PART TWENTY ONE:
He was on his way home through a landscape he knew well. Rows of mansions and winding boulevards cut chasms between the landscaped gardens and secondary buildings placed inconsistently in the neighborhood.
Each house had a gate before their driveway, usually with a guard who worked the door. At his parents lowly residence the guard was an older white man with graying hair, thick skin, blue eyes and a smile attributed only to someone who had seen all factions of humanity in his life.
He knew the rich and poor worlds, but was not entrenched in the former. He had been to war and claimed he had accepted a tattoo that he now had to cover up. It showed his battalions symbol and a phrase that he could never recall without looking at it.
It was something inspiring and that worked to inspire others. That, of course, is how one inspires their subjects. It is easiest to use words written in an ancient language as it made people feel that they were a part of something great, something more cultured. It implied that their sect has an intelligent leader. These words showed that they were the best and brightest of all the pawns. They would win those fights, whatever they happened to be.
Not everyone knew such secrets, but Richard was smarter than the rest. Even if the kids at school had made him an outcast, his elders and those he respected were of enough accomplishment that he was making the right connections to bring his plans into fruition.
Rick Channing walked along the sidewalk holding his books. One was math, which he hated. Some people became accountant, he thought, and some people hired accountants. He would surely hire someone smart to control his money. It would have to be the right man, someone who would make him more of the stuff in return for a slight cost of living raise, which his accountant would have to ask for.
The second book was a handbook for young Republicans. Our hero was not much of an after school club sort of guy, but after the conversations he had with Bob he felt he should live wisely and make the proper decisions that would treat himself well in later life.
As his friend had told him, "Today's decisions influence tomorrows actions. You leave a blueprint and are shown the results in the future."
Our hero would make the right decisions.
He had his goals.
So for this reason Rick Channing held a handbook for young Republicans. It was not the same one the poor people were given. They were party values that the public should not hear. It was not any particular political platform. It was not a list of candidates running in the next race for supreme leader. It was a kind of inner circle handout. It was nothing too secret, just the kind of pamphlet that would be given to a person in position to become a candidate.
He hadn't read it yet. This sort of thing was not like the homework from classes he had no interest in. He could not fake his way through the knowledge of a set of society that he was trying to become a part of. When he asked questions he would have to be knowledgeable. It wasn't like math and things, our hero needed to make his second impression like his first. He would have to call on himself to be even more successful the second time, though it may be asking too much.
Richard strolled up the hill towards his families mansion and knew that if he worked hard he could turn people away from the being that made him an outcast. People respected money and power, so he needed these two things to become a player in politics. He would do it on his own. He would become such a force that even those who disagreed would do as he said.
This would be for two reasons, the power of that silent thought that could control people, the one that is placed under his menial and regular thoughts, and the power of the drugs that he was going to sell his constituents. There was a third, Richard remarked in later life.
Maybe if brought the proper ones with him than the generations that followed would respect him as a man of accomplishment and connections. It was still all about whom he was seen with.
Our hero passed the guard without looking at the man, even though he was given a friendly, "Hello, sir."
Dick thought the man was not respectful enough. If his insolence continued our hero may decide to say something. He scraped his shoes on the pavement and heard a dull sound. He walked faster up the last bit of driveway and on to the front porch.
The maid who raised him was sweeping the front room when he entered his families home. She smiled and said, "Hello, Richard, how was your stay at school?"
Our hero grunted and moved by. She calculated that it was simply the internal angst that happens with teenage changes and simply went back to whistling and sweeping. Richard knew that sooner or later she would give him the respect he deserved. They all would, sooner or later.
He trampled up the stairs and down the hall towards his bedroom. It was nothing unusual that he was entirely alone with his thoughts. He could care less whether his family was at home; he hadn't seen his father in weeks though they usually slept in the same building.
His mother, Richard thought, was a stupid bitch.
When our hero reached his room he set his books on the dresser. He reached in an open drawer and took a small flap filled with cocaine in his hand. He methodically poured the white powder on his dresser and chalked it into dust with a light motion. He was getting better at this. Practice, one would think.
