My Shangrila? Perhaps a harp solo with the drone of wistful tenor sax accompaniment? The impact of a drum setting the proper tone. The experience thus far in life weeded of the worst I have been leaving semi-denuded soil for something better to take hold? A place where people still care for me and I them. A place not so easily taken up with the madness of the moment that I have lost but hope to find once again. The lesson learned always when it is too late of that which is worth hanging on to long discarded but dreamt of night after nigh after night. That region where aches and pains drift and die off and one is young again. A moment in the sand when everyone else is brought to the same instant by that crossroads of understanding. Being in the skin of another and having some empathy for how they came about to feel the way they do. A flicker of fleeting possibility that one is still capable of grabbing onto before it is completely dead. The sonorous voices of a chorus whose haunting range still moves the heart to want ascend to better things. All this and so much more that I still hope to find anew. My Shangrila.
Youth cannot be explained in hindsight without mentioning that awareness that I believe may be universal that one is but a recently blind little pup in the litter struggling with others of its own vintage awkwardly finding making its way toward illumination. It is a time when the world about one may seem in tight focus to the youthful observer but the governing realities affecting one’s actions say otherwise. Now metaphorically at the other end of the mountain it seems impossible to palpably summon my own previous experience of that persistent state innocent naivete. But in my own unscheduled roster of dreams at least be sent upon a journey to witness it once again.
The small campus might have been mistaken for a meandering strip mall, the classrooms and offices of its departments surrounding a small set of central malls upon which were sporadically placed the conveniences of picnic benches and other sorts of seating for recreation or even study. Small groups of girls and boys wandered this offbeat quad not overly entranced with an immediate need for discipline in study so much as filling the time in-between with hijinks and made up adventures. Though a mute stone faced seriousness was projected towards approaching interlopers a more gregarious form of irrepressible laughter repeatedly broke out among them. The sanity of logic powering these quips was of course completely lost upon anyone that was not a member of these small cliques. Maybe that was a prerequisite function that ensured the bubble around each group remained undamaged by an inadvertent poke from the digit of its rival? The personal identities of each small membership with an implicit protocol and pecking order. Those well-formed ego bound young females struck by constant braggadocio and possessed of Northern European features being in the lead and a veneer of docile somewhat awkward quiet corresponding males deemed sufficiently cute allowed to accompany them to serve their needs. The mix of same varying of course initially as freshmen depending on the vagaries of the rosters of classroom membership for that semester.
My own ignominious avatar found itself attached as a unacknowledged official observer in the latter category who found themselves in tow to a pair of young bleach blonde willowy young maidens galavanting obliviously about this scene in the standard manner of feigning unawareness in the best manner to be universally seen. To say that they though much of themselves would be a vast understatement. As if to supply some extra added measure of veracity to this notion both wore designer sweatshirts of varied color combinations with the legend in stark Helvetica text, “I Don’t Care About You!” Their accompanying diffidence occasionally had them threatening to accidentally bump into just who they had in mind to ignore. This over obvious shadow play was the source of many urn lady-like raucous chortles and guffaws that I as their tacit companion was tasked with pretending to not understand but scorned for laughing in consort with. The two playing innocuous with their own form of diabolical unawareness whenever on a mission to find mischief.
I found myself full of helium bouncing balloon-like behind them in a school store that also served as a place where photographic equipment could be taken on loan. My assumption was that on some points of order this terrible two observed the commercial niceties of property and public ownership. The expensive single lens reflex digital camera and lens that was handed off to me in the store I assumed was a mere convenience for them to purvey other items. A further convenience seemed reasonable when both hands loaded with this I was pulled by the sleeve outside to the picnic bench immediately outside the store. There the small band sat while the two of teem with impish grins rattled on about the look on some stranger’s face and the blatant stupidity of another. I thought I knew enough to pay such talk no mind. The reality that I was soon made aware of was that the items I had been handed were purloined from the main glass counter and I was now in unauthorized possession of. My immediate reaction was one of guilty shock at being unexpectedly apprehended with the swag by official parties still unknown but imminently in pursuit a second or two behind my trail. The affront of my facile guilelessness in not estimating the boundless capacity for mischief of these two hellions my greatest crime.
