Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A murderous planet part 2.

The structure of domination has shifted from straightforward arbitrary rule to a relationship based on adjustment and compromise. This has led to a considerable increase in demand for services compared to such traditional demands as for durable consumer goods Alfredo Bonanno From Riot to Insurrection

Three of the servers who worked the night shift were finishing up their side work for the night when I walked in. They didn't look up. I breathed and sat down on a bar stool. I stared at the long brass bar as I heard the servers chat behind me.

"I had a table on 41 tonight that were practically humping at the table. It was fucking gross. The man had his mouth over the woman's. He looked like he was trying to swallow the woman's face," Chelsie said.

Evan Strong a light skinned African American laughed loudly. He tilted his head back which made his curly hair shift gently back. His mirth reverberated in my brain. He rolled another piece of silverware as he sat a table near the patio and asked what the couple looked like.

"Well the woman was wearing a pink shirt, and was sort of... frumpy. While the man was slender, and mustached. They were both middle aged. They wore pretty nondescript clothing and along with sucking a huge amount of face in between gobbling down their food they also were playing footsies," Chelsie completed her sentence with a fit of giggling. She leaned over onto the big round table. Her petite frame shuddered as she guffawed.

"Footsies," Strong said with a laugh. His tone became more serious as he looked at his payout receipt. The payout receipt calculated one's total sales at the end of the night. From the cash on hand the server would deduct the amount owed to the restaurant and the various tips that would be given to the bartenders, food runners, and dishwashers. "I hope I did well tonight. Things have been so slow lately. Its been hard working here, trying to find another job, and paying my bills. Fuck, I hardly have any time to myself anymore."

"What about flight school? Aren't you going to do that anymore," Amanda asked. "Hey where's Mike?"

"I haven't seen Mike in a minute," Strong replied. He sighed and continued with what would be a long sorry monologue about his financial state. He had blown through his savings to help support his mother. His mother owned a small salon in Oakland that had been ravaged during the riots. He had moved back in with his mother to protect and provide for her. His dreams of becoming a pilot were dashed when his savings slowly dwindled as to provide for his family.

"I haven't seen Mike either. I'll go look for him," Chelsie said. She got up and went from the main dining room into the out door patio. A few seconds later I heard a scream. "Someone call the ambulance, someone call the police," she screamed excitedly.

The servers went outside and I followed. "Mike is dead," Chelsie said with a sob. I looked at his corpse. The brown of his shirt had spread further covering his torso. His eyes were open and looked into the night sky.

"What should we do," Evan Strong said.

"We ought to call management, and the police. Not that it will matter that much. With business as bad as it is management will just want this covered up. I'll go call James, and then ask him if what he wants to do," I said taking control of the situation.

I walked back inside as the servers stared at the corpse. I wondered if it was going into rigormortis already as I dialed James' number from the company phone. The first time I rang I got his voice mail. I tried again and he picked up. He sounded slightly sleepy, and slightly drunk.

"Mike is dead," I began.

"Shit," he replied. I imagined him wiping his face. His hands going from the top of his hairline, over his thick eyebrows down to his goatee.

"What should we do," I asked.

"You sure he's dead?"

"He's not moving, there is no pulse. He's staring up at the stars with wide open eyes and you know how squinty Kanberg's usually was."

"This is going to cost us."

"I know."

"Fuck. I'll be down there in a bit. Don't let anyone leave til I show up with the police. Lock down the rest of the restaurant and hang out by the bar. Don't bother with the corpse."

Herding the servers inside was easy. Closing the gates was a breeze and we gathered at the second table inside. We sat together for five minutes when Strong stood up and cursed.

"I need a fucking drink," he said. He moved to the bar and poured himself a beer. "Anyone else?"

"I'll have an Racer 5," I said.

"I'll have a pilsner," Amanda said. Her hands were shaking slightly. Her brown her jiggled in time with her hands. She crossed her arms and sighed deeply.

"We don't have pilsner. We haven't had it for months. You okay," I asked. I turned towards Evan and motioned him to pour a few more drinks. He brought the drinks over and we pounded our first beers down. We then had another round. Chelsie began to sway slightly.

It took James 15 minutes to get to the bar. Five minutes after he arrived two officers showed up. The two cops were downtown Berkeley beat cops. They came in on their off hours for the tail or the booze. One was a barrel chested Germanic lad in his mid twenties. His hair was slightly gray. His partner was older in his mid thirties. He stood behind the German and shifted his dark eyes across the room. He had a slight scruff on his face and was a little gaunt. The name tags on their uniforms read Funkhouser and Ryder. They looked at us with disdain and went outside to the body. James followed them.

"You guys stay here," James commanded.

I helped myself to another beer as I imagined what was being said outside.

The recession had been going on for a long time. The inauguration of Barack Obama, the country's first non-white president had done nothing to deter the economic catastrophe that capitalism had created for itself. As things got harder people got more desperate. Oakland had had 3 riots already. Parts of downtown Oakland had been blazed by looters. Berkeley had remained remained undamaged due to its institution of a private security force that patrolled its streets. The security force kept most of the poverty out, pushing the homeless and wingnuts towards East Oakland or north into Richmond. With the security force doing the primary policing of the towns the police themselves had become lazy and corrupt. It was well known that the police were one of the major gangs of drug traffickers in the bay area and would take bribes. I didn't doubt that James was making an arrangement with the police to avoid the public eye. They'd get rid of the body, James would offer Jupiter's services to the two officers. Jupiter's services had expanded quite a bit since I'd originally been employed at the microbrewery.

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