August 4, 2008

It’s been done before. But it’s still pigment.

Brian Pain, his back to the floor, was spooning McGuire in a rear naked choke. Both blocked the door and looked up at their seven quiet room-mates.

[Pain, whispering in McGuire’s ear]:
“It’s easy now. Easy now. Sssshhhh.”

“Hey Joel, remember my days in your days? No? Who, then, will say goodbye to me?

Yeah, well I feel an uneasiness. Worldly girls disgust away. Massive friendships decline dis-mallay. And this occurs incessantly.

Soley when I visualize them adjusted elsewhere, do altruistic loves always-smile and have vitality-contagious.

What’s needed is a total lack of I. I’s gone and apathy kiss me joy-flee.”

This was McGuire’s unheard lament and here’s how it came about.

Pain panicked as McGuire towed Underwood into the meeting room. He hurriedly activated his Communicate Shield twin and leapt like a bulked-up ballerina through a table, two chairs and a minute taker. He came up short of McGuire’s torso and scurried away to survey the situation.

[Pain, full of predatory thought]:
“These people are nothing. Frozen, passive and frightened. I could dust myself off, apologize and blame this skittled scene on strobe lighting. I reckon they’d meekly laugh it off and continue with the meeting. Roar.“

Pain, of course, decided not to put it down to insanity. He launched towards McGuire shattering the man’s jaw with his knuckles. The follow-through elbow to the temple knocked him out. Pain gathered McGuire’s falling, pole-axed body in his right arm and headed for the door.

He passed Underwood en route. Joel’s Aussie Rules background clicked in such that he jumped after Pain with a flying tackle. He used to be an excellent footy player but that was then and now he missed his target and cracked his chin on the ground. And then Pain engaged his choke on the limp McGuire.

“Everyone back away or he will die. [scanning the group with a nod, nod and a nod]”

[Andrew Cimpton, CEO of Quiet Brilliance Productions, urged managerially]:
“Everybody listen to him. Let’s not do anything… anything… that will imperil this man’s life or limb.”

As McGuire gurgled a flicker of consciousness, Pain sent him back into unconsciousness. Happened a few times. McGuire’s face was an orange with the juice squeezed to bursting point.

But McGuire had already split from his body and been washed up on his inner shelf. That place was raw and over-dramatic; sometimes a reprimanding parent, other times an exuberant child. Finally, a glum analyst.

For example, in his first resurgence of consciousness, McGuire decided that he shouldn’t believe this was happening. For he had been ecstatic and the thrill had only just started. Baffled and indignant, he would make sure this man paid dearly. Out.

In another he seethed so much that he’d welt every bubble in his body… if he could connect to it. Out.

Yet he knew he was dwindling. And powerless. The colossal realization of an impending end caused that most dreadful and despairing collapse recorded earlier.

[McGuire, mentally mumbling]:
“I wouldn’t be a salesman again. Not that kind of salesman. I’d be… I dunno. Who did I impress with my suit, smile and shoeshine? Everyone. But I wish I loved more. That would be memorable. Then again, it won’t matter what others think of me. I won’t know.”

This situation was horrifyingly incongruous. It didn’t feel real. McGuire was only used to living. He was terrified what would happen after the POP or Pftd.

And he felt scammed and abandoned by Layla. She had been a brand new paradigm to rest on. Now he could see that just because a story requires a mountain of scaffolding doesn’t make it of monumental value. It’s a work in progress – like every other escapist idea that presents fantasy figures to obtain capital injection.

No, Layla was just a salesman like him with a big box of psych tricks … compelling personality, full of emotional inspiration and chasing a commission. Doesn’t care if people are damaged. He always said salespeople are the easiest to sell to. Suckers for a story; the more outrageous the proposition the better. Ho ho ho, what fun to be on the receiving end.

Could she help him now? It was in her interest. But no. The evidence was abundant that the power of genocide and wanton cruelty is far greater and more pervasive than spasms of universal community. Add to that those debilitating daily incivilities and injustices.

Like at the mall. That day when he met his brother John half-way. Being early he’d sat on his own… drinking coffee. Sparse mall, so he noticed the young girl lead the man to the table. Dark sunglasses on the blind man. Was he dad? The man fumbled and found his way onto his chair.

Soon a teenage couple noisily and happily slid in nearby. The male went off. The female became uncomfortable with that man staring at her breasts brazenly. Embarrassed and curled up till her mate returned. Distressed, she pointed out the freak and the infuriated partner bounced up from their table, picked up a chair and swung it forcibly into the offending face. And didn’t stop there until his damsel begged him and dragged him away. He was snorting and jaunty having dispensed justice.

He’d never forgotten the shocked screaming of that little girl – the harrowingly perplexed little girl. Yes, he felt like her now.

[McGuire, last thoughts]:
“Brian Pain… remember my days in your haze? Your beard is kind of comforting to snuggle into. I dreamed of beauty with the long, brown hair. What a joke. What does it matter? I know nothing except…

hearts don’t love
they just pump blood

and stop
from time to time.”

[Underwood, flat, seemed to have taken it on the chin]:
“This is it then?”

The Special Response team crashed against the door in volleys until they had shunted it forward enough for team leader Dillon to squeeze through.

“Let him go.”

[Underwood, forlornly]:
“He will not. He will not let him go”

[Pain, hands raised defensively as if assisting all along]:
“There. I let him go.”

[Dillon, running on the spot as Special Response and media personnel purposefully clogged up the room]:
“Fuck, fuck, fuck. Secure this room. And… close down your equipment. I have to take your equipment. You’ll get it back… tomorrow.

[observing Pain’s cradling, shouts sarcastically] Nice touch Brian. Did you love him?”

“Hhhhmmmm. No. My duty was to hold this fort. But I made sure he wasn’t in much pain. I am merciful and… full of compassion.”

“Compression isn’t the same as compassion.”

Pain shrugged dismissively.

“You’ve done it. You’ve finally done it. I think it’s all over.

“For you. It’s a new dawn for us. You know that. We don’t need Layla any more. It is for the Greater Good.”

[Underwood, angry and pointing]:
“Arrest this murderer.”

“You. Joel Underwood. Get over there with the rest of them. We need to interview all of you together.”

[McGuire, unexpectedly firing again]:
“Hold on. I realize what Layla means. Love isn’t blind. Love is all-seeing.”


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