Fiction Drama Sad

December 25th:

               Jonathan is the most beautiful nephew I could ask for. I would give him the world if I could, but that would make my little brother, Harry Oliver, more jealous of me than he already is. But that’s okay. I already know Jonathan would rather live with me than with his bumbling parents. And the most wonderful part about Christmas is that I can reinforce that fact.

               I’ve outdone myself this year. I travelled from Waigeo all the way to Plano, to deliver a special gift for Jonathan: the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise. Not only is it one of the most beautiful birds in the world, but this one can talk! It isn’t one for conversation, however, yet its singing is angelic. On the plane ride to America, it sang:

You spend all your dough on school

               While I’m taking your girl to the pool

               At the crib she with me and the ghouls

               She got way more brains than you, fool

I’ll never forget the sheer delight on Jonathan’s face. He loved it! My heart swelled. Soon, he’ll run away from home to live with me. Hopefully he won’t do so tonight, however. I had to skip town rather early for a rendezvous with Claudine and Estelle in Aspen.

March 2nd:

I find it quite curious why the wonderful sounds of the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise flooded my mind as I swam near Uluwehi Falls. I shared many intimate moments with Claudine and Estelle there, but was never more dissatisfied with this than I was today. There is no lacking in my vitality, even as I’ve passed my prime. But the girls—they must be growing tired of being used like playthings. And yet they say nothing, as if they are truly satisfied with their arrangement.

And why would they not be satisfied? After I rescued them from the harsh life of bounty-hunting on the streets of Honfleur, elevated their minds through the works of Immanuel Kant and Dan Lok, and treated them to a lifestyle most young women only dream of, I deserve from them any form of pleasure I wish. They are right to have no complaints.

Perhaps I desire something more, something deeper, than their sense of obligation or loyalty.

Three miscalls from my little brother, from the afternoon. I have no energy to hear about his dealings with his ugly wife or TV show recommendations. I’ll call him back tomorrow.

May 20th:

               That Harry infuriates me with his lies! Why he insists on berating me with tales of Jonathan growing feathers and the majestic Wilson’s Bird of Paradise “naked” is beyond me. Doesn’t he know how distraught it makes me to have the image of that perfect little boy tainted the way he as done? Jonathan is turning eleven soon. Perhaps he is going through puberty earlier than expected, like I did when I was around his age. No, no, that can’t be right—he has Oliver blood. He’s not an Astor.

               Oh, how unfortunate for Mother to remarry after Father passed, and to marry someone like David Oliver at that! Mother chose a simple man with simple wants, forgoing the prestige and the luxury Father left for us. If I weren’t old enough to maintain Father’s legacy at the time, then perhaps Mother’s decisions would have led me to spend my adult evening eating cheap steak with moonshine wearing nothing but cowboy boots, like the typical Texan. Like Harry. He has not the self-awareness to realize that whatever swamp water he’s consuming has clearly affected his perception of his own son.

               He cannot be blamed for his ignorance, I suppose. The poor and working class are buried to their eyelids in tall tales and superstition. I have learned over the years that those who cannot build and maintain wealth have no control over any aspect of their lives, and thus project their lack of control onto the universe. Harry is merely one of billions of people who consider everything around them to be the product of the absurd, as if the god of mischief himself controls their fate. And he speaks of such delusions with such passion and vigor that I can barely stand conversing with him for too long.

               I have not felt passionate about anything in decades.

July 1st:

               I was nearly too transfixed by the divine background music of the Wilson’s Bird of Paradise to continue my phone conversation with Harry. It went something like this:

               When you rich like me everything is lit

               I don’t speak broke with a grill like this

               Fists stay soaked with this drip on my wrists

               Everything is gold, even when I piss

Harry’s stories seem to grow wilder every time we speak. Now he claims that not only is the skin of my beloved Jonathan completely replace with the decorative feathers of his prized bird, but the boy also can only stomach seeds and breadcrumbs as a daily diet. Meanwhile, the now fleshy bird wears miniature jewelry and a jersey perhaps a size too large, like some MTV-star. Moreover, Harry admitted to me that he tried to abandon, even murder, the special bird I spent a fortune to have stolen from its habitat. Yet it returns time and again to grace the Olivers with its holy voice. Such stories would haunt my dreams if they did not end with the creature’s physical and psychological wellbeing still intact.

