Uh-hmm. This is "Attrition." It's based on the story "Addiction", by William R. Burkett... Again, this is a parody and doesn't entirely reflect the original tale.....The original, however, is one of the better stories on the book.

I intended to make this a comedy, but the way I began the story, I knew I had little choice but to cook a drama.

And it's the weirdest yet.

Attrition

Crime.

Crime.

Crime!

CRIME!?

Blast the unnamed blaggard who said crime was all evil! Crime isn't something to be hated, my friend, it is but a livelihood, one of mankind's last reminders that life is meant to be survival of the fittest. We toil around our daily lives wondering how many hours we must spend before pay day arrives; where was the real competition, the real redness of blood from a long time ago?

Since I was but a youth, prying away at time like all interferences to hygiene, I grew sick and tired of the pointless drivel. Whatever happened to the days when we fought one another, tore each other maddeningly apart for a crumb of bread?

Now don't call me a hypocrite just yet. Perhaps the modern world has succeeded in salvaging some savagery from me; I certainly wouldn't want to spill blood on my Italian shoes, for it would be an inappropriate fashion sense, wouldn't you agree?

But if there's one thing that I won't deny myself, it is to make my gains in the more direct and more ambitious of manners. Stealing, robbery, nitpicking, it doesn't matter. With the foundation of the Dark Hand, I have proven to the world time after time that I am indeed the most potential survivor in this game called life. If buildings toppled and governments fell, I would most certainly use my criminal know-how and dispatch my control on the world, and if that not be possible, then at the least, I will stoop to the lowest means to save my life. Not a minute would I waste to back down, I can assure you. Whatever this world will throw at me, believe me, I will be ready.

But....much to my regret, even survivors must learn to adapt to the ever-changing world.

Especially this concept called love.

From middle school to college....During much of the course of this life, I wanted to abandon the makings of what the modern world had done to tarnish rough, ragged individuals into safety-ridden, compliant children. It sickened me so, love did, for many times I nearly plunged into its pathetic cesspool. That wasn't what I wanted my life to be. If I started love so young I wouldn't be this survivor. To me, love was but a waste of my time, a waste of preparation.

But all human beings do need some love. There lies even in me a fierce hunger that requires so much to quell it. At about the time I had formulated the Dark Hand and employed my earliest employees, my Enforcers who were willing to take a week's worth of minimum wage per week, I became lured into a bizarre rendezvous with a beauty.

I talked to her, played with her, wrangled her, tortured her, delighted her.

All while she was hundreds of miles away.

Some progress that man has created do aim to suffice myself, the internet being above all of them. The world of computers meant much to my employees too. Whenever I was busy at my kitchen, fixing up a brew of coffee with my own discreet way, I would hear murmurs of relief from my Enforcers. I admit this scared me. Who could they have brought to the secret hq under such gall as to not notify me?

The truth was each had brought no one, and in ironic terms, someone....

The first Enforcer I managed to learn of was Ratso. Ratso had enjoyed himself on a game of Missus Pacman he kept in his pockets. He once said to me, one day, he may want to find someone like Ms. Pacman to marry. I grew baffled at his choice of preference, but looking at Ms. Pacman, I had to learn what he was talking about. For Ms. Pacman was just a video game character, a lifeless figure who knew nothing but to eat dots. I believe this was incredibly stupid an idea, but then it hit me. Perhaps Ratso had found himself some surrogate from which to course his love life momentarily, and I, after formulating my years on hardening my power and expanding my tyranny, had not. I began to realize that if I did not know love, didn't know what it meant and what I could do of it, then I wasn't some ominous, omnipotent, omnipresent being in the flesh.

Finn followed next. He always spoke of his great conquests in life. Much of these conquests stemmed from his nights in disco clubs, when he would find plenty of women to lure into his "boogie board", as he would say. Then, several years ago, Finn had received a letter in the mailbox. The letter said that his childhood friend had lost her grip on survival and had scrawled her final words in blood, a fitting gesture to depart. Finn lost control of himself and was ragged, red-eyed and crumpling on my hq for endless hours. How I loathed Finn that day, soiling my carpet with his tears and begging at me for taking a week-long vacation. All I asked of him was if he had ever bedded this girl. Finn shook with his tiring anger. He said he wouldn't. She was too nice to deserve him. Now I was left wondering what was the point of loving someone when you didn't deserve her? What he said next was one of those sullied remarks I hear among the unruly, and so I dispatched Ratso and Chow to throw him outside and let him be for the next day. I couldn't handle words soiling my hq as well, but his words already jutted to my side. I became furthermore confused over this love theology. So far, I had posed witness to Ratso and Finn's experiences with love. They were all hazy experiences, which irritated me because I needed a clearer understanding and Ratso and Finn were obviously best at expressing such clarity to themselves.