Why young men feel compelled to continuously drift in an ever ebullient river of unsatisfied hopefulness for the ongoing fantasy of satiating their animal attraction now escapes me? This is an unspoken thread that each side of possible attraction reads as an opportunity for some form of ego boosting or even innocent appropriation of that thing called love. Too many for their own selfish reasons finding strategies to keep its seekers just out of arms reach the source of their power and a confirmation to themselves of its existence. These are the sirens rocks that so many males voyaging out into the fatal waters of romance find them selves at one point or another running aground upon. So many pretty movies fantasies of the perfect mate found and the unsullied innocence of happily after looked back upon as fatally denied. The, if one had just made this one ‘yin’ instead of ‘yang’, type of analysis that in itself would never account for the errant behavior implicit in the frolics of impetuous youth. How sad and wonderful to occasionally see one’s children or those of others reenacting these foibles? Perhaps a little selfish on one’s own part to have another fleeting instant to relive those all too foolish mistakes once again.
So. Who’s fantasy is correct? At a time when the culture has never been so diametrically exploded apart while remaining structurally complex no one can seem to abide the fact of another opinion without being at a flashpoint of emotions. Or conversely too ready to bury their head in the nearest patch of homegrown sand. The psychological simulacrum of media driven life providing the illusion of reasonability and the benchmark of civility. But as of recent weeks shown to be anything but that! The insecurity caused by a flagrant deception of the major power group in control gone wacky supporting even wackier ideas at a time when common sense thinking has nearly become exhausted is at a record level. The false emblems of power by the artfully crafted mass hysterical fiction of consensus has become the implements of self-destruction. Ideas that would have sent any given individual to prison or the state mental institution in the past are now considered mainstream. The common thread being the substantial impression by many that the overlaying sets of ruling classes have overnight been turned into an insurgent grouping of forces that collectively puts forth more concern for the welfare of distant barbarian cults located outside the border as an agenda far eclipsing the daily needs of its own citizens.
There is a general sense abounding of feeling like one has been ripped off by the unexpected re-evolution of official institutions of this society at the point of a virtual governmental gun and left to feel vulnerable ever after before the continued whims of this same all powerful phantom ‘gunman’. The patchwork fabric poorly woven since the murder of the last great national leader of the nation falling apart as if by planning and design. Well connected outsiders are given free reign to ignore the long standing lawful statues that once brought prosperity and a sense of order to society. The continued misdirection by willful actions of disrespect and and disregard for this sort of propriety making society dangerous and in danger of falling into irreparable chaos. This drives the tortoiselike mentality of so many at street level into their shells to await the chaos of whatever comes. That is one possible framing of reality or lunacy.
A renewed attack by those archaic but relentless forces of social control of a crumbling hegemony gifted by Northern European cults of tyrannical power and historically genetically male. The many advances of the last half century are in jeopardy from this entire cultural segment in both unconsciously covert actions as well as by an ingrained sense of a tradition of unfair privilege. The ongoing power struggle of this small but potent minority to dominate the rest of humanity being the central source of all ills in the world! The urgent need to dethrone this highly toxic biologically driven cabal by sublimating it genetically by down breeding it into just another subset of the greater whole of an amorphous humanity. An awareness that only by toppling and then permanently excluding anything Northern European and genetically male is there a hope for a peaceful world! This being a possible framing of reality or lunacy.
The validity of either perspective being set aside as a topic of discussion the widening gulf between the two is a mindset that only the outside threat of a common enemy can coalesce together as one yet again. The war drums currently beating in the background. The irrationality of these two particular mindsets is that they are both only made possible by a form of ongoing civilization that counts on the vary elements that are harangued as unacceptably corruptive. The ever-present tension between two opposite forces producing a dynamic sense of inertia that makes this society as a whole dangerously aggressive to any other point of view. Those who have governed over the centuries from the shadows of ignorance in plain view have encouraged this. This is not simply to suggest those that might rightfully be crowned as prime scapegoats for all social ills as much as a general recognition that human beings are the most vulnerable to regular machinations of a well-crafted plan of governance. The tools of same being technologically superior filling the emotional gap caused by the physical segmentation of architecture and commerce. The evolution of local cooperatives of closely related neighbors steadily transitioned through regional and then national identities into the ongoing experimental dystopia of one extended interdependent global entity running counter to the naturally evolved instincts of the subsets of humankind. The big question being can a combination of biological science and politically based sociology rapidly change the fundamental traits developed by the entire species since the dawn of human memory?
