The Way

One way to do it, he says, is to douse yourself in
alcohol and set your bed on fire.

In the hole men chew their veins out; now that’s
ambition!

These are lectures on Blood and the Way.

With God’s love we are never abandoned.

He is the way and a way out

–unlock–pull trigger–

“I’m a hustler, he says, I never go back to
the same trick twice for a cigarette!”

As a finale we laugh ourselves to death.

Rob Goldstein (c) 2014-2017 All Rights Reserved

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The Executive

The alarm rang and the radio spat news.

Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.

He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.

The phone rang

“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Hi Jerry”
“Are you up?”
“Yes”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About old man Lazaro.”

Bonwit sat up.

Jerry continued: “You made old man Lazaro look like a jackass.”

Bonwit answered: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”

Market Street looked like the Exodus scene from the Ten Commandments.

“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.

He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
the underground.

He saw the same beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
ticket machine.

He held a sign that read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help me.”

Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
the platform.

The N-Judah to Ocean Beach arrived; Bonwit was desperate
to take it.

He wanted to run from the Financial District and its beggars who follow him everywhere, who sit in front of the Pyramid and glare at him: as if he is the one who stripped them of everything and left them to starve.

“They glare at me.,” Bonwit muttered to himself. “Not my secretary; not
old man Lazaro.”

Lazaro’s face formed in his mind; boyish yet old; kind yet cruel.

Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.

Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army.

“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “And the sales force is your troops. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Think of our company as a complex system of privileges and obligations. Your people need you Bonwit.”

“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.

Bonwit rose from the Montgomery Street Station and walked to the Pyramid.

The skyscrapers sprouted arms and hands; they pointed at him
and jeered.

Bonwit entered the elevator and felt his stomach drop.

Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.

As if I don’t know why I’m here.

I am Master.  It’s that simple.

The doors opened onto the thirteenth floor and Bonwit smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”

“’’Morning Mister Teller.”

“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”

“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”

“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.

He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?

“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office and wants to meet with you.”

Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.

Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”

“I walked this morning.”

“That’s terrible for the waistline! I’m removing you from the Texaco Account. Shirley complained this morning.”

“About what.”

“She said Hal’s tickets were late.”

“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”

Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you.”

Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.

He studied the expanse of the Bay Bridge and the inviting waters
below.

 

 

...and at the inviting waters below...
…and at the inviting waters below…

 

 

 

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I have the Right to have a Right to have the Right

I like to think of myself as a compassionate man but compassion
is difficult when one considers the damage people do on purpose.

How do we find compassion for people who, riven with envy, lie without hesitation, damage reputations, and steal the hard work of other people?

How do we find compassion for people who abuse their power, who insinuate themselves into the lives of others to control them and who take without giving back?

How does one forgive years of abuse from an alcoholic parent?

How does one forgive a friend who plays mind games designed to make you doubt yourself, who projects their failings onto you and who malignantly smears you to your friends and colleagues.

Trust is essential to effective communication and to the work of forging a working social contract.

Here is a brief list of behaviors I consider unforgivable:

Slander; especially hurtful gossip; when you maliciously smear the reputations of decent people you lose the right to respect and compassion.

Users; these are people who treat the generosity and resources of other people as if they are their due.

Emotional Abuse: it is unforgivable to target the weaknesses of
others for abuse.

Any intentional act or decision that results in the death of
a child.

Any intentional behavior that meets the definition of torture.

Blatant and intentional hypocrisy.

Any abuse of power that limits the resources and opportunities of
our children, our elderly and our disabled.

Any use of the Federal Government to empower racists.

Treason and collusion with treason.

How do we find compassion for the unforgivable?

Take away my family,
Take away the right to speak
Take away my point of view,
Take away my right to choose

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2017

 

 

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