After taking the large rail he looked around his room in a rushed high. It all looked how he had left it. He did not feel inspired, awake or any more confident. He just felt the pleasure of the drug. Our hero wondered if this made him cool and wished there was someone the he respected in his room to see such an ever. He was so cool he could finally handle the effects of cocaine.
He thought that he should steal the brandy from the kitchen and drink it in his room. But the thought of leaving the room made our hero feel paranoid. The last needed was to run into the maid that raised him. He would tell her of his day, maybe of his dreams and things. She would know he was high. So he poured a larger amount of the drug on his dresser, and while crushing this up he had an insight.
Maybe the others did not need to be high for him to control their actions while he was powerful on cocaine. Perhaps he could make the maid leave the front enterance from the safety of his room, so he could pass by unnoticed and find the brandy to drink. He made a line with the powder and snorted half with his left nostril.
He sat back watching the lines against his eyes. A silent thought grabbed the lines and Rick Channing titled the insight, "Mayhem and power over unknowing parties." He knew they could hear him, they were putty in his hands. So our hero leaned over once again and took the rest of the drug through his right nostril.
He sat there in his chair and his leg began to shake. He had so much energy he had to stand and mutter under his breath, "I should get an old chair, like the one in the study. Or maybe I should just rent an office."
With these thoughts he stood and moved towards the hallway, passing closed doors and moving down the stairs. He didn't see anyone as he approached the landing and he knew that his powerful thoughts had cleared the area. He walked to the kitchen and opened the shelf that held the bottle of brandy. He reached for a glass and broke some ice out of the freezer, listening calmly as the ice hit the cup.
Richard quickly walked back to his room but stopped and turned around on the stairs. He walked outside and stood alone on the porch watching the yard. He was glad that he could move people from places by thinking they should. It was important that he found that out for sure. Knowing he would have no repercussions our hero poured his father's best brandy into a glass.
He let the ice cool the drink off for a minute. He took a sip and his neck clenched, pulling his face to the left. He ground his teeth together and coughed. Shaking his head once quickly Rick Channing took his second sip.
PART TWENTY TWO:
Many people set out to be the world's most dangerous man. In waves of chaos and troubles of society and living quarters some need to live for money and power. Most do not have these things growing up so they strive to have them in later life. The allure of others in the neighborhood with money, cars, clothing and women seeds the thought that being a gangster is good and creates and underworld. Why would a man live within the boundaries that left him segregated from monetary success?
This was not to the case for Dick Cheney. His father was a powerful man. He had all the wealth and opportunity that any child could ask for, but it did not seem to be enough. He needed to enter crime to wield more power than any man that had come before him. With this power he could erase all memory of a higher light, some God that made him an outcast. And this is why our hero made his first connection in cocaine dealing.
He had been a user and borderline addict, but he never needed to steal or provide favors to support his habit. That allowed him to never fully accept his addiction. He carried it nonetheless. His usual dealer was a peer from school that he knew for about four years. For this reason his dealer knew that it would be fine to introduce his client to the higher dealer.
So Richard and his peer walked to the bus station. And just as they waited he told the other, "We can call my driver and get a quicker ride there."
The dealer laughed and said, "We're taking the fucking bus."
When it came they traveled thirteen blocks to a less affluent neighborhood with low income high-rises spiking out of the otherwise unremarkable brown four story buildings that line the block.
Richard was asked to wait on the street, but only for a moment. His dealer ran upstairs and came back after clearing that it was okay to bring a visitor. When his peer came back Rick was biting his nails but he hid this so he would not look nervous. He followed the dealer up the stairs, staying about three steps behind him until they entered the higher drug dealer's apartment.
This man was Mexican with a shaved head and beady eyes. He was wearing a white shirt without sleeves and sat behind a table that was empty save for a silver pistol and box of bullets. Richard grinned his crooked half a smile.
The dealer began, "Who the fuck are you?"
"My name is Richard Channing."
"And why are you here?"
"I was hoping to start selling the stuff."
"Pow," Dick Cheney said, grinning.
The man behind the table paused, placing his hand on his gun, before asking softly, "Why?"
Our hero took a moment, less time than the dealer, and replied, "Power."
They discussed the virtues of the drug game and different ways to deal. Our hero told the dealer that he would make the man so much money that they would become close and content with their business dealings.
