Not every day do you get a toe in the mail. A nice toe at that. Shinny purple nail polish. Well cleaned. There is no blood around the sides. They even made the effort to wrap the toe in white gauze.
An earpiece is chatting with me.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a toe.
"Code blue at the branch at 17th and Huntington," I tell the earpiece.
Freeze a bank's network to take the bank easy peasy.
I remember when my father took me out into the backyard when I was a young boy. He handed me a shotgun and told me to shoot an acorn off a rabbit's head. I didn't know then that the only way for a rabbit to balance an acorn on its head was to stick a tranquilizer-infused needle into its neck, then poke 2 holes on the sides of the acorn and run a string through the sides and tie it around the rabbit's neck, pulling it tight to keep the acorn fastened on the top of its forehead. The rabbit then had to be stuffed and polished to look as alive as possible.
"Code red Maylor Stanton," I tell the earpiece.
Blood stains garments too easily for me to risk these so well-moisturized hands to touch.
My grandfather administered this same test to my father, who was passed down the tradition from his father, and so on. If I would've known that the rabbit was already dead before I shot it, it would have aided my sanity tremendously. But that's the trick, make it a choice. This makes a person believe they could have done something different. Shame needs only a crevice to breakthrough. My father understood this. He taught me this.
So as I stand here in fuzzy flip flops and boxer briefs, my open bathrobe nearly flashing the delivery driver waving at me as he drives off, I think about these things. I think about what it felt like the first time I thought I had killed a living creature. My therapist tells me something changed inside of me that day. They said I have:
avoidant attachment issues,
blah blah psychosis from trauma,
blah blah homicidal tendencies,
blah blah whatever else their pen had ink left for.
I think I'm fucked up because I'm hilarious. I laugh at myself all the time and that's what really matters right? Take off misery's face and it's just a joke. Life is all just a joke. So laugh and cry all you want, because everything is 1 in the same love.
"Code green at the courthouse on Raleigh Ave. Arizona Tea Can." I tell the earpiece.
Sometimes justice is one sip away.
I shut my front door, put the toe back into its package. I tie my robe up because the staff keeps the AC chilly and I don't know how to change it myself. I live alone. Only those who I employ come in or out. No pets. Never been married.
The house is always quiet, except for when I scream at night when the night terrors get heavy. The key is to take more Ambien and stay awake so you can actually see the monsters in the shadows, behind the curtains, under the bed. I sleep with my gun on the nightstand so there are countless bullet holes in my curtains, on the walls, and right in between the eyes of a portrait of my father that rests right where he left it, on the wall facing the bed. I can feel the portrait staring at me every night. Telling me I was the son he wished he never had. How he ruined his only child by raising them soft. How the family's fortune will fall, because my weak shoulders will never be able to carry the burden.
I was 6 when he first told me this after catching me wearing one of my mothers' blouses. He beat me senselessly until I could cry no more. He did so every time he sniffed weakness. I know now he was only smelling his own fear. His own insecurities in the form of my snot and blood, covering his fists.
My family's home has never been my home but I do not have anywhere else to go.
My parents died when I was 10 years old. They were both shot at a poker game with cops, government officials, and local business owners.
Since I inherited my family fortune at 10 I have amassed an empire of networking associates that span across the globe, funneling money through offshore accounts and the occasional train car stacked with crates of cash. I built this empire off 1 principle: communication.
Nobody in this business knows how to talk to each other, nor do they trust each other enough to take their foot out of their mouth. Take your payment upfront, act as a broker between parties, then cash in before the job goes down or the cops crash the party.
The big thing here is to never negotiate between parties. Remain impartial and let clients argue it out until they are ready to conduct business. Always remain anonymous. This is what my father never understood. The world is changing. In this age, you can be anyone and everywhere all at once. Technology makes it too easy. My father's archaic methods of business are a carrier pigeon in comparison to mine at best.
If my father were still alive today I would beat him senseless. He would never see me but would feel just as much pain. Drones from the sky shooting acid in his eyes. Maybe some poison in his drink that paralyzes him, as dogs chew his bones. My simple but favorite one is lining any piece of clothing with explosives with a trigger switch to slowly burn them alive. The trigger makes it a choice, it makes it personal, just like my father taught me.
This would not be for revenge, but to teach him a lesson. That violence will always be defeated when it has a face.
I have robbed a bank, murdered a politician, and poisoned a judge and I haven't even made a cup of coffee yet.
"Yes, I received the toe. Thank you for the confirmation," I tell the earpiece.