Chapter 40- Trash

"On three sides the cul de sac of mountains was a tapestry woven through with an infinite variety of green, from acid fluorescent to deepest mossy forest. In our vast desert empire the winter rains had set every twig ablaze.
The ship of state lay at anchor on the inland sea.

Robert King/Journal

    The achievement of my off hand comment about the purchase of the Baja peninsula from Mexico had not been an easy task. Although it was Dominique that finally dominated the negotiations, nearly two years passed before the Mexican government ratified the historic agreement and signed it with all pomp and circumstance.
    Finally we could began the complex logistics required to establish THE STATE OF GLORY
    When I first saw our future capitol from the ship, it was, like much of Mexico, an ocean of trash. Litter white-capped and festooned every bush and rock.
    The second time, some months later, was better.

    Under the canopy the panoply of guests in bright tropical shirts, dresses and skimpy swim suits sat comfortably on large oriental rugs and pillows on the sand. In the background enormous trestle tables piled high with an elaborate buffet.
    Beyond the fringe of one hundred foot palms that surrounded the encampment, ten story construction cranes, lumbering earth-movers and other brutal machines sat in silence.
    I hadn’t seen Carolyn or Marilyn all day.
    “Welcome to the third world. It’s hard to believe that people live in those cardboard shacks made out of trash that line the hillsides on the way from the airport, but they do. ‘Gente de la basura,’ people of the trash, is what they’re called. On good days they sift the piles in search of, food, building materials, anything that they can somehow put to use.”
    As I squinted over the heads of the people in front, I saw movement that looked like Carolyn.
    “I rode past them this afternoon, Mr. serious limo with my smoked glass and money, alone in the huge back seat, building my castle in the sky. They were laughing and talking together on the trash piles. I wondered, who’s better off? Me who created that trash but is a part of nothing but my own fantasy, or them, who raise families, have friends, live and die in the company of love. Who are the winners and who are the losers If we end up alone?”
    She leaned against a tent pole.
    “There are too many questions. Without answers they are like scraps of paper tossed by the wind- more trash- raw material for the ‘gente de la basura.’”
    I stripped her with my eyes.
    “I hate a mess as much as anybody else, but, messes are opportunities to put people to work. The world is a mess. In the United States alone, right now, there are millions of competent, even gifted people out of work, or, worse yet, misfits in their own society. Those among them, wherever they come from, that meet our criteria will have the opportunity to join with us to create the kind of world they want to live in- a world where progress and principle work hand in hand.”
    By the time she became aware of me she was down to bra and panties.
    “Join the UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF GLORY in the establishment of our own theocratic STATE OF GLORY here in the former Mexican states of Baja California North and South.”
    She blushed.
    “Neither the United States government, or any other politically appointed entity, whether for or of the people or whatever it is they want to use as their call to arms, is capable of meeting the needs of the new world order. Finally government politics have taken their rightful place in the hall of fame next to used car, snake oil and siding salesmen.”
    We both noticed Dominique at the same time.
    “Did you observe how bad the roads were on your way to and from the airport? How about the condition of the vehicles on those roads? Did you see any relationship between the two? I’m not talking about the obvious relationship. That bad roads cause cars to wear out faster. I’m talking about the philosophy behind it, because, you see, there is most definitely a philosophy behind it.”
    Dominique took up position where she could survey the crowd but still retain eye contact with both of us.
    “Those of you from the United States, remember how good the highways used to be? Have you noticed any change in the last few years? I have. The highways got worse as the political power situation devolved. It used to be that huge taxes were collected and a symbolic, high profile use of that money was to make newer and better roads. Those days are over. No one is willing to pay that kind of money to political structures that have fucked people since government became the beast.”
The whole of Carolyn was too difficult to deal with. I focused on insignificant details, the black edge of lace at her shoulder, a strand of uncombed hair.
    “Now there is a different conspiracy. First world politicians have learned what the third world has always known. If you let things devolve, through a conscious process, then people will soon come to accept that things are bad. The hurt will seem universal. They will lower their expectations, and accept, albeit grudgingly the roads and civilizations collapse. Those in the know will buy tire company stock, and invest in repair shop facilities and cynically continue to get richer. It’s third world sex among the rich and famous.”
    I had a hard on.
    “The same thing is happening with everything else. Products wear out almost before they’ve even been used as long as it’s one day over the warrantee date. Disease epidemics appear and disappear seemingly without reason. Some company has just invented a cure and makes a killing before the knockoffs come out. Who do you think owns those companies?”
    I glanced at Dominique. She studied me with unblinking, predatory eyes.
    “The same goddamn pendejo that owns the diseases!” Someone yelled.
    Inexplicably Carolyn suddenly seemed so precious and vulnerable that I nearly forgot my lines.
    “We plan to take those parasites out of the game.”
    The words chilled me. I was so dramatic.
    “Part of the reason you are here is that you represent the richest and most powerful private enterprise individuals in the world, but each of you is alone. Your own countries are often your adversaries. None of you trusts the other. You spend money disproportionately to protect yourselves from each other. The harder you work to protect yourselves, the harder you’re going to fall. Join with us and you will be citizens of a country that supports and guards your interests”
    My foolish obsession with love had placed both of us in terrible risk.
    “The world can’t take any more trash. Trash isn’t only the crap that piles up into mountains it’s also attitudes that create useless or dangerous products or services or even philosophies in order to steal a piece of the shrinking pie. That is going to be stopped. Noblesse Oblige is the historical model. Do you know what that concept means? Well the dictionary definition is: ‘Benevolent, honorable behavior considered to be the responsibility of persons of high birth or rank.’”
    I shivered.
    “We are going to clean up Dodge. Our way works. People are protected. Everybody has enough.”
    Nothing felt safe.
    “Welcome to the STATE OF GLORY.”