I grew restless.....and jealous.

I didn't suppose Chow had any problems with love. Among my three employees, Chow kept himself aloof and cool. I felt he had more concern about surviving his ordeals better than his consorts. If he had been more careful about his solutions than of his outcomes, he could've been a survivor, just like I have. But no, he had someone in mind. He was even more ridiculous in hiding his love. Whenever Ratso and Finn asked Chow how "she" was faring, Chow requested them not to refer to his lover as a "she". And when his friends nervously queried how "he" was doing, Chow told them not to refer as "he". His love was to be dubbed "his love", and no cuts on specifics.

As I was toiling my pen on the next act on my itinerary, I was hearing Chow atop a stack of crates, chiding at Ratso and Finn for having forgotten that the love was not to be addressed as a "he" or a "she". I grew mad. I am supposed to be the unshaken survivor, and there I was, rattling my pen like my hand occupied a mind of its own. Not that I wanted love, but why were my Enforcers keeping secret their own miserable workings in my presence? I had made it clear that no such thing came upon my hq so the thought of love wouldn't intrude on me, and not one of them paid attention, just as I should've feared, and didn't till it was too late.

It lasted but a minute, and yet to me it hasn't ended. The thought of me strangling Chow, putting him at my mercy because he grew so enigmatic and defied my very orders to their limit, told me even a survivor was capable of egregious idiocy. But just as I told you that I wouldn't spill any blood, I came to and broke my spell of intemperate rage and left him lying and consoled by his friends. I became looked down on by Ratso and Finn, even if I was the only Dark Hand member standing tall and shameless.

Standing tall, however, was feeling more like a charade during that hour. I could be found guilty as charged for many crimes by the U.S. Government, and my face would say nothing. But to be deemed guilty in front of my own henchmen felt worse than I'd conceived. My face twitched so often I plastered my face back to my desk without an utterance. I waited one whole day to get back on track.

Even survivors need a break from all their thinking.

Perhaps I have strayed from the original subject that I began with, but I'm quite eager to make this story be known, in case I forgot about it.

The last man I shall mention before I move on to the next parts was Hak Foo, the Black Tiger. He was an ideal performer, adamant in whatever objectives I assign him. Complaining about his shortcomings was beyond his tactical knowledge, and thus he must've been a novice to emotions. Many animals are novices, most hunters are novices, and both him and I were novices, so there was much collateral to gain from him.

How wrong was I to realize this.

I remember once after a week-long vacation that Hak Foo had arrived all perky like he had doused his throat with excess caffeine. His eyes remained squinted as it was on his never-ending habit to prowl, but his mouth told another story. His mouth had formed to that of a content kitten, a spayed kitten, I should say. It wasn't the glum frown he used to display a contempt for the potential prey swarming the face of the earth. The Enforcers even walked up to me and agreed, adding that he was doing cartwheels towards the hq. They swore at the same time he arrived, they had heard a most unusual sentence in the most familiar air; "Kangaroo leaps for joy."

I couldn't do it within my pride to laugh. And my Enforcers were frightened out of their wits to laugh.

The sprout of Hak Foo's uncharacteristic behavior was removed within the hour, upon which he apologized for dropping his guard at that one moment. I dismissed any objections (if I had any) and ordered Hak Foo to lead another robbery, which he complied without question.

I wondered what had gotten the Black Tiger to be cut down into the size of a kitten. How convenient it was for Ratso to have a way with seeing things, for someone quite smitten with Ms. Pacman. Ratso had seen Hak Foo stick himself with a cook from a local San Francisco restaurant, Shoma Cafe. The cook, her name unspoken by us or else we'll spill the beans before Hak Foo, was a valued friend of his long before I had graduated my college tenure with a B.A. in History. Ratso had spoken to her and said she was a nice person, as long as you didn't ask her to cook ratatouille, which was not neither her favorite or most fulfilling culinary venture. (I myself would delight in Italian food, though my favorite food is cream. Please don't query on me why.) Ratso found it amusing that Hak Foo actually melted whenever this cook rubbed her fingers against his chin. His tongue would stick out like he was panting, and the movements he did, well, let me remark that they are far too vulgar for my liking.

