The Past (Part 6)
Despite my success on creating this psuedo-Anonymous faction of mine, there was an overwhelming unease and grief I felt from the work I had done, feeling moral entropy grab hold of men, and watching as I spiraled into my own darkness.
I let drunkenness consume me and become my addiction, leading my soul into a stupor I could not resist.
I threw my hands into my hair in complete and total loss for life.
From my work shelf, next to a balancing scale I possessed I picked up my copy of Common Sense and averted my eyes out the window, to see if I could find the future in the stars.
Even with iHeart being such a breakthrough for me, the pain of betrayal I felt from Amanda never left me. It always gave me depression, knowing I found the greatest thing in the world I’ll ever know and losing it forever.
I would visit casinos and gamble, ever since 21st birthday. Pachinko and every other lucky "777" pushed me into moral depravity.
I screamed in red hot anger, agony creasing my face, as I punched a drywall.
On the floor I found my Leviathan copy and kept in my hands, while desperately staring at my own ceiling hoping for an answer to come into my mind.
I had a love for music, I had a love for missions, I had a love for life. But in every one of those things I had failed and the depression left me damaged.
I fell into a moral depravity, letting addiction to things like porn and masturbation destroy me utterly.
It got to the point where after work I’d go home, press my back against the wall, and slowly slip down until my butt hit the floor and my head fell between my knees, as I broke down and hit rock bottom.
Only to realize that God was the Rock at the bottom. I looked up to view my copy of The Divine Comedy and picked it up in my hands, staring out my door and realizing I still haven’t lost the most important thing - faith.
In losing my freedom and my childhood, I nearly lost my sanity. But one thing which Grandpa Wilbur left me was my faith in God, and because of that, I believed somewhere deep down that I was meant for something, and that kept me alive.
Still, I couldn't take the pain much longer. I cut my arm with a kitchen knife and held it out in front of me, my palm facing the ground. I watched as a thick rivulet of blood oozed out. I crinkled my face, suddenly disgusted at my own actions.
I bandaged my arm up while in tears, trying to contain the moral dilemma of my conscious from collapsing from within.
I looked at my desk and saw Wilbur’s Bible. I picked it up in my hands and stared at the sky from my window view, remembering that simple truth that my Redeemer lives.
Mike & Gaiya
Volenheim and Mr. Kelly’s success was vital to the success of my organization, but it wasn’t enough. I needed powerful, influential figures with ambitions as strong as mine. That was when I heard a podcast coming from an iHeart radio broadcast where a man named Mike Vendetta did a hot-take on the “Social Contract” idea proposed by the great intellect Thomas Hobbes.
I knew immediately that this man could be someone who could work for me.
One of the desk secretaries at iHeart told me some guy named Charles Gaiya was here to see me. I didn’t recognize that name at all. For all I knew, he was a friend of my mother’s or maybe somebody Jeremiah knew.
I stepped out of the hallway and into the lounge to see a tall, light-skinned, Hispanic guy standing there in a black cloak and peering down on me with the most ominous and condescending glare I’ve ever felt in my life. I didn’t know who he was, but he spelled trouble.
“Can I help you?” I asked.
“I wanted to speak with you. Privately,” he said.
I had no idea what this guy wanted. Suddenly I was worried if I spoke with him outside he’d shank me with a multi-tool.
“Well my office is open if you wanted to speak to me there,” I pointed down the hallway. He seemed pleased.
He followed me into my office where I sat at the far chair and he sat at the chair by the door. I made sure to turn off all the soundboards and lightboards and shockmount microphones so that there wouldn’t be any unnecessary distractions from whatever this guy had to say to me.
“So, what did you want to speak with me for?” I asked. “Do I know you?”
“No, not yet. But you will,” Gaiya said, cryptically as he liked. “See, I’m running a campaign. And I heard your comment the other day, and the quote has resonated quite a lot. I even wrote it back down,” he grabbed out a piece of paper with my own words written on it again and again. “I was actually captured by what you said, whether you meant for that or not. Rule under one. Global unification. The United Nations’ failed prophecy. Whatever you said, I think, you were on to something.”
“Not really, though I’m flattered,” I responded. “But my conjecture was no more than Hobbes’ ′Leviathan.’”
