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..,and Pizza



As I’m discreetly puffing away in one of the bathroom stalls I hear approaching laughter then voices as two guys come in to use the facilities;

“I don’t know what they’re going to do with all those Indonesian trannies.”

P-Guy 1: “Yeah, and how bout this fucking cloud thing?”

P-Guy 2: “Oh man, when we sell this cloud storage idea we’ll be in control of an unbelievable amount of data.”

“And data is money.”

“Data is power.”

“Data is All.”

“It’s crazy - people paying for the reserved rights to be ripped-off.”

“Shit; Vexicon, Insane Capital and the MSA will all win big on this one.”

“And MMI. They helped to get rid of that guy, that union guy - Jack something.”

“Fucking jacked his union ass.” Laughs.
“Yeah but what about that other guy. Do they even know who he is? Where does he work? Is he union too?”

“I don’t know, I think he’s unemployed.”

“So he is union.”

“Hey, what’s up with Floyd?”

“I think Floyd had one of his moments. I hope Google’s new designs are more dependable. But I don’t think it matters. That other guy’s not going to cause any trouble.”

“They never do. Just give them the secret-sauce and send them on their way.”

“People are stupid.” Laughter fades as the door swings shut.

I finish my smoke and as I head back to the Vexicon office it hits me;

“Wow., that’s some unbelievable shit – those guys didn’t even flush or wash their hands before going back to work.”

When I’m interrupted by a muffled distress call from a utility closet to my left. I investigate to find a thoroughly frightened woman bound and gagged. I quickly release her and the freed woman  turns right, bumps into a passing janitor, Henri, then takes off down the corridor with only an over-the-shoulder thank you as an explanation – an outstanding balance no doubt – but that’s another story.

When I get back Floyd continues;

“In fact Google is working on a robot that can do my job and Max’s. But I’m the personality and close to retirement and management. Of course Max will be screwed by Vexicon but then.,”

As Floyd rattled on about the theory of relativity; a lot is not a lot when you have a lot that’s why we need a lot more; I notice he no longer looked like The Best Worst Jobs’ star but the suit Lloyd Blankhart still tagged as Floyd for consistency.

I interrupted;

“Am I free to go?”

“Of course you’ve always been free to go.”

“Right, after all you’re just Vexicon. Ain’t like you’re the government or something.”

Floyd chuckles to himself expressing amusement in a smug fashion; rather rude like he don’t care.

“You are correct - after all we’re just Vexicon. Ain’t like the government or something.”

Floyd said like the government’s our bitch. Don’t you understand? But he didn’t have to say that - it was now understood. It was also understood that my broad-band and phone were still out and what was I going to do – switch to AT&T? And I just remembered the dead body back in the other room; the one I tripped over.

“Yeah that’s the problem.” Said Floyd.

“What’s that?”

“The dead body.”

“Yeah, who’s the dead body?”

“What dead body - there is no dead body.”

“I saw him in the other room.”

“Did you?”

“Hell, I tripped over the body back at the apartment.”

“No you were just tripping and apparently passed out. We saw you go down and came to help. That’s it, that’s all!”

I just sat there in silence suddenly drowning in doubt stroked by the abyss trying to decide what besides bad cheese was real. Maybe it was just something I saw on T.V.

Floyd slides a piece of paper; a contract of sorts, more precisely a non-disclosure agreement; across the desk and suggests I sign it.

“It just says that the dead body doesn’t exist. That, to the best of your knowledge, there isn’t, never was and never will be a dead body. And there will be penalties if you choose to testify to, or even share, an alternative opinion or account.”

“What do you mean penalties?”

“I don’t know, lawyers write this shit, I don’t understand it. Liable, slander, copyright infringement, espionage, giving aid to terrorists; your guess is as good as mine.”

“And if I don’t sign?”

“Oh we have ways of making you sign.”

Now they’ve pissed me off.

“The fuck you got ways. What you going to do, torture me. Fuck you! I’m not going to just roll-over, I got.., I got principles and constitutional rights and shit. Yeah that’s right; I know my rights!”

I didn’t - but - you know.

“You can’t threaten me, I’m an American Citizen; and this is the United..,”

“How about a year of free service including the Playboy Channel and unlimited texting..,”

Wow, can he do that?

“And wipe out your unpaid balance.,”

And that?

“And give you the last piece of pizza.”

He had me at free.

“Where do I sign?”

I signed on the dotted line. Felt a little dirty - corrupted and compromised - but it was a full year of service including Playboy and unlimited texting; I was powerless to resist. I don’t text, but now I’ll have the freedom to not text without limit; while watching soft porn, for free. And the last piece of pizza.., I never had a chance.

I was led out the building to a blacked-out SUV to take me back home. I had time during the ride to work on my justification, find something I could live with and liked that I couldn’t be sure if I had or hadn’t seen a dead body; everything confused since I banged my head. That’s right I must have passed-out and banged my head on the fall and imagined the whole thing, nothing more than a fraudulent flashback I thought as the pizza turned in my stomach..,

Then burped and realized;

No, that’s not it; shit coming back to me - acid reflux - that can’t be ignored. I tripped over something and what I tripped over was the dead body. I wouldn’t even been at Vexicon to think there wasn’t a dead body if not for the dead body. I was denying the very thing that created the space to deny it; like denying the existence of an architect from within his own design. I feel I’ve betrayed something fundamental but know it to be a treatable condition – nothing a couple of beers, the right pills and proper T.V. programming can’t handle. And – of course - pizza.