This is a suicide note. By the time you finish reading it, John Felch will no longer exist.
As my yacht neared the shore, the codeine kicked in. My pummelling headache was straining every sinew from my neck to my forehead. I yelled to the cabin-men to top up my tax-free Irish whiskey. One came and took my glass, and I stared at him groggily. His M4 Carbine glinted in the first of the sun’s rays. My iPhone—white; there’s nothing quite as tacky as the gold—started buzzing like a dildo in hand luggage. ‘Christopher’, read the pixellated display.
As I veered back into consciousness I realised we were evacuating onto shore. I snorted a line and jumped out of the boat. The tough ex-military black boys from Brownsville were doing what they had to. What the executives had promised they would, at those swanky ‘neither Washington nor Moscow’ business seminars. Where the contract was signed and the newspaper business started flowing. Another quick line—and I broke into a run too, my varicose veins and short breath hampering my every step. I didn’t have a position to cover, but I had got a destination. Not for me the Presidential Palace. Not tonight, at least. Tonight, the Presidential Suite.
‘Fucking. Stalinist. Whore.’ I shouted down the phone, piningly masturbating to the televisual news from old blighty. Room service took my request seriously, sending up a luscious green-bereted beauty with a recognisable moustache. Coming like a steam train, I was distracted at the moment of truth by the screen reappearance of Jeremy Corbyn: cuddly liberal on the surface, but a subcutaneous doctrinaire Bonapartist from the past. A last thrust, like a horny-handed peasant killing a vampire, a handful of multi-coloured pills, and sleep.
The phone scraped across my thigh like it wanted to get me off for cash. Christopher.
“Are you crazy, John? Where the fuck are you?”
“I’m where we wanted to be, Chris. Right there. With a hundred-dollar chick and her walrus moustache.”
“Do you have no loyalty to the company left whatsoever?”
“Don’t you worry,” I reassured, fidgeting at Uncle Josephine’s bodices, “I’m looking after this company—and its merger, right down to the last detail.”
“You’d better be, asshole. You don’t get a sixty-seventh chance.”
“I’m flying back to New York first thing tomorrow—First Class. If we haven’t got the business done, there’s the whole of the rest of the Bay Area left for hostile takeover bids.”
“Fuck you,” came the familiar reply. “And there’s something else. I hear that Corbyn has it in for you.”
“Well, fuck him too.” The old-left coffin-dodger might have killed off Harold Wilson’s permanent revolution, but we—the proletarian vanguard—would triumph.
I injected some neat cognac.
“The rumours back in the US of A are that the ROL have tipped off a Catalan named Ramón from the PML (RC) as to your whereabouts.”
“Now that is more serious.” It didn’t matter though. I was at the peak of my life—the peak of my powers. I was immortal. A success in every area of life, and backed by shadowy forces I couldn’t even begin to fathom.
“Well, they’ll just have to wait. I’m a busy man,” I said, flicking the phone off and then dialling for a limousine.
“How was Havana?” Serena asked uninterestedly, her fingers playing with her nightgown.
“I was in Guatemala, baby,” I said.
“Oh? Your luggage tags say Havana.”
“Anyway, it was fine. Did you miss me?”
“Not much. Bring me anything nice?”
“I didn’t have time to souvenir shop. I was getting down to business…”
“Not even something… structuralist?” Trotsky, Trotsky, Trotsky. All she cared about was getting her hit. And Trotsky packed a heck of a hit. She had ransacked my library and left me half out of dialectic.
And that was when the executives called with the bad news. A gaunt old man with a short Lenin beard on a motorcycle was on his way towards the apartment, and I was to get the hell out.
Carrying an ice axe.