He was explicit in his adamance for the necessity of organized militias, a basic tactical preparedness. He knew that these days there was a need for them. He had knowledge of plans, all mapped out and air-tight. Locations and provisions all ready to go. He just needed more 'bodies' to join him. What kind of state those 'bodies' needed to be in he wasn't exactly specific about, or if they were of the no-, some-, able-, busy-, home-, hard- or soft-body persuasion. He just sought bodies.
<Sure, bud, sure. Whatever you say. Lead the way, right behind ya. Is anyone else hearing what this guy is saying?>
Then came the gun magazines he started leaving strewn about the tables of the break room. No one saw him do it, but suspicions were cast and assumptions made. It was scary to see that kind of in-your-face display of obsession and overt advertising of personality. It was one thing to talk about it. You could tune the guy out if you were good enough at tuning people out, not letting their words pass the tympanic membrane and into your head. But it's another thing when your placemat has a scantily clad Spanish babe holding a military issue Belgian FN P90, with an article heading that reads: "8 Best Guns You Need To Survive Doomsday", in thick large print. The guy knew nothing about subtly. The magazines confirmed that. But they drew you, subconsciously, in some repressed and hungry way. 'Give me that Spanish babe and that 50 round mag, rapid-fire bullet-spitter and I'll give you a man of true action', the cover seemed to compel.
Quiet periods when nothing was going on were not great for this guy. Talks about his terrible childhood and his expressive merit about his invincibility would be offered over and over, without solicitation. The stories were sad and always mired in manipulation, sexual misconduct, Fraternal Abuses and the extreme anxiety of raising children. They were among the reasons why he had to, "take precautions".
<Oh fuck, the guy's got children?>
He'd been drilled in a world that was never fair to him. His underground sensibility and chaotic logic needed only to feel that someone else was on the same level, in the same dust storm in which he couldn't see 5 meters in front of his face, behind his back, or to his left and right. He never knew quite how to "adapt and interact within a crowded clashes of molecules, the conscious biological structures that are chemically compounded and with physical capabilities".
!Those are his words. Remember that!
"We move and smash into each other. Interacting with nothing to lose, everything to gain. Sucking the next person down the drain or out into a spastic orbit, as well. Making sure that the smell of raw sacrifice lingers through time, somehow absolving the prior victim, now turned tormentor, whole again and free from judgement for soiling the futures of other innocents."
"So many spoiled ideals and codes of conduct. Solids reduced to steam under the immense heat, dampening the already soft walls of fragility. Making hard the artery. Constricting and choking the voices that have become sweet and hard to ignore."
<Ummm... Back to that bodies thing, you sure you don't want to call in sick tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that? Maybe you'd feel better if you took a stroll? Let those fumes inside your head dissipate before you decide to come back.>
"Whispers of conclusion and an allusion of divinity has us rearranged. We have been leading a beaten body with a head full of sin and pleasure into the foul, diseased waters without worry. Feeding on impulse. Chewing on history lessons like day-old gristle that we are sure can't be digested, but that we chew on for a bit to see if maybe we can get anything nourishing out of it."
<Is that the break bell? Just got to run out and grab a terminal voltage shock collar for this guy. Something that delivers it right to the heart might be even better. Short-out his AV & SA nodes, cease the function of the guy's heart circuitry. Stop this before it goes too far.>
They say it's darker on the shadow side. Well, baby, this guy is dark all over. A swarthy man-shadow with fully discernible features. A vampire out in the high-noon Mediterranean summer sun . A Brit with a subscription to "American Rifleman". This guy doesn't care for consistency. It's straight-ahead, no deviation devastation. That's fucking it. The last hope is to get him busy and MAYBE he'll stay occupied enough to let things settle for awhile. Who knows, he might have a shit short term memory and move on completely.
Not the case.
It gets worse if he's stuck on something and he's been rattling it around inside his head for some time.
"You should meet Page."
<Uh-oh. Anyone else want to work with this guy?>
"Page has got answers. Page has got some real ideas. Page is kind."
<Yeah, sure. This, Page, a he or a she? Could it have the side-effects of your medication written on it? You going to quote this, Page?Is Page a torn and wordy individual? Can I take Page?>
"Page runs the camp. We grow our own vegetables and some fruits. We have a well for water. We hunt goose, deer and duck. We even keep bees, some chickens, and a goat. Page is a seasoned hunter. Page has the real weapons. You really should come and listen to what Page has to say. You'll be a believer after, I guarantee. You'd be a good shot, big strong guy like you. I see in your face the look of a man that could handle a long gun, expertly. I bet you'd be just great at it. Bullseye every time, I think."
<Thanks for the compliment. You may have a point there.>
The guy's words changed instantly. They weren't twisted and frightening anymore. They became easy and familiar. The inflection of his voice became idyllic and soft. He wasn't as threatening as he was at first. Speaking to you, not at you.
"And the women. If for nothing else you should come for the women. All the beautiful women. You should come. They are beautiful. Free love, and all that."
The guy's betting heavily on the licentious tendencies of man now. No shame in it. As forever somatic slaves to the pelvic nerve endings and associated endorphins, it's the right bet to make. No contest.
*The imagery from the cover of the gun magazine comes back into focus*
Defences start to lull and alter, taking up with other, more para-sympathetic parts of the brain stem-- not viewing the guy as a security threat any longer.
"Page can find what you need. Page has connections. What is it you want? What do you need? Do you want to transform or transcend? Become something else? Page knows you do. You know you do. Yours is the type that Page wants at the camp. What is it that you want? You know there's no integrity left in the city, you're not stupid. I can tell. Come to the camp. See the set up. There aren't any shackles out there. The population is getting out of control. Wouldn't you agree? The congestion is like a slow moving freeway, all blocked up by a horrendous accident that's so far out of sight that you'll never be able to tell how many perished in bringing the traffic to such a slow pace."
<Now that you mention it, that does kind of make sense.>
"We need to be armed. Protect ourselves, right? Defend what's ours. A utopia. Do you know what a utopia is? Of course you do, you're so smart. That's why I know you'd be perfect. Oh, and the women. They'll just love you. You are a very handsome man. There's this one..Petra. She'd be all over you, I just know it. Beautiful too. Twenty-three, I believe."
The guy's tics and tells aren't even noticeable now. Just another mildly addled personality with arrested purpose and conviction. Truly benign. The guy's like most people: a little banged up, but ultimately resilient. A little crazed, but regulated enough that he could dress himself, string proper sentences together and get food into his mouth-- instead of all over his face and on the floor.
"It's paradise out at the camp. A sanctuary. Not some shuttered in place. No one to bother you. We all pitch in and work together. Isn't that how it should be? A real community. Not like these income relative, hygiene-biased government constructs and commercialized zoning designations. When was the last time you had mud between your toes, or stayed up all night watching the stars, waiting for the sun the come up? There's great fishing not too far off, too. That's my specialty. I love to fish. Do you? You look like you'd be a good fisherman. Take to it immediately, I bet."
<Ahhh...That does sound nice...What else you got?>
"Just come and see for yourself. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head, but you should come. You'll be amazed by it. Come stay a night. There's a bed there for you to lay your head and rest, I swear it."
CUE THE OVERTURE.
"Trust me, it's paradise."