The dealer told Richard that he did not want to be close with anyone, mostly not some bitch from the rich part of town. He then asked them all to do a line out of good faith. This excited Richard to no end and he nearly pulled his own supply out before remembering the adage.
The man took some cocaine from his drawer and mentioned in a low tone, "This is my personal, no cut. Tell me how you like it."
Rick sniffed a good size rail and told him, "I'll have to compare it to my own."
Our hero pulled a flap out of his pocket thinking, this will make him know I am cool. He set up a rail and sniffed it. He said, "The second rail is still good stuff, just not quite as clean. I like to pretend that I am a connoisseur of sorts. But all I have known is the stuff I buy in small quantities."
Richard liked how eloquent cocaine made him. He began to ramble about this to the Mexican drug dealer. The dealer decided that this is a guy that could buy a large amount from him, as long as he paid it up front. He glared at Rick Channing, worried about his cocaine use.
Richard in turn looked over his shoulder and then turned back to grin, "That is why I do this."
The Mexican said he could help him out.
Dick Cheney then began his theory, "Guy," he said, "Baby, I have so many friends that want this stuff. Every party I have been to, even out to coffee, they all want to do this stuff. It is going to be so good. We are going to be tight. I've got your back."
When Richard began to pour more cocaine on the table, the Mexican man reached for his gun. He pointed it upward towards the ceiling, rubbing the handle with his left hand fingers. "Look, kid, don't…" He began, but Richard was chalking up another line. "I'll wait," the Mexican said.
Rick laughed a quick, "Ha!"
The Mexican waited as he snorted his third line.
"Do you want some?" He said.
"Yeah," Richard responded quickly, "Give me twenty grams."
The Mexican smiled, "You will need to cut it yourself."
And with this our hero began to sell cocaine.
The first man he approached had never tried the stuff before. He was a tutor that Richard had used a few times to pass math, the same age as our hero. He was not as cool as Richard, just better at algebra.
Rick told him "Look, try it, you'll love it. And then you can buy the second, third and tenth rail, you know?"
So this peer tried the first rail and bought a bit, Rick decided to show him how to do it. He poured some out of his clients flap and snorted it. Richard stared deep into this startled man. His eyes glared with a strange rage and the client found this terrifying. Rick began to grunt. The client felt good, but didn't like the look of our hero.
Richard spoke sternly, "Now do what I want you to do."
The client watched Rick Channing grinding his teeth, moaning and muttering. Our hero's pinpoint eyes struggled to control the other man. He saw a crooked smile break on his lips as the client rapped the table.
"No," the client told Rick, "I don't think I want the stuff."
Richard made a fist, "Yes you do. You will."
With this the client left.
But he came back, three days later. "I just want to try it one more time. One more hit, just to see what it is like. It was very strange."
Richard began to believe that his mind control was working as he handed the client his first sold flap of the drug. Richard had snorted four flaps of his stock and was half way through the fifth. He gritted his teeth and smiled suggesting, "I knew you would."
The kid took the drug in his hand and scuttled away into the hallway quickly, passing two girls and cutting behind them to hide his interaction. Richard Channing moved outside to the commons and wanted dearly to do another rail, though he did not. The next would be better if he waited.
He spent the money he made on lunch. He sat staring at the food for a while, telling the waiter that he was waiting for it to cool. In the second interaction with him he still had not touched the food. The third time he simply asked for the bill. The waiter asked if everything was ok and Richard said that he supposed he only needed a drink.
"Fuck the other side of the world," he said as he paid the man fifteen dollars and walked out. The waiter brought the food home to eat.
PART TWENTY THREE:
Richard saw the explosion from the nuclear blast on television when he was in grade six. It was an amazing moment when the whole world stopped and doubted their existence. He found the possibility of complete destruction arousing. It was the first time he noticed that everyone could be scared at the same time.
Now that he was older, Rick Channing watched these videos again with his history class. He watched with great intent while folding the pages of his book on his desk and remembering his first viewing of this video. He let his eyes slip below the projection and found himself drawn to a woman nearly asleep in the corner of the classroom.
