(flats and tubulars I) (enter Shitbird)
I roll out of bed and slip into knee-high socks just before my feet hit the floor, a mixture of rock, gravel and earth, a reminder that I am below ground. I ignore the cross-border shelling on the radio and the sniveling little smart-ass from the BBC reporting on it. I slap some jam on butterless toast and hum Boys of Summer, and I scratch myself just above that useless piece of bone at the bottom of your spine – a reminder that once, a long time ago, we had tails.
Then, for reasons only I am aware of, I think of that snotty squirt I punched in the nose that summer down in Dubrovnik, and I stop what I’m doing, what with all that blood running down his face. But Boys of Summer cuts in and I am humming again, chewing toast as North Korea threatens the South with total annihilation.
The guy with jam on his face, the guy humming Boys of Summer, that’s Lui Labas, and we are inside his head. You should not be asking yourself whether a young man like Lui ought to be humming such a tune at daybreak wearing y-fronts and socks, and what kind of message that sends. Instead, you should be asking yourself about the guy sitting across from him, the guy in the suit scribbling numbers in a notebook – that would be Shitbird – scribbling and shaking his fountain pen that is threatening to dry up in his hand as he prepares to sum the Grand Total of his and Lui’s spectacular financial straits. And you should be concerned with the Yak-haired Yeti, three heads taller than either of them, standing at the stove preparing oeuf-au-plat for his guests.
These should be your concerns. Plus, above ground, hovering in the ionosphere in a small carbon-molecule craft are two guys you should also be concerned with; two guys typing up a report about their observations on the ground and the best way to impress their sergeant-superior. Especially how to sell to him that the footage they hold in their hands, showing flats and tubulars in a ritual interlocking of limbs, was indeed recorded live by them, and is not part of an elaborate montage recorded – typically – on the Golden Coast of the Americas, and sold as compact discs at refueling posts along transport corridors, so called, highways.
Why can’t we just tell him we recorded it ourselves?
Because he’ll know we’re lying.
Why? He’d have to track down the flats in question?
Oh yeah, and when he asks you how you managed to get right up against that flat, right in the middle of the action, without being seen, what are you going to tell him then, you dipstick?
No, no, we just tell him we were PART of the action.