I was outraged. The Dark Hand's ideal company man had just fallen to the charms of a woman! Ratso scratched his head and figured that if Hak Foo was a survivor, maybe this woman was too. She did know how to cook great food, and she didn't need to depend on anyone to accomplish that. I grabbed Ratso's shoulders and asked him how could he have found all this out so effortlessly. Ratso shrugged and said something about how he watched the couple while playing tekkens and soul blades in the restaurant. I slapped hands on my face. I was even more confused.

I was coming to a foregone conclusion. I couldn't understand love just by witnessing how my friends handled it. They grew reckless, hopeless, tireless....harmless. Their testimonies were as reliable as an alliance with the police! If I didn't know what love was, I didn't know how to resist it. Survival had to come not from ignorance, but from confrontation.

And so, I made a decision to enter the untouched abyss.

************************************************************************

"Attrition": Part 2 (Because this is longer than I thought by 100%!)

My venture began as I cinched the phone line with a laptop. Technology was getting ahead of our times; it was evolving more rapidly than human flesh and blood, so of course I wasn't giddy that the Enforcers handed me this birthday present (which, of course, was just a piece from a cache we stole days ago). I loathe inanimate objects to play God over me.

I had to remind myself; I was the god over this piece, and not the other course around. Simple and to the point.

Another bit of hardware was married (not a pun) to this device. An illegal bit of hardware from overseas. It scrambles my goings-on in the world wide web, so now I have become invisible in the digital highway. Remember, goody two-shoes; surviving in your lonely little base won't guarantee you everything the world has to offer, and does the world offer much.

I had chosen the word "Valor" to be my exclusive screen name. Had a jolly kind of ring to it. I hacked into one of those free messengers and faked my identity, but with my typed-up identity a haze, my personality was free to remain the way it was.

Was my choice of screen name be nothing more than the greatest act of hypocrisy I've had to launch? Here I was, the most able of survivors, and I was at a loss for deciding who to find first.

I had carefully chosen my messenger well. It had a search query to take me to a desired realm. But what sort of realm would I choose?

I thought hard, and a smile came brimming upon my face. This should hit my mark.

MALE. AGE IN THE THIRTIES. PREFERS TOPICS OF MAGIC, HISTORY, AND THE OLD-FASHIONED. RESIDES BY A RICH PENTHOUSE BY NEW ORLEANS. CHERISHES COLLECTING MANY VALUABLES. DREAMS OF RULING OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD.

Did I miss anything jotting down my own little bio? Ah, yes, of course.

LOVES GETTING IT ON WITH A WOMAN.

I'm not the kind of gentleman who spouts such crude language. My pants have been zipped quite tightly, thank you very much. But remember, Valmont was not the name of this fellow, and his address was not some beach house by New Orleans. I was safe.

It only took a minute long before I met this individual.

Her name was Red.

R HI, VALOR.

V HELLO, MISS.

R IS ALL OF THAT TRUE? NEW ORLEANS AND THAT STUFF?

V WE'LL SEE ABOUT THAT. WE'LL SEE.

R OOH, MAN OF MYSTERY. I'M RED. 21/NYC.

V PARDON?

R 21 YEARS OLD, FROM NYC.

V I SEE. WELL, I MAY BE A BIT REDUNDANT, BUT...34/N.O.

R I CAN TELL YOU'RE COOL.

V HOW'S THAT?

R REDUNDANT. YOU HAVE AN AWESOME CHOICE OF WORDS. MOST PECKERS I KNOW TALKED LIKE KINDERGARTENERS. YOU'RE DIFFERENT.

V COMES WITH THE TERRITORY, RED. WELL, WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE? LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO WARM UP YOUR BED?

R LOL. AS IF!

V LOL?

R IT'S SHORT FOR LAUGHS OUT LOUD.

V AH I SEE.

R LOL.

V LOL BACK2U.

A little taste of her own medicine, I chuckled mentally.

R OK, OK. LET'S STOP PLZ! WE'RE ACTING LIKE KIDS.

V WELL, COMPARED TO ME, YOU ARE A CHILD.

R HEY, DON'T PLAY ME LIKE THAT. YOU'RE HURTING ME.

V SORRY, I DON'T MEAN TO.

R IT'S OK, MY DEAR.

V SINCE WHEN DID I BECOME YOUR DEAR?

R SINCE NOW. CUZ I'VE JUST CAPTURED YOU AND NOW YOU'RE MY SLAVE, PRETTY BOY.

V LOL. YOU CAN'T KIDNAP ME. I'M INVINCIBLE!

R THINK AGAIN, VALLY SWEETY!

