“Oh God! Am I stoned!”
“Uhhhh! Just shoot me right here, right now, I can't even move.”
“Carolyn, I can see my heart beat. I see the blood! There is blood loose inside my skin.”
“Come on Dominique, don't bum me out!”
“You do not understand, King!”
“I understand all I need to. You're just high. You've been here before.”
“Yes, but not like this.”
“We're all here with you, Dominique.”
“Are you sure Marilyn?”
“Can anybody be sure of anything, Carolyn?”
That what it was like in the inner circle. That was how we spent our down time. We stumbled and mumbled and thought out loud. Sometimes those times turned out to be the most productive- after we get back to the world.
In my spare time, between scenes like the one above, I wrote. After the PSYCHENETICS- OPERATORS MANUAL I began work on the second installment of the PSYCHENETICS-OPERATORS MANUAL. VOLUME 2- TAPPING THE POWER INSIDE. Bullshit paid the bills. Volume 1 sold l,ll0,l65 copies in the first year at $32.00 per copy. It was on the best seller list for months.
“Hay Carolyn! How much is l,ll0,l65 copies at $32.00 each?”
“What's my share of that?”
“Just curious. Maybe we should start our own publishing company”
“Your wish is my command.”
Who was buying all those books? The same people who bought the I'M PSYCHED ON PSYCHENETICS ® tee shirts, the PSYCHENETICS POWER RING ® ear rings, The WHAT IN GOD'S NAME IS PSYCHENETICS? ® bumper stickers and all the rest of the crap. Carolyn wanted us to put out a mail order catalog for all our products. We did. As usual she was right. We made a fortune. We published a poster of Dominique in black leather. Jayne crouched at her feet with a leash round her neck. She had on one of the gauze silk little girl dresses she liked so much. At the bottom of the poster it said, GET YOUR EMOTIONS UNDER CONTROL WITH PSYCHENETICS ®. It sold 3 million copies at $5.00 each.
Then there was the autographed picture of me in my ripped jeans, tee shirt and black leather jacket. I was wearing sunglasses and sitting on the hood of a big black BMW sedan.
Our clients who then called themselves YUPPIES all drove Beemers. They loved the materialism, the limos, the houses, the seminar retreat complex we built in Marin on Lucas Valley Road, The PSYCHENETICS ® CENTERS. We could do no wrong.
I was in my office late one afternoon. The morning sun had wilted the plants on the deck & they were just beginning to recover. In the bird bath, outside the closed French doors, a couple of black birds played in the fountain. The newly installed oiled cedar paneling perfumed the room.
“Carolyn wants to talk to us about ...”
“Yes,” Dominique said.
Carolyn was right behind her, portable phone in hand.
“Why don't you have a com-link implant Carolyn? I don't think I’ve ever seen you without that phone.”
She sat on the edge of the desk and crossed her legs.
“Well what do you want? Whenever you flash a little leg I know you want something.”
“Shut up fool.”
“Dominique! Did you hear her?”
“Watch it Bitch!” Dominique said. “Even though you are right.”
Carolyn laughed and stuck out he tongue.
“Well, come on come on, I'm a busy man. Philosophies to make up, converts to con, grunting and sweating herds to guide, I’m a busy man I yam, I yam. You might think I’m the Mad Hatter but this ain't no fucking tea party!” I yelled and tried to reach up her dress.
“Oh yassa massa!” She said as she spread her legs imperceptibly.
“Don't try to get off groveling! It won't do you any good. I know you too well. You only like that when you're getting laid.”
My hand moved higher.
“OK Come on King, get your hand out of Carolyns' crotch and let's take care of business.” Marilyn said and tossed her brief case on the couch.
“Well look who’s here. Where have you been?”
“I’ve been on the road pushing franchises and working out the bugs in SATISFACTION.”
She looked great. Tanned and happy, her long arms and legs bare, she was a crazy pixie in a little black dress.
“Marilyn, you look good enough to eat.”
“Take me! Take me!” She said. She spread her arms and legs and twisted her lips in a grotesque burlesque of passion, like a stripper in a low rent theater.
Everybody broke up.
We sat down at the conference table. I called Silvia and told her to send up some coffee and more coke.
“OK Meeting called to order. Carolyn what do you want?”
“I think we need a separate umbrella for the assets of PSYCHENETICS INC.”
“What do you mean separate?”
“I mean separate, like a trust. As it is we’re paying too much money in taxes. Property taxes alone are huge.”
“So?” I said, and yawned.
I stared at the cracks between the sections of paneling and wondered what it would be like to be small enough to slip down those cracks like the incredible shrinking man.
“So...we need a plan.”
“For what?” I yawned.
“For the umbrella.”
“We could call it Earl.”
“Oh no, not Earl again!” Marilyn screamed.
“Come on King! Get serious!” Carolyn said.
“What else is new?”
“Oh fuck it! Why don’t we become a religion. That way we wouldn’t have to pay taxes at all.” I said.
“Whoh! Are we ready for that?” Marilyn said and went back to painting her finger nails.
Carolyn sat there, lost in thought.
“Why not?” I said.
“Actually that is a good idea. Again you inspire us my love.” Dominique said.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. Can the applause. Can I go now?” I started to stand up.
“Oh no you don't.” Carolyn said and grabbed my arm. “We have a lot of ground to cover.”
“This is business.” I grumbled and sat down.
“It's no tea party!” Carolyn said.
“Thank you Miss ‘Thing’! Thanks for the input!............ Bitch!”
Everybody broke up.
Silvia knocked and entered with a heavy silver coffee service and a bag of coke.
“It's about time! Let's fuel up! Too much work is unhealthy.”
I spooned out a heaped spoon, dumped it on the table top and slid the jar and the spoon across the table to Dominique. She scooped up two dainty hits and passed it on to Marilyn who passed it to Carolyn without taking any.
“What's the matter Marilyn? On the wagon?”
Carolyn laughed. A spoon load of snow dusted the oiled tabletop.
“God damn it King!”
“You’re going to pay for that, Carolyn. Waste not want not.” I said and smiled innocently. I waited for her to try again.
When she did I yelled, “Watch it Carolyn, you're going to spill it!” Another load snowed the table top.
“I told you.” I said.
She scooped it into lines and snorted it.
I got up and walked to the window. Over the trees royal blue, violet and creamy white tinged the smoky red sunset sky. A cloud of white doves swirled over the tree tops. Night draped a royal curtain across the top of the sky as the sun descended gracefully toward the lake. As I watched, the swans flapped their wings in unison and waved good-bye to another day.