“Ah, that’s where I see you are indeed mistaken. Hobbes implied the submission of humankind. What you implied was...the culmination of capitalism.”
I raised my eyebrow. Everything this man was saying was ominous, yet ambitious as fuck.
“See, I’m a huge capitalist advocate. I hate communism deeply. I feel both systems have been exploited however and used in quite an insufficient matter. My proposal was total revolution, and perhaps reignite the flame of capitalism to burn for the working people, and allow only the successful and strong to survive. The top will rise only by merit to earn the right of power, leaving behind the old corruption and swindling, lobbyist pestilence,” Gaiya retorted his own political rhetoric.
“You...” I wasn’t expecting to meet with a man of such ideals. It appalled me.
“I haven’t even dived into the full picture, but what I’d like to do is invite you into my campaign, and give you high rank right off the bat. Your services in iHeart may remain, but in turn, you use your platform as our stance.” Gaiya smirked.
“′Our’? How large of a group are we talking?”
“About 500 men and growing,” Gaiya told him.
“That’s puny,” I sneered.
“Heh, that’s a direct militia in preparation. The true group extends to thousands uncounted. For right now, I intend to take steps that will bring this campaign of mine to fruition, to Machiavelli’s sanctuary, and Bismarck’s unfulfilled dream.”
“I’m going to have to decline.”
There was silence for a moment between the two of us. Gaiya just hung his arm loosely over the back of the chair and eyed my every movement, down to the microcosms.
“Well I’m sorry about your decision-”
“But,” I interjected. “I do want to keep you in contact. I work in a network of interactions that iHeart doesn’t know about. No one knows. Not even the government. Only those involved. Shall we...keep in touch?”
Gaiya grinned largely at the statement. He knew I had been hooked. “Absolutely.”
Dante & Princess
I got in with a gig over at a cafe nearby my house. I would talk there with my guitar case in tow and play some random songs I memorized and entertain the small crowd in that shop however way I could.
I left the cafe early one rainy day and I took my usual walk home, before I noticed a crowd forming beneath a 5 story building.
One day, Patrick’s friends and him were looking to invest with some insurance brokers, so they took a trip to Philadelphia to go discuss things with some of them, and they let me tag along, since they didn’t trust me there alone, feeling I’d seize the opportunity to rat on them.
One of the brokers recommended another friend of theirs, to help Patrick and the others cash out. He often moved around a lot, but his location was in a town called Royersford, 45 minutes west.
They thanked him and went on their way. They arrived there early morning after crashing the night, still enjoying their wealth and partying it up. Patrick especially had banged me up that night, and shamed me further.
When we arrived in Royersford, it was a dreary, rainy day. But they were willing to meet up with their broker anyway. I felt an aura in that town, but couldn’t quite explain it. Somehow, I was connected to that town.
Arriving at the man’s offices, Kevin and company starting walking inside while I wanted to stay in the car and rest a bit. Patrick smirked at me and told me to come along, but I kept refusing. He forced his hand down my body and over my private parts, making me incredibly uncomfortable like he always did. With all the feelings kept bottled in my mind and all the oppression and hardship I kept quiet about, with no one to turn to, I eventually exploded at Patrick and screamed at him.
For fear that I would ruin relations with them and their broker, Patrick screamed back, and aggressively slammed me against the car. The other three men left into the building, with Patrick heading behind them slowly, screaming at me “Fine, have it your way! Stay there and keep being a bitch!”
I just slid down the car door and sat against it, crying and sobbing uncontrollably. I decided that there was no reason anymore to my life, and I had no purpose. I was useless, worthless, and had no meaning. Like a tool that’s become broken. God didn’t send me. It wasn’t meant to be.
I sat there, gazing at the building before me, and a ladder attached to its outer wall. With emotions racing across my mind, I walked up to it, slowly, seeing it as the image of my eventual demise.
I climbed the ladder to the rooftop of the building, which was about 5 stories high, and slippery. I stood at the top, admiring the sky and nature, as it shone white from the cloud-filled atmosphere, as I myself shone white, transfiguring. People walking to work or going to cafes to grab a bite took notice of me, and crowded around to see. They formed a small semicircle in front of the building, all of them staring upward at me. The clouds above me started swirling towards me as if my presence itself had called them, and with that, I embraced the end of my life, and deliberately plunged toward the force of gravity leading to my death. One small light out of 7 billion.
