled billions in hedge fund program trading that unleashed proprietary cutting edge mathematical formulas he developed as a hobby, and brokered private money loans at Indian casinos while successfully counting cards, though he refused to do any business whatsoever with distant and removed Alfred.

“How sure?”

“Sure.”

It was confirmed by innumerable eyewitnesses, On paper, funds were deposited in the Cayman Islands.

Big plans going somewhere. All it takes to get in on at the start before it begins is ten million dollars.

“How big again?”

“Big.”

“This is Big D.”

“Still.”

“Why have I never heard of him?”

“You will.”

As it was, and is, and will be, because money does not blow away like leaves from trees, old money does not need to be cutting edge to work as well as ever. Money does not suffer arrested development or limp projections. It does not evaporate over long periods of time. It hangs in there like a champ. It learns to kick back and relax in the balmy Cayman Islands.

Jack Bowie, Fayetteville HS, Class of ’49, was in a position to know that Harold G. Hargill might not be overly concerned by the state of affairs represented by a minor ten million dollars if requested politely over cocktails. He might propose a toast. Nothing wrong with that.

“How big again?”

“Big in Atlantic City.”

“Ew.”

“Drumpf Tower.”

“So?”

“Big.”

“I don’t know.”

“You never know.”

“Why does he need to borrow money if he’s big?”

“Everybody needs to borrow money.”

Ronnie Medrano had heard right. It’s not only those who double down on dumb losing bets in Atlantic City who need to borrow money. Everybody needs to borrow money. Borrowing is the hormone on which round mounds of money depend to grow big and strong. Side effects like grotesque pimples are easily popped and forgotten. Addiction is sort of too bad but not too much. How else do crooked numbers get put up high above the bleachers on the big electronic scoreboard in the sky?

No one, however, knew how to sniff out deep pits containing money to borrow, wherever it was buried, any better than a genetic Drumpf. They had always been very close in clannish history to their dogs in the hunt. Insular New Yorkers tend to cling to traditional ways and borrow their money from known quantities on Wall St. Nothing wrong with that. But Drumpf did not care where. He had on call operators to speak any language. There were several large continents of land from which to pick. Drumpf broke ground somewhere near daily. Who or whom? Fuggedaboutit. Drumpf cared about how much.

“And you say there’s a finders fee.”

“I hear it’s a done deal getting ready to max out and close.”

After Harold G. Hargill, SMU Class of ’55, heard the unoriginal though amusing tale from beginning to somewhere near the middle from Jack Bowie, who was forced by call of duty to trot off and sell a sofa for $21,000 and change to a far-sighted friend from parched Odessa who just flat out simply adored her classic reproductions to pieces, and before he became too bored to speak glibly after retinting the amber in his drink, he relaxed on a dull modern sofa the color of watery oatmeal, and considered the weakness of a narrative that could use some fresh fruit in the blender. Though he would never personally be caught alive with his pants down anywhere nearly as garish and tacky as Atlantic City, he knew many who would, and drop everything on short notice and journey far for a thrill.

He picked up a red telephone with an extra long cord to accommodate traveling to distant locales, and dialed.

“Hello?”

“I just heard a story you’re going to adore.”

Nothing wrong with that.

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Beside Himself

Charming Vlad ‘The Blade’ Putin was sculpting quite an impressive bust of himself in the showrooms of influential New York design circles. He had a slipper chair upholstered in red mohair nicknamed in his honor by Angelo Donghia, a tufted ottoman in charcoal microsuede dubbed by suave Christopher Hyland, and he inspired a stringy wall hanging with razor blades, wampum, and crystal orbs that perked up an executive elevator leading to a private balcony overlooking the fragrant East River. He was on a first name-dropping basis with Holly, Sally, Billy, and Dakota. Drumpf, Jr. was impressed not only with all he’d heard, but seen in the flesh. The man had moves, that’s for sure. He was known to dance all night at Studio 54 in tight Levi 501’s and polished black boots with his shirt off, causing quite the stir in the packed back rooms, and be doing roadwork in Central Park at ten. And then begin to spar with a flunky using twelve ounce gloves before noon. He could pull off wearing a red handkerchief in his left pocket and a blue handkerchief in his right, ready for anything. That did not even begin to describe how deeply open he was to new experiences. Paisleys, damasks, chintz, no problem. Adapt, no problem. Elude, no problem. Defend, no problem. Attack, no problem. It helped, as it always does, to be a natural blonde. Those who snidely called him Douche Putin were all wet and slimy green with envy, that’s all. Opinionated analysts with rent controlled apartments on the upper Westside and poorly paid free lance journalists who could not compete.