The moment that happened, the screen got whisked into a giant penthouse, filled with Spanish-style frescoes across several walls and topped with an architecture vaguely reminiscent of French haute culture. Tables of radiant glass shown at the center of the screen. Chairs made of bamboo and Chinese fenghuang rugs occupied the floor. I grew curious, and I pressed a finger on the keys bearing arrow insignias. Much to my surprise, I, or a simulation of myself, had been invited into a college student's specially designed habitat. My laptop had become a window.

And then, I saw her.

She wasn't really much to begin with. What more can I deem of a shadowy figure without a face, but a huge smile that never through these days toppled into a frown? She was very secret, and I was proud. She wasn't letting love flounder so easily. It was sweetening.

V INTERESTING. YOU MADE QUITE A FANTASTIC HOME AND YET YOU LOOK OTHERWISE.

R GOD, VALOR, IT'S EASIER TO BUILD THIS HOME THAN BUILD MYSELF. I'M NOT A PEOPLE KIND OF ARTIST. LIKE THE HOUSE?

V IT'S AN ARCHITECT'S NIGHTMARE, AND AN OCCUPANT'S DREAM, I MUST ADMIT. HOW DO YOU EVER DO IT?

R IT'S ALL A MATTER OF SOFTWARE. I MADE THIS VIRTUAL HOME SEVERAL YEARS AGO. MY PARENTS ARE ALL TOUCHY TOUCHY ABOUT SEX, SO THIS IS WHERE I GO TO LAY MYSELF. YOU GOT LUCKY, CUZ I PICKED YOU UP AND FROM NOW ON, EVERYTIME I REACH, YOU GET TO BE MY SLAVE TILL YOU MANAGE AN ESCAPE. MISTRESS RED DOESN'T TAKE ESCAPEES TOO LATELY. YOU SCORN ME AND I'LL HARASS YOUR MESSENGER TO THE END OF YOUR DAYS.

V PECULIAR. AND WHEN DO YOU SUPPOSE I GET TO PROCREATE?

R NOW, NOW, VALOR. YOU'RE STARTING TO ACT LIKE THOSE HORNY BASTARDS I WAS TALKING ABOUT. I TAKE A WHILE JUST TO GET IT ON, AND SO MUST YOU. I'VE GOT TO KNOW IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT.

V I SUPPOSE I WILL.

R LEAST YOU'RE HONEST WHEN YOU SAY SUPPOSE. GOT AN E-MAIL FROM MY ENGLISH TEACHER. DAMN, A 20-PAGE HOMEWORK I GOT TO GET GOING. SUX AS HELL.

V YOU GET YOUR HOMEWORK ON?

R LOL. SPARE ME YOUR HIJINKS FOR ANOTHER DAY, VALOR. MAYBE NEXT TUESDAY, WHEN MY SUMMER VACATION'S UP?

V SURELY. I'VE BUSINESS TO ATTEND TO NOW. I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU AGAIN.

R GREAT. AND MAYB JUST MAYB WE CAN DESIGN EACH OTHER.

V DESIGN EACH OTHER?

R YES, THE REALLY FUN PART. WELL, TILL THEN, CYA

V CYA? CIAO?

R CYA. MEANS SEE YA.

V ALRIGHT. CYA.

************************************************************************

Attrition, Part 3

From the thoughts of the Dark Hand's Enforcers

RATSO

I'm worried about Valmont. He was always mad at us and now he wouldn't talk to us. I wonder what we did that hurt him so badly. I think I know what it was, but I'm scared to tell him. Please don't tell anyone, but I couldn't help myself picking some change from his pockets. I mean, it's tough to win every game in the Pac-Man Arcade, like those cranes where I could whoosh, whoosh, and pick those nice little beanie dolls. Heh heh, I want a monkey beanie, monkeys are cute.

Oops, got off subject. Sorry. I get off subject when Valmont's not much fun. He used to play lots of games with the gang, and he lost, and we always had fun when he lost. Checkers, chess, Hungry Hungry Hippoes.....He always wanted us to do big stuff on banks and warehouses, and that felt just like games too. He's not such a Big V anymore. He's a boring Worker V.

Ooh, time to play cranes and get my monkey beanie....You got change for a dollar?