She was brown haired, loving, intelligent, modern and good looking. She would make someone very happy one day. But today, Richard thought, she must have a bad hangover. Our hero's eyes made their way back to the screen, where a man was explaining the disaster that culminated with this explosion.
Richard had never more than now wanted to wield power over his fellow man. He folded the book tightly and a glaring squint came over his face. A woman to the left of him noticed. She saw his eyes change. She looked worried at his reaction to this disaster.
Rick Channing watched the woman watch him. He turned and gave a deadpan smile. The modern world was a matter of method and space, the teacher had once said, so Richard turned back to the film. The woman knew what was up. Dick knew that for certain.
Methods of the madness of the Second World War followed on the video. Footage of eerie soldiers and pained, distraught innocent people were meant to scare the students. Our hero cleared his throat and looked back at the girl lying on her desk with malicious intent. Richard was the teller of facts and seller of doses. It was the learned matter of all these days.
"Follow the password," Richard said aloud.
He glanced back at the woman after scribbling these words. He was afraid that the woman would look in his eyes. She did. He looked sheepishly and listened as the person on the screen discussed the atomic bombs and the video was played again.
Richard barely thought about the memory that scared him. The man clenched his teeth, waited a moment and gave that half mouth, twisted tooth smile, allowing one eye to appear a little bigger than the other. The woman looked frightened and Dick looked back at the screen.
Dick Cheney grinned at himself. That was the smile, he thought. He sat watching a modern film and wondering about the cost of guns.
This was a hidden and ultimately hopeless attempt to not think about the woman lying on her desk. She had a boyfriend. Her boyfriend had a gorgeous tan. He was aware he had thought of her boyfriend. He did the math and it was because he was so aroused about the movie.
He would discuss this with the men at the kabal. They were those he wanted to know. They were the people who got away to doing that to two Japanese cities.
Richard tapped his foot intently and waited for the bell to ring, shifting in his seat and holding his hands tight.
The woman beside him clutched her books and thought next class she would sit further from this peculiar young man. Her thoughts trailed off. Be calm, she told herself. When the bell rang she took the long way around to the other side of the room and out the second door to the hallway. Our hero did not even notice.
He was far too busy fantasizing about blowing up Tokyo.
He skipped the next class. She walked past his desk hurriedly the next time and Richard stared blankly at his papers. The question asked of him was not done. Where had his time gone? He had done cocaine for three nights in a row, really making headway on his power studies, as he called them. It is very strange, Richard thought, that I have forgotten to do this homework.
PART TWENTY FOUR:
The writer explained his actions in a letter to the police:
"So perhaps I should follow politics. I'm not much for sports and most everyone wants to be a music and entertainment writer. Next time I see a helicopter landing with a few police cars parked on the beach I will stop. For the path following that would lead me to more of the same and what is life without a little bit of danger. There is no need to live hard in this heavily drugged world.
"But there needs to be a man who fights Nixon. I also need to find a good news channel to watch while I write lines about whatever it is that I feel I should fight for.
"I respect the man who makes a difference but I fear that I have made none. These people exist and continue to do so, because there are as many men fighting for peace as there are fighting for war.
"On the first of many uneven papers and on a topic that I should choose, perhaps the death of a popular music idol or our towns festival that is about to finish tonight, I relate that some of these fishes are unknown. And this is meant to be confusing, because the leaders of the free world are mentioned throughout this book.
"Perhaps I had made myself apparent in the way that I thought I should. I went to the party and wrote my first of many stream of consciousness typewritten nonsense forms. It went well. I came across many insights for this book and also came across the writing for myself world. That is to say that I can now appreciate why people write, more than I could before I started this book.
"What I say to myself is transposed as soon as my fingers his these keys and press down. So when I tell people my self-righteous ideas it should influence the thought until they feel they have found the ones they needed, but only if they had nowhere to run to.
"I should have escaped with a beautiful woman but one that was a rather fetching lovely took me. Maybe what I research can be a federal scene.
"People like Richard Channing are confusing this simple rhyme. I cannot simply fight a man for the sake of fighting. I will have to learn what he actually says. But a good man I am, and I have nothing to lose. I am sure there are basic principals that many people have polar opposite views of.