“His sneer makes me shiver.”

“Such cold eyes.”

“Cruel and unusual.”

“A big show-off.”

As if. But, those in the know knew. Vlad was on his way to creating a revolutionary new brand of mythology in prime underground time. His latent soul had been set aflame late that very first night on center stage when he danced with graceful Rudolf under the hot lights. A vision of a vast obedient empire came to him. Whip the froth until rich and gooey and eat it up. How so yum and so very yum. He swore he felt the warm, glowing presence of St. Alexius, and the gnarly fingers of Peters, I, II, III caressing his lats in tandem, as the infinite depth of his pure Aryan spirit was released and set free to rise and engorge and expand.

Why New York? Why Berlin? Why not St. Petersburg? Why not all Russia?

Why not be the hardest, the strongest, the best of all eternal time? Why not slip and slide both? Who’s got the ice? Who lasts longest? Who’s cooler than cool? You got something better?

Even if that late night illumination was early morning mist.

His swelling chest, glutes, quads, and abs surged with a feeling greater than brutal ambition from that moment on. Also, his groin. He wasn’t unfeeling like his enemies claimed. Au contraire. The truth was far more twisted and complex than that, The truth was he in fact felt so much, so deeply, so uniquely, and on so many convoluted levels of unconsciousness at all times, that he was burdened by exceptional needs. Anyone exceptional could see that. Exceptional needs require exceptional efforts to reach minimal satisfaction. Even as a burden becomes a blessing. What more than satisfaction is so vital to be had? Just like profit. A man must be a man at all times. Demonstrations of strength are required. It wasn’t only, for example, that Vlad could move his pecs in a semi-circle by merely gritting his false teeth. There was so much more than the truth to him. He could also pull off an impressive number of push-ups and great squat thrusts by cheating in tight pirated jeans. Both required great discipline. And great thighs. A disciplined mind was key. Every truly great man’s man knows that.

Drumpf, Jr. had not yet understood what he had been looking for until he discovered Vlad. They were introduced by a modestly well connected middleman from Deutsche Bank, Danny Murktry, who traded AAA bonds on Wall St. packaged from the disguised dregs of BBB bonds backed by used car loans, and who frequented a wallpaper showroom on the seventh floor of The D&D Building after hours, a very exclusive floor. Danny Murktry was always good at math. But, his needs included more than more money. From the information Drumpf, Jr. had been able to purchase from reliable clandestine sources, the man liked it rough, nothing wrong with that, his code name Paladin, though with his leather buttery soft underneath, and preferably, when in current stock, a pale peachy mauve from Zimmer & Rohde of Oberursel.

“He won’t let you down,” Jr. was assured. “All you need to do is get one glimpse of him on top of a roan stallion. He offers the full package.”

Danny Murktry had earned a chill million dollar commission on the bonds derived from his doomed auto loans. It wasn’t going to be him getting screwed in the end. Jr. had no cause to be overly suspicious. The guy was nearly a genius. He was happy to provide a service and a favor in return for the thrill of being owed.

“Set up the next meeting.”

“Consider it done.”

Jr. met with Vlad to explore areas of interests on an Aeroflot prop plane with rudimentary recording devices operated by rigged switches in a hangar at LaGuardia. A live and colorful demonstration in quadraphonic sound followed. Stiff soldiers in starched uniforms were buff and polished. Highlights of the demonstration featured sensual jujitsu, sticky sword play, Swedish body work, and modified Mandarin massage by skilled professionals. Sophisticated video and audiotapes were distributed by obedient assistants.

