Salesman: the man of steal

'It's like this, Bunny Boy, if you walk up to an oak tree or a bloody
elm or something -you know, one of those big bastards- one with a
thick, heavy trunk with giant roots that grow deep in the soil and
great branches that are covered in leaves, right, and you walk up to
it and give the tree a shake, well, what happens?'
Bunny drives the Punto super-slow through the Wellborne estate in
Portslade and looks at the customer list Geoffrey has given him. The
towers cast long, dark shadows across the courtyard and Bunny hunches
down in the Punto and peers up through the front windscreen searching
for the flat with the corresponding number.
'I really don't know, Dad,' says Bunny Junior, listening intently,
retaining the information and knowing, in time, he will probably
'Well, nothing bloody happens, of course!' says Bunny and slows the
Punto to a halt. 'You can stand there shaking it till the cows come
home and all that will happen is your arms will get tired. Right?'
The boy's attention is diverted momentarily by three youths that perch
on the back of a wooden bench, smoking. Depersonalized in their
massive jeans and their oversized sneakers, the ends of their
cigarettes flare from deep within the dark recesses of their hoods and
Bunny Junior slips on his shades and shrinks down in his seat.
'Right, Dad,' he says.
Bunny rolls down the window, stick his head out and looks up at the flats.
'Jesus! They could put fucking numbers on the doors, at least,' he says.
Then he adjusts the rear-view mirror and looks at his reflection and
manipulates the waxed curlicue of hair that sits on his forehead like
the horn of some mythological beast.
'But if you go up to a skinny, dry, fucked-up little tree, with a
withered trunk and a few leaves clinging on for dear life, and you put
your hands around it and shake the shit out of it -as we say in the
trade- those bloody leaves will come flying off! Yeah?'
'OK, Dad,' says the boy, and he watches as one of the youths pulls
back the edge of his hood and reveals a white hockey mask with a human
skull printed on it.
'Now, the big oak tree is the rich bastard, right, and the skinny tree
is the poor cunt who hasn't got any money. Are you with me?'
Bunny Junior nods.
'Now, that sounds easier than it actually is, Bunny Boy. Do you want
to know why?'
'OK, Dad.'
'Because every fucking bastard and his dog has got hold of the little
tree and is shaking it for all that it's worth -the government, the
bloody landlord, the lottery they don't have a chance in hell of
winning, the council, their bloody exes, their hundred snotty-nosed
brats running around because they are too bloody stupid to exercise a
bit of self-control, all the useless shit they see on TV, fucking
Tesco, parking fines, insurance on this and insurance on that, the
boozer, the fruit machines, the bookies -every bastard and his
three-legged, one-eyed, pox-ridden dog are shaking this little tree,'
says Bunny, clamping his hands together and making like he is
throttling someone.
'So what do you go and do, Dad? says Bunny Junior.
'Well, you've got to have something they think they need, you know,
above all else.'
'And what's that, Dad?'
'Hope... you know... the dream. You've got to sell them the dream.'
'And what's the dream, Dad?'
'What's the dream?'
Bunny Junior sees his father adjust his tie, then reach into the back
seat of the Punto and grab his sample case. He unlocks it, checks its
contents, and closes it again. He looks at Bunny Junior, squares his
shoulders, opens the door to the Punto, points his thumb at his chest
and says, 'Me.'
Nick Cave

Posted via email from Edu's posterous