"I am sure the world is made of folk who disagree with their best friends on basic principals as well. Reasonable gestures of good will should be made. A fruit basket or a simple cup of coffee would do. I just have a curiosity about the workings of his mind.
"Dealing with politicians will most likely be slippery. Would it be like trying to step into the ring with Cassius Clay? Maybe if I attacked one like Richard Channing on my first shot. That kind of work will put my name on the map. Time is money, reputation is work, media is what one shares and the audience is necessary. People have told me that they love what I do. It always makes me happier. I've always meant to make a difference.
"And when I am at my lowest point, after the rise of fuzzy adrenaline takes me towards the dizzying world that is smiles and handshakes from fancy men in the media. Dramatic taken held hands and one finger lying on the man's writs, fancy thumb work and the right smile in that smart or at least reasonably witty comment. It will be fine for our hero. The world will take the minds that were happening. We feel like it is going to set off. When will our time come?
"Notably, I did not interview this leader. I just wanted to make a good question and shout it at a conference. Hoping that a funny remark with moral intentions will light the first torches on my path down this cave. Sirs, the first steps are the difficult ones, once I am miles underground it will be all I know. And all this was just to be a modern man.
"I can find the information I need to spin such facts, using evidence I find on the Internet to come to a conclusion that is provable and supports my causes. Barring that I can find news feeds of the major companies who will fill me with the resources to be disgusted or hopeful in the things that I am writing about.
"When a topic such as wiretapping is discussed there are always two schools of ideas shared. Some agree with the idea, some are against it. One can claim that those who fight for the ideas are paid or have interests in supporting the cause that one disagrees with. This is as common as the media itself. Because of this we are able to stay with our kind, never breaching the waters surrounding opposing ideals. We also feel that our beliefs are winning and the majority of people agree with us.
"Each person is allowed his or her opinion and this cannot be taken away. If a man wholeheartedly disagrees with some topic and needs to stand on a metaphorical soap-box, using the platform to try to convince the population to come in their direction and agree with what they see as right.
"This allows one to be cognitively dissonant with much ease. With the path that one takes on the World Wide Web, this new media, our generation is able to stay with their view, whatever it may be.
"This seems a bit better than the man with the broadcast telling what I should think and wear, but even in that time we are able to argue with him. Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel. I suppose this is the key. Any person is now capable to build their own news studio and gain an audience who respects their chosen opinions. The truth is in finding an audience who agrees with you and a community to link to that shares your ideals.
"It is my belief that a man as intelligent as Richard Channing should stand as a proud example of the light that is this new technology. The computer is changing things.
PART TWENTY FIVE:
Richard smiled that crooked smile down on the crowd as he stood at the podium. He cleared his throat and began the quick speech meant to cement his role in a cabal that young men became world leaders.
"My mantra," our hero began, "has always been that our world is a genuinely good world made of our kind of cultured people and those that need help discovering medicine and things. It is our job to bring the lesser people these gifts. The disadvantaged are overseas and in other worlds, but they live with us here as well.
"The people of our culture, the society we are from and these morals and ethics we are raised to believe in trace back to our forefathers. They are the people that built this nation for us to lead into the new age. My head rested on the weight of the signal, sirs. That is to say that I should motion to the man to the left of me, an old leader of this group. He has created a group for us to respect and enjoy and we must thank him for doing such a thing.
"A man such as he must have some willpower to reach such a pinnacle. And it is proof that the disadvantaged do not have the business sense to capitalize on such an opportunity. Had their nations been trade and resource leaders rather than stand on some moral ground, they would be having this rally and not us.
"And as I sat in the crowd I thought to say this: For what purpose do we laugh, friends? Why are we injured in marked men who move on? The whole mind is one space before them and we had the ruinous faces in this wild Festin air."
And Rick Channing stood on the podium in a moment of awkward silence. Nobody knew what he was trying to say. A man at the back coughed. Richard let out a sigh and gritted his teeth. He recalled his cause and felt once again like some great power had intentionally made him an outcast.
He would get that beast good. The Toad would help. It had thus far. Our hero took the last of his light and ran from the room, scared that someone would stop and ask what he was trying to say. The man who laughed at him was now the king. Richard knew that for certain. God had made it that way, for the world was his playground and Rick let out a little chuckle. But this world is not theirs.