But that very morning in Royersford, Pennsylvania, this small light fell into the arms of a boy with a guitar.
Night fell. Princess and I sat outside by Tony Luke’s, making overly exaggerated breaths and gasps since we could see our breath in the chill winter air more crisply now while we ate our cheesesteaks. Anthony walked over with his order (he’s a wiz wit’ guy) and sat down by us.
“Today was a fun day,” I said, reflecting and a little disappointed it already got so late.
“It ain’t over, Dante. The night’s young after all,” Princess poked me, biting her lip and full of excitement.
I chuckled. “Hey listen, listen, I still want to sleep early today since you woke us up early,” I pointed at Princess. “Plus we need to catch up on work tomorrow morning since you made us take the day off.”
“Ah...” Princess took a deep breath and leaned back a bit, just swaying a little. “It’s a beautiful night.”
We all starting staring at the sky as she said that. We gazed at the infinite stars. “Wow, you can actually see all the stars tonight. I guess light pollution was a lie?” I looked over to Anthony.
“I read something on a Facebook post yesterday. There’s some star shower that’s supposed to happen tonight or tomorrow. I forget when,” Anthony mentioned.
“Aw really?” Princess clasped her hands. “We gotta watch it then,” she recommended.
Anthony and I glanced at each other.
“Sure,” we both shrugged.
After finishing our cheesesteaks, we drove around to an open field, around the hills of Manayunk, and stared at the stars from the grass.
“Who knew watching giant balls of gas dying would be so satisfying,” Anthony commented, just laying there.
“Isn’t it true that they’re actually dying thousands of years in the past but we’re only seeing it now because of the distance light has to travel?” I asked.
“Yes, are you stupid? Everybody knows that,” Anthony told me.
“Can we put on music?” Princess moaned. That sounded like a great idea though.
Anthony was about to move himself up but was already way too comfortable. I got up after him, “I got it,” I told him. I turned on the speaker and started playing some instrumental tracks.
I sat back down and relaxed again.
“Sometimes, I wish days could never end,” Princess shared her sentiment. I glanced at her.
“Yeah, I feel the same sometimes,” I said.
“Likewise,” Anthony added.
I started yawning. Princess brushed my hair.
“Feeling tired, hot shot?” she giggled.
“Yeah, and you know why,” I joked with her.
“Yeah, well, you know why I enjoy being out here right now with you two?” she asked, still rubbing my head seductively.
“What’s the reason?”
“Because I always feel more alive with you. You’ve rocked every part of my world. Thank you,” she opened up. Simple words, but the meanings cut deep.
“I feel the same way,” I told her, honest.
“I felt like I was a child again today. Oooh, it all feels so good to have it back. It was ripped away from me, but I got it back.”
“Sometimes grownups forget they were children once too.”
“I get that. We once used to cry big tears too. We once used to get all excited when the TV turned on or when we smelled something freshly cooking in the kitchen. We’d get amazed when the grownups around us use big words, wide eyes when you watch thunderstorms from the window. I’d run around grandpa’s backyard and catch the fireflies. I’d watch cartoons and get to feel all silly...” Princess glanced down at the grass blades, reminiscing.
Her head was resting against the palm of her hand. I could tell she missed those days. It’s hard to believe someone who’s an angel could feel more human than some actual humans...It’s amazing. I was silent for a moment. The stars were bursting and shooting each way along the skyline. A picture perfect sequence of serendipity. Everything came together.
“Yeah...I get what you mean,” I started speaking, watching the sky. “Childhood was magical. I really wish I could return to it. No stress, all love. That’s where my dream comes from. I’d love to go back to those times,” I say, then turn around and find Princess fucking sleeping...She starting napping in the middle of my epic speech, come on!
I didn’t say anything though. My eyes grew big and angry at first, but then I calmed myself down and admired her resting body. I was grateful for her. Because of her, I can feel like a child one more time.
"~Oh darling don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh darling don’t you ever grow up, don’t you ever grow up
It could stay this simple~" (Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift)
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