The Line adjusts the rim of his beige fedora to showcase the huge chunk torn out of it from the grazing bullet. he is proudly and spits into his rum in a Sprite can slightly crushed under the weight of his hand which is always formed into a fist.
Grandmike, tryna keep a low profile with his eyepatch over his mouth: why are we here, Loo? why do we keep doing this? keep coming back here?
The Line: heehee, oh my nigga man, cos it's what we do like we do. 8 million seconds, let's make the most of it before the midterms. we might not need those midterms.
they don't need to knock even once. And Change answers the hot patio porch door without showing his face. he would have done this in broad daylight as well, he knows about cameras.
And Change: i told you never to darken my doorstep again. keep it down. keep quiet, Son is studying.
The Line: what you gon do, it's Watts. as for the noise, i heard they tore down the club next to you, too much white activity going on. hey man, i'm the one doing all the work. i'm hard like that, dedicated. we need you for numbers. is this any way to patronize your patron anyway? where the Patron? where the Patron at laid out?
And Change: you are no brother of mine. or birther for that matter. yeah i heard about your latest fiasco, i am unable to disable weather alerts on my phone, i was doing math with Son. you think these violent theatrics are the way to go? way to be, don't you see? that just fuels the other side. the harder you go, the wetter they get. there's only one way to do it right, so to speak: through the ballot box. removal is always more powerful than a ricochet.
The Line, leaning over And Change on the sill and grinning menacingly: is that right? well now i need you on as my campaign manager.
all the fellas in the shadows laugh.
The Line: aren't you gonna welcome me in? aren't you gonna comment on this shiny new suit i put on expressly for you? to woo you? i mean i put on my finest nude suit to greet you!
And Change: nude-colored suit, clever. no thanks. i'm tired. i'm always tired.
The Line: you got sunken eyes, boy. what you watchin' all the time? didn't you see me on stage? and the stage of tv? i bashed that Neo-Nazi scum's skull in at his own meeting just as he was about to impersonate Hitler with his finest European Right impersonation. spoilers: there was nothing inside his head. y'know i shouldn't call it an impersonation, there's nothing person about it. if only he could see how the Germans are now. and there's nothing Neo about him, he's as old as salt. it wuz beautiful. those skinny-looking white boys were soaked in crippling fear as they gazed upon my specimen, pale wastrel idiots encountering an actual real black man for the first time before their conservative-tears eyes bleary with midnight reddit. they were expecting a monkey and got King Kong. priceless! they peed their pants and became sponges cos the water weighed more than they did!
And Change: Holon, right? what a terrible name. appropriate tho. it's still useless your cold approach.
The Line: yeah maybe you're right. he put up not any fight, disappointing. sad. he kept clappening on about how he was a cog, a pawn, a poor player with no struts, a paid spokesman in a suit, not a soldier. he combed his neat hair so neatly with the comb out of his backpocket. not a fortunate soldier of hire. his vagina kept gushing on about how he wasn't the Big Bad. i want that Big Bad so bad.
And Change: stop playing. you can't lie anymore, the underground journalists who risk their lives everyday to bring us the straight scoop won't have it anymore, it's too important to get it right. they'll sniff you out online. you didn't bash his head in.
The Line: meh. well i tied his three-piece tailored suit so tight around his waist he dropped three dress sizes. as small as his spiffy shoe size. they will feel us before they read us. hey! do i make myself as crystal-clear as this Sprite in my hand?! i'll leave you alone for now. this battle's getting boring. don't fuck with me tho. if i can't have you our enemy sure as fuck can't! tomorrow's the next meeting. attend or it's your ass. at the same stage there those Nazi punks were, spoils of war and all that such. Obec College, 9. in the morning!
The Line's twitter blows up and he checks the cell on his phone. Grandmike smiles and puts the nude-suit thing on a rap record he puts online.
The Line: what. calm down! it's one of my bitches, Nancy Erstwhile. she wants me to come home. her pot is cooking and she needs a ladle. now.
at Obec College President Bump is giving a rally under heavy heavy HEAVY police guard. trash is being thrown in his general direction, trash that was meant to be saved up for two years on and hence, to be extra smelly with no sell-by date.
Bump: what. i reversed the policy. it's your fault. that was supposed to be for the season-finale cliffhanger. now what am i gonna do for the Midterms? you people have no sense of television tension. the show must go on, that's Hollywood fer ya. only I can be the hero of my villain. Bill Gates, how is my Space Force faring?