Jr. recognized a winner when he saw one. He came across scumbags, posers, hucksters, and frauds every day trying to put one over on him. But, real savvy requires more than brains. Or math. No more stellar example existed in all of human history than Jr. himself. A sideshow carny must master slight of hand, hip fakes, and shifts. There are shrugs to employ, empty gestures. Practice, practice, practice trumps theory. But, had Jr. ever felt satisfied? No fucking way. He could not afford to be, not with interest rates soaring. The subtleties of size in spinning balls make all the difference to a man who juggles. Jr. had learned how with no more than a penny ante stake on a table to show off the lopsided bounce of his balls, to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars from Bear, Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Sunni sheiks, Schoolteacher pension funds, AIG, Teamster pension funds, Conservative Jews, inherited trust accounts, and benevolent and fraternal orders of former Neo-Nazi deniers from Antwerp and Brussels. And yet, though no ball bounces higher than an unstuck greenback dollar, discounted rubles coming from a resurrected KGB survivor, and with such an array of additional services to offer, were something new and exciting. Plus, looted gold and jewels from a crushed empire tossed in as a symbol of true fidelity. Good will like that went a long way to cementing a lasting relationship.

Jr. was confirmed by his religion to be faithfully orthodox zero-sum, not a flaky win-win kind of guy. There were always conditions to be met in charades of commerce. But, still.

So many enemies on his list needed to be dispatched with ruthless speed, cunning, and aggression. All his lists.

“Let’s start out with something small.”

“Standard or custom, no minimums, no money down, multiple options, satisfaction guaranteed, no problem.”

“I’ll point at a target.”

“Say when.”

“I don’t say how.”

“Build it up, tear it down, no problem.”

“You take it from there.”

“Manufacturing, mining, forgery, revenge, no matter.”

“I choose.”

“Name it.”

“Dirty tricks.”

“Tricks for real.”

“Multiple choices.”

“True.”

“We never forget tonight.”

“Nyet.”

“We never had this conversation.”

“Da.”

“We’ll crush one pesky bug at a time.”

“All we need is one name.”

“I will choose one who’s totally out of control.”

“There must always be control.”

Jr. flexed his exceptional intelligence and considered multiples options in real time. He closed his eyes and focused in the darkness on a target. Who said multiple choice tests were easy? He was squeezing his flabby ass as hard as any black hole. All choices beyond true and false were hard. Forget goony essays. Words were never going to be as powerful as numbers ever again. Jr. learned that at Wharton as well as the hard way. He calculated cost and insurance until spittle began to grow solid. What small potato bug would satisfy most to squash as the start of something big?

He was momentarily stumped until inspiration came in for a slick landing between his shoulders. He nearly smacked his own head in the same soft spot pioneered by the hand of Drumpf, Sr. How could he forget that his best judgments always came in a snap? There were so many enemies that deserved to disappear, but why not start at the beginning?

Any nag trailing the field right out of the starting gate is destined to become glue anyway.

“My mind’s made up.”

Let the dust rise and fall.

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The Gate Swings Open

Bonnie waved her good-bye without looking back and the gate closed behind her. She had arrived fortified with certainty, purpose, and intent, and was leaving confused. Zeno did not appear to be the loathsome and irredeemable creature described to her. What if the truth and nothing but turns out to be missing another link and spins between magnetic poles once again? She knew what that was like. Bonnie was a hard worker. She strived to be thorough in the fulfillment of her tasks. She was conscientious and accountable. But, without the security provided by her certainty she was prone to historically drift. Wasn’t that how she ended up sleeping in the street outside of the gates at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry, India? Or starving in a string hammock stretched above a floor of mud in El Yunque where the rain never ebbed, only flowed? It was always a man at fault. She had too much proof of the truth and consequences to forget. Isn’t that the reason why she was done with men for good?