FINN

Heh. Big V's been spayed, my man. He's gotten glued to that present we gave him and since then, our vacation times have gone through the roof. It's cool. He's gotten himself into some kind of addiction, some kind of buzz dancing around his head. But I don't want to know what he's being addicted to. I hate technology, you know. Life's gone way too fast. I mean, the 60s, the 70s, they all felt like minutes. It's that techno crap that got me bad. I can't help myself. Stealing is the quickest way I could return to the past, and there are still plenty of dance floors in San Fran to keep my groove on. Yeah, that's right. Lots of women, lots of booze, and my apartment's just a block away so it takes me only an hour to get back home. It could've been shorter if I didn't drink so much, but hey, life's short and I intend to make everyday a trip to dream street.

As for Valmont, well, I have no personal BS with Valmont. If he wants to stay and eat and piss and send us our checks in that room, I've got no problem there. He stays on his life, and I stay on mine.

CHOW

Valmont's become a nut. First the Shendu disaster and now this. Do you know where he wants us to steal since we gave him that present? He wants us to rob shopping malls! I don't get it. We're not being employed by a megalogmaniac! Ratso said it right; we've become spendthrifts, only that we steal stuff! Whatever happened to cold, hard cash? Everybody's become an idiot in the Dark Hand. Why can't everyone see I'm the righteous member of the Dark Hand?

I won't turn the Dark Hand over to the police? Har har.. VERY funny....Get your own comedy show, ass clown.

HAK FOO

What's Valmont's is Valmont's. Now get away from me, leech. Leeches are everywhere sucking on my blood; interviewers, news reporters, police..... Let me warn you, I eat leeches for BREAKFAST! If only to get back what they steal from me....

************************************************************************

Attrition, Part 4

It's kind of funny, is it not?

It's been a year since I acquainted myself with Red. She's a fine figure of a woman. That's how I drew her, literally. Red taught me how she drew her world and how she could draw herself, but we made it our business to envision each other in our ideal expressions. We also adjusted some of her living space, expanding rooms and distributing furniture to our liking. Those robberies I held at shopping centers really paid off.

R HEY, VALOR.

V WHAT IS, MY SWEET?

R THANX SO MUCH FOR THOSE PRESENTS. I REALLY LIKE EM! YOU'RE NOT LYING ABOUT BEING A RICH GUY!

V AH, REMEMBER NOW RED, THOSE THINGS ARE WORTH....

Realizing that I had stolen these objects and never bought them, I dismissed applying "priceless" to the gamut and thought up a rather naive and hurried reply.

V THOSE THINGS ARE WORTH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, BUT THEY'RE A FAR CRY FROM THE COMPANIONSHIP YOU'VE GIVEN ME, MY DEAR.

Strange that the more I knew her, the more I was becoming honest to her.

R IS THAT ALL YOU GOT TO SAY? NOT QUITE YOUR USUAL STANDARDS, VALLY.

I smile. She won't let me fall to such rubbish.

R YOU'RE FEELING TIRED, SAD, LONELY?

V A DASH OF ALL THREE. BUT YOU KNOW ME. I'LL LIVE.

R COOL. NOW LET ME WARM YOU UP, VALLY, LIKE WE ALWAYS DO.

Words.

With the right hierarchy can come endless poetry. I was never bending knees to Karl Marx but there was an I.Q. point or two on him when he dubbed literature the opiate of the masses. I dare not dash myself among the masses, but my pretense made the act seem so. This messenger babble stood its purpose quite well, I must say, if it warmed me in manners I shall disclose to not anyone, even myself. After all, it is Valor whose tongue's tasting that wetness, that bitter brittle flavor, that sensation of saccharine surrender pouring from an orgasmic mind of language. Had it been I, I'd be making a fool out of myself by treating my suit like a bib. Now where to find sense in that scenario?

Ratso had a preference for calling people he didn't know jigsaw puzzles, granted each remained in one piece. As always, he missed out on one factual detail; every puzzle piece drags with it some definable edge, and once you find one with a completely straight edge, you find yourself configuring the puzzle with less trouble than at first the puzzle was presented to you. R's personality can be contained no matter her playing an avatar herself; delusional, despondent, highly hopeful for what the world offers for her, in that legal manner of speaking.

You know what else? I'm part of this hope of hers as well.

Valor had stooped to be near her level, barely above, since I was the more intricate in supplying to him a string of exotic lexicons, and always I knew how to illustrate climaxes for her. Certainly I was just an extra number for her to play; suited me well, for I kept my dignity and my passion for crime, the only true passion I wanted and willed. There were however moments when she arduously wanted to visit me. Get her lost easily, I often imagined. Send her to that place where life is seedy...though what if she had known of it before? But another person's suffering was not much fun when it came to writing. Normally I reveled in the pretended triumphs of language, not pretended failures. When my enemies cower, they do so because I see them, and they know they couldn't survive. Failures, from those who were not mine, were opiates without the side effects, if one was to discount arrogance. I can't see this girl I met to fail, or else compromise all that I had gained for. What a way to open me in front of an elite government agency!

