“Have you broken the law recently, Jimmy?”
“Of course, I delight in it. I also lie with no remorse. I have a tendency not to have empathy for people, and can be downright nasty. It’s always better to be hated than loved. The feeling I get from it is like when I lived in an apartment, and the apartment next to mine burned down. I lost everything, except for a few clothes. Mostly water damage, but everything also had a crisp burnt smell to it. Moved into another apartment with hardly any belongings – I never felt so liberated. It was actually exhilarating.
The government worker stated with a sublime smile. “Uh-huh. And what laws have you broken lately?”
“I shoot smack, you know, heroin,” came the quick response.
“Yes,” the government official calmly replied. “Your psychiatric record does note that you have a feeling of invincibility. Along with your messiah complex, you believe you can defy death. Although, I feel it my duty to warn you that heroin is known to kill. You might want to stick around, at least, a few more months. I’m not privy to the entire issues surrounding your case, but I think you’ll find the upcoming weeks quite revealing.”
“Oh,” Jimmy said with an expression of disbelief. “By the way, aren’t those records from my shrink supposed to be confidential?”
“That’s the least of your worries at this point, Jimmy”
“So you’re not going to report me?”
“Well,” the government official began with a sigh. “Let’s just say for now that something about your heroin addiction will be part of the revelation you’re about to unearth.”
“I see,” Jimmy said, raising his eyebrows with incredulousness. “Incidentally, is there anything in my record where my shrink refers to me as being an asshole? I always got this vibe from him that he always thought I was an asshole. Can I sue him for unethical behavior – or standards unbecoming his profession?”
“How’s that day off from work working out for you Jimmy? The government official jousted back.
“Great. But even the government will not waste it’s time with me. Sooner or later, even the Government will come to the point, reluctantly, of course, realizing I’m beyond redemption. I don’t blame the government giving up on me. Why would the psychopaths who rule the world want to confront the truth that their civilization is decaying? Well, they simply can’t, lacking in emotions. It’s an equation they simply can’t phantom. It’s like the indigenous people of Peru when first seeing the Spaniards come ashore, the natives could not see the Spaniard ships resting on the horizon. Even though the ships stood right before them, in plain sight, the natives could not see them because they could not comprehend them. I’m the Spaniard using the lash with the wit of words, staring upon a once flourishing civilization not realizing its end is near with my arrival.”
“Of course,” the government official smiled with furtive brow. She then crossed her thick but shapely thighs that squeezed sexual vibratory seduction signifying the pink-purpled-piss-taste cum-fig-flower resting in between her black netted pantyhose.
Damn, Jimmy thought. She has it down to an art form.
“Jimmy,” she began. “We’re going to take you off the payroll. In that, I mean …” she paused. “You will no longer have an employer,” the words raced out and quickly established the premise for the meeting. “You will have a small apartment. You will have a grocery list of money – that, we will provide you, including your intrigue for alcohol, but you will no longer exist as a number in the Social Security Department.”
“Ah,” Jimmy said, staring off into a corner of the room with furtive brow. “And why is this?”
The government worker leaned forward. “Jimmy,” she said. “Who is this person you befriended at your AA and NA meetings?”
Jimmy knew instantly who she was talking about, and he also knew that Lydia despised this person for those reasons he was already aware. He smiled, awkwardly. “The last ‘A’ in AA and NA is anonymous. We’ll keep it at that. I call my friend Retro, because we listen to backdated music and talk conspiracy theories.”
The government worker leaned back into her chair, and, again, he heard the swish of her black stockings. If only he could just fuck her and then not wake up next to her. He would simply go home with his endeared loneliness.
“Has he done anything to make you feel alienated?” the government official simply asked.
Jimmy sighed. “Like what? What are you getting at? He shares the shame addiction, as I. Yes, we both indulged in smack and banging our veins.”
“Nothing more?” came her cool and immediate reply.
Jimmy was taken by surprise. He searched, fumbling for a proper response. He finally asked: “Why do you ask that?”
