April 13, 2013
Something interesting happened today. When I woke up this morning before heading to my job, I saw my uncle and Janine talking to two people wearing tight black tuxedos and a pair of rather short-looking and equally tight black slacks. I also noticed their thick pair of tinted sunglasses that completely hides whatever dead eyes they’re donning on their pale faces. They look like, well, corpses. They look dead. Very dead. If it was any consolation for them, at least they’re smiling, which should have proven that they are, indeed, animated human beings with human souls. However, what I saw plastered on their faces instead are distorted-looking and nasty smiles so huge that it looked almost synthetic. Fake! Smiles of the manufactured kind. It is not farfetched to say that their smiles are quite literally ranging from one ear to another, making them look like cartoon characters with 3D-rendered human designs.
My uncle explained what’s happening and why these gentlemen were here with us. From my understanding, they are people who are experts in dealing with runaway children, I think? I didn’t really understand my uncle’s explanation of it. It all seemed so vague. But if I am to take the time to understand this, based on my uncle’s account, they are agents of a corporation that my uncle worked for once and thoroughly trusted. These gentlemen are apparently here in my uncle’s home right now to interview the people who live with my older cousin Ivan. I believe that they’re doing this to know exactly where to start “finding” Ivan. I don’t quite understand it, but my uncle seemed very trusting of this group. So I let that pass.
Apparently, the two gentlemen had already examined my father before I arrived in the living room. At that time, they have already started interviewing Janine. I think my uncle intended to end this session before I wake up, but none of them would want to tell me this. I think they don’t want me to talk to these two people.
It’s not like I would want to talk to them anyway. I just feel like these two smiling folks are not taking this matter seriously. I’ve written it already in this journal, but I am just utterly uncomfortable with the way these two people present themselves. The way they dressed made it look like they had been wearing those same pairs of clothes since they were seventeen. The paleness of their skin is so unnatural that I almost asked them if they’re alright. However, I stopped myself from doing so because of this oppressive aura radiating from out of their imposing figures. This unbearable and almost gruesome sense of dread and loathing was notably coming from their dreadful smile. It was disgusting. Smiles filled with both mockery and contempt for both my uncle and Janine, but now that I’m here, they’re directing such repulsion right towards me as well. It’s just that the way they smiled looked so forced and hyperbolic in a sense—very exaggerated. I could imagine two invisible strings pulling the sides of their lips upward to form this demised and almost mechanical drab smile that they’re donning.
At that point, my uncle told me to sit with them and be a part of the conversation. I politely declined since I’d definitely be late for my work if I stayed here. My uncle told me it would be fine and that he would drive me to my workplace to explain my side of the story to my boss. I just hope that Sir Mark is present in the store today.
Out of courtesy to my uncle, who’s pretty much begging me to stay, I did as he requested and sat beside him to see through these whole interview shenanigans. The two gentlemen promptly directed their attention to Janine. They’re talking about the apparent abuse of authority that Janine had done to Ivan last night. In defense of her inappropriate behavior, Janine told the two men-in-black before us that what she did is only imitating what her parents did to her. She reiterated that this sort of “tough love” method is what her parents did to her, and she even insinuated that she “grew up well” under such abusive guidance. Janine also further explained that she had the right to do what she had done to Ivan so that her son wouldn’t “cross the line.” Apparently, listening to rock is like committing murder in Janine’s eyes. She said that, as a parent, she owns her child and that everything her children own is something she owns as well. “Because her child is her property.” I can’t believe this is not verbatim. She really said that. It even appalled me more when she said that it’s perfectly mature for her to destroy what her child owns when she’s angry to make “a point.” I was about to laugh out loud at her even more when Janine very audaciously told our smiling visitors that she’s the mature and responsible one in this issue.
I cannot believe it. God knows how exhausted I was after writing those things. I can’t believe someone as wonderful as Ivan came out of the womb of such a monster! And she thinks this behavior is okay because her parents did it to her when she’s young.
I don’t trust anyone who wants someone to suffer the way they suffered. Bullies who are claiming they are “trying to help” are the worst kind of people.
“That person deserves to be tormented.” This is known as the “just-world fallacy,” the assumption that everyone gets what’s coming to them. For bad AND for good. This is why belief in karma is so appealing and why conservatives think poor people must be lazy. I remembered reading about how this fallacy was studied by presenting test audiences with staged torture scenes without context. After the initial shock, the people started coming up with reasons why the person deserved to be tortured, despite having no information from which to draw such a conclusion. I think they did so to convince themselves that they’re in control of their lives and not at the mercy of forces or actors more powerful than them.
There has always been something inherently “American” about this entire thing. The idea of the “violent mother” archetype is something I’ve always associated with Americans and Americanism. It’s something that was always on TV when I was growing up: the reality shows, the weird talk shows, even the scripted television shows. But I guess there was an element of meta-violence in the fact that I would feel violent at someone else’s fit of violence. If Janine proved anything, it’s that the idea of “tough-love” is given way too much weight on modern life.
Janine is so predictable. She has made it known that half of her family pretty much disowned her for being herself and how she made countless unsuccessful attempts to repair her relationship with her family despite their mistreatment of her. And therein lies the psychology behind all of her motivations when it comes to her politics and parenting. She’ll gatekeep motherhood, throw other people under the bus