Richard thought, "Maybe the little men who moved his ring fingers and a marketed ash fault supposition." This little piece of gibberish made him laugh a hard "Ha!" and Rick Channing posed in the hallway with a smile, shaking hands of those old men who invited him to speak.
Our hero glanced at his watch stating for the record that he believed it was time for him to go. He stood hoping nobody he respected mentioned his baffling failure that was his first stand behind the podium. He wiped the last of his cocaine with his index finger, sucking the remains and rubbing his tooth.
Richard quickly made it through the hallway and down the stairs. When he reached the main lobby he began to think about the dishonesty of borrowing an office to do something like picking up girls. Maybe it was that he felt better being a dishonest man openly to himself. He saw no pictures of a man or children in that hall, but maybe there was. That would explain why this whole thing had not worked out.
He glanced at a couple holding hands as they walked through the same lobby. The woman had her hair up and Richard could not help but to wonder momentarily what the man looked like without a shirt. Perhaps this was because he was being honest with himself for the moment. But more likely it was because the man was tall, strong and of the values that Rick Channing truly felt would help him defeat the beast that made him an outcast.
Our hero could not help but turn his head as they walked past him. Moving about six feet towards the entrance he told the next passerby, "She's cute," covering his tracks. He was sent a disgusted look back for the man, who turned his head to face Rick as they passed each other.
Rick Channing thought of other worlds, other situations that he may see in his life's future. "If all goes well," Rick thought, "I will be able to travel by yacht around the world. I will fly airplanes to the far reaches, just to watch all the vicious destruction I have inflicted on this unfair planet."
And he began to think that the speech went rather well.
The woman who lay on her desk in the classroom came back to his mind. He felt rather silly that they had gotten along in such a way. This rested Richard's otherwise heavy head. Being mindful of the old world he noted that man was right for telling him off. Women never knew what was best. The vote had only been given to them recently and history is always the finest teacher. The ceremonies and ideals held forth by the elders of his generation held true to this very day.
If they trusted the best traits of the past then the new generation of leaders would be able to world with the elders and forge the new path in secret. It was the way it had always been. Richard was a conservative, if not a traditionalist.
So Richard walked through the commons of the college and towards the coffee shop that he met at with his friends. Bob sat alone and he waved as Richard came near. Our hero walked straight to the cashier. Before buying the coffee Richard tried to enter the bathroom and pulled his cocaine out of his pocket. He was empty but licked the last of the powder off the little piece of paper.
It was a private bathroom so Richard looked in the mirror. He saw the shine in his eyes and tried once again to pour the remaining cocaine on the bathroom sink. The very last of it dissipated in water that lined the mantel. Rick licked it with his tongue telling himself that he received his latest hit. He walked back to the cashier and ordered coffee with pinpoint eyes and grinding teeth.
He forgot to dress his coffee but when asked mentioned to Bob that all the hardliners drink their coffee black. He said he didn't need cream or sugar as he sat on the patio.
Richard looked deep in thought, but Bob interrupted, "Hey man," he said, "How did your speech at the club go? Did your leader enjoy your company?"
"He's not my leader yet. I want to find the right guy to follow, you know." His jaw was shaking, "When I think of having a leader I think he should fit my ideals just right. He best not be a loser like this guy. He says he wants me to join the military, but he has no idea what I really want out of political life. I can't teach him that his heroes are wrong."
"That sort of thing you can't teach," Bob replied, "That is engrained in his consciousness from a young age. We are living proof of that, man. That sort of thing you don't unlearn."
"We had very little at first," Rick added.
He then quickly excused himself and told his friend that he had another meeting, though it was not for a few hours. Rick ran quickly home and picked up another half gram of cocaine, wondering where all his supply had gone, as it appeared that he needed to buy another large quantity. He hadn't sold more than those two flaps, he was sure of that, but it appeared that he had very little cocaine left. Enough to make it a couple of days, of course, but he would have to run to the other side of town soon to restock his supply.
PART TWENTY SIX:
"Nothing comes without hard work. We become strong and resilient. Our hands become gritty and tough, marked with sweat and tears that led us to a particular position." The elder told Richard in a private meeting they had set up to discuss the speech in front of the crowd.
