The Dock.

You don't want to go back to work for them.

You can hear Frank's footsteps on the dock when he finally finds you. You're almost relieved by then.

You've been running for days. But Frank is a bag man, and you knew he'd find you eventually. You're leaning up against a pylon and staring across the bay.

You don't bother to get up, or even meet his gaze.

"They miss you at work, Jim."

"Fuck work. And fuck you too, Frank."

Stare out over the water and consider that you'll never get to share that dinner for two downtown with a gorgeous lady. Don't mention this. Instead say "Did you ever wonder if what we did was right, Frank?"

Frank will look out over the water and watch the wind kick up the waves and rivulets against the dock. A speedboat will pass and the passengers laughter will carry across the water and fall upon your ears like a foreign language you studied for one year in high school.

"Humanity needed culling, Jim. We all saw the numbers. the S.A.R. will depopulate the Asian world centers and rebalance the natural order."

You know that is the company line. Tell him so. Follow up by telling him that he never thought for himself, and that's why you were promoted past him. Don't be vindictive. Just talk as if you are thinking out loud.

He'll shrug. "Yeah, but your work is done now, and you refused to take on the further assignments."

"Writing up vaccine data for a disease we caused? We ought to make ourselves test cases, not heros."

Frank never did really care about the job. He was in it for the money and you both knew it, so he won't bother arguing anymore.

The sound of metal rasping will bring you back to the present. You'll look up and catch his eye for the first time.

Tell him to do you a favor and make it a closed casket ceremony. You'd rather your organs were donatable and your face missing than the other way around.

He'll shrug again--He always was pretty one dimensional--and tell you "I don't usually do requests. But just this once. . . Hell. You are my brother."

His aim will be steady. Maintain eye contact. It'll make it harder on him and that is what you want most.

It won't hurt.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


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