Bill Gates: sir, the consultants for the Space Force are Seth MacFarlane and also former writers and scribes for Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is the greatest tv show of all time. they have canceled the meeting with you cos they envisioned a future for humanity through their show that was completely destroyed by you. instead, i'm connecting you with Kim for your video date bumped up early. i'm taking my apple break early, where i eat an apple for lunch:
Bump: Kim, howdy! remember our date at the Gardens? just you, me, walking and talking and taking around trees and ice cream in the rain? getting to know each other. while the press scrum followed us like eels? and then i scurried you over to that private room cos i wanted to tell you something important without the cameras so it would come off as genuine. i looked longingly into your eyes, at least i think those were your eyes, and i told you i loved you. you reciprocated by nodding pleasantly, which was good enough. and then we celebrated in that room. Dennis Rodman came out of the table. Dennis Rodman WAS the meeting table, i never knew summit tables were that big, i never knew Dennis Rodman was that big! i should ask him how he pulled off that bit of magic, that's a new trick on me. i can never understand what he's saying when he talks tho. i'm really hoping he isn't a UN triple-spy! and the three of us laughed and laughed over Chinese food.
Bump changes the channel on his watch:
in the studio Alexi Lalas has kept his hands up the entire hour-long of the soccer show.
Kelly Smith, in jeans: Alexi, what are you doing? we haven't heard from you. normally we can't stop you, you're a fiery faucet, you talk so much it's like the hose water the goalie drinks on the pitch inbetween action shots waiting for the next boring thing to happen in our game.
Alexi: El Presidente our host told us to do the Iceland silent-zombie chant. and so i did. after each clap, each successive clap takes place in an interval of time longer and grownier than before. i've reached the timeframe where the next clap is an hour long.........*Alexi claps above his red head* and i'm done i did it now i can talk..........and the show's over. just i'll catch you online if you want the analysis.
El Presidente: i never said stop to Lexi cos i got distracted with my huge collection of every single one of the World Cup mascot dolls.
Bump: see? this is why i don't recognize soccer. i recognize golf, which was invented in America on a Kansan farm by Superman. i'm glad Dustin Johnson didn't win, that guy is too arrogant and annoying. i can relate to the common cooking man, i've gotten my girlfriends confused, too. you know the third round at Shinnecock my hometown where i'm from that was unplayable with the impossible pin locations? that wasn't just hard but over-the-top? like the circus tops the brown kids are playing in right now alongside cockroach infests? that's how i play the game of America. so that i and only i can save the day. i can send water over there to salvage the final round and the tournament. watch, i'll do it right now.
he lifts his finger which crackles with yellow energy. a huge hurricane forms above his coiffed head. it speeds to the golf course and dumps a pounding of wicked water on the area, creating a ton pudding. Bump begins feeling a sprinkling then whole cupsful of yellow liquid being tossed in his general location on his face.
Bump: i kicked my goal. you feel that?...............oh it's just pee from Team Mexico fans. and Team World fans for that matter. thank goodness, i thought for a moment there it was acid rain as i am wont to create. haha! my boss keeps scolding me telling me i need to work on my hurricanes more. who has time to train?! i'm teaching drama to unaccompanied minors.
on a small mountaintop by the fishing pond in the ecologically-sealed ecosystem behind the back of the MSNBC Studios lies Rachel Maddow with her beige fishing hat covering her freckled face. her plaid shirt is hidden nicely between the green reeds. her pole is sticking out like a sore thumb with no catches.
Rachel: time for a snooze, a few winks, a disco nap before the next live show.
Doryce and Gladyce poof out of nowhere and sit next to her and feel all of her around.
Gladyce: what seems to be the trouble, dear. you called for us?
Rachel: you guys are my fairy godmothers?
Doryce: everything but the god.
Gladyce: don't worry, dear, we're practically married.
Doryce: well we're practically dating. but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun.
Rachel: i figured i'd try my luck. Kramer from earlier was here at this exact spot and no bites.
Doryce: well that's odd, he's known as a biter.
Rachel: i have cyclical depression.
Doryce: cyclical depression? a quick scan of my reading materials...
Rachel: you won't find it in any Harvard medical journal. it's a disease only i have.
Doryce: huh. well ain't that special.
Gladyce: give me the night to figure out a spell for you. hopefully. i might even have to ask Jill...
as the witches leave in thin air they do so right as the hurricane directed by Bump flies overhead and cycles around Rachel, soaking her head to oblivion.
Bump: cured? liberalism is painful to kick. haha! u mad?!! the party left me years ago so i threw my own party.
Rachel: i felt that, which is the first step.
disembodied crone voices: oh wait dear, one more thing, do you have the directions to the resort? the one on Lake Pyramid. we've been waiting on that nice jovial Italian man who does the tours before.
Rachel: the Illuminati one?
Doryce, taking over as Gladyce inchwises: yes yes the Great Lake Pyramid, the illuminaughty one.
on the roof of the Obec College Gallery Kim Kardashian has a little powwow with newly-eloped Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande.
Kim K: okay you crazy kids, fools rush in, no judgement. i've got three candy bars here hidden in me.
