A work of fiction by Tobias Nixon
Reading pretty much most books (other than Mein Kampf say) is an opportunity to open your heart. When (if) you finish this novella go donate some money (but only in lieu of your time if you’re too busy) or your time to someone that needs it. Then do something even more amazing and don’t tell anyone about it. You will feel at least 2000 years old! This is what Buddha and Jesus were banging on about; that moment. Trust me. It’s priceless... unlike Xmas which can be expensive, except that luckily shopping is fun.
Was he a druggie? A doped out Cabra junkie, out of cash and chasing the dragon. Half the hopeless seemed to be smackie’s. Their lost vacant stares absolved in the escapism they craved. Dissolution of pain, into the warmth of the dragons caress. The sweet feeling you never, ever wanted to let go of.
For some strange reason he felt his hand reaching inside for loose change. He never did that, not ever. These guys were all government employed beggars that supplemented their income with cash from the misguided. It was society’s guilt trip, everyone knew that. Still he bowled the gold and silver in his hand ($5.85, by his touch), underarm, roughly at the cap, and walked on.
For a moment he thought the old man stared at him. The stare wasn’t a drunken haze gaze. It wasn’t the self-hatred of life time of misery. The man looked back at him with pity. The warmth of that gaze was truly a wonder to behold; William felt a strong rush of heat up his spine and shivered.
Both at the warmth he felt and the lasting effect that look of pity had had upon him. A second later he pushed the experience back down into the mind-depths and walked on. All that was left was confusion and anger towards the beggar that had looked down at him.
He had a feeling today was going to be a day to remember. A day to be a rock star, make big fat rolls of fold. A giant shark swimming in a tiny fucken fishbowl.
Friday the 25th of February, 2011
William slid out of bed, past the magnificent Chinese beauty that lay rugged up beneath the light summer sheets. Cute, the way she had kept him at bay. Last night had been months in the planning. Now though her sweetheart was just another entry in his book of girlfriends. His room looked brand new he reflected, because it was.
William swung out of bed, careful not to alarm the gentle Namibian hottie. Gentle that was unless you made the mistake of waking her up. Only assholes made the same mistake twice. Last night had been a top ten moment. Sad because the last two weeks were holding down spots 1 through 5. He almost felt bad about the break up email he had scheduled Outlook to send later today.
“Look where you’re going.” She cried.
“You a lawyer sonny?” she questioned him as he stepped around her and continued on. “Forgotten how to say sorry?” her mild tone and scolding manner grated on him, reminding him off his mum.
He was marching on now filled completely with a red hot anger that burnt. Holding his doppio regally, back straight, the morning hardened his thoughts. Some people composed symphonies in the shower; he built strategic models investment risk as he walked. The nameless faces were his “notes” each new face caused his mind to instantly reconnect the thousands of data points. Then he’d let things settle down. Usually before lunch he would fly into the head dealer (Jack Stevens) office and put forward a proposal that made shareholders happy.
Four weeks ago the things had gone to whole new level. Audit had found liquidity short fall of over four billion dollars. Dealing room was on a mad scramble to make it back pronto. High risk trading ensued. Forex and low cap mining stocks were plundered. People’s bonuses were on the line. Sleep was an option for the lazy.
William rose from his slumber, the gorgeous finish blonde murmured. As he tried to swing from the bed she laid soft hands across his belly.
“Don’t” it was a command with a promise attached. And who exactly was he to argue with that?
Several extremely pleasurable minutes later and he was working up a different kind of sweat. The morning routine never quite felt so good when it came second. Not that there was a single ounce of sympathy anywhere on the planet. Adrenaline eventually overrode testosterone. It had to it was the alpha hormone.
As he wheeled around the corner from George onto martin place, the early sun met his vision. He passed the Anzac memorial. In the distance the sound of music filtered softly past his ears. A kid on a skateboard zoomed by. Leering at him.
A beggar sat near the steps of the Armani Exchange shopfront. The man was drunk and high. His slurring speech barely audible as he asked for cash. His pocket had loose change from last night’s boozy birthday party for the hot Exec P.A. at Eden. He pulled it from his pocket in disgust. Held it out palm up stretched, as he walked straight past. He could feel the man’s eyes. Trying to decide whether to rob him right there and then. Only for half a second, before those red eyes sunk back into their hollow skull.
He walked on driven by his fury at those that refused to help themselves. He wondered idly if the drunk had made him angry because he reminded him of that bloody... beggar! There he was sitting straight backed on his smelly rag. Dirty felt hat upturned to collect the meagre droppings of a society that had both failed and scorned him.
As he regathered his stride on the full step, the man’s voice cut a line of ice along his side, “I thank you good Sir. You are a generous man. Are you sure however you would not like keep this?”