The rule of so many past experiences of ambition for perfection always being overcome by the immensity of the vast unknown surrounding existence. Thus life even in its most sheltered and benign form becomes an ongoing struggle for security for the continued enacting of same. The lesson of history always ignored along the way being that the larger and more complex and rapidly devised this human bound creation based upon its own self-engendered fictions becomes the more likely it is to unexpectedly without warning fall of its own weight.
I dreamt that links to ProjectVeritas.com that was publicly outed by the government administered media was now being found on many low level Internet sites. It won’t make a difference in the context of the facsimile of a modern world where the various layers of the onion of the dissembled versions of American family units would prefer to be embraced by a faux approximation of pleasant believabilities’ than face the disturbing possibilities that what they experience as government is naught but a dilapidated minstrel show. An endless series of hackneyed acts that they have viewed almost hundreds of thousands of times before and for that reason alone seems a comforting status quo. God forbid that any of these people wake up one morning and find their pockets fleeced yet again and no convenient public scapegoats to harangue for the eternal nature of their unrelieved misery. It seems that the mental lock step of indoctrination by popularly programmed phone, computer monitor, and television is too vital a safe space to endure the possibility that what they see in front of them is mere baseless rhetoric fed to them by a parasitic internationally aligned entity that lives of their distress. To question this at even the slightest level is to create the unimaginable horrific fear that the soap bubble illusion that keeps them safe in an illusion of invulnerability might pop. Then what? What if they’ve all along been schmoozed by that paper thin ethos of a gaudy dancer shamelessly drive yet another spike into the truth? Those bright big boxes of the new and improved just the same positioned at eye level on the shelf that contain a paucity of inert unhealthful suggestions that do nothing for one’s health? No! It is better to firmly lock the windows and doors of one’s ears and eyes to bar the assimilation of any conflicting information and go along with the most absurd hair brained theories of crackpot government embedded pundits that if they heard the same sort of crap issuing from their bankers lips about an unexpected paucity of balance found in their personal accounts would send them into a ballistic tantrum. It seems amazing that once schooled ‘en masse; by the system their is no getting inside whatever semblance of rational intellect that remains after it has been meticulously surgically removed by an educational system that is primarily concerned with installing the peephole of unilateral focus of a singular ideology. But of course no iota of wisdom. Who amidst this massive school of mass media articulated fish will dare to voice aloud any conflicting sentiment that call out a hypocrisy or blatantly obvious fraud? Even if that same imposed stratagem is a clear and direct threat to their own personal survival? No. it is better to exist like a beautiful pretty golden Disney pony preferring a cartoon stall to hide in while the physical barn surrounding their dream state burns to the ground! If the regular media says it, well then it must be true!
However much one tries to try to conduct one’s affairs on a rational basis when one is young there are times when you are pulled into an absurdity of circumstance that threatens your existence for sake of a nebulous goal in mind. Such was the case in point of fact of being thus within a small crowd of thrill seekers looking for adventure within an older part of town. The street still cluttered with pint sized Art Deco skyscrapers. Old musty brick and limestone dinosaurs too dumb to succumb to the modern penchant for the wrecking ball proceeding condos and strip malls. The pack of wilding adults that I ranged with down the street looking for something notable to brag about in the coming week entering the unattended lobby one of them. A large central space in permanent gloom of missing light fixture purloined by falling fortunes. And a ziggurat of darkened old oak staircases and banisters rising up around a vertical hollow exposing so many old leaden glass offices of doctors and lawyers past and present. The vacancy of the edifice’s interior firing the curiosity of our little band to press upward to find opportunities for exploration. Some in trotting just ahead as pathfinders testing doorknobs or running down small hallways to discover the opportunity of the unexpected unbolted door. The corner suite on the fourth level providing the perfect destination for exploration. A small room sized clinic sheltered by some paint weary anterooms full of musty overused olive green files accompanied by a couple of immensely heavy oak desks. Then just beyond a room with six hospital beds replete with paraphernalia for the proffer of intravenous drips and bed pans. So stunning a sight that one could not help believe that a former patient or two was not still ethereally in residence harbored within the rumple of covers pulled up high over their heads. The spaces twin housing the odd dipole of a St Bernard housed within