I have seen this picture of a centipede eating a frog alive. I had a dream about that and when I woke up, I screamed, because I thought it was somewhere on me and eating. But I just discovered a new nighty from Analisa on me. I’d like to talk to her, but I decided to do this at supper.
There are no days off. The company is working 24/7, I think. Like that centipede just completely brainless, a monster that is just eating. Mister Browdy was still in the lounge, but he was looking like he had a hangover. And he’s looking sad. Like that frog in my dream. Like the frog who doesn’t know what’s happening. Because the thing has poison that is paralysing him, all the power and all the anger. Poisonous Betty with a crush on her Pilates trainer. She doesn’t know why she’s doing it. It’s just her job, like the poison on that centipede. She’s part of it but in the end she claims to have done nothing bad. And they start to hate elves for that.
I really take dreams serious.
We have a storm coming. An Atlantic Ocean winter storm, one of the ugly things that haunt the east coast. Not as powerful as the tropic storms but nastier. Weather forecast telling there will be no flooding. Not here at least in the better parts of the town. It started a few days ago but they said it would not go onshore. And now it’s hitting Boston area. There was nasty hail and rain outside. Today they put me in the Ministry of Truth, I mean in the corporate communication department.
He’s a Harward lawyer. His name is Mister Moretti. What are a thousand lawyers on the bottom of the sea? – A good start. But Mister Moretti is nice. There are as many women in this company as there are men, but I mostly meet men, that show me around. Of cause this is statistically not significant yet. But I have an idea why it is like that, when I meet Jerry, who was putting his hand on my knee and tried to get up on our way here in the limo. I will have problems to keep him off my legs without using a dose of pepper spray soon. And that, of cause, will get me fired and the run will fail.
The people in this department are con artists. I know one if I see one. Just those are working on the ‘lighter’ side of the law. They call themselves public relation manager and corporate layers and marketing specialists. But they would write scam mails if they would come from Nigeria as a living and rip of old ladies from Detroit off their pension without a blink of an eye. Most likely their own grandmothers.
“We have a very modern system, design computers from Novatech blogger and social media representatives”, and he’s nodding into the cubicles with little personal stuff in it and personal mostly in their twenties. “We are very young and modern on side of the representation of our company, look this is the estimated value over time, Sarah, could you please show the actual presentation?” It’s like a commercial for a product that’s actually helping people for a better life. “Shall I first put this out and then work on the ugly thing or what’s the schedule?”, she asked. “No, put out the positive message first, timing is essential”, he laughs.
“You know, Lisa, I may call you by name?” and he smiles and puts his arm parental around me, but he’s just in his forties I guess, “our work here is not like the number crunching and pushing on the other levels. We are working on dreams here. We are compiling truths, it’s a very artistic way to form the perception of a company like this in the public eye. And even more important than the public eye is what the stock market is thinking. Because”, and he does this gesture like ‘all this is mine’, “all is about money. But that’s not the way the human mind is working. You can’t present numbers. You have to tell a story. A vision, you understand?”
He offered me a drink at the bar, Amaretto. “I can’t I’m pregnant”, I said. “Oh, bambina, a nip won’t kill a child”, and he opened his arms. “There’s nothing more important than a happy mother for the child.” I smiled and took a nip to be friendly. But somehow he now was a bit less interested in me. I would be happy when I had put a five hundred kilo TNT package in the center of this shit and would stand outside and press the trigger. The idea was giving me a warm feeling in my belly for a moment, seeing all those lawyers and professional liars blown out of the windows, screaming with the orange-red flower of justice burning behind them. I giggled by the idea when I saw him crashing on one of the parking BMW coupés in front of the building. But he misunderstood my laughter. “See, bambina that’s the way we do our work here. Smile”, and he puts on this all winning American toothpaste president smile on him.
“For example, this painting: Hope for Africa. Value 100k Nuyen, he said proudly. Local artist. We are unconventional, artistic folk around here in CC. We love our freedom.” The folks of the department were allowed to pull off their shoes, loiter on the sofas in a thinking attitude and even the light grey was actually talking with the people in black. But still everybody in uniform. Nobody seems to own a desk, they sat around in groups, in well coordinated disorder with the boss terminal in it’s center. And even if I wasn’t allowed to do anything here, “you understand, we are all very professional”, I could clearly see that everything that was done was going through the commlink of Mister Amaretto, centralized, controlled and permitted. He wasn’t giving me the two cent tour, it was the tour for a dollar, maybe because he knew I was with the Rosenbaums and somehow important.
I had just to listen and to appreciate, I was not forced to collaborate like at the reception. And you have to enjoy the little benefits of the moment; no barfing. At least not physical. “Everything”, he explained, “is going through my terminal. What you see here are the scheduled news and postings we have written a day ago or two, what we are writing and know today, will be the news tomorrow. So our reaction to our stock course is not arbitrariness. It’s the amalgam of arts and science, everything is planned in advance. We are not in the 20th century any more, bambina.”
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
That was the sign hanging on the wall behind his desk.
When the time was up, I went to eat my Sushi, consultant fries I call them and put some vinegar over it, which was my personal extra for that. I was called into the bureau of Mister Rosenbaum. Senior.
“So, Lisa”, I was sitting on the front edge of a chair just on point blank before his majestic oak desk, “how do you like working here?” I wasn’t sure what to say. “Ehr…”, but it seems it was a rhetorical question. “I can see there is… something wrong with your stats. I have to call the IT, they messed up your work profile. But you did well, I suppose?” “I am…” “Do you have any questions.” “Well it was very interesting but I don’t understand how you can possibly know the future. I’m just coming back from the CC”, I explained. “That means you know your own stock value in advance?”
“That’s what they said? Ah, well, Lisa. If you try to build up stability you have to make the one or other trade-off. It’s just like you have to chose between living in the gutter as a waitress or joining us in this great adventure.” And he smiled as he meant what he said. “I’m sorry that I have at the moment not the personal time to show you around, but of cause you can come to me at any time, if you have questions or you do not understand what’s going on. Do you have any preference where you would like to start your work? I have no complaints about you and I admit, I had my doubts about your ability, but…”, he seems to be distracted by his commlink, “excuse me, Lisa. Yes”, he said and then, “I’m so sorry, Lisa. There is something going on. You know I really work hard to make our little company bigger, and we are just about to make some big investments. That means we liquidate some of our stock and make it to money. That’s why everybody is a bit tight up around here. In a few days it will be over and we will really have a personal talk.” He winked me with a smile, “I really like you. And I heard you made friends with Analisa. That’s good. But now, please excuse me.”
“May I have an hour off, because I wanted to surprise Analisa with something?”, I asked. “Yes, yes, Lisa. Nobody is holding you back”, but he was already in his conversation, so I silently slipped out of his bureau.