Her perplexity was captured by the first of several cameras attached to rolling platforms in a pair of red manzanita trees that flanked the rocky road. All angles of the only way in and out were covered. The remotely controlled cameras were silently activated each time the gate opened or closed on a constant loop. Duane Von Witzel had designed and written all of the code, flawlessly. No fuzzy thinking or displays of emotion from his corner. Bonnie stopped to check her hair in the rear view mirror and fret. She was nearly thirty years old. The hair was turning into a dry, stringy mess, her lips chapped, skin on her arms flaking and beginning to freckle and spot. Her pink cheeks and creamy white skin could be such a burden. She dug into her purse for a tube of lotion and added a touch of lip gloss. The license plate on the rear of her thrifty Isuzu hatchback was clearly framed in the second camera, along with a colorful array of bumper stickers, Clinton/Gore, Save Our Shores, Pack Your Trash, Barbara Boxer Gives a Damn.

Later, after all of the data had been entered, the graphs, charts, and formulas updated, and the images transmitted in real time to a monitor inside of a double wide trailer located on the adjacent ninety-seven acre property, a valuable parcel which was stuck in a complicated escrow bind pending approval by Santa Cruz County Commissioners of a highly innovative and idealistic development project featuring a world class golf course that was planned to beneficially clearcut, grade, and level a combined 12000 years of redwood tree growth, Duane Von Witzel would try to maintain focus on the comforting image of Bonnie’s smooth red Anglo-Saxon lips. It helped to block out the horrific portrait that came to mind of the mongrel Jew cunt, Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator from California.

He called his contact in the Eastern time zone with a concise verbal summary in outline form of the latest documentation soon to arrive at the office by speedy courier. Sort of. An apparent dispute manifesting between erratic individuals in the construction trades was causing tumult at the warehouse location in Flushing, Queens. The level of decibels in the background was painfully high. It made straightforward communication more difficult than usual. Duane had previously attempted to explain the basics of ascii in the simplest of layman terms to provide helpful pedantic context to the mutt prior to delivering the meat of his remarks. But, alas, to little avail. There are those who can and then there are those who cannot. But in the big picture, Duane was no teacher. He was a doer.

He heard, “Yeah, I’ll be waiting with bated breath. What else you got?”

Believe me, this is only the beginning.”

Ordinarily, Duane Von Witzel allowed little of his dynamic intellectual energy to be squandered on the dismal affairs of weak and inadequate misfits and lowlife scum, but he understood that a chain of command based upon practice and proximity in Flushing, Queens had to be maintained. Of course no one could be expected to match his intellectual output back there, or anywhere. He was a uniquely creative and elevated thinker, born to rise high above the mewling crowd. He was wholesomely raised by pure and authentic pioneer stock, a gleaming lineage he could trace back to the Hohenzollern Brandenburgs circa 1415, destined to be kings of mighty Prussia. No reprobates, delinquents, or quitters there. His academic achievements remained historic in the annals of Indiana secondary schools. Nothing less than an A in mathematics, ever. That included the college level calculus course he aced as a second semester junior in high school. He was certified a genius by the Tippecanoe Valley School District, not once, but twice, first time ever. Foreign languages and physical education did not count. He defiantly refused to countenance not only Marxism-Leninism, fuzzy thinking, folk music, dark skin, big noses, slant eyes, unshaven legs, school busing, gun control, equal rights, uncuffed trousers, foul mouthed humor, imported cotton, and untoward public displays of female emotion, but loud colors, abstract theories, religious heresies, marijuana, government handouts, evolution from apes, and especially majority rule. By definition, a majority performed at a level below average, or nearly so, which languished too close to the presence of apes to be comforting. Even workaday dolts burdened with dull, pointless lives should be able to understand that much, for their own good, and stand respectfully aside.

Don’t bother calling again until you got something good.”

The trend is up, up, and climbing.”

Yeah, like all I got to do all day long is follow the next loony-toon trend circling the next drain.”

