Powerless, Part I

Pic of the day, part i: Nocturne Trafalgar Square Chelsea Snow, by James McNeill Whistler


A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.

Albert Camus


The sun shone dimly through the clouds and the slight fog that was rolling in. A page of newspaper fluttered by in the wind. A few cars drove casually by. Bird calls echoed in the distance. It is a little after 7:00 am. Two men, named Paul and Dan meet, and talk as they walk. Paul is dressed for work, wearing a blue suit with a white shirt and a dark blue tie that is tied but loosened, Dan is walking in shorts, flip-flops and a T-shirt, and carrying a worn black backpack. Dan looks a bit gruff and weather worn with a shock of red hair sticking out of his baseball cap.

Sup, Paul?”

“Namuch, Dan, how’s Dad?” ”

Dan said “He holding up well enough, still in the wheelchair, no change, he’ll be walking again in a few weeks. The leg is healing.”

Paul said “Good to hear, good to hear.” How are you holding up? Any luck finding work?”

Dan said “Nope, and the money…. fuck! I… have some but not nearly enough. Don’t know anyone with money so I can’t borrow any. You can’t help, you have kids and a wife at home and you’re just barely squeaking by… Fucked. I am fucked. I have bills to pay. The wife took off, she can’t survive with me, so she’s gone back to her parents. ” He ran his hands through his hair, and stared angrily at nothing in particular. “I have to something. Something radical, Something.”

Paul said “Jeez that sucks dude. She’ll come back.” Dan stopped and looked around the neighborhood, trying to figure out how to interpret that last statement before speaking again. “And what are you gonna do, rob a bank? Dumbass, you can’t get money to buy a hot dog. You’d need a gun to do that, or a brain at least.”

He smiled at his brother, wrapping his arm around him and shaking him, trying to cheer him up. Dan said “Dude, I’m thinking of robbing an armored truck. There’s one at the bank three blocks down that shows up every Tuesday at 4:15 pm.” He smiled and patted his backpack. Paul wore a confused look and said “Ya right. Bullshit. Get serious. You couldn’t rob a candy store in the state your in. You still haven’t recovered from your back surgery from the accident where you and dad got hurt.”

Dan rubbed his back and said “Fuck please, I’m fine.” He looks in both directions before pulling a second bag out of his backpack. It had three guns in it. He fumbled with the bag, almost dropping it before opening it. “All glocks. Three seventeen shot clips each. Want in?” He smiled at his brother and tapped him with his elbow.

“What the fuck are you, nuts?” Paul said that and looked around, grabbed the bag from his hands and quickly stuck it back in the backpack. “Where did you get those? Where’d you get the money, mr. out of work? What the fuck are you thinking? ARE YOU EVEN THINKING?” Dan said“Calm the fuck down! Don’t yell!” Dan looked around and noticed two people walking down the street. Whoever they were they were too far away to see anything and the fog made it difficult to make out who they were, made them mere shadows of people in the distance. “Sold a lot of shit at the pawn shop. Didn’t need half of it with Sheila gone. Got some money left over for food. Didn’t have enough for much else.” He looked down at the ground bitterly.

“You’re crazy. Stupid and crazy. What the hell is wrong with you?”

Dan said “Ya, well you’re weak. You’re afraid, admit it. I gotta do something. There’s no work. no nothing.

“Fuck I don’t care! And….Damn right I’m afraid. You know what you’re talking about right? Seems that you don’t” Paul peered darkly at his smaller, older brother. Trying to reach him, bring him back to something that he thought resembled sanity.

Oh I do alright. What’s wrong with it? Nothing else is working! Afraid of getting hurt or something?”

“…Or something! Like getting killed! I happen to like my life, and yours, and I don’t feel like losing mine or yours right now!”

No one’s gonna kill us, or anyone else, if we do this right. If we do it wrong, we’re fucked, so we need to do it right.”

Paul said “What do you mean we? Say it right. You! I haven’t agreed to do anything!”

Paul, you’re a pussy. Fuck you. If you don’t want in, fine. You aren’t the only one I can talk to about this. Don’t rat me out, fucknut.” Dan started to walk back to his tenement apartment

“I’m not gonna do it, but I won’t be a rat either. I’m your brother, not some stranger. There be no rats here. Do what you have to do, and be careful.”

Later.” Dan tossed the backpack onto his shoulder, turned, walked back the way he came, and waved in a careless manner. Paul looked back at him, staring at his brother walking away into the fog and quietly said to himself “He isn’t crazy. He’s dumb. Desperate and dumb. He won’t do it. He won’t.” Paul turned and walked towards his bus stop then said between clenched teeth ” He better fucking not.”

To be continued…


Pic of the day, part ii: Gray and Gold, the Golden Bay, By James McNeill Whistler


Accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful.

Albert Camus


That’s it from here, America. G’night.