The very brief diary of Chuck Lawson-Yorke
December 31, 1997
Pitch black, a thousand faces staring out in my direction. Jaws open in excitement: a thousand snakes ready to devour up a moment of wasteful entertainment. Pathetic. Jokes on them, though. I've got the best fucking job in the world, and they're drawn here after wasting a third of their week giving their suffering for the great American dollar. Swapping it back now for some ephemeral pleasure. No way, not for me, and probably shouldn't be for you either. Our team, we've laced the whole bridge with explosives, flammables, powders, shells and tubes for launching all four. It's gonna be real fun. I feel like a 4-year-old on crack at Christmas right now, gibbering with anticipation. But maybe no 4-year olds are like that where you're from. My trigger hand is layered with a film of sweat as I feel around the panel for the right button. I mean, you can't really say I actually touch anything now, not with my gloves of perspiration. I give The Timer a glance, and he stares at his watch for a few seconds. This is always serious business for him. Lighten up, man, it's not choosing life insurance. It's blowing shit up for the entertainment of all. He taps his feet in time with the final seconds -- I don't think he even knows he does that -- and gives me a nod.
January 1, 1998
O yesterday. What a high did you give me! Ever since Man and Fire were first introduced, the passionate love affair between them has inflamed, as it were. Born to hunt and destroy, Man gets a primal rush from Fire -- this is two hundred thousand years of evolution commandeering your brain, electrical impulses controlling you like they would a silicon chip, telling you: "This is pleasure. This is excitement. This is beauty." But we're not reckless. We're never
reckless. We are professional
. The contractors hand over quite a sum for this glorious show, so we're not about to fuck it up because a timed shell fires prematurely and splashes hot embers into my face
. Permanent disfigurement, excruciating boiling pain, lifetime disablement or a fatality do not reflect pleasantly upon the business. Fuck no. Precision is always the operative word, is it not? I mean, I bet that even the suits up there in high-rise Manhattan operate on the same clockwork machinery of safety, every man lauding the other for being the perfect cog for the job. Maybe not for fear of fiery debris flying through their head, sure. But for fear of the lawyers, the clients, the customers, the co-workers, the boss, the ever-present Big Men Upstairs. I'd have the flying debris to the forehead any day, if I had to put up with that bullshit. I mean, sometimes, I just want to be the wrong cog, and just watch how the perfect machine cracks and deforms, creaking and groaning until it fractures.
September 16, 2005
Well, diary, if you think I neglected you, you ought to see my life right now! You'd see it and chortle, it'd grow into a chuckle, and you'd be heaving laughs of gratitude that you were better off. Just the way it goes though, eh? Buy a diary. Write a couple of entries. Get bored. Never touch the thing again. I'm not going to bludgeon you senseless with just how many things this parallels neatly with. Reader, I am sure you have sufficient experience with modern life to know that procrastination is the new Black Death. Instead of rats, we have the rat race. Seven years, seven years! Oh, the procrastinating I have done! Seven years of work slowly drying up, and the drought of cash thereafter.
My apologies, diary, please excuse me. I am going to go send a Roman candle to the gods.
Feels good, man.
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