Success and the Fight to save Our World.
By Michael Smith.
He could truly remember his Dad from the day he was actually born, though in reality he never called him Dad. He used no name. Just the man. He was uncomfortable with the relationship. It was so one-sided. It made him uncomfortable. No reciprocity. The man had liked success more than anything. From birth they’d been in competition. For food, attention, his mother. Yes his mother. He was very strong even as a toddler, wouldn’t take correction even when the man beat him, narrow-eyed. The man was always keen to give tough correction and never praised him. Never. Sometimes he felt it bad. He didn’t care, knew he was great, better than that bastard. The man told him that life was about success but never that he’d actually be a success. The man didn’t seem to think he would be a success. Often he saw hatred. He remembered the man only ever started conversations that were about becoming a success. Only ever. It was all about taking out the competition before they took you out. Trust nobody. No-body. The man succeeded despite being an outsider. Sometimes he got into trouble at school.. He had to leave a couple of them. The teachers were, like, assholes. Finished up in a military school. He sorta liked that. Flags and prayers. He got involved in some frat boy stuff and was beaten once or twice. He liked the violence and the discipline. He mostly stole his schoolwork. His mother was soft but aloof and she was no force in his life, she had her own battles with the man. The only thing he had in common with the man was the work, and from his earliest days he loved to go on site. By the time he was a teenager he was driving trucks and even operating a crane. Unbelievable, a crane! He was fabulous at it and all the boys loved him. Loved him. To be honest there was a distance and every so often his stuff would get stolen or the phone would go off, and he’d just hear stupid laughing on the line. It didn’t matter, they were losers who worked for the man. They’d eventually work for him. He wanted to be a success, they wouldn’t be any part of it. They were rude, ridiculous and sad. He really didn’t care, knew he was great, better than that bastard. He went to a big college and scraped through, avoiding ‘Nam somehow. He was very smart, very excellent IQ. Very excellent. He always knew what would be in the papers. He knew the people who set them. Very nice people. The man died and he took over the firm. The boys called him Mister, now. He expanded it into the city, never paid anyone where he didn’t have to, took some big risks and made the business and its new owner famous all over the country. The company was really big. The man died. They hadn’t spoken in months and before that when they spoke it was hard. Jealousy probably. Looking for attention. By now he had lots of girlfriends. He was good-looking and liked to fuck. And they liked his money. He was worth a lot of money, tens of millions. Maybe a hundred. A lot. He got a reputation as a phenomenal socialite. He expanded the firm abroad, became a national figure, got involved in the media, bought some awesome buildings but was given bad advice and had to start again. He did it, pressured the banks, he was the only one who knew what to do, where the bodies were buried. He married a beautiful model. Then another and a third. Lots of kids. Four. Five. He treated them like the man treated him. The eldest girl though, she was special, she had the genes. The family all had the best genes. People said they had the best genes. Swedish genes. The girls were tall and blonde, like him. Beautiful. He got his own show. Incredible. His own helicopter, own plane. He was worth a billion, two billion, five billion. Famous. The man was just a builder. He went into politics. He was a success, a tremendous success. He stood for the Presidency, the most famous man in America from his reality show, for his billions and for the ladies, young ladies. Grab them by the pussy, he said he would, with his dick fully half as big as he knew it was. The funny thing was he didn’t really want to be President, never had, couldn’t see the point except as something to get his rather small hands on, but one day he’d been to a big event, and the President, a black dude, took time out to tell jokes about him. The lowlife was telling jokes about him. The audience, all around him, they laughed at the joke, laughed at him. He was caught on international TV, rictus as the applause of the elite rippled and rerippled around the auditorium. On TV! These dummies didn’t like him. That damn laughter. Horrible. He paid people to tell him what people who might vote for him wanted to hear and then he simply said whatever it was. It worked. Against the odds he won the Presidency. It was easy, show no weakness. Call people names. The blacks, the gays, the muslims. Fake news. If only the man were there to see his success. The man hadn’t really been much of a success. Overrrated. He was different. He was self-made. Big-league. Money, power, women. Fame. The American Dream, they said. The President didn’t really know what to do with the success. It didn’t really suit him being President. All these people had ideas that made no sense to him, ideas, principles, policies, books: redtape stuff they made up because they envied his success, and to make him feel bad. It was stuff the man wouldn’t have recognized and it seemed they were just using it against him. It was like the way they ridiculed the signature gold bathrooms he put in all his great buildings. He was a perfect President making America great again, a wonderful place to do business. Winning again. The stock market soared, he kept the American way of life alive. His Empire, in the hands of his kids, was doing huge. He built a wall, took on China in trade, rattled the system. Rattled it. He liked being called Mister President. Liked it more than anything he’d ever seen or heard. The elite laughed at him. Sniggered at his orange head and sun-goggle marks. So what. Then came a plague, an actual plague. In a hundred and twenty two countries. A hundred and twenty two. He didn’t understand it or how to stop it. A hidden enemy. The cupboard was bare in America. He took no responsibility. This foreign disease would vanish in the sunshine, the light. With positivity. If everyone took malaria drugs and injected disinfectant. He was not a doctor but why not? He stopped travel from China saving many, many lives. It killed a hundred-thousand people, a lot of death. In two waves, after he encouraged everyone to go to the beach or get a manicure and the pandemic, he thought he’d killed, surged again. Anyone he could remember from his childhood. Gone. That was a great deal of death. And it cost a trillion dollars. He felt nothing. He really didn’t care, knew he was great, better than that bastard. He needed to get elected again and half the population were outraged by the deaths. He kinda sent in his military, started a war. Beat his somehow sleepy opponent. Got re-elected. Another war. Another plague. The climate changed, California burned in the heat, the country was devastated by hurricanes. The warming became runaway. He really didn’t care, knew he was great, better than that bastard. He grew old, time took its toll as he reached into his eighties, tired and sometimes, often, confused. He really didn’t care much, sort of knew his own capacity. He was better than that bastard. His last breath was interrupted by a vision of the man. He was a toddler but in the dream he was beating his Dad. And then as 2.5 million years of humankind now battled extinction in a world at war, with his family all around him, brandishing notarized copies of his will; and with his Dad beside him, he died. Of success.