Rick looked at his soft hands and noted the leader was lying. He clenched a fist and stood paranoid in silence. The elder stood, waiting to teach his young protégé.
"Maybe we should look into Adolf Hitler," the elder continued, "What are your feelings on him."
The young man grinned, "An enemy of Festin, sir."
"Yes, go on."
"And the man lacked judgment."
"In what way?"
"He was far to hasty. He did it in a way that the world had to do something to appease the population. The military strategy was proper, sir, but Hitler did not think ahead. He may have gotten further without military actions. I believe those were his missteps."
The elder nodded, "We are politics, child. We cannot let that be our statement, for nearly the same reason you gave in why he lost the war."
Richard looked at him and smiled his half a smile. The elder looked at him and stood to shake his hand. Richard had never seen a handshake like this. The elder's hand was overturned with three fingers sticking out an open palm. Richard reached for it and did the best he could, holding the old man's hand the common way.
Rick Channing continued, "You see, sir, the government must seem opposed to men like that. We must appear as the leaders of the free world, the ones who saved us all from those men who really taught us everything."
The elder nodded, thanking his protégé.
Richard said, "I never said I liked the idea, sir. I said his military strategy was quite powerful and perhaps he would have done better to not create such a war. The man did most things wrong and in the end he made too many enemies. I only have one."
The elder told Richard, "True politicians do not claim to have enemies, unless they are the enemies of our nation."
Rick Channing moved his chair back. It was time to show this old man who was in charge. Our hero was in a powerful position and sometimes one needs to regulate, "Then I will leave," he said.
Our hero excused himself from the room and moved in a slow manner until he felt safe to reach into his pocket and snort some more powerful cocaine. He felt more like a king than ever before. Behind this wall in his friend's office, there was a man feeling good about the future of his country. All the endorphins were dancing around his head and he rapped his finger off the flap.
He left the building quickly and passed an old black man that everyone called Sparrow. Our hero knew him from the cafeteria, where Sparrow served the students food. Richard tried to control the mans actions, sure that he was a person that was below his own power, but the man refused Richard's thought. Richard continued to try, "Placed beyond peyote, though if it is beyond the grasp of peyote." But today the cocaine was not working.
A halo shone around the black man's head.
"If the man took of the old man laughing," our hero muttered, "Heart and life take the feeding anyways."
Richard laughed and was asked by the loitering old man what he had said. A stunned young man stammered, "The poor demon in the corner. The one he would genuinely…"
He restarted, "He had one of the old ones there. They hurt his hand, old man. They would be in the mindset of heroes. The old world had their Gods, in this one we take the back road until they felt the war passed and time was told."
The black man excused himself, aware of our hero's hidden racism. Distant laughs mocked Rick Channing. There he stood under an overhang. It was the spot Richard usually stood. He knew that he was a man of wisdom, a scholar and a witty writer. His friend said so in math class, about an English assignment that he wrote. Richard blinked.
Our hero mocked the laugh back. "Here little birdie," he said. Richard reached for a little leaflet as a woman passed him by in order to look like he had a purpose and reason to be there. It was red white print.
The old man that Richard wanted to know waddled past him as he stood in the commons. Richard tried to blend into the wall, but was unnoticed by his leader. He knew in the back of his mind that he was lying to himself.
"A seemingly God blessed man of partial distrust," Richard said, "God took his hand and led down. If God was the one that had them undone and the bad man that danced around their cave would laugh as they fell down the well."
A passing group watched the man philosophize and Rick Channing knew they agreed. The love and blessing surrounded him. It was to these responses that Rick felt guilty. He stole from widows at funerals. He knew that it was all for power.
He noticed his years had taken the best of him. He knew his days of light had taken form. He laughed as he remembered a day in December when he had struck an old woman. She was being rather silly and wine usually blurred his thoughts. He was silent but wanted to cry.
But instead he laughed as he looked at his minds retrospective pictures. If God had this old soul than his creator watched the man who laughed and wrote dirt.
He was no Godsend of triumph. And this marked him with shame like he had forsaken his name. God took the liars. And Richard shivered because sparrow was dead in the ally. He had committed his second murder.