Duane began experiencing instant success in the illuminating hush-hush field of information extraction and management for the F.D. Drumpf Organization during his hyperactive summer of 1973, assisting in the promotion of what turned out to be a cataclysmic tennis contest of asexual prowess between Bobby Riggs, a major disappointment, and Billie Jean King, another vile cunt. The job soon evolved into a personal as well as a professional crusade for him, an affirmation of alpha over beta, heaven risen higher than mud. Elements unable to rise by nature deserved to drop like lead. Socially, too. Perhaps especially socially. He had finished the bulk of work on his M.S. at M.I.T. at the time, and was considering several offers. There was never a doubt that the choice he made was 100% correct.

The practical experience he garnered in the trenches turned out handsomely from the very beginning. At the deepest level Duane became immersed in the fundamentals of ground shattering parabolic surveillance. Nothing fuzzy about it. Performers perform. Period. Those seated in the strategic inner circle of the Drumpf Corporation appreciated and understood best. He hit it off particularly well with the scion F.D. Drumpf, Jr., another dynamic personality who possessed unbridled magnetism and character. Duane was not surprised to learn of the genetic ancestry shared between their ancient families. Doers do. It’s what’s always been done. Period. The commingling of the pure Aryan roots between the Drumps and the Von Witzels went back to the black woods of Baden-Wurtemberg, a dark and promised land bounded by the beauteous Rhine Valley. They were all deep and profoundly unhappy people back then, and they made it work.

Duane began to derive and extrapolate revealing data from Bonnie’s license plate as soon as he arrived home from his nominal day job at Sun Microsystems in Santa Clara, where he was achieving ground shattering results in limitless storage capacity daily. He stretched out on the padded avocado green carpeting of his uniquely unfurnished condominium to minimize discomfort from a minor case of irritable bowel syndrome and munched finger licking chicken forms as he pecked at the keyboard. Deftly, he probed at the weaknesses in Bonnie’s digital defenses. It was pure pleasure. He created charts, lists, compilations. He was soon able to glean a stream of high value data from her credit card purchases. The joy of superior achievement was unmatched. Of course, he licked his fingers. Who could resist? The secret blend of corn oil, salt, saltpeter, and dextrose monohydrate was enormously satisfying. He washed it down with the economical rain barrel size of Diet Dr. Pepper, straight, no ice, as he delved deeper. And a gooey tub of generic sweetness as a reward.

Bonnie’s recent credit card purchases included two sets of twin size sheets and pillow cases featuring copyrighted characters Tigger, Kanga, and Rabbit, from Winnie the Pooh Authorized Trademarks, Inc. and two sheet sets featuring pirated versions of unlicensed characters from Star Wars at The Little People Store. Plus a cute night light with bunny ears and a rubber ducky for the tub. A day earlier she bought finger paints, crayons, and chalk at Palace Arts in Capitola, plus a half ton load of mini fir bark delivered by Evergreen Landscape Supply. Duane felt he would have to look deeper into that and assess the potential of arson as a motive. Earlier, she drove from the revamped and expanded Safeway in Soquel, where she stocked up on a large assortment of cranberry, cran-apple, and cran-grape juice packs, to The Buttery in Santa Cruz, where she placed a large deposit on a birthday cake to be picked up the following Saturday.

It became abundantly clear to Duane that a likely X was leading by default to a definitive model Y. Bonnie’s character, or lack of, was not only lamentably flawed, but common. Another presumably unmarried hippie fornicator, unschooled, unwise, and inherently unstable. They continued to flock like primitive lemmings to the central coast of California, to grovel without shame on the beach and in the waves, and to clamor for their entitlements and handouts. The fragile existence of uplifting technology, scientific advancement, stock options, and property rights was in constant jeopardy wherever such an irresponsible and disproportional majority ruled.

Duane knew what had to be done. No one understood the implications better.

Of course they would misguidedly attempt to block the cutting edge achievement represented by a world class golf course carved out of an empty redwood forest. Of course, they would remain incapable of understanding that tall trees pay no property taxes. Of course, they had to be stopped everywhere, but nowhere more than here and now, once and for all.

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