“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.