Pete: don't make me do math.
Kim K: no it's the three new Snickers---Fiery, Espresso, and Salty & Sweet.
Pete: i'll take the Espresso, i'm always irritable.
Ariana: i'll take the Fiery cos look at my hair. on my bush. *shows*
Kim K: i'll take the Salty & Sweet cos i've turned over a new leaf! and i'm a poet right now! i decided to become a consultant, an activist, an advocate for change. i'm a one-woman UN, a communist! i'm like the brown woman in the UN but i didn't have to go to school! and to think i wouldn't have known about the brown woman in jail's case if i hadn't looked at my weather alerts for the first time. they are so fun how they pop up with that grating noise like that! this is my good deed for the life.
Ariana: um, you know you're a brown woman, too?
Kim K: not yet, dear, still working on the tan. but thank you.
Pete: i'm in love with you, Ariana. or it could be i'm afraid of heights and woozy right now. or maybe i need to think of something other than 9/11. or i'm not on my meds. or i'm doing this sticking it out with you this long out of spite just to stick it to your online haters which are my online haters. it's the Kevin Love defense.
Ariana spins her body and head around three times and gets stuck between the skinny ladder.
Ariana: whoa whoa whoa i'm flying into space! i know how you feel, we're soulmates. i could use a donut or eight right now. we each have tragedies we're trying to escape. hence this fire exit. get it? see? we're both funny. you have a naturally goofy face, i can make a goofy face and sing goofy on command when i think back to my Nickelodeon sitcom days and that nice jovial plump Italian man. i hope i'm remembering these incidents from my working life right and haven't gone all black-out.
Kim K: i know about that.
Ariana: my working life tends to bleed into my life. MeToo and such,
Kim K: i know about both things,
Ariana: my mouth is burning...i can't feel my tonsils...
Pete: wasn't me. wanna get outta here and go to a 16-million-dollar glass palatial-tower lovenest apartment or something?
Ariana: i prolly should have done the Espresso one seeing as my name is Grande and all. i dreamt about you, boy. i dreamed you up, dreamed that i would dream about finding you.
Kim K: no, that's Swaggy P.
Ariana: do you have any water?
Kim K: always. prolly just the sugar rush for all three.
And Change waits for the steps to die. he descends the secret staircase, scratching the door on the way down, and reaches his basement by uncovering the white sheet on his door. he sets up the tripod and swings it closer to his chest. he mounts it on cinder blocks and pushes the red button, facing the lens up to his big nose. he begins his nightly ritual:
And Change: hoboy boys n hos, ladies and gentlemen, what is this world of ours spinning and spitting now? ain't fire. what is everyone doing? they're going out there shooting up the streets championing their causes with their chickenheads cut off and their flags stuffed inside. as their followers lace their paths like rose-bearers. this is not the way to revolve. everyone's got it wrong. your friends are not your friends. once you choose a side, you're dead. i trust in myself, there's only one thing that's important. i trust in maths. we will win with numbers. want me to show you my latest charts?
he doesn't know if anyone is out there listening, picking up what he's putting down. if he has any followers. but he sends his missives down their cyber way anyway everyday just the same. this is his freedom, his escape, his outlet, his therapy in a mad world that gets madder with each broadcast.
And Change: you know the real reason Kaepernick is doin' all this for, right? Marlana VanHoose, real talk, google it, google the game, google the gang. put that on your underground watch and bury it. just don't look at the other-suggestions pictures to the right of her, ha. haven't seen Colin in ages, hope he's okay. gotta watch out for our fam. and with that, Mulatto Messiah out!
he doesn't know. but he can feel a strange presence emanating along the edge layer of his computer screen everytime he pushes the red button. it has no face, name, gender, identity of any kind. it's more, it's not any one thing. it's the people themselves rising up, it's every human corporation coming out from behind the shadows into the blinding light of its own flashing computer light. it's the entire cloud. he gets supernaturally excited to be able to draw such a spirit out. he has his own tv show now. he wouldn't have minded if he had wasted all this time alone, his time, he wasn't hurting anyone, but it's good to know he doesn't have to be totally anonymous. he figures it's a win in his column no matter what. if it's oppo research from any one enemy, he's important enough. if it's Bill Gates his mind races over what kind of product will come from And Change's basement insight. from And Change being the independent that he is.
and so to celebrate, And Change puts on some music. his favorite music, the one song, the only song he plays again on repeat 90 times a day, over and over, his song, the one he composed himself, that bad rap song currently polluting the local airwaves that nobody knows how it got to have a source without a backtrack. where he lyrics about how he's the king of his own castle in some faraway unnamed African lands. he dances as he always do, with his hips slightly swinging and his fists slightly clenched and up close back and forth in front of his face like he's doing the Stairclimber without a mirror.
or perhaps it's just a ghost