They all knew how it worked, more or less, how they go about making your acquaintance. What happens is you’re probably walking down a street somewhere, going about your daily mundane, when all of a sudden, a couple of guys materialize out of nowhere-smoke, and moving quickly, take hold of you in a fiercely understated but determined way. And it’s totally a weird thing you’re experiencing, what with your guts churning around inside like laundry, while at the same time you’re realizing that a group of  people have gathered around, glued to the action, like it’s a TV bad guy show, 24, or something, which maybe it is; but since there aren’t any cameras around to substantiate this premise, they have to know that its not. And then there’s the fat kid wearing a Jet’s T shirt, eating a hotdog and grinning sauerkraut at you, hoping for the worst; a kid you immediately feel like smashing. And nobody does anything or tries to interfere in any way, though you’d guess someone might cry out or call the cops or something. [Perhaps onlookers are simply mesmerized by the controlled savagery and the stark professionalism of  it all, in tandem with the idea that the government is about to fix some terrorist asshole for good, or the Mob off some squealer. So why not just sit back and enjoy the show?] But let’s not forget you,  you in the midst of the hurly burley, because you’re The Man, as they say, the centerpiece, the victim du jour. The thing is, even if you’re a life-long addict of rough house sports you will be astonished by the frightening effect all this activity is having on your nervous system. A rush of fear is now traveling up and down your spine like a baby girl scream, preparing you for the entirely new terrain that you’re about to enter.  At this point, you probably know, that you’re not going to be beaten up or robbed or anything mundane like that. What you’re only dimly aware of, though, is that something much worse is about to happen--namely, that your access to whatever constitutes a normal life will soon be taken from you: ever bit and particle and freckle, every absurd joke; the narcotic nipple of joy, even, pulled from your mouth at first suck; and in the process, your inalienable belief in the self inviolate, will be revealed as quite alienable after all. But not to worry, what you have lost will soon be replaced by other things, things that are guaranteed to claim your complete attention. The truth is, you have now become the thrall of a tyrannical force, a force that does not much care to think of  you as a human being, but as a container, a receptacle, a tube, perhaps, containing information that it is eager to possess.  And we all know how toothpaste or salve or ointment, or information, for that matter, is removed from a tube, don‘t we?. And what’s truly pathetic, is that you can’t even scream or cry out or curse, because they have beat you to the punch. Your vocal powers have been mysteriously neutralized.  How you might ask? Let me tell you how. By a spray professionally administered at first contact. A few drops of which on reaching the lips, tongue or nostrils, are more than sufficient to destroy your ability to articulate words or sounds. What is now left at your disposal is simply a childish gurgling sound, of little use to a person in mortal distress, not to mention, if you are forced to listen to it for any length of time, belittling to your humanity. The next thing of note that occurs is, most probably, you will soon find yourself sitting cozy, I mean, thigh to thigh, with a couple of guys, in the backseat of  a darkened SUV. Then all of a sudden something weird happens. Someone razors open your pants and underwear and shoves a suppository up you ass, knocking you out cold in thirty seconds. “This blind date has gone too far,” you think, as you sink into blankness; your little joke floating like a soiled tissue above your rapidly emptying mind. Then it’s just a short trip to a small airport and a quick step or two into a private jet; of course you’re now wearing a jumpsuit and there’s a Klan style hood stuck on your head and your hands and feet are chained. And you know in your heart that this is only the beginning, and that soon you will be inordinately and egregiously fucked, far beyond the degraded fantasies of even so inspired an inventor of perversities as the esteemed Marquis de Sade. And it’s safe to say you would not be wrong; because the good Marquis only wants your body and a fair shot at your available orifices--since his mind is what it is, the enclave of a guiltless innocent. But the mind behind your assault desires is not pleasure but hegemony over your entire being.


Note# The above story is part of a longer work THE SMOLDERING.