Monday, May 30, 2022

Where Killers Go To Die


I like to get them in a vice.

I really don't have to squeeze,

It's not bad if I do,

I can do it,

I can watch them squirm as I squeeze.

It's not bad to watch,

Especially if their wives watch them,

Not the girl friends,

The girl friends I can take from them,

Distribute them, send them on, watch them scram.

Sometimes the wives like it, and that's even better, really.

I like them all to know who's boss.

They could never squeeze me,

I was never in a vice.

They couldn't.

They were too stupid or too weak,

I was always stronger.

I never shit my pants or pissed myself,

I could always find the lever –

Their wives, their mistresses, their children, their banker.

There was always something,

Sometimes something they wanted,

But usually something they feared.

The walls of the vise threaten to close,

To squeeze.

As you go further to the top,

Deal with the more powerful,

The smarter,

The craftier,

You would think it would get harder,

And maybe it does,

But there is always something,

Something they need,

Or something they fear.

The higher you go, the more they have to lose,

If they've gotten what they want,

They're even more fearful of losing it.

So I squeeze.

Or more commonly, I threaten to squeeze,

And they watch someone else who is squeezed,

And they fear.

The higher the squeeze, the greater the loss,

The more the watchers fear.

Then, I can do anything.

They can't touch me.

I don't go to the hospital, not at first,

I have the hospital come to me.

Why not?

Everything they have, they owe to me.

Without me, we would be just another country.

We would have treaties,

We would take our place with the others,

We would get in line,

We would be disregarded,

We would sink,

We would have nothing,

We would be nothing,

We would be in the vice of others,

We would fear.

We would answer to the bankers,

We would squirm.

Except for me,

And what I've done,

And they know that,

And they know what I can do to them

If they fuck up,

If they don't keep me well,

If they make me weak,

If they don't do their job.

I'm not going to another country.

I've given them everything,

I've taken care of their wives and their children,

And their aging and weak and decrepit and disgusting parents.

I've made them privileged,

I've made the wealthy, some of them,

I've made them what they are,

And I can still break them if I want.

But I won't have to,

Because they love me,

Because they worship me,

Because they don't know what would happen if I died,

Because they don't want to lose me,

Because they want me in charge,

In charge of the vice.

I am not a stupid man,

Far from it.

I beat them all,

For what it's worth.

I know it's all temporary, here on earth,

Free of a future life,

Which these fools believe in, some of them.

And others don't, but act as if they do.

I know that sooner or later,

Things end.

I know the end will come sometime,

And I have prepared for it,

Right here.

I don't need to descend.

I don't need to give up what I have,

I don't need to abase myself,

I don't need to retreat,

I don't need to weaken,

I don't need to surrender,

I don't need to watch those idiots come out from where I put them,

Those who are still alive.

I can call my own shots,

My people can turn the screws for me,

The vice is still there,

And they know it.

I'll stay right here,

And when it's my time,

I'll go quick, right here,

When I choose,

With whom I choose,

How I choose,

But it will be quick,

Maybe a few days, or a couple of weeks,

Let them wonder,

Let them guess.

Then I'll emerge and quash their guesses,

And then disappear again,

And crush somebody,

So they all can see,

And let them wonder.

And when I go,

There will be a parade,

Weapons, troops, lamentations,

And fear.

With him, they will all say, with him,

We were safe.

We were secure.

We had dignity.

We needed him.

It will be the grandest funeral of all time.

But not yet.

I'm still in charge.

I have to take care of some details.

I have to make sure that my people have what I want them to have.

I have to make some adjustments.

But it's not my time yet.

So I'm not going anywhere.

Budd Shenkin

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