I’m losing my faith in anarchy… (Round 3 : Page 3)

January 1st, 2008

He takes a scoopful of hummus with his pita bread. “The novelty wore off after a week or so. One day I scored a ten-dollar bill from this guy with his son. A cop had pulled him over for DUI, but having the kid in the car had gotten him a break. He was supposed to cool it for a few hours before trying to drive. ‘Son,’ he said. ‘Remember Old Pappy, the nice old man from in front of the corner store? He’s in Heaven now, but I always give to the street people in his memory. I want you to always do the same.’ It brought tears to my eyes, but also a sick feeling to my stomach, which though empty, was still counterfeit. I was nothing like sweet Old Pappy.”

“I went into a nice restaurant, and had a decent, vegetarian meal, and thought about all the ring dings and baloney sandwiches on starchy whitebread I’d been poisoning myself with, and started thinking I could open just one account, and eat like this every day, and stay each night in a hodie, and I knew it was over. I was still living a lie. Worse, I was stealing from the real homeless, taking donations that rightfully were earmarked for them. So I called the bank, unfroze some funds, and took a bus back here to contemplate what an irredeemable piece of shit I am.” He folds his arms, his tale told. “I’m losing my faith in anarchy.”

“My, you are selfish,” I remark. He looks hurt. “I asked you ten minutes ago how you were and you still haven’t asked me how I am. Let’s talk about me.”

“You’re right,” he says sullenly. “I’m a narcissistic pig. Okay, how are you, Victor?”

“I am fabulous. I’m on my way to see Llewellyn Reece. Thank you for giving me her number, by the way. She has amazing…abilities.”

This gets him to smile wanly. “She’s very insightful.”

“When I’m with her, I’m so comfortable. I feel I can tell her anything. She always knows just what to do.” I grin like a schoolboy.

“Just don’t fall in love with her. She’s a witch, you know.”

I’m not at all sure what he means by this; he’s the last person I would expect to express religious prejudice, particularly against witches. “Well, ah, it’s strictly professional…”

“Watch your heart, is all. She’s a player. Don’t ever think you can cage that bird. A confirmed free agent. It’s all about power for her. She gets off on what she brings out in you.”

I shake my head. “It’s not like that. It’s…therapy.”

“Have it your way. Then why are you so damned cheerful, if you’re not gone roses-are-red on Llewellyn?”

“Because the sun is shining, the birds are singing, I drive a Porsche, and, unlike you, I know how to appreciate being affluent. It’s not a tragedy, you know. People work very hard, all their lives, to get the thousandth part of what you have, and most of them fail. If you have anything to feel guilty about, in my opinion, it’s thumbing your nose at the advantages which fill the dreams of the world’s great unwashed. How ungrateful! It’s a crime not to be enjoying every minute of it.” I call the waitress and order an eight-
dollar specialty drink and a bagel with cream cheese. She is moderately attractive, straight blond hair and bright hazel eyes, ten pounds on the chunky side, which can be soft, so I flirt with her, mostly to prove to Crazy Bear that I am most definitely not in love with Llewellyn Reece.

“Anyway, I’m glad that’s working out. How’s the writing coming?”

Wrong question. “Well, I’m toying with several ideas, nothing at the paper stage yet, of course. I think maybe I’d like to do some science-fiction, or more like ‘psi’-ence fiction,” I coin, tapping my forehead to clarify the homophone. “Something about auras, or TK, or secret societies, or maybe even reincarnation. I certainly have the material. I feel this tremendous pressure, though, to be original. I think that’s holding me back, The next novel answers a question I’ve been torturing myself with: was success a fluke, or do I really have ability? So, naturally, I’m taking my time.”

“Well,” he says ominously, “be careful about that, too. You may have less than you think.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply