I don’t live in most places, but I’m sure that’s coincidence. It’s a short distance from the brain to the screen and back again, but who am I to decide between a man and his pixels. All as nothing, I am insofar as I am already semblance. Clearly, I am spectacular. If you hear weeping it’s the company I’m keeping, so said my mother.

I say I, except when I’m sleeping or holed up in the Himalayas with a bear, but those things are usually concurrent. The bear is the bear and I’m the guy trying to wake up the guy screaming, before dinner.

The world knows I’m not a traveller but for my expeditions with Kiki. Not going is what makes those places interesting, their immediate proximity. Bob has come round to my way of thinking, but only after his trip to India. He did his travelling while he was young, before he was conscripted to fight in Vietnam. As a gunner, or somebody’s driver, whatever sticks is my motto. There’ll be no storied soldier here to explain away murder, its aftermath, what might have been a small pig or an infant.

Why do they who have everything still want to kill us, with prejudice and all manner of applied mathematics. For Kissinger it was the inconvenience of living witnesses, but he told his wife it was the lack of raspberry jam with his blintzes. Always the statesman, entire villages became craters in the instant he learned of them, so no one would notice the slaughter adjacent.

We will win this thing the secretary told the president, that and the opposite. A bizarre bunch those walking talking specimens of the greatest generation. They had but one thought between them, to the exclusion of all other outcomes.

In Europe we learned you can’t kill everyone. And given the proliferation in indoor plumbing fixtures during the sixties and seventies people would have insisted on showering before boarding those transports. There was no place for trains in Kissinger’s diplomacy.

Our war will be different, said Henry, so Dick would know what to say to his constituents. The kind of war that makes presidents and generals envy their predecessors. There are dividends to every catastrophe, the secretary continued, but not before we empty our warehouses of incendiary acids.

Presidents slaughter. Perhaps we should log their totals before they take office. Begin at the end so wars to come will have already been won and victory ascribed to their genius. We can even exaggerate the numbers, or not, as the situation requires. To each an airport, hell let’s put all their mugs on that rockface if it distracts them from spreading democracy. Something new, something blue, something shiny to keep them from chasing their legacy.

Personally I’ve done well by my leaders or we wouldn’t be talking. Especially since the planet is now the size of a melon and the NSA can track a terrorist from amoeba to cherub. Longer for the few who survive puberty, there’s just no escaping those screens in Nevada. It’s true the people they kill might have died anyway of madness, the water or the governments they elect to protect our conglomerates.

God bless America so they don’t accidently bomb Sweden or the dumpling house I go to on Tuesdays. The one Bob doesn’t know about. Always crowded, which is a good thing given the military’s aversion to collateral bodies. Decoys, in this instance, since I’ll be the guy eating.