Sunday, August 06, 2006

Cake

There's a cake upstairs. A giant cake, and the room is full of flowers and supposed celebration and a woman is up there full of glee. The town is going to be hers, she thinks.

In the hustle and bustle and paperwork transpiring she thinks nobody is going to notice what she's done. But, they do. In the weeks following the shocked initial silence, and the first big lie, the stories start to leak. They leak all over a small town like Santa Barbara. Later, they'll leak across the country into various newsrooms.

Oh, but, you can't really say anything if you work there, can you? You have to hold it in your heart and test the heaviness of it, the unethics of it, for yourself.

You learn how to sit silently, observing, just happy you have a job, right?
Happy you got a big piece of that cake whose taste now lies bittersweet along your lips six years into it when a crowd stands below your citadel yelling "Shame" over and over and over and the sound of it is deafening.

There is a guy who wears an eye patch running things and you think he might be decent, maybe. He seems jovial enough. Almost human. Human enough to sweat when he realizes what has happened. You watch it start to trickle, and all of a sudden under his arms are soggy pools the size of dinner plates, growing and spreading. You ask about the eye patch, making light of it all, as if you could in that moment, thinking about -- well, everything.

He makes light about the fact he has an inoperable brain tumor.

Funny how it's impossible to feel sorry for him, because you don't. Not after what he's done. And he was supposed to be an ethical man, too.
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