confined by a small corral having more the demeanor of a woolly farm animal than a canine. The open window vista of urban high-rises defeating such nonsensical impressions. The strangeness of the place evoked some form of menace that produced a sense of uneasiness that was not shared by the rest of the group. They proceeded to strip off their garments and fall upon each other to put the empty beds to good use which exacerbated my unease with the possibility of this scenario inviting unexpected retribution from parties yet unspoken. I moved quickly to the entrance hoping to quietly make my exist arriving just in time to see it slowly opening on its own giving me barely enough time to step into the small space afforded just behind it. From this vantage point I caught sight of a giant of a man exceptionally hairy and rough entering unawares of any violation by intruders. He might have been named Polyphemus for the sake of his terrible visage that his great mass evoked. As he trod forward shepherd-like to check on his charge I carefully measured the effect of my footfalls to tiptoe around the door and out into the central atrium to escape what I supposed might be a very nasty reckoning. As with all episodes conducted in the temple of the forehead in the dead of night I now found myself in the midst of another courtyard surrounded by a gallery of small shops composed of every sort of off-beat product or service that the bygone transitional period of the nineteen fifties could offer. The large space within taken up with concrete surrounds keeping unruly fauna at bay for the sake of groupings of cafe tables. The eccentricity of the inhabitants lounging upon same in keeping with the barrier of inferred commerciality drawn up around them. The most notable tribe among them were dressed Roman style in haphazard toga extending only to mid thigh. The average age of each betrayed by unhealthy scrawniness of bandy limbed overweight middles and sagging jowled continence’s. Some sporting stethoscopes and head mirrors. A few ranging about like ill tempered tigers proclaiming aloud, “Don’t make the doctor angry!” to the rejoinder from others, “You wouldn’t like the results!“
My Own Cousin Bette
It is dark now and not quite an hour away from the bewitching hour when if I were to indulge it I would find myself awake for a second nightly shot at the porcelain throne. One finds as their years wear down that their physical form seems compelled to do its business at night. This block of time is perfect for reflection upon the different intervals that make up the analysis of human existence as a whole. The events as planned and those that might have come off better had the right sort of circumstances been encountered. What few strangers that I still can call on with some past figment of geniality to offer come to mind as if born by gondolas in the canals of night. I see them as they once were and too often judge them according to old family myths that currently stand in for facts. Those few opportunities for chance encounter too often cloaked in same. The presence of those related by the vague chance of past decisions of mutual family members but not necessarily blood are the most enigmatic. Sometimes they are mentally adopted after the fact out of necessity for lack of a remaining store of those once directly connected by similar genetics. I suppose those makes the process not unlike that of a bond based upon an interior vow as one might find in the ritual of marriage. The formalities of social acceptability for the bond already established by the climb up and down the existing chart of the family tree.
I think about one that I have entered into a common pact with for the period of this coming day. My own kind of Cousin Bette! Someone who the Velcro of memory seems to readily attach to visions of a young somewhat awkward behaving girl. One who through an unexpected shared incident or two proved to be an enthusiastic anticipant in the is odd adventure progressively referred to as one’s life. That old stone wall of my own solitary path removing my from easy view of the strange notions of female to male and its reverse that all are challenged by. I often wonder about what sort of inner thought drive her internal ‘mules’ oath as they drag her own respective store of memories along that serve as that convenient cloak of memory that clothes her in public. To be in her presence is to be challenged by a sense of perpetual motion that if actions are in threat of being sequestered turns immediately into an unbearable for of restlessness. Someone that is caught in a tireless whirlpool of rethinking her role in Motherhood though her baby chicks have long since matured from the incubator. Men in general and the ritual possibility of romantic connection with same within her immediate circle being like the former discard a few versions back of a snake tight skin. Whatever experiences remaining unforgettable to her inner sensibilities being cards kept close to her vest. In this sense, an odd font ever ready to demonstrate her nurturing of those around her expressed in rapidly postulated formulas of quickly offered opinions that while sometimes not a sensitive tot he situation as probably intended still fulfill the promise of an earnest attempt to satisfy. There being some strange aspect to being a woman naturally endowed like the extra flesh of the chest that propels her to tirelessly sally forth as a savior?
Perhaps that one great mystery left in an otherwise man-made technological universe of magically producing offspring through that strange chalice where all must enter called the womb. Whatever mathematics can pretend to explain remains inexplicable about where the small conscious parcels originate from before they are deposited in that mailbox! That role commanding awe from their opposite number as well as a certain amount of mental distance that is emotionally unavoidable. If I were to imagine the personality living deep within the catacombs beneath that official domicile I might be encouraged to speculate what visions of earthly purpose and questions about same persist unanswered? Her best answers of the moment voicelessly expressed in a ceaseless number of immediate problem solution reactions to each tumbling stone encountered in that asteroid belt around her own consciousness. Does this make the expanding universe of mankind by chance encounter and coupling like some odd form of slow motion explosion whose sense of offbeat order the only most logical reaction to the endless chaos that seems to be the fundamental elixir of life? The distance inferred by the functional term ‘cousin’ inferring all the benefits of companionship while enacting few responsibilities of the sort that one would have to traverse in a more intimate relationship. Especially those involving that boiling pot of persistent phantom animal attachment to procreate called romantic love. How strange to be a male and not be tasked to pitch a perfect game but merely relax into the role of easy victim that opposite mental will to nurse and yet maintain respect by occasionally offering it’s male counterpart in terms of providing? The endless compunction to engage in mutual rituals of attachment strengthened by constant proof so ceaselessly encouraged by that larger parasite known as modern society both enigmatic and eventually tiring. The deprogramming sessions universally enjoyed evidencing the angst enjoyed in this sense by many after yearly family ‘get togethers’ in reciprocal ‘dirty dish washing’ and other equally forgettably meaningless holiday offers.
How one seems naturally bound to become caught up in these cults takes literal decades to unravel to a point where they seem to make some rational sense. But for my own ,Cousin Bette’, they seem both active neighborhood volcano and storming ocean. A perpetually aging spinster ever obsessed with the varied strategies of appearing for the world as the fresh young bride. So easy for the male of the species to recall the brief stretch of time in total peace within one’s mother’s arms. Forgetting to ponder that this bygone sense of once ever reliable nirvana is denied one’s female counterpart as they so soon become the operative vehicle of same. For those little girls within it is that insecure universe of their daddy’s lap. Something that one desires to be ever-present yet so temporal in the experience of its duration as expressed in a desire to be held. Separate dimensions respectively according accolades for performance versus an insistent desire for perpetual security. I have to suppose that this is the gulf that will eternally separate the two genders as long as the principle of same is biologically encouraged? Maybe this accounts for the intuition that I suppose is mutual that both she and I are characters that at the end of the day are not fully formed? People that require some fundamental need for the respective sense of world savvy rationality that each of us have uniquely encountered in our own corners of the world? Gifts tossed back and forth in sly witticisms and sarcastic well-meaning patter that mostly bounce off the thick scar tissue of experience that form the collagen of our skins? Does the whole of man and woman kind eventually end up back in the final destiny of that one initial solitary egg?
The lecture that the three had attended that evening had been mercifully short. As students at the Northside university they were required to attend such extracurricular soiree’s for if nothing els, but form alone suggesting an education in progress. The fact that it meant traversing the city at night being part of the fiction of a civil society that in current times had leached away into the the ever-present possibility of random encounters with violent bands of ethnics that did not abide by those implicit rules of civility in offering immediate violence if found to be unmonitored. The city had installed a plethora of camera based systems in conjunction with neighborhood audio detectors. But to those in danger of assault from parties unknown and mostly ignored by a city administration tasked with keeping a steady influx of undocumented immigrants from the hotspots of the world, the incidents of conflict went generally unreported in their ‘gun free’ mental paradise. The only ones that went about in fear were the default population who were tasked with the dilemma of avoiding unexpected physically abusive or possible lethal rendezvous with belligerent parties officially politically unidentifiable. For one of the three, Billy, it was a matter of showing up with a pistol that he had somehow absconded from sources unknown. The unit was a make and model that had a heavier capacity of nine millimeter rounds that made it somewhat hard to conceal in the average pocket so he had brought along a small case. When entering a secure space the gates of which were electronically monitored he would stash the small satchel just outside someplace where the odds suggested that it would not be easily discovered. His friend and his friend’s older brother seemed never the wiser being ever focused on their personal smart phones or the random passage of young girls of their own ages. But Billy had been struck almost literally by a different reality.