Attrition, Part 5

A tequila bottle stands next to me. I normally didn't drink this. I spun it and let it tip over like it had consummated a dance. I seriously was short of contact from another gender. I don't quite remember where things went wrong. At least I had fled south of the border...somehow. I no longer remember how or why.

That's good for me. I don't remember my failures. A stupid gift for clever me. Do I speak the other way around?

There was one thing I do remember though.

Red had nothing to do with my leaving the States. I know that because I didn't remember her in the events leading to the departure. I may not remember my failures, but I would remember those who failed me then.

Chow, Ratso, Finn, Hak Foo. No use to come to talk to me. The ones with the resources are afraid of me, and the one who's not afraid hasn't even a penny to find where I could be.

I reside in terrible hiding quarters in Mexico. There's a taco stand nearby and the flies come for the banquet, sometimes mistaking my tresses for the source of beef.

I must steal some soap within the hour. Close the window too. Refix an empire still infamous to elite eyes.

But will the hour let me be with this laptop rested on my knees, as I sit on a couch, a lonely green thing...not like me..

I know what to write for, and she fell for it again. Charming words to your deaf ears.

R VALOR SWEETIE! YOU WERE LIKE SO GONE AND I NEVER KNEW WHERE YOU WERE. YOU'RE TAKING THIS LONELY LOVER THING TOO FAR.

V n_n NOT THAT FAR ENOUGH...

I try not to chuckle at that. 6 months away was spare change in the money of time. Now a gift to her, that cost a mite more.

V CAN YOU FORGIVE?

I deliberately ignore "me", for the moment.

R WE'LL SEE... :) BUT FIRST, WE NEED TO TALK BIG BIG THINGS

V GOODIE.

I hate the word love. It's trapped in words I think have not been been made yet. They say there are guides to it. I don't think this one is that. Is it sweet, is it sappy, is it morose, is it moribund? My answers to what love is have not happenned. I am becoming more Valor than Valmont, though Valor is but a contrived side of me.

I came to gripes with the probability that maybe there's no point in finding the definition. I had collected knowledge to discover there was no knowledge at all to love. That was something new. Or perhaps I've reached an edge, giving up a bit. Not a healthy sign for a crime lord. I'm starting to speak less to you, and may be no more soon. Am I no longer interested in talking, since I can't really find the right words to suit you blaggards?

If I am, the last thing I can say is this. I'm feeling a compact piece of technology on my knees, and this person on the other side who I consort with... As a good feeling.

Yes, that must be what it is.

A feeling.

I think to feel, then feel to think.

I hope other people aren't like what I did. They'd be so difficult to understand. I may feel something for Red after all.

R YOU KNOW VALOR, I FIND ART TOO SUBJECTIVE LIKE. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SOUNDS GOOD. HOW'D YOU FEEL IF I SWITCH MAJORS?

Ah yes. I am feeling it.

....

***********************************************************************

A/N: There, a work that may produce controversy for the oddness of it all, or exist in a dusty archive. I decidedly made Valmont much vaguer than previous renditions. He was a madman in many ways, or maybe he was the sane one in a world of lies. The messages of this story were inspired by material from Modern Art (Art 426), in which writings of Derrida, Levi-Strauss, Strindberg, D. Schwartz and the arts of Paik, Beuys and others were introduced to me. The plot similarities to "Addiction" lie only in that both involved relationships between two people whose only contact was through instant messaging. This work was, I found, too anti-erotic to bear any other similarities. It's a hard one to swallow, but I felt I needed to do this before moving on to far saner plot lines (like Jade/Hsi Wu getting it on some more). The work first popped out in September 2002, but did not receive any extra blood when I refused to give it a lovely, sexy sheen. I tried not to be familiar.

For the sake of Mod. Art, I will most of all thank Professor Abbas Daneshvari for putting his philosophical spin on art, instead of trying to fall into simplistic descriptions like "The colors are typical of the age".

I must also credit those with the guts to read through this, and understand. Or just feel.

To the dear Spleef, a friend whom I haven't had instant messaging with.

I can also credit loads of animes to keep my head charged with addictive ditties, but I don't have enough time to say it all.

Ah, and Merry Christmas everyone. Tajeri Lynn knows he will.

TLEL