Mister commands the scene, the bills are drafted and memos sent. He’s practiced his reactions, he’s done this before.
But there’s still the darkness.
Mister is known for constancy and work-ethic, now people look to him for answers, he hasn’t had to toil with the dregs. No more fluorescent lights to guide him, everything simulates natural light. Oak or chestnut, that’s his landscape. And glass. Large panes of glass.
Periodically sickness overcomes him. His stomach is overtaken by cramping in these moments, his already irritable nature made more irritable. Flashes of light, sudden movements, questions of any kind, requests made of him leads him to fury. He’ll whip his head so violently his neck spasms and his posture resembles that of a lifelong loom operator.
Mister has responsibilities, you see. Investors rely on his answers to their questions and he’s made speculation into an art. Mister is a king-maker, his proteges make good Misters. And the world needs Misters. Without him, indeed you wouldn’t have urban decay, but you wouldn’t have the metropolis that comes with it. People command instantaneous results, the products must be on the shelves unspoiled, and the supply must meet the demand.
It’s Mister’s job to analyze that demand and to acquire the specific reason the demand is there in the first place. He must then allocate the researchers and the testers to make that demand into a desire. An outlet is then provided for that desire to manifest into capital. And the capital must be repatriated.
Sixty stories does not a functioning corporation make, but neither do the minds that occupy them. Not even Mister’s mind serves as an indispensable component of this process, rather, the process defines the result. And Mister created the process.
Well, Mister did not create the process really, the process existed before him in various forms. But no other process worked quite as efficiently, quite as seamlessly under the leadership of any other Mister. Mister is the Mister of Misters. The laborers know it, management knows it, retailers know it, everyone within the supply chain recognizes the distinct fortune that comes with serving this particular Mister.
They do not, however, see the darkness.
Darkness is not measured in crystal, cotton blends, German engineering, graphs, charts, automated environment control, bills of sale, deeds, blind trusts and a staff that could easily operate the Titanic. These things do insulate the darkness.
Insulation such as this provides no escape and no avenue for gratification or release. Mother made sure of this in the beginning, but now his prison is of his own making.
Oh yes, if not for Mother, Mister may not have the darkness. But Mother instilled propriety into Mister’s very being and existence, Mother provided the foundation for the darkness. And, additionally, Mother gave him the scars that no one can see, or should see, or ever will see. Not if Mister can help it.
Mother knew nothing of supply demand, repatriating revenue, blind trusts, steel, glass, oak or chestnut. What Mother did know was how to keep things quiet. Always quiet, always careful, always invisible. No potatoes in the stew for the potatoes were harvested by the dirty neighbors across the way. No vinyl records for Mister, the noise made it too easy for the demons to come in.
Mister still doesn’t listen to records and abstains from potatoes if he can help it. He operates on a steady diet of freshly caught fish, leeks from the garden, and distilled whiskey. And darkness. And profit.