PART TWENTY SEVEN:
They sat for a moment enjoying the morning sun before Bob turned to our hero and asked, "So, any date for the dance?"
Dick Channing stammered, "Motion sickness and better illness, and the true face of that dumb hoe, fucking…"
He trailed off into silence for a moment and his friend asked once more. Richard said, "No."
Bob laughed, "Me neither. I was thinking about asking her." He pointed at a blonde woman walking quickly while staring at the ground and carrying a heavy book. "She is in my advanced calculus class."
Our hero spoke softly, "That ditch is fucking lame. Nobody hands out with her and she's usually alone at lunch. I've never seen her with anyone cool. She is even friends with that little Asian boy. You know the one, with that messy short black hair and pencil goatee. He wears his pants really tight."
"Yeah, he's a pretty cool guy."
"No he isn't, he's a fag."
"What do you know, Dick," Bob exclaimed, "you don't have a date yet either. The dance is this weekend."
"Yeah, I'm not going I don't think."
They sat in a moment of silence. Bob stirred nervously and took a big sip of his coffee. He rushed the drink and took another to finish, leaving a brown ring in an empty cup. Richard looked at his friend and drank more of his own.
The tables around them were beginning to fill and the dull roar of the crowd all having light conversations began to waver Dick Channing's consciousness. He heard a word from one table, one from another and a mumbled response from the first. It created a wave of nonsense and he was able to let his worries rest.
After sitting a minute Bob asked our hero, "What are your plans for tonight?"
"Open house at nine. At one of the halls down the road, I can't say which one."
"Say no more."
"It's a bunch of older men," Richard continued, "And one that I have met before. It's an opportunity to become truly respected. I am excited. This will help me bring my plan into fruition. I only have to say the right thing. Then I won't be an outsider any more."
"You only have one chance to make a first impression. Hopefully the man I met tells them I good I did in meeting him. I'd like that kind of prelude to this meeting."
"What plan's are you bringing to fruition?"
"It's like building on tomorrow by building properly today. What I do with my time may come back to bite me so I'm doing what will make me a success. Who cares if the girls here don't like me yet? One day they will respect me for my work, for my power, for my influence. Because Bob, that is what women want."
"Some want that sort of thing. I hope that someday a woman will just love me for me, maybe it's that girl I pointed out from my math class."
Richard finished his coffee. "That girl wouldn't know a powerful man if she fell into a party rally, if she came to the buildings where decisions are made."
"Yeah, but she's a beauty, isn't she? And smart! That is one trait I admire."
"Women," Dick said, "They best know what their place is. They're to make the man look good. They're to agree with him. I don't think she'd do this."
And Bob shook his head in disgust and began to excuse himself from the table. Dick Channing stood too, making a claim that he had a meeting to get to when he truly had none.
Once he arrived at the hall much later in the day he decided that the best way to act was like an elder in the situation. This was obvious to our hero, though it should be noted that when he thought this he claimed, "Never the elder in the situation is a good way to go." He titled his opinions that were not heard with short statements, using words that created pastoral images in which he could hide.
The thought was also home to a second silent energy, one which could hold the other party hostage in a way that he could influence them without their knowledge. These two silent thoughts were very important to Richard throughout his life.
He headed to the hall down the road. It was going to be an important meeting with his new friend. As he grows older he will grow apart with Bob and he needed these new friends to join him in his quests. Bob was not trying to increase his wealth and power, he was trying to help creepy foreign kids. Our hero did not understand this impact on life. They should have made themselves more like Richard's great-grandfather.
As Richard approached the doorway he noticed a man in the lobby. All was well in paradise so Dick waved as he walked by. The man waved back and our hero noted that he needed to bring his sense of humor to the hall.
"Good morning," the man said.
"Morning," Richard replied.
"Where are the places you were talking about? There is one room with the man who knows the senator well. These people are of society, Dick. We have a golden opportunity to make the right choices and live a happy life."
"I know, sir." Our hero said, rubbing his hands together, "I know that I am making moves to create the goals I have set out and just by doing it I have a world that still needs to be created and all the possibilities are still in front of me."
"I feel you are a visionary." The elder stated.