An unforeseen set of circumstance transacted in broad daylight where one young ghetto tough acted out upon the supposed safety of a public rail car physically accosting the passengers of which that day he had happened to be one. The inconvenience of his skin color in political terms branding him as possibly ‘easy prey’ to this ‘ghetto ranger’ as quietly backed up by two nearby smoking companies. The paucity of a small folding knife buried under keys and a wallet to awkward a viable possibility of deterrent if caught up in a physical struggle. His fellow riders paralyzed in a form of solitary indifference unwilling to help him or themselves. All save one rider who at the last second before things were about to go bad shoved his hand towards the inner coat pocket demonstrably fending the butt of a big dark automatic at the ready. That sight of an unexpected possibility of mortally dangerous push back by what was considered a victim turning the situation around for these would be perpetrators making them retreat from their former actors in their dramatically duplicitous aggressive play so overly obvious in its ultimate intent. The three slithering off like a dark cloud as the train arrived at the next stop. The magic of the heated situation being that the man’s fellow passengers settled back into their own exclusive realities fenced off from acknowledging that one among them was fully prepared to defend themselves no matter the civil penalty at all costs. The atmosphere of danger now diffused to a lower degree by the reveal of no other equally hostile actors possessed by anything beyond a conscious lack of resolve to stare mindlessly at their respective messaging of the latest inboxes emails within the safe harbor of a communal electronic mentally shut universe. Billy was both relieved and substantially impressed. The law of this new jungle had been demonstrated in part. The only law offering security in this uneven society would be dealt solely by one’s self based not upon fear of the censure of possible legal penalties but by the expedience of preparing one’s self for the eventuality of its violation. The young man’s unexpected artfulness left much to one’s speculation how he came to be currently ‘packing’?
During the colder months Billy had the benefit of a jacket to help conceal his sidearm. But when the weather turned warm he was tasked with travel that occasioned the necessity of his small over worn small leather valise. An unexpected incident earlier the same night on this present outing with his two friends had him transferring his invisible tool to a pant’s pocket. The potentials of an encounter with a gang of four toughs that seemed to dog the trio going completely unnoticed by his two accompanying innocents who seemed oblivious to the fact that predators were going about the business of stalking them. Waling at the back of his own small entourage he had made a back directed pantomime of stealthily drawing his automatic in a manner to catch the attention of the followers silhouetted immediately just behind. Billy was so caught up with mentally monitoring the sound of footsteps behind him that his small empty valise dropped tot he ground behind him and was duly snapped up by the shadowy ruffians as possibly affording tribute for the privilege of crossing their turf. The well-lit commercial boulevard ahead had the young man awkwardly finding the purchase of his own pants pocket to imperfectly shelter the gun. He pulled at the immediate proximate of his jumper to help camouflage the bulge making sure avoid directly focusing his attention on the problem. They were heading home and had several blocks left before arriving at the domicile of the two brothers. Billy was thus tasked with continuing to accompany them to maintain the limelight of the conventionally of the fiction that the experience of this night was nothing out of the ordinary. He managed to grab a small newsprint flyer and hold it in a manner that shielded the physical presence of his civil indiscretion wondering with each step how he would stay ahead of the unexpected potentials for discovery. Society’s fiction of general social normality casting him as a possible offender while tacitly ignoring the real combatants and alienating him as possibly planned someplace remote and higher up by those who saw his kind as a greater menace for their temerity to buck a system that put this same undocumented ‘lawbreaker’ at risk as a possible felon.
Billy was invited in for a time by his friends and managed to transfer his heavy load to a lesser expected hiding place under a chair cushion in the hallways by several slight of hand and eye maneuvers. Playing dumb and mentally vacant while his mind raced like some ancient handheld calculator plotting and examining each future strategy of route and physical move on his own way home. Irony of ironies some fifteen minutes later when he mentioned that he would soon have to be home to get some rest for an upcoming morning class, and one of his hosts expressed some concern at Billy ranging about in the dark alone. Those that had effectively been sheep for the slaughter a mere hour in the past were now demonstrating concern in the safety of their own domicile. Using the flyer as a wrapper he once more transferred his weapon to his person after polite declaration of the use of the bathroom and left without ceremony for his own personal gauntlet of the possible unexpected awaiting him in the dark of night. Alone he felt freer and with no small irony cast more in the role of the hunter than the prize. Life was changed for him now as his sociability now was slowly ebbing as a necessity of maintaining an ongoing sense of the circumspect in all his outside dealings. A certain building resentment at the larger social order that spewed fictions of their faux beneficence while simultaneously violating the public trust with larger global initiatives to conspicuously water down the dominance by numbers of the majority with fragmentary elements of hostile cultures from other lands. The hypocrisy of it all goading Billy to a resolve to take further steps beyond merely minding his own to resist.