My Trip Into the Heart of Darkness

The Madman of the TreasuryWanting to gain information on why my retirement fund has disappeared faster than the New York Rangers hopes of winning a Stanley Cup, I traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with the Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.

I was expecting to be met at the door by a Treasury Employee only to find that there are no current employees of that department.  None have been appointed.  Instead I was met by a crazed freelance photographer who lead me into the building, past several “natives” who stared at me.  Along the way he told me how Geithner has enlightened his mind and freed it from the chains of oversocialization.

“There’s mines over there, and watch out those goddamn monkeys bite, I’ll tell you. What do people say about Geithner?  What do they say? That he was a kind man?  That he was a wise man?  That he had plans?  That he had wisdom?  Bullshit man!”

I asked the photojournalist if I could talk to the Secretary about my 401K.

“Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Secretary. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet-warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man.”

It was then that I first noticed the skulls mounted on poles throughout the hallways.

“Oh man, you’re noticing the skulls?  He goes overboard sometimes but he’s got a good heart.  The man is clear in his mind, but mad in his soul.”

I was then ushered into the presence of the Secretary.  I introduced myself and asked him if I could talk to him about my life’s savings.  He did not seem to notice me at first, but then turned and looked me in the eye.

I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor.  That’s my dream.  That’s my nightmare.  Crawling, slithering……are you an assassin?” he asked me.

Well, I did recently put my cat down but I don’t consider myself an assassin.  I told him I was just an American concerned about my 401K.

“You’re neither.  You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill.  Are my methods unsound?

I handed him my latest 401K statement, showed him how it had lost half its value in the past 6 months and told him that I didn’t see any method.

 “I’ve seen horrors” he mumbled upon looking at my statement.  I told him that I agreed.  It is pretty horrible.  Was there anything that could be done?  He ignored my question.

You have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that… but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face… and you must make a friend of horror.”

I told him I wasn’t here to judge him or murder him and that I only wanted some answers.  He continued mumbling.

“You have to have men who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling….without passion…..without judgment.  Because it’s judgment that defeats us.”

Realizing at this point that further conversation was useless I dropped my 401K statement on the floor and turned to leave.  As I left he was lying on the floor, caressing my statement  and repeating over and over, “The horror……the horror.”

I left the building, walked down the steps, found a pay phone and ordered an air strike on the Treasury Building.  Then I went to grab a cheeseburger, Geithner’s words ringing in my head.  The horror.  The horror.



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