I just posted my Master’s Thesis here for you to download, read and enjoy. It is called Joke’s Mercy Why? Well, I felt like it. What is it about? A man. A woman. A marriage. The risk of being wrong. Do I have to explain everything? Here is a simple for your reading pleasure.
When Nathaniel gets to the office, there is Mr. Steven Rosch, behind Nathaniel’s desk, reading a book with the title, Your Life Began Already: Making the Best of Your Destroyed Social Strata. Rosch is wearing a sweat suit, with tennis shoes and a baseball cap. And there are more sports clothes on top of Nathaniel’s desk, with four pairs of expensive running shoes, bottles of water. A young woman in a business suit is beside Rosch, standing, typing on a PDA, simultaneously talking on a cellphone.
“That’s my seat,” Nathaniel says. Rosch looks up at him.
“You look, what’s the word?” He taps his assistant on the leg, says something in a language Nathaniel can’t pinpoint and the assistant says shit.
“Yes,” Rosch says. “You look like that. You look like shit. Did you read the memos I sent? What did happen last night?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Nathaniel says.
“You know what I miss about the military life?” Rosch asks, tossing the book in the nearby trashcan, standing, stretching. “I miss that you could absolutely dictate people’s lives. The military gives you the idea, this set goal that, yes, if you work hard enough and take enough of the beatings and the other horrible things that, yes, you too can dish out the beatings and the pain and the other horrible things to other people. And the other people? They can do nothing but take the abuse.”
“What country did you say you were from?”
“I did not say. What country do you think I am from?”
“I would say Germany.”
“The Germans are evil people,” Rosch says. His assistant looks hurt for a second, with her mouth gapped and her eyes wide. Rosch shouts at her quickly and violently in a foreign tongue and the girl sits on top of Nathaniel’s desk, tosses her equipment to the floor and cries. Rosch begins to run in place.
“Put these clothes on,” he says to Nathaniel.
“It’s interesting that you say ‘What for’ as opposed to ‘Why’.”
“Why do I need to put on workout clothes?”
“To work out,” Rosch says.
Nathaniel is horribly out of shape. He sprints up the stairs of the building. Rosch is in front of him, a full staircase ahead of him, taking the stairs in bits of two, springing up one after the other like he’s a teenager. Nathaniel tries to keep up. He coughs up bits of something. Bile maybe. His lungs feel like they are going to burst, pop out of him, escape and turn into a puddle of pink, tar-poked ooze.
“The military also taught me about pain reception,” Mr. Rosch says, turning to the left and jetting up another flight. “All manner of man wants to kill himself, Nathaniel Hamilton. Do you believe this?”
Nathaniel trips and braces his fall with his hands. The steps are concrete with tabs of metal and they sting his palms. He pushes himself back up and doubles his movements, pushes his legs, takes in more air.
“We want to put ourselves to the brink of ending so we can validate our every movement,” Rosch says. “We no longer kill cattle for food. We no longer risk starvation when we refuse action.” Rosch takes three steps at a time, then a whole flight of stairs with leaps. Nathaniel keeps up. He grabs the handrail and pulls himself. Tears flush out his eyes. Spit is riddled in his exhales. Snot runs out of his nose and Nathaniel doesn’t realize that it’s not snot but blood when he wipes his nose with his right hand. Rosch pushes open the roof top door and the alarms blare. The open air hits Nathaniel when he catches up to Rosch, in the middle of the roof, doing jumping-jacks, his female assistant magically feet away. Dressed in the same dress, on the same cellphone. Nathaniel falls. The gravel of the roof leaves imprints when his bare hands hit them. He can’t get enough air into his lungs. Nathaniel’s eyes water.
“You need practice being a man,” Mr. Rosch says.
Nathaniel stares at him.
“I’m just making a point,” Mr. Rosch says.
Download the PDF of Joke’s Mercy and I hope you enjoy it.