Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Chapter 7 - "Catfuck"

Chapter 7 - "Catfuck"

I KNOW WHAT you thinking, I had to get to work and - unless my fortunes planned to change considerably in the next few minutes - probably repay that money to the bank, too?
Of course, Sun Corp. security immediately pulled me aside after the big scene I’d caused with that asshole Shimansky, a performance everyone would be talking about for a while.
But I’d a feeling I’d be forgiven for it, particularly by Shimansky.
"Well, well, well - surprised to see you back here, Broadway, isn't it…?" Shimansky said.
I hadn't yet bought my new car but it reminded me of my father, how he'd always say these big, "Well, well, wells…" the way he always did when something happened that had surprised him, which - according to him - wasn't often.
“I'd figured you for a smart guy. Smart, but also a psychopath with latent disability - my assessment's largely based on your recent comments and attempted assault on my life..."
"Your wife? Funny you should mention her," I said.
Shimansky had thought about that for quite a while.
He dismissed his security.
I'd heard on the news there'd been an unusual amount of solar flare activity out in space. The reason I mention this is, possibly because of this and the involvement of earth’s gravitational waves, it took some time for Shimansky to understand.
Who can say for sure, but, usually, I liked to crowd my blackmail - prime motivation for launching myself across the desk the way I had at him - with an advanced combination of insults, facts and anecdotal evidence. While he was thinking, I demanded to know about my new advancement opportunities, demanding a position on the Board of Directors.
And an espresso machine.
And not some Chinese shit, real Italian quality.
And all in my new office he was going to acquire for me.
"Are you fucking high…?" Shimansky said.
"I think you're confusing me with your son. By the way, how’s he doing? Ironed out all the problems?”
Shimansky buzzed August Burgman on the phone. He was quite calm.
"August, get security back in here. I like you, Broadway, you got real character," he said, putting the phone down. “Character don’t count for shit when you got no job. We’ll see all about your character when you in the gutter." He buzzed August again. “August? Inform Human Resources Broadway's definitely no longer job suitable. And August, get those security guys up here to show him out to his proper place in the world."
"I think I'll hold, Mr Shimansky," August - who'd been listening in the entire time - replied. Shimansky and I both knew - she was playing with those goddamn dolls of hers.
"I see," he said, looking at me carefully.
"All this solar flare activity at the moment must make people behave irrationally. But you must’ve been in a cave someplace not to know that, Shimansky, maybe in a cave down by… Pearl River beach!” I said.
Shimansky baulked.
"I know nothing at all about that…!" he yelled.
"Yes you do," August Burgman said over the intercom.
"Goddammit August…!" Shimansky yelled at her.
And as was typical of most power-hungry, egomaniac, rat-businessman, he immediately attempted deny any knowledge of the affair with her to limit his liability.
"I'd never cheat on my wife! Never…!" Shimansky cried.
"I would if she were my wife," I said.
This was untrue.
I'd never met Shimansky's wife.
I knew nothing about her or any reason I'd have to cheat on her.
But perhaps – as I suspected - his wife was no longer 17?
And could she type?
"Guess you figure you should be compensated. No chance, shithead. You've got ambition - that's admirable. But it's one thing to have ambition, another to be a deluded fantasist. I love my wife, but not that much."
Which suggested Shimansky's interest in August Burgman was at most a provisional interest, likely to be withdrawn any time soon. Misfortune's always a wonderful thing if not yours. But August was just a sexually provocative, emotionally unstable teenager in love with Shimansky. She nothing more than a young, stupid girl who still played with dolls. And had also done remarkably well at typing. And whilst they were engaging in having great cave-sex, only I was aware of the waning ground beneath her.
Less than enthused about the situation Shimansky may have been an illegal teenage cave-fucker but he was smart. Even here Shimansky tried wheeling and dealing.
"I understand you want to be a writer," he said.
I didn't know what the fuck he was talking about; he must've had me confused with another employee. I'd no worldly ambition, mostly steadfast reluctance taking offense at the slightest sign of work. I didn't want to be a writer, I just didn't want to work.
“I read your memo, Nominal Proportionate Salary Compensation,” he said, waving a copy in the air.
“Yeah, writing is what I’m all about,” I lied.
I let Shimansky’s fantasy live vicariously.
I didn’t mind him having some ambition on my behalf.
 You write as fast August can type?” Shimansky asked.
“Depends what it is I'm writing. But I don’t give blowjobs,” I said.
“So what do you want?" he asked.
I didn't want change, I'd never coped well with change.
With me it was all about consistency.
I wanted what was fair. I wanted to work four days a week, have an office and more money. Meaning I adjusted my principals to accommodate Shimansky’s lack of any and we agreed a compromise. A compromise, by the way, is when both parties agree that they have won and that the other party has lost.
Shimansky said: "Just remember, everything in life always has a price - eventually. Get back to work, asshole, I'm not paying you to stand around and hold your dick in my face."
"What with my new pay remuneration and improved work ratio I'm off to buy a new car - 2nd hand, of course. Today's Friday and I only work 4 days a week, asshole."
When I was leaving August Burgman looked at me, mystified.
"You could've asked for the world…!" she said, which just proved: She'd no idea how the goddamn world worked or how much it would’ve cost.
"You should find someone nice, someone your own age, August. At the very least someone who doesn't fuck you in a cave. Jesus! At least a motel…!"
"Mr Shimansky loves me, he does!" August said fiercely, hugging her dolls but Shimansky didn't love anything that wasn't money. Shimansky was like my mother and father. They were like those doctors who'd told me to quit dreaming.
Shimansky was right, though, being free is a dangerous myth and the true costs of how we’ll pay are hidden.

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