Happiness Inc.

ARE YOU BORED WITH YOUR LIFE? HAS ENNUI ERADICATED YOUR ENTHUSIASM? DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING WITH THE DOLDRUMS? THEN YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! NASH RUDDIN HAS THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYERS!

Fat Mick nodded and his jeweled fingers stroked the mouse. He brushed his pyjama silks and gargled some Dom Perignon.

PLEASE ENTER YOUR INFORMATION. IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR ACHIEVING THE ULTIMATE HAPPINESS. IT IS JUST AROUND THE BEND, AS SOON AS YOU INPUT YOUR NAME, AGE, RACE, AND YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION. JUST ONE MORE STEP BEFORE NASH RUDDIN REVEALS HIS SECRET TO HAPPINESS! DO NOT HESITATE!

Fat Mick rubbed his fat hands in anticipation and his tongue licked lips permanently fixed in a decadent sneer. His finger worked the keyboard carefully and, upon completion, he pressed ENTER. He smoothed back his five hundred dollar haircut. His self-satisfied smile was cruel.

NASH RUDDIN IS PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT EACH ONE OF YOUR OFF-SHORE ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN DRAINED, ALL OF YOUR ASSETS LIQUIDATED!  CONGRATULATIONS ON RECEIVING THE NASH RUDDIN SECRET TO HAPPINESS!

Fat Mick blanched then chuckled, shaking his head with slow mirth. Ha ha ha! The phone rang. He picked it up and brought it to his small, diamond studded ear. His lawyer was frantic. The phone rang. He put his lawyer on hold and it was his investors. The phone rang, and he put his investors on hold to talk to his finanicial advisors. Now Fat Mick began to panic. He stabbed at the keyboard and returned to the website of that damnable Nash Ruddin. He screamed at Nash Ruddin’s grinning face. He destroyed the keyboard, his face red and his larynx tortured. A knock sounded at the door, and the butler went to see who it was. The butler returned with a foreclosure notice, and said ahem he ahem got a call from ahem his employer and ahem that his services were no longer ahem needed and turned in his resignation.  Fat Mick collapsed in the middle of his posh plush palace and rolled like a toddler in the throes of a meltdown. The computer emitted a tone. YOU GOT MAIL! Fat Mick clutched at the desk and pulled himself up by his elbows. He manuevered the mouse. Then he sank down to his arse, his bulk quivering with sobs of relief. Joy exploded from within his being. As he wiped happy tears from beady eyes, the phones rang again.

SURROUNDED BY SPLENDOR ONE FORGETS NOT TO TAKE FOR GRANTED THE THINGS ONE HAS. WITH LOSS IS ONE’S TRUE CONDITION STRONGLY FELT. YOU HAVE LOST EVERYTHING IN LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES. DEAR CUSTOMER, HOW DID IT FEEL? HOLD THAT FEELING, REMEMBER IT. NOW FOR THE TRUE NASH RUDDIN HAPPINESS TREATMENT: EVERYTHING HAS BEEN RESTORED. THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING AND PLEASE DO TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS FREE SERVICE!

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TIME’S SOLILOQUY

Three figures of ambiguous sexuality are astride, the camera moving backwards. As the camera pans to the left, one realizes they are not astride, but in actuality are situated in lateral distances through a trick of camera,

the very animated TOMORROW (dapper in a long coattail tuxedo and pencil thin mustache, like a maitre’d, eyes twinkling always with excitement of novelty juxtaposed with the upper lip trembling fearfully at the unknown, but wearing a smile that is joyously illuminating the prospect of something happening, oh, isn’t it happening!) leads the stride,

TODAY (well tuxedoed and plump, well fed, with red cheeks and the expectant gait of someone on the verge of dreaming and remembering) takes up the middle,

and YESTERDAY (an ambivalent mix of resentment and contentment scarring his youthful appearance with the tributaries of old age which seem to interchange in random intervals, the youthful face suddenly fissuring into bitter age then flashing into bright acceptance of Time passed) dawdles at the back of the pack as if on tottering legs of creaking bone.

TOMORROW: (walking white gloved hand on brow, camera right close-up) O!
YESTERDAY: (receding camera left): So it begins… the gradual distancing.
TODAY: (running a hand through hair, still walking) Eye on the horizon, I tread towards Tomorrow.
YESTERDAY: (shrinking, bitter voice tinny and echoey) Good-by, good-by!
TODAY: (performing a jig) The rosy, cosy future, blushing sweet petal smells falling onto my passage.
TOMORROW: (extending a hand) Time’s a strange thing.
YESTERDAY: No! (He reaches across the gulf, which we find is longer than it seemed, and grasps the coat tails of TODAY)

TODAY and TOMORROW engage in a tango, whirl and twirl in a backdrop of galaxies that reel with violent light revealing themselves to be blistering holes on overheated celluloid. YESTERDAY, stretched about, is flung about, still gripping at TODAY, like an arm of a galaxy.

TOMORROW: Orange blooms and foul droppings. One man’s trash is another man’s wealth.
TODAY: It’s always the same.
TOMORROW: It’s always—
TODAY: Time to tango!

Mournfully, filled with muffled lament, steadily growing louder, the patter of feet on the quickly burning cosmos. Roses are falling from no sky in particular, their red petals unfolding from in hot galactic centers to burst apart, dusting in the cold cold void: it doesn’t stop; is a petal as any other petal?

YESTERDAY: No, please stop. Stop, please.
TODAY: What was that? Did you hear something?

Stars burn their gases and there is life and death. Stories galore.

TOMORROW: Yoicks! Never mind that. What excitement!
YESTERDAY: Hey, it’s me…
TODAY: Whoo!
YESTERDAY: I’m here. Hmph. The very thought.
TOMORROW: Round and round we go in a merry go round of you and me!
YESTERDAY: (feebly) And me? (angrily) Mark my words. The past always catches up with you!

So they spin forever and ever, the Matter of matters always caught in the vortex of their dance, always trying to come to grips with the state of things.