Friday, November 7, 2008
Robots & Capitalists
"Robots & Capitalists"
a novel work of pulp fiction
by Jake Kilroy
Leonardo was tired.
He was exhausted. Dreadfully ripe for sleep. But he hadn’t said what he wanted to scream in the ballroom. Instead, he'd have it out with her in the hallway. He was shaking.
“A personality crisis is not a striking set of minute tidbits that you can diagnose for your own self-esteem, Gabrielle!” he struggled to yell.
“These are human beings, just in case you were wondering,” Leonardo continued. “No, not all of us can be robots and capitalists. Some of us actually break for the common man. I know when my mouth carries itself farther than my heart. I am not digging up fields or mass graves for wisdom, just so we’re clear. I feel that's how you treat your brutal sense of things.”
The trees whistled outside. Leonardo's voice boomed over them.
“So, don't feed me this birdseed and tell me I’ll be full,” Leonardo continued. “Don’t make it seem as if you like to be brutally honest. You only want to shock the dreams out of people, good or bad, just so they have a reaction. Let's be honest, with that empty life of yours, when was the last time you really said something profound, to maybe get your own reaction? I'll give you a hint: you were still a child.”
Even without Leonardo's anger and anguish, the house was not quiet. Gabrielle could hear the party guests on the other side of the veranda, but Leonardo was not yet done.
“One man's self-destruction is not another's glory,” Leonardo said. “No matter how much you want to believe I treasure your trash.”
Gabrielle began to cry.
“I went to bed shaking last night and it was only a reckoning on the future. Nothing's going to make a sacrifice of the past in art or leisure, and I damn well sure won't use nap time to cut up your telephone wires. I promise you that I won't make a pretty penny off your thoughts,” Leonardo said before laughing a mean chuckle. “As if I could sell a big sinking ego to anybody but this circle of friends.”
The rain that had spent the afternoon over the farmlands was now well over the mansion.
“Tell me when the idle ideals wear off and you catch up with your mouth,” Leonardo said with authority and a final sneering noise.
“Leonardo!” Gabrielle cried out as she chased him to the door, carrying her red dress. But Leonardo was already marching through the rain to his car.
The moon was low over the countryside. Though neither crying in the gardens noticed.