Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life at the Sentient Bean / Randy

“ You took her to a casino?” Suki shrieked.
“Have you ever tried to stop Fang Fang from doing anything?” I stated flatly.

“You American men don’t know how to handle your women.” she sneered in her inscrutable way.
“First, she was no longer my woman. Second Suki, you were born in Buffalo so don’t try to pull that ruse on me.”
With that Cyrus came preening into the room and said “Cleveland?”
He was clueless as ever.
“Iksnay on the uffalobay,” I signaled to her.
With that Cyrus pressed his beak near Suki, and began to sniff. “Ah my dear Suki, for a moment I thought you were Fangy pooh.”
“I’ll Fangy pooh you, you, you bird brain!” I was just able to redirect her lunge with a well placed waist grasp and redirection while Bannister ushered Cyrus into the audio isomix room with a sense of urgency that was lost on Cyrus.
“Look, I know what you think about Cyrus, but I don’t think he has anything to do with Fang Fang’s disappearance. Come on lets go outside and tell me what you know.”
As we exited the elevator into the lobby, security eyed me suspiciously. After my entrance with Mediatrix and his cab earlier I could not blame them, but the carnage was well on the way to complete repair. This is not the first taxi cab to drive into this lobby. Probably not the last.
Out in the fresh air of the plaza Suki looked at me and asked, “How can you still work with that man after what happened to Randy?”
Randy had been one of my closest friends and colleagues for years, not to mention Suki and Fang Fang had grown very fond of him in the short time they knew him. It was he who introduced me to Cyrus back when they were producing sports specials years before the 2018 final meltdown. It was then that Cyrus had stiffed me on a project after working me to the brink of hallucination and personal meltdown. But I got off easy. It cost Randy his life.
Back then Cyrus had to focus his exploitation on those around him. However he was as ruthless then as he is today and he relied heavily on those around him. Randy was the one he relied on the most. Finally a few years ago after sleepless  weeks of holding Cyrus’s claw and dealing with his clueless epiphanies, Randy made the air date, drove back to his secluded home in Indiana, and fell asleep in his driveway with a lit cigarette. After the drive and weeks of abuse Randy went out in a blaze. Other factors were cited by the authorities due to Randy’s character specialities, but knowing intimately what a few weeks of working with Cyrus back in those days could do to a person, I have my suspicions.
This was in the days when Cyrus thought he needed to be involved intimately with his projects. Not that he was of any use then or now other than as a front man.  But now his far flung fracking and other dubious enterprises have paid off handsomely thus achieving a scope and lucrative nature that they now occupy most of his attentions. These days he only appears for the bows. So he drove his cart over the bones of the dead and now he does these projects for the joy he gets from fucking with the great unwashed masses collective head.
My quality time years before while working weeks on end for Cyrus with few if any hours of sleep, leaving Cyrus to pursue his global exploitation by day while nightly offering supervisory indecision as he cluelessly threw me into hallucinations, mini stroke, and years of voluntary removal from picking pockets via the airwaves.
All I know is I was hovering in a white haze in Cyrus’s loft space thirty feet above the floor while no matter how many grease pencil marks, open and close re-edits, or ubiquitous blue, yellow, or red arrows I pressed, left me feeling like I was pulling my nose off my face with stretching fibrous strands between the two parts of me still unable to accomplish a simple task I had performed millions of times. I was only brought back to my senses by the parakeet voice squeaking, “You have been blathering incoherently.”
The trim had been tromped out of me. I was through, as I was with my marriage a few weeks previous to this ordeal. I am sure some chalked it all up to my character specialities as well. Fuck-em.
The only reason I worked with the son of a bitch back then was because Randy was out of the country and asked me to do so. Randy was doing me a favor while he was working the International Sports extravaganza that was staged in those days to try and maintain goodwill amongst countries. But as the ratings fell and the animosity between the haves and have nots grew; not to mention the corporate under the table government funding of those events dried up, it was then that circuses of those sort  went as it is said, the way of the Greeks.

I never watched them anyway.
If nothing else, the Chinese intractability and severe punishments for working people endless hours has kept the likes of Cyrus Plush in their gilded freedom of contract cage. These are not the Chinese of Mao. But they have their own priorities, and get their pound of flesh in their own way. Humans will be humans.
So it is a new world with new realities which call for all sorts of alignments. We have sharpened our spears and limited our frontiers. Cyrus has to put cash down on each project so I know I will get paid. Now Fang Fang and Suki need my help.
“Look, let me go babysit the budgies up there and I’ll meet you at the Sentient Bean tonight around seven. We can talk. I’ll tell you what I know, you tell me what you know and we’ll go from there.” I smiled reassuringly at Suki and I thought I noticed a slight glimmer of hope in her eyes.
I went to hail a cab only to see that Mediatrix’s cab, somewhat worse for wear and tear, was the first in the line. His grey visage glowering at me through the windshield. Fortunately some self important suit pushed his way passed Suki and I and hopped into the Trixed out cab. I helpfully closed the door for the cheap suit and said “Enjoy the ride,” while I gave the Trixeter a wink.
“See, you don’t even fight for my cab you emasculated round eye.” Suki snapped.
‘Believe me, that was not the cab you wanted.” said I.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Life at the Sentient Bean / Fish on the Brain

