"Wire walkers stretch the limits of going out for a walk.
The wire stretches from point to point.
It's simplicities cage.
The limo bridged the oily river. Cargo boats scurried below, like ragged, rats, hungry to squeeze out the last dregs of profit from the dying economy- just like us.
In every city there was someone to meet us and someone to treat us nice, a place to sleep, luxury, wonderful food to eat, and limos. I dreaded betting my life with anyone but Joseph at the wheel but we moved too fast. Joseph and Armand literally rode shotgun. They left the driving to those who knew the cities. This one lay open for us like spoils for a conqueror.
Outside, the sun silhouetted ancient brick and rusted steel. It cast cold, malevolent shadows on the ice glazed street along the route. The cavernous Mercedes interior was sleek and efficient computer equipment, fax feeds and communication array accompanied us when we went on the road. Dominique would rather part with an arm or a leg than with her link.
On the opposite seat Carolyn was a marauder in repose. Her black spike heel swung like a scythe.
Whisper low Dominique spoke into her phone head set as she scanned the stats on the tour revenues. Stylish, black reading glasses frame her shadow eyes.
“It is very plain," She said as she removed her glasses.
“What's that Dominique?” I said and yawned, glad to escape from the hypnotic motion of Carolyn’s deadly shoe.
“It is simple. they use us to improve their own market share. We subvert our own and become subservient to them.”
“Without a lot of risk.” Carolyn added.
“Exactly. Or marketing, or molding and shaping.”
“That’s nice Dominique. What are you going to do?” I yawned again.
“Offer them a gradually reduced market share. We need to retain more because of unanticipated capitol plans. It is only temporary, while we restructure. “
“After an appropriate time has passed we will buy them out.”
“Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.” Carolyn said and giggled sardonically. She mimed cocking a pistol, pointed it and pulled the trigger.
“No more franchises.” Dominique concluded.
My head ached. In spite of the regal luxury, the incessant travel had me down. My only consolation was to pretend I was Atilla the Hun.
Outside was another waste-land of dead gray concrete and harsh streetlights. An occasional lone shadow battled the snow.
“What is the matter King?” Dominique asked.
“The Church, I'm not much for the ‘God business’ Dominique.” It bores me. I really don’t like the fact that it isn't my money- that I can't go down to the bank and get my money out and do something with it. It bugs me.”
“It is necessary in order to retain the non-profit...”
Carolyn watched. An inscrutable smile artfully veiled her true thoughts.
“Enough!” I yelled. “Everybody wants something. Now I'm the gimme doll. Tara was the weird doll, you're the bitch doll. Who are you?” I snapped at Carolyn.
“Never mind. I don’t care. Where was I? Oh Yah...now I'm the gimme doll. What a curse, I don't even know how much I have.”
“Hay! I’m the forget about her doll? What about me?”
“Oh shut up Carolyn. You don’t count.”
“Fuucckkk you, King!”
“Dominique, did you hear that?”
“Please Carolyn.” Dominique said.
She tried to calm me.
“You have everything my love. Everything is yours.”
“Yah King what else could you want? God you’re greedy.”
“Oh shut up Miss Thing!”
She stuck out her tongue and called somebody.
“Right but I mean money, exactly, Dominique. “I continued down the dreary track of my current obsession."
Dominique picked up the phone. After a short, whispered conversation, she hung up.
“12 billion, three hundred and ninety million.” She whispered.
“What? Speak up Dominique.”
“You are worth 12 billion three hundred...”
“Oh...well...that's not too bad.”
Dominique and Carolyn smiled proudly
“It’s time. The ‘God business’ awaits.” Dominique said.
“Oh come on King, you act as if it’s you who does all the work. What do you do? Tell lies for a half hour and then get hit on by all the shark bitches. We should all have it so rough.”
“Fuck you Carolyn.”
“Any time boss.”
She spread her legs and leered suggestively. Dominique laughed. She reached out to stroke Carolyn’s thigh.
“God Dominique Miss White Trash isn’t wearing any underwear!”
“I am too!”
“Too bad. Take them off. Make sure the reporters get a few good flashes.”
“I’m not that kind of girl.”
"What's the matter. Miss spoil sport, jealous?”
“Of what, my love?”
“The fact that Carolyn is getting all the attention.” I bantered back.
“I get more than enough attention as it is. They spread my legs with their glances.”
She put on her glasses and returned to the stats.
On the stage was the usual crowd of hangers on- someone to do this, someone to do that. My speech was to announce the new lecture series. The topic was “NEW AGE POLITICS IN AN OLD AGE WORLD” A boring subject at best but people liked subjects like that. It made them feel intellectual without having to think. They needed us to tell them that things were great, but they weren’t. They were worse. The collapse of the stock market was only the beginning. Governments were falling. We, on the other hand, were doing just fine.
“Where's my jacket?”
“It's on the chair.”
“Here King, let me clean your face.”
I closed my eyes and let makeup and design do damage control in the last moments before the broadcast link up.
Outside the window, the dark ages. The hedgerows of sterile buildings were straight out of conformism’s nightmare.
Why go anywhere? Everything was on TV. It was too scary and expensive out in the world. Media helped us conformism’s on fear. Fear created a desperate search for the spiritual when materialism turned to rust.
So now we cast nets of technology.
PSYCHINETICS is a sieve for the soul.
I set the script on the table.
“Ready in 10, King.”
For the first time, I was wearing a wig. My hair was getting a little thin and didn't conform
to the pre-determined look for Robert King.
The only concession to time was the frost of
gray at my temples. The marketing survey liked it.
“Ready, 5, 4,3,
“Tonight, there's something we need to talk about. For too long we have floundered in the dead wash of the past. Old men with old ideas, drain their glasses of self serving contempt from the bottles that we provide. Do they represent our will? Are these jaded men in touch with our real needs?”
“ I share your concerns.”
“They represent old world politics. We represent a new age. We need representatives who voice our concerns, whatever they might be. We are concerned with the rising costs of Medicare; the lowered benefits of social security; the collapse of civilization. We want input into this scheme that enmeshes us at every turn. We want control of our lives."
“PSYCHINETICS® is the Science of the minds place in the loop. Through knowledge of the enablement of your own power you learn about the enablement of power on all levels. You attain control over your own destiny. This is what this study seminar series will focus on. We will make the world politic plain enough to allow you a hand on the levers of power. Imagine, power over your own destiny. That is the purpose of THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF GLORY- the complete enablement of what you are.”
“Join with us in this quest. If you like this series, and want to learn more about how fulfilled your life can be, call 800-555-8000. A councilor will call back. Come to one of our family nights-held regularly at our centers. Learn and join with others who seek knowledge. Train in the steps of counselorship and become eligible for one of our counseling positions. A councilor receives all the benefits which accrue to a minister in THE CHURCH OF GLORY. Anything is possible. One day you might buy me out.”
“That's it King. 20 minutes we'll do another one. Clothes change not required. Get some face work done.”
“SATISFACTION. How can I help you King?”
“I don't like being talked to through stage speakers. Work it out, quick”
“Would you like me to wipe the sweat off your cheek?”
“What? Oh...sure...if you think it's necessary.”
A face of immaculate, world without end, perfection framed her brilliant, glassy smile. Pinned to the breast pocket of her black jump suit was a silver GLORY logo
“Are you my nurse?”
“Is that what you want?”
She flicked her lips with her hot red tongue.