The government worker seemed to want to withdraw her previous question. She appeared to contemplate, staring past Jimmy. “Look,” she finally said. “The reason why you’re here is for us – the government – your representatives – to seek a solution. You’ve been in rehab. You’ve sought professional mental health on numerous occasions.” She stopped suddenly, before pronouncing something of significance. “We have a problem here, Jimmy. Your detailed conversations, often revealed when you were drunk, face the possibility of being exposed to the greater whole.”
“The greater whole?”
The woman sighed. “Yes, Jimmy. The greater whole, as in the public mind. They’re not ready. And too much has been hidden from your view – too much censored for your – shall I say – pedantic offerings.”
Jimmy zeroed in on a corner of the floor. “What is this really all about?” He appeared exasperated.
The room swallowed the silence. The government official spoke. “Just disappear, Jimmy. Never enter the public discussion again. Be no more.”
“You’ll be paid, of course. We can claim it to disability.”
Jimmy waived his hands above his head. “Wait. What the hell are you saying?”
There was a pause that soaked up the conversation like a sponge.
“There are things I’m not at liberty to discuss with you now,” the government official stated quite frankly. “I’ve received an order from the IRS and Social Security Department that you are to become someone beyond government records.”
Jimmy sighed with subtle frustration, “Could you give me details?”
“I’m not privy to that, Jimmy. All I can say is that these agencies and departments hand me cases like this from time to time.”
“Oh,” Jimmy said with a hint of sardonic herb mixed into the conversation. “And what becomes of my Birth Certificate, Social Security number?”
“They never existed,” the government official replied. “Or, at least, that is what they tell me.”
“And who are they?”
The government official slightly laughed. “They? I suppose they’re the ones that can determine when a social security number is just a number, and a birth certificate a mere piece of paper that serves a special purpose. In your case that purpose no longer applies.”
“Yeah,” Jimmy stated with cynical grin. “And what do I do for money?”
“You’ll be taken care of,” was the flat response.
“Jimmy,” the government official began. “Money is just a number. Something designated. It doesn’t actually exist – not in the sense that you know it. “
Jimmy stared dumbfounded, and stood back in his seat. “Really?”
The government official leaned back and then forward. “You paid your dues,” she said. “You went and completed your education. You were employed in various jobs. You are now considered a fifty-thousand annual person. This is what you will receive from the government in allowances.” She paused and looked up contemplating. “How you spend that money,” she then quickly inserted, “is not our concern.”
“So,” Jimmy said, still taken back with disbelief. “My social security number, my birth certificate, my many applications for employment, they were all just a number, but if I defaulted on reporting these in the past I was held liable in the eyes of the justice system?”
The government official unlocked her legs and turned to lean against her desk. The air was spoiled-cum-wet with sexual intrigue. All there was now, was the white aseptic walls of whitewashed bureaucracy. “Jimmy,” the government official sighed. “We no longer want to hear from you in the hall of literacy, justice, or everyday plain living.” She paused, before delivering the next lines with lucid cruelty. “You no longer exist, Jimmy. You’re a persona non grata. Don’t worry; we’ll take care of you.”
“Take care of me?”
“You do still do have your addictions?”
“You still go to AA/NA, but can still indulge in your addiction. The government will look the other way.”
Jimmy became silent. He looked out at the closed sun-bleached blinders of the office. Behind those venation blinds is simply a parking lot filled with cars. Filled with cars that come routinely to their 8AM – 5PM jobs. Sometimes one of the bureaucratic employees brings donuts for every other worker. And yet, I’m the addict, but my life has no routine. It is always the crucial 5-minutes to score – there’s an uncertainty – anxious moments as to whether one will find release. These government bureaucrats have no release. Their lives are so outlined like rows of gravestones. They’re born more addicted than I.
“Jimmy,” the government official nearly shouted to get his attention back to the matter at hand. She then crossed her black nylon legs to entice him back to the reality of his environment – sexual nuance never really for the purpose of simply having sex. Persuasive?