The weighty logic was constructed to be elegant, titillating, and yet pure. No tons of bricks were falling like mist. No cracks, no rust, no unsightly stains marring the straight columns. Surely that was evidence of a mean lean machine screwed on a mighty head tight. Right white, too. If it can be done, do it. Why? Money, honey. But, don’t ask why.
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider looked up from the cheat sheet he’d been consulting, and said, “What do you think?”
I said, “Every good punch line needs a joke that’s funny.”
The dust drifted pointedly in proximity, clogging my passageways. His eyes only looked pink. But, on the copyrighted Pantone color wheel, who knew? From year to year, modalities start to shift in hot liquid and then sink. Right there you have the origin of nostalgia items. And then what? Vapor? I pretended that if I went back in time an hour, I would be able to make my tony choices more wisely.
He said, “Bear with me while I reboot.”
He had been practicing the spiel he would be presenting to a cafe klatch of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley for that hour, plus. Any day now could be his day. But, they would give him four minutes, tops. That’s how modern wars are won, hopped up on primo caffeine. Whoever they are.
“Against strong enemies, you’d best learn to bob and weave.”
“Who said anything about enemies?”
If I did not need so much cold hard currency in such a timely manner I would take a walk on the beach. I would take a flying leap. I would not fall into a trap. I would exercise free will.
Then, suddenly inspired, I said, “It might make me feel better to sleep on it.”
I knew from experience that his attention deficit disorder was about to start blooming. I was counting on it. He would proceed to confuse flora with fauna, terra cotta with red clay, dull with matte. He was fixating on an odd spot of blood at the tip of his tongue and considering its source. Before reaching the point where I would wrap my neck in a noose, I was determined to disrupt the centrifugal flow of his drain. I was visualizing a mountain of garbage with gulls squatting on top, turning tricks for oily peanuts. That should give any orator pause.
He admitted, “When you start so hard, fast, and furious at the end, the middle really needs to hold up strong.”
He had alleged without benefit of humorous asides to have concocted an algorithm-driven neck brace that was guaranteed to cause no distress to unsuspecting toddlers once strapped up and in, who were not the target audience naturally, which would be one of, or two of, parents or grandparents or family well wishers with the cash or credit, though still the end user, and therefore a somewhat important quantity requiring thoughtful consideration and deft measurement if tangible results were to follow. The product was going to be guaranteed to facilitate the extraction of a vastly more than moderately cute selfie from a manipulated poser once the how to’s of creating a true and rarely valuable cutting edge selfie had been adequately studied. No social identifier does and will continue to exist greater than a confidently posed selfie. Facilitating selfies, that became and becomes the meaty kernel in a nutshell. The only additives needed would be recently acquired straight and shiny teeth. A minimum of two should adequately do.
I said, “Say that again?”
“The guarantee is standard boiler plate, no need to worry about it.”
I did remain, do remain, and will perennially remain aware that I have done what I did not want to do many times before, lots of which times blew up in my fucking mind, and yet did not die all the way at once from exposure, even with my indecent ass exposed. It was enough to make pompous Occam toss his razor and grow a scraggly beard. That’s one side of one premise in one logic after choosing sides with pointy digits that used to be fingers.
“That’s where the capital comes in. For tweaking. But the algorithm is solid. I bought it off of a snotty nerd at Stanford for peanuts. He blew it on a couple of kegs of lite beer that he threw up in a parking lot on the outskirts of Palo Alto. What a douche. Sure, selfies are bound to be taught as a standard matter of course in pre-school. But, these lucky tots will have a head start. Any two year old is fair game. Just forget the guarantee for now. All’s fair in war. Next, I need to come up with an elastic fabric that’s soft, pliable, spongy, drains well, won’t pinch, and stays shiny.”
I said, “It has always been a lot easier to buy and manipulate an image than sell a product for more than peanuts.”
“I love your input. That’s why I need you to get in on this from the ground floor.”
“I’ve been there.”
“But, you can envision the big picture. Superficially unwilling toddlers are unconsciously an untapped demographic. It makes plain sense. What could be greater than that?”
I needed new stacks of money in such a great hurry because the government had confiscated such a shitload of mine to give to bombs, babies, bonuses, brigands, billy clubs, bridges to nowhere. Not just one government, a shitload of governments. Names and faces were deliberately obscured. I was called in to recline in the requisite position and get trampled by heavy boots. Arms of an unnatural law came with tentacles attached. Legs, too. A load of dirt was dumped with my imprint on it. There was an obscene document whipped out in indelible ink. I still have the evidence of track marks to show for it.
A thin man who had twitched like a rabbit in an office that smelled like broccoli, said, “I’m sorry to say this will be recorded on your permanent record.”
He claimed to have the final word. I had remarkably next to nothing to say. It was either redundant, allocation, or distribution. Unless it was redistribution. It was the category of word that is difficult to remember accurately. Some unknown magnitude of ennui precipitated wrinkled lobes internally. Perhaps a defensive construct. A derivative of a compound more than likely. I did manage to say, “What the fuck?”
Otherwise, why would I be here now after fleeing there then, listening nominally to this reduction of special sauce as it morphed into goo?
The Unpaid Internet Content Provider said, “It’s still in beta stage.”
I said, “Me too.”
I did not, do not, and according to pertinent evidence would not ever be likely to doubt in the so-called future that poses can be taught at a green, pink, or ripe red age of innocence, corrected and perfected during rigorous weekly sessions, quantified by formulas, and stacked in warehouses guarded by religious and numerical orders that are strictly off limits to commoners. Like any manufacturing process on an assembly line. Zoom, zoom. Like duh.
I said, “There’s an expanding market emerging for products in the amelioration of internal bleeding.”
He said, “Tell me about it.”