10 Mar 98

Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselor

I sat down in the office, in the rubbery chair. The walls peeled with sanitized pictures of lasers and computers. Mr. Cekes, I said, I've got a lot of stress, and goddamn I want to try heroin. And crack. I want to buy a big fucking pile of vials and smoke 'em until my brain explodes. I don't want a job. Or if I do--

I want to fight in a war. I want us to go to war with some brutal third world country, so I can kill without guilt, saving the penises of my victims in phials, strung and worn around my neck. I'll be known for my cold-hearted butchery. "He just plowed through that village," they'll say. "Stone cold. It was a thing to see, the babies on fire."

Let me take that one better. I want to be a stock market trader. I want the motion of my fingers to send Tokyo grandmothers into unemployment. I want to demolish careers with my signature. Let the rivet-gun toting bastards jump into the river by their failing factory--I want to control the economic tornado that rips the roofs off the trailer homes; I want to fill my fresh-shined shoes with million-dollar bills.

Or politics! Goddamn it, that's a place for a man. The power, the sweet exterior, hugging the babies, the newspapers writing your place in history, while you whisper hinting codes to your hired assassins. I'll develop a predeliction for the tasty favors of pubescent youths. As we move from tax-bought mansion to tax-bought mansion, I'll foster a protracted, cruel coldness towards my pillhead wife. I will teach my son to hate her, to prove that I can. But to the world, we will be thick with smiles.

Or mobster, sure, but better, minister. Guiding the poor lambs. Teaching them the value of obedience. In a position of total control, a position of sacred trust--just look at all of those priests groping through the confessional.

And Mr. Cekes said, Have you considered you might become a teacher?




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


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