FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We Possessed

The Possessed Man is not bad, nor is he good. He is terrified, alone–even among friends and family. He works to support his family, but he is not sure exactly what he does. According to his Job Description he “administrates creative product strategies.”

Well. Well.

The Health Insurance covers his wife, who also works, and their two kids, both under seven years of age and subject to all manner of illness, injury and disease. Then there were the expensive pregnancies themselves, and the drugs he must take daily to function at his job without drinking to excess or veering blindly into violence. Or bursting into tears. True, he’s covered by the Company Plan, but loopholes open, legal fissures, fish-eye cracks through which money falls. Deductibles. Co-payments. Fine print scams.

He is no longer interested in his friends, the few that he maintained since school, or in having friends at all. What good are they, except to drink with, and he’s not supposed to drink while on his pills — though he does anyway. And don’t think this is all confidential, That They don’t know, the ‘They’ at the Company, whoever They might be, that he sees a head-drugger to stay on top of things.

He’s thirty-seven and still paying off student loans.

Graduate program at the University. MBA. Had to do it. Else how would he have climbed to even his middling position on the ladder? He’s reached his final rung. He knows he hasn’t the energy to kill, the visceral burning to climb further. In fact, the remaining energies of his life will be directed toward hanging on to the rung on which said life precariously clings. Long, grim struggle to maintain his station place on the limitless ladder to the sky. He can barely see the people at the bottom, but he would need quite a powerful telescope indeed to even glimpse the Movers and Shakers at the top.

The kids will want to go to college. His wife, also a mediocrity, but in a different position at a different Firm, a different profession, will grow stronger, as women tend to do after fifty, after the sex and procreation, after the body, just when he is starting to collapse. Rapid rise from twenty to forty, slow descent, then at fifty the rolling tumble. Unless you’re at the top of the ladder, in which case fifty is not fifty, due to special treatments, physical training, private cooks, drugs, vitamins, surgeries…

He’s reached the end of things, he knows, but he must see it through, at least until the kids are out of school. But of course college won’t be enough. It wasn’t for him. He needed a Masters. His kids will need <Ph.D.s>.

He worries that somehow the system will fail him. It has not failed him to this point, merely placed him at his rightful position in the hierarchy. But he fears that the system, based on protocols, laws, unwritten rules, tacit agreements and technologies that he can never hope to understand, will collapse of its own weight and intricacy. He does not understand how the Network works, or how food gets to the supermarkets, or how the Parent Company trickles his paycheck down the pyramid of subsidiaries, holding companies and off shore Think Tanks and through his department and into his bank account.

He does not understand the high level of partnership between the bank and the corporation that owns it, which is the parent of the company he works for, and where he will spend his days before being traded or shuffled off in some arcane corporate deal or merger or is fired outright. Laid off. And then what? Sending out resumes as he’d done as a kid fresh out of college and as a young married man with his expensive MBA?

He fears limited resources, so he does not read the hard copy of the City News, but browses the paper’s site on the Network. But when does he have time to read this, working nine to five as he does, which is not nine to five at all, but eight to six, seven, sometimes ten o’clock? By which point he is exhausted, despite his clockwork consumption of caffeine, nicotine, amyl nitrate.

And when he does browse the news on the Network, he realizes how small he and his life are, even within the Corporation, not to mention significant role of the company in world economic affairs. Good god. The Corporation is everywhere, in every country. Many of these countries are at war with each other, and if the corporation’s interests are seriously threatened, they might go to war against the Nation.

But the Nation is ALREADY at war. He is glad that the Nation possesses the most well-trained, technologically advanced military on the planet. He had not gone to the last war, for he was in graduate school. But the current war terrifies him, the destruction the Nation wreaks upon its challenger with missiles paid for with his tax money. He has been extremely nervous since the current war began. But he does not doubt that after the slaughter the Citizens will be treated to parades and celebrations on television and he will watch flag-waving marchers outside his office window.

He is neither angry nor satisfied with the affairs of the Nation any more than he is or could be with the machinations of the Company. It is all beyond his ken. He is, if not happy, grateful to be able to rise each morning, take his pills, and begin the commute to his job and arrive at his job, no matter how dull and repetitive. No matter how trivial. No matter how wasteful of his time on earth. The countless meetings, the talk. The talky-talk talk. The assignments from superiors that he organizes and delegates to subordinates.

Often he finds himself with nothing to do, no actual work, but virtual work, deadlines planned for the future, the theoretical possibility that truckloads of data might soon be dumped, like empty cans, on his desk-top. So he spends many hours — those not spent attending meetings — creating plans and memos and scenarios for the monstrous jobs, the impossible tasks to come.

He is attracted to his wife. They go to the gym. Together. He forces himself to work out not to postpone the inevitable descent, but to make the landing smoother. He’s seen many a man crash. But he doesn’t have the same kind of energy for his wife, not like he used to. Maybe once a week, if that. And of course she has her work too, and they are both busy with the children.

He feels, given the uncertainty of the world, that he should own a gun, at least a rifle. The Police exist to protect his property, not his family — anyway, they are always somewhere when you need them, but seldom HERE, where they could save your life, if so inclined. But he is confused by the City’s Byzantine gun laws, and he is not comfortable letting the Government know he has a weapon. Should the Government turn for the worse, the gun owners in the Database will be the first ones visited by the police. But he fears being caught with an illegal weapon, a mandatory jail term, and the end of his career and all he’d strived for. Only those outside the system can own unregistered weapons with impunity.

Truly, he would rather be dead. He might live another forty years. Forty years of this. Maybe fifty. Another reason to own a gun. He can think of no simpler exit. Effective drugs are as illegal as guns, and the medications the head-drugger prescribes won’t kill him. Worse, they might put him to sleep, and he’d be caught holding the bag — or pill bottle — trying to ESCAPE, a Federal crime. He worked too hard for too long to lose it that way. If he must exit this earth, he will buy a gun. On the black market. What and wherever that is. If he makes the decision, it will not matter that his corpse is found holding an illegal weapon. Of course, if he gets caught in the act, before pulling the trigger, or chickens out, they will send him away to an institution. Again, that would ruin him.

But this is all hypothetical. Daydream talk. He is responsible for his family. His children. His is the kind of ethic that was instilled in his subconscious forcefully, frequently, and early on. It is so part of his psyche that he cannot even attempt to fathom it. Just accept it, passively, silently, albeit reluctantly.

Nevertheless, he does think critically about his children. He wonders aloud — to himself, of course — if he actually loves them. His own childhood seems both distant and parallel. That is, he often feels mired in his own childhood and resents the adult, paternal role he must play. Also, he feels sorry for his children and fears for them. He does not understand the structure of the world outside his home and office cubicle, but he believes it is heading for a fall, collapse, chaos.

What then? What of his children? What right had he and his wife to yank them from the peace of Cosmic Nothingness and thrust them into Time and consciousness against their will?

ADAM ENGEL is dis-Possessed in a cubical at bartleby.samsa@verizon.net. (Pills in back of the file cabinet, second drawer from bottom; gun safe in desk, locked not loaded).

More articles by:

Adam Engel is editor of bluddlefilth.org. Submit your soul to bluddlefilth@yahoo.com. Human units, both foreign and domestic, are encouraged to send text, video, graphic, and audio art(ifacts), so long as they’re bluddlefilthy and from The Depths.

November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail