My exit was no laughing matter, torn as I was from the shores of a superpower. When I was called to the Capital I knew I was headed for much smaller spaces than my Manhattan office, but I could never have imagined this stall, a room smack-dab in the middle of a massacre. 

Before I left, the butcher showed me how to make the best cut. I bought vitamins and a gun, said goodbye to my mother, consulted with my doctor, cheated on my wife and shot a small animal. I put it all in my report and prepared to meet the President. He informed me my death would be trivial but necessary. My accountant assured me he would invest the proceeds. I changed all the dates, dug up my father’s bones and hid them in the attic. I was free. 

When I got here George’s thunder rolled, the rich were leaving for France and the dead could speak. My advisor was a man at the disposal of the coalition except when he was transporting Afghan heroin up his ass. He told me his eyes block the future and that it’s difficult to find a good firing squad in the middle of a morning milking. I didn’t understand a word he said and later I realised it just didn’t matter. My bewilderment did not preclude us from becoming friends. 

His name was Aban. This country is my orchard, he said, if you put it in a box it will shrink every distance and Texas cannot adapt to small spaces. Sorry for the invasion, I said, the good news is we have no plan for the occupation. Our best estimate is just a few weeks. We do what we do, and then we discover the reason. It’s a blind man’s technique. We’ll leave after the contracts are signed.