and then when i met her, i knew it was too good to last.
the world is ruled by evil people, who are themselves ruled by even more evil powers.
i knew i myself had drowned in filth and despair on many occasions.
i had never bowed down to the evil ones, but they held me in the palm of their hand nevertheless.
“marcia, the is pete. pete, this is marcia.” joe smiled the way he smiled at everything. i could never figure if it was an evil smile or a friendly one.
i knew right away that with marcia anything was possible.
i had always dreamed of finding the headquarters of the people who ruled the world.
but i had gotten bogged down in a million swamps of white nothingness.
“welcome aboard, pete.” those were marcia’s first words to me.
“you look like a guy who - “ marcia took a sip of her coffee. “ - the score.”
did she say “a guy who knows the score” or a “a guy who wants to make a big score”. i could not tell.
joe knew the score, that was for sure. and he let us know it.
it had gotten completely dark outside.
we were the only ones left in the burger king, except for the two people behind the counter.
“we are all set now, “ said joe. “with four of us. that is the lucky number.”
“it is a lucky number,” said charlie, but joe ignored him.
“three guys and a girl,” said joe. “that is even luckier. it is nature’s way.”
“whatever that means,” said charlie. i could see he was disagreeing with joe because marcia had showed up, and he wanted to show he was not just joe’s boy.
“i’ve explained it before.” said joe, looking at marcia. “four of everything - always three male, one female. it’s a proven formula. the four elements - three male one female. the four gospels - three male, one female. the four horsemen of the apocalypse - three male, one female.. everywhere you look,”
“like seinfeld,” said marcia.
“that’s good,” joe told her. “very good.”
“like what?” i asked.
“seinfeld.,” said joe. “it was a tv show.”
“oh,” i said. i never watched much tv.
i was too busy dreaming of conquering the world, and contemplating the indescribable innocence and beneficence of nature.
marcia smiled at me. i thought my head - my precious head, the only one i had, would explode.
marcia opened her mouth. i thought she was going to tell me i was a strange man, but instead she said -
you look like a pretty ordinary guy, pete. how did you get mixed up with these two?
i wanted to ask her the same thing, but my brain would not allow it.
i was innocent, so innocent. of course the word innocent has many meanings.
i wished joe would get down to business.
i wished marcia would smile at me forever.
i was filled with strange and conflicting desires.
that last statement does not mean much, i know.
i wanted something, anything.
but i would always be the guy who crawled out of the swamp.
sources: the republic, by plato;
confessions of st augustine;
the prince, by machiavelli;
romance of leonardo da vinci, by dmitri merejkovskii;
life of michelangelo, by john addington symonds;
pensees, by pascal;
confessions, by jean-jacques rousseau;
civilization of the renaissance in italy, by jacob burckhardt;
walden, by thoreau;
thus spoke zarathustra, by nietzsche;
life of jesus, by ernest renan;
varieties of religious experience, by william james