Will didn’t look back as he crossed the road with the Channel 7 sunrise lights burning in his eyes. He just knew the old man was holding his felt hat up towards his back.
He flew through his morning routine. Arms bulged, feeling tight from the build-up of lactic acid.
Ground hog day once again he thought as he passed the Anzac memorial. The sun seemed to hit his eye; just like it had... he walked on with his eyes closed for several seconds.
William bounced out bed, making up for lost time he skipped his usual routine and only did 500 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, skipping the twenty military pull-ups all together. His rock hard abdominals were usually the last thing his current brown haired honey needed to feel. Shear unfaked ecstasy quickly followed. Shower-breakfast-shave was a new record time and he was back on track.
“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr Davies, I have a feeling you are going to open those ears of yours very soon. Now however, I guess I should point out its well 7:57 am, and... Uh, didn’t you say you had an 8 o’clock?”
Something made him want to stay even as he looked down at his watch. Impossible. He’d been here for barely a minute, but the watch said twenty.
William moved his legs in precision like a gymnast to slide from bed to ground. His morning routine was the start to success. So said his dad, a man Will could quote at will. 1000 sit-ups, push-ups till failure, twenty military pull-ups. The brunette lying naked amongst the silk sheets. Her soft heaving chest uncovered. Long slender arms held back against the bed head. Dammit if he didn’t stop looking soon, they’d both be sweating it out for another quarter of an hour. He was curious though, he thought maybe the old guy would be there today. No idea why but somehow curiosity won out over a nine from ten stunner, that would do... anything. An RBS PR chick. Go figure. Shower-breakfast-shave.
“Fuck you asshole! Watch where your fucken well going.” He cursed. He made to push the junkie but the guy was too quick, small, hungry, but nimble and quick.
The next second his right arm was reaching low, scooping the meagre contents of Master Batia-chan’s hat and running across the Elizabeth Street intersection.
He thought of his mother, the final time he’d seen her, her blackened body burnt beyond recognition, trapped within a twisted metal cage. He’d refused to even climb into a car for two years afterwards, and he still preferred to walk. Silent tears trickled down the outside of his eyes onto and along the strong male jaw line, two rivulets arcing towards his chin.
Still it was hard to think of the junkie as a fellow human being, much less someone to have compassion for. The man was just scum wasn’t he? His watch said 7:58 AM. Shit, time to run, after last month he really didn’t want to buy another $1000 round. The time dilation effect. Again. #Time-fail. What was with that? Why did he keep running into this old man that made him laugh and cry.
The pretty uni student (he think he remember her saying) pushed one of her pins out slowly alongside his outer thigh, rubbing it. She curled around on top, and then started to give him a gentle back rub.
He brushed her off gently in return. No time for games, today. He had a market to beat, he had to stay focused, on... his morning routine.
Morning playthings be damned. Morning routines were made to be adhered to. If she was there when he got home tonight, he’d make it up to her. Shower-breakfast-shave.
He pressed it there when she resisted, her once proud features suddenly jumping to the forefront. He smiled at her and spoke again in her native language. The woman hesitated. It was as if, at that moment an epic battle raged within her. Her hardened features searched Batia-chan’s face suspiciously.
Breaking through the George St throng, he headed up in the early dawn sun past the Anzac memorial. His head tilted curiously on a sharp angle to the right as the sunshine glinted from the top of the tomb. It caught in his eyes and made him blink. He thought he saw a Buddhist monk, the prayer beads handing from his right hand, his left arm folded in supplication. When he blinked the image of the monk standing next to the tomb was gone.
“How are you Batia-chan?” Will smiled back
“I see you have remembered to smile.”
As they began to chat, Will pulled out a roll of cash that he had withdrawn earlier. It was in the thousands. As he slowly lowered it to Batia-chan’s hat, a shocking thing happened.
“I fear that you still have not understood what I have been trying to show you all along. It is right before your eyes. The anger you have towards yourself, you must find some way of atonement that lets you release it.” He paused then turned to look directly at William. He wasn’t smiling. The pity was gone, only sadness remained.
“If I see you again, it will be because you have started to walk the path of the Tao.”
Will looked at his friend again but the other man wouldn’t look back at him. In the end feeling uncomfortable and more than a little lost he turned towards work. Batia-chan didn’t want his money, but clearly wanted him to be a better person. It seemed that to Batia-chan, money had no true value; it was the value of the individual’s contribution, the helping of other human beings.
William Davies sat alone, cross legged in his bed. The morning light shone through the window. He barely felt the warm rays on his back. In his thoughts a rebellion was mounting. The forces of good could be held back no longer. The priorities he had held so dear: To have a star studded career with an important equities dealer, to meet every last hottie in Sydney, to retire by the age of 35.
Friday the 23rd of December, 2011