Healing the blind – all of them
So, what about blindness? A double cataract operation only costs ten quid. A donation of a million would give a hundred thousand people sight! Not that they’d see anything particularly beautiful or fertile, not until we finish irrigating Africa. But the people will be mobile and be able to do some sort of work.
Not realistic, they said! Why not? And why is it that only I see these things?
Hypomania? Life is exciting and exuberant
I’ve made a huge impression in my new job, I’m setting up a string of companies soon be household names, I’m an inventor of startling creativity. Fame and wealth beckon. I’m a Third World-saving multiple Nobel laureate, TV personality and philanthropist.
Just a little sleep – that’s all I ask. My body, my eyes and my brain ache. Sleep, oh, sleep. Was it three nights ago when I managed a 15-minute cat nap?
Hypomania: No death
Strolling along in the little park I listen to birdsong. Without warning, there’s a shriek of brakes from a nearby road cutting and the loudest, most ear-splitting crash I have ever heard. Is i some sort of bomb? I throw myself to the ground. I hear the sound of shattering, splintering glass and that of metal scraping, grating against metal. Nothing less than a multiple pile up, it seems to go on for ever.
The noise stops. I pick myself up, run to the railing and look down into the cutting.
There is nothing there. No cars, no accident, no mangled wreckage, no splintered glass, no victims, no blood, no death.
But I’d heard it. Somehow it had unhappened and, although there must have been death, there was no death. Suddenly I realised that lives could be saved and accidents prevented simply by the presence of one Great Man. In this instance, that Great Man was me.
And who ever heard of a great man alone? Most of them had harems, mistresses, wives at least. Why should I be different?
I realise that it is right for people to have physical fun, it is right to produce children from your harem. A great thought comes to me: I will sire my own workforce! Hundreds of them! They will become secretaries, engineers, scientists… every skill International Research and Development need will spring from my own loins.
Recruitment and increased libido
I knock on a door. It opens, revealing a stout middle aged woman.
“Hello Madam. I represent a large consortium called International Research and Development and we’re currently poised to launch a major recruitment drive locally. Would you be interested in a position with us?”
She eyes me up and down. “Pull the other one.”
“Madam, prospects with IRD are truly infinite; I can offer you job satisfaction, money, travel, anything you want from the career you truly deserve.”
“I don’t think you could offer me a cup of tea, never mind a major consortium. Now, you’re going to get out of my garden, I’m going to shut the door and you’re going to go back where you came from.”
Let’s try the pub
First I try the lounge – empty. Then the bar – also empty. I go up to the bar and ring a bell. After a few moments a barmaid appears.
“Hi,” she replies, her cheery smile telling me she’d be great in Personnel, “What’s it to be?”
“Double Scotch, please.”
“Thank you. Do you enjoy your job?”
“Well, it helps pay the bills.”
“I can offer you a very good job.”
“Oh yes? Doing what?”
“Personal assistant to the Chief Executive of International Research and Development, that’s me, Marc Prospero. Pleased to meet you.”
“So you want me to be your PA, do you?”
“Yes, starting tonight.”
“I don’t know about that. What would I be doing, anyway?”
“You’d be a sort of light-hearted bouncing board, if you know what I mean, someone to make sure I don’t get too tense during the working day, someone to provide an oasis of relief amid the frantic schedule and the executive stress.”
“Someone to sleep with you, you mean?”
“On your bike.”
Chris Boulton knocks on my door.
“Hi, Chris, come on in.”
The chief sales trainer steps in and stops; his smile freezes, he sees the mess on the walls, the posters and the abusive messages. He sits on the end of the bed, his face sagging like a non-rising souffle.
“What… what the hell’s going on”
“What’s going on is that you’re leaving. I don’t need you any more. Get out of my territory.”
“Is this some kind of joke?”
“I’m not joking. I can do this job, in fact I can do any job.”
“Listen Marc, I don’t think you’re well…”
“I’m perfectly well.”
“Let’s go for breakfast and talk things over.”
In the motel restaurant, I decide to test Chris Boulton. Just how good is he?
“See all these businessmen fuelling up for the day? You’re such a good trainer, Boulton… such a great salesman. Sort this one out.”
Loudly, I speak, “Ladies and gentlemen…”
Boulton jumps up to stop me. I shrug him off.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you may think that Silver Satin is a luxury bog roll. What a load of cobblers…”
Boulton hauls me through the door. I break free momentarily, stick my head through into the restaurant and disparage again what is actually a great product from a top company.
We head back to my room. Boulton calls HQ. It becomes apparent that we’re meeting someone else. It turns out to be a guy I’ve met before. He’d been at middle one of the three interviews, when it seemed they’d known me in advance… were they tests? Was I heading for a far greater role than I’d imagined?
Who am I?
My mind starts to rattle around. What’s going on? Who is Boulton really? Who is the other guy… and where are we going?
And who am I? What am I meant to make of all their cloak and dagger stuff?
Why I feel drawn towards the idea of security I do not know. Is my role to ‘do’ security in some way?
International security? Interpol?
The Secret service?
Intergalactic policing, among the planets and the stars?
International Research and Development. IR and D. IR and D.
Digital simulators. Economic stimulators… Stimulation of prosperity around the cosmos.
Security. Secret service. Security.
Wildly careering, a runaway train, my mind touches on a thousand and one subjects before ending up time after time at the same destination:
International, intergalactic security…
But I want to go home… wherever home is. A realisation dawns: Why not fly there… of course I have the gift of flight! I can simply open the vehicle’s back door, jump out and fly home!
The craft, be it hovercraft or whatever, is making its way along a freely flowing main artery at, what, 70? Leaping from the speeding craft should give me an upthrust enabling me to fly up and over the fields… and I’ll find myself instantaneously in a cosy front room. Wherever it is, whosoever’s it is.
Yes, I’ll fly away… but not through the door. That’s too easy. I’ll burst through the roof, into the air and on, on to freedom!
It’s a battle between my iron will and the material of the car roof.
Mind over matter. Mind over matter.
Fly. Fly. Fly.
My mind rattles around faster, faster. Nothing is making sense.
Fly, fly, fly.
Interpol, safety, security.
Fly, fly, fly.
Interpol, safety, security.
The gift of personal aviation has failed me… I’m confused and infinitely weary.
But at least now I know my role: I’m an ever vigilant knight of security, destined to travel into eternity, destined never to sleep.
Oh god, oh god… how can one man carry the burden of the security of the world. Why should anyone never, ever sleep… never, ever rest, when they have done so much already for the world and everybody in it?
What in the depths of hell is happening?