Cyrus strutted in with those words. I swear he dressed and moved more and more like a parakeet every time I saw him. Which was rather disconcerting considering  he was a very large and a very rich man. But there he was in a powder blue suit, the whitest shirt I had seen in years, and a mottled grey bow tie. Perhaps his morphing into a bird had something to do with his fish fixation of late, but a clear theme had emerged with his work. At his side was Aurora Mora and it dawned on me where I had just seen that face and figure. The animators had used her to model our fishy temptress in the spot. Cyrus’s motivations and drives were generally as confused as the confused and obfuscated messages we were foisting on the public.

“You need to get Fang Fang back lads, she never would have let you stray as far from the fishy trail as you had in that last cut.” Cyrus whistled as he found the mirror in the room and he moved his head jerkily as he admired his beloved.

He was right of course. Having the Fangster shacked up with Cyrus was a great source of insider information. She would give us a heads up in the night after Cyrus had one of his brain storms. We would be well on the way before he even arrived at the suite. Fang Fang also would take great delight in describing Plush's mating rituals which often involved him brainstorming current campaign ideas while doing “unspeakable things to my person” as Fang would put it. She claimed to suffer through it, but the look in her eye belied the suffering point.

All I know is when she fled Cyrus and begged me to hide her she was not the same Fang Fang Wu from Buffalo that I had met in the alley behind the Sentient Bean. She had sharpened edges upon return. Sure she still portrayed the tough worldly smart aleck oriental female delight in public, but the softer private side of her had disappeared after Cyrus. The only glimpse was in her dreams and nightmares. Only then could I see the original little Wu’ster, But after waking up shivering she would collect herself and not ever let the inner little girl out to play anymore.

Bannister was talking budget with Aurora, because nobody talked dollars with Cyrus. Bannister had that producer middle man hat on now so I knew the rest of the day would be one of:  “How much will this cost?, What is taking so long? I’m not paying for that.”

But that’s OK. We would make our dough by marking up the lunch order. Bread and Circuses should have been Cyrus’s middle name.

Cyrus was done at the mirror, so he began to chirp about the ramifications of the research into the meme of fish. I knew my headache would get much worse as this little diatribe began.

“Fish lads. It goes back to the beginning, where we all began. We all are just chock full of former fish molecules. Damn it! The very core of our brain goes back to when we were all fish. Swimming and reproducing in that primordial soup. It is in our very core. We see these creatures fluttering around, and since we know they won’t eat us, or at least most of them won’t, all it does is engage our breeding instinct. Yes. Three responses. Either we want to eat them, fuck them, or if they stand in the way of our eating and fucking, eliminate them. In this film we are going for the big ol’ randy flounder response in us. Whether they know it or not, people watching this fish will feel invigorated, they will want energy. Energy provided by the caffeine in our illustrious beverage. The alcohol will tear down their inhibitions. Their public persona will become radiant, wide awake, and most the uninhibited little beasts we can be. Shivery and shimmering with moist viscous exteriors, rubbing membrane against membrane coating each other with our own special brand of sputum. Thats what we are selling. Selling the sizzle, not the steak. Any knucklehead can drink whiskey with a cola back. We are selling the ultimate combo platter. Heaped high with promise of immersion into that great ecstasy. Now get on with it! Aurora!! Deep conference.”

Banister in his best cover your own ass moment asked again, “Cyrus, are you sure we don’t need to add a disclaimer mentioning the other ingredients in our product?”

“Tut tut my dear boy. That is so 20th century of you.”

With that Cyrus toddled towards the conference room with Aurora Mora in tow and shut the door.

“Chop chop, wicky wicky,” announced Bannister. “You heard the man”

As we worked only once did a disheveled and wobbly kneed Aurora exit the room to provide the lunch order. “Are you sure you don’t need Cyrus out here yet,” she asked hopefully. I shook my head. Aurora sighed and resignedly returned to the conference room.

Before lunch arrived we had a surprise visitor. It was non other than Suki Su Wu.

“Have any of you heard from Fang Fang,” she asked in a highly disconcerted tone as she scanned the room.

“Last I saw she was busy humping a slot machine.” I said with trepidation.

Suki looked disgusted and then cast her eye’s down in the oriental shame ploy I recognized from her sister. I knew when she would look up from that feint I was in big trouble.