I do not know what possesses my little brother to continue tell me these wild tales; they have grown quite tiresome. To silence him, I’ve sent a check to his home a month ago for $3000. I fully expected an account of him cashing the check and rolling around naked in the pile of cash. But when I asked if he received it, he threw vulgar insults at me before telling me that he shredded the check with his bare hands. Harry abruptly hung up on me when I mentioned the names of several very wealthy people who would pay handsomely for such a rare specimen.

Oh, Harry. To think that $3000 is not enough for him. The poor really are getting poorer.

July 6th:

               The weather felt perfect as I raced my AM37 powerboat through the waters of Monaco. Claudine and Estelle accompanied me, of course. I wanted the boat ride to please them as it pleased me. They were more than just part of my endless bounty, I see that, now. Two 14-karat diamond engagement rings hid in the cockpit. As casually as I could, I brought up the idea of marriage to them.

Estelle said “Tu rigoles ! On ne t’épouser pas.” Then they both laughed at me.

September 17th:

               After two rounds of golf at Pebble Beach with Brian Cornell, I mourn the loss of every minute I spent with him. We bonded at a get-together in Miami some years ago over the number of European estates we own. Yet I’ve never spent enough time with him to realize just how obnoxious he really is, until today. With every stroke followed a sexual innuendo, and the laugh of a sick hyena. His anecdotes of his more ratchet female conquests were also unwelcomed, but not as much as the scores of internet images—or “memes”—he showed me, all related to women spending all their time and money inside one of his many Target stores.

               Is a man’s social-economic status my only criteria for deciding whether to befriend him? Father has always warned me about the dangers of associating with the poor. He always told me how greedy, self-absorbed, and naïve they are, among other things. Armed with such knowledge, I’ve spent my life avoiding anyone who isn’t royalty or worth less than $20 million, save family members and sexual partners. Something must be said about character, however; about staying humble despite your success, about possessing actual wit. The company I keep must be more selective.

October 10th:

               I sit here barely able to move from my chair in the 1-bedroom premier suite, in one of the 585 hotels named after my father, Douglas Aster, and owned by me, Douglas Jr. My phone vibrates against the wooden desk on which I write this journal entry. No doubt it’s the prince and his wife, curious as to why I’m not dining with them at the Ritz like we discussed prior to tonight. My companion for the evening, Sophia, has already taken a cab home. She was one of the more lovely Londoners I’ve seen in recent memory, from her taste in fashion to her educated tongue. I was quite nasty to her, all the same. No one rushes me as I’m choosing which cufflinks to wear!

               My eighteen sets of cufflinks are scattered across the desk as I write, my cufflink case thrown to the floor. I struggled to choose between three sets: the white gold Louis Vuitton LV’s, the Tom Ford Diamond Squares, and the 18K Gold Baby Dinosaurs. In all honesty, I just ruined the evening of myself and three other people over the most trivial detail of my attire.

               A minute from now, I am going to drop my collection of cufflinks in the wastebasket. Let them become someone else’s burden.

December 20th:

               If I had the gumption, I would end my own life right here and now!

By now my ties with my well-endowed acquaintances (I dare not call them friends) have been severed. I’ve rid myself of everyone who values money, power, and possession over the human spirit. I woke up this morning feeling anew. My private jet landed me in Texas, my chauffer drove me to Plano, where I was to surprise the Olivers with the greatest Christmas gift I could give them: me. The possessions I could not carry with me are scheduled to arrive at their home by tomorrow, for I planned on staying with them for the foreseeable future. I was so sure that Harry, his wife, What’s-Her-Name, and my beloved young Jonathan would welcome such a wise and worldly individual as myself with open arms. And I was sure to learn the meaning of true human connection through the hands-on lessons of the only family I have left—besides the illegitimate children whose lives I’ve threatened so they’d never track me down.

When I arrived, I was greeted with violence. There is a scar on my otherwise flawless skin to prove it. As it turned out, Harry’s tall tales were all true. The Wilson’s Bird of Paradise has seemingly grown to the size of Jonathan, yet the humble couple informed me that the giant bird was, indeed, the young nephew I was ready to give a life of luxury. He is trapped in a giant cage in the living room, purchased with what little money the Olivers were able to save. As for the true creature I gifted Jonathan the year prior, it has grown into a shaggy, Slim Shady-wannabe young man, mumbling incoherent rhymes in front of a bowl of cereal in the kitchen.

I was casted away, and now reside in one of the 585 hotels named after my father. The curse of a rare bird ruined the Olivers, and my chance at genuine fulfillment. I am alone. Alone and rich. What more tragic fate could there be?

December 26, 2020 00:51

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