Under pressure from my Chinese overlord I paced in a small room with high walls that I could not get around. It was not so much that I felt unduly restricted inside of the room as I did not know where to go next. If I sat in the vicinity of where I typically take my news of current events, on my ass, I would no longer be able to appropriately pace. According to the terms of my surrender, the desire of my Chinese overlord was by now contractually my wish. Contracts consisting of numbered pages, and lots of ’em, in my experience while serving not only my Chinese overlord but unnamed others, are known to be as flexible as tempered steel. If I could fit my vision through a mere PVC pipe that gave a little leeway I could perhaps see a way out. Once out, who knows? I have never seen the sun shine through the smog in Shanghai but I feel strongly it is still up there. I feel equally strongly that the tawny owl would know for sure but I’d need to in fact be first far out and already free before approaching his altitude.
It factually seemed as if the pressure that fit the evidence inside of the room was getting to me more or less. Like, duh. Unless that pressure I felt was in fact the standard duress symptomatic of numbered subjects in experiments under exceptional conditions of confinement. And that steel was still only iron and slag, molten. But, who can ever really know before the fact what the fuck gives?
I needed an idea. Otherwise, what good was I to anyone? None, that’s what. In that circumstance, what I brought to the table inside of the room was sort of kind of iffy. I knew it better than any straw man ever could. No guarantees are to be found inside of an empty box. That was contained in the contract, too, not only on one page, but on a whole fucking bunch of pages. I didn’t choose to read any of them carefully but that’s what I was told in confidence.
My most recently previous best idea, to cultivate poison oak for the ornamental beauty of the leaves when they dried out and turned colors in September, or August during conditions of severe drought, and export them globally wherever they had not previously been imported, I admit did not turn out so well. I did not know then as I do now that nothing can escape from the gravitational pull of a black hole. I am still living large, though, which means I am still learning.
Several of my best ideas previous to that one, some inevitably better and others worse, which is the basis of all judicious speculation, just ask Warren Buffett or Stephen Hawking for confirmation, included a glossy pamphlet touting ordinary items considered to be must-haves on any bucket list, take your pick from Column C-F, a plus-size line of edible hemp caftans and cover-ups, embossed with faux gold thread, a tube for removing toe groat with no bending over, and a map of homes to the ancient stars unfolding with no bending over.
And then it hit me. Or, to strike closer to the spiritual core of all finite life inside of that room as only I knew it to be, slapped me silly. But I kept my feet and knees on straight, no unsightly bowing, as my wits began to spin around me.
What gives? What else? Life and life only as we know it, right? You get it, you take it, you buy it, you break it, you own it. So now, let’s see you make something of it.
The theory was simple. It remains so. Diminishing resources require drastic surgical procedures. Look into the mirror and examine the measurable results.
First, my Chinese overlord incorporated the idea into a packaged subsidiary of his unnamed conglomerate registered strategically in the Cayman Islands. Then he received landed status in Delaware to accrue benefits from the luminosity of the local tax code. That was no less than expected. You’d do the same. Unless what gives is more accurately taken.
Thus, and only thus, when formatted into English where only one language may be checked inside of any random box, I became accountably liable for the operational system of Squeezezee Bros. et Cie, Natural Concoctions Non-Ltd.
It was about time to get down to the business of massive production.
The yin twin found me the next week severely bent over at my desk, suffering from jet lag. How many days had passed anyway?
She said, “Is that what you do, doodle in the margins?”
I said, “Sort of kind of.”
“It looks like a plain old bowl.”
“It’s a head, actually.”
She said, “Not to me.”
I said, “It still needs work.”
My formal occupation within the framework of a potentially menacing worldwide economic free-for-all is kept secret from the tween twins due to color coded security considerations. I hem and haw a lot when the subject comes up. Prototypes can become technically tricky when let loose prematurely.
I said, “I’d better get back to work.”
She said, “I’m not stopping you.”
“I need to make myself more attractive to unleashed venture capital.”
“Do you think doodling will do it?”
“I don’t see it.”
I said, “Believe me, it’s for the best.”
“If it’s a head, where’s the rest?”
“Believe me, it’s coming. It’s a process.”
She said, “As if.”
I learned early in my career that the next words from the mouth of an associate in the global miasma who avows, “Believe me,” will invariably be an absolute lie of some relative significance. How else do you think returns become diminishing? But, in my case, in my dual role as the father of tween twins, a relationship I maintained with delicacy while in quasi-balance with my commitment as a traitor to my species in the war against clueless human enablers of venal cats who murder beautiful birds, I had my mitigating circumstances for which allowances are perpetually made.
After the yin twin left me to my own devices, the crisis reemerged. What I did as a consequence, sequentially, was first look once more into the mirror. This time I was careful to take notes. Wrinkles in any new plan must be ironed out in any ongoing process. It was difficult to maintain the straightest of facades when gravity was so overwhelming. A bold strategy complete with a regimen of cutting edge tactics was required, no flimsy creams or ointments. It gave me pause. How to design a revolutionary product that would be scantly utilized, but provide respectable numbers. It should be more simple, right?
I spoke assertively to myself, which I tend to do in a sparkling manner, “Better get a move on.”
The design of the freely floating platform upon which the revolutionary new head revolved became a key sticking point. Excessive secretions that gummed up the works were a no-no. The axis in technical support of rotation also needed lubrication. The theoretically endless tensile possibilities needed to be narrowed down and honed, stylistically no less than mechanistically. The final solution by definition of the specs would need to be unshrouded, untethered, and united when untied. Think ball bearings with the density of bubbles. No straight lines, no poles, no couplings, no gimmicky crapola.
It was a challenge to keep my vision aimed solidly on the ground where the task at hand remained. But everything depended upon it.
Speaking up to myself once again, I said, “Don’t fuck up.”
Later, when the yang twin disturbed me in a random quest for I can’t remember what exactly, entertainment, food, or money the most commonly trivial candidates, I looked up in a sweaty tizzy, and with the passion I attained at great risk for most things, causes, activities, and obsessions that fit my personality when inspired, I asked in all humble honesty, “What do you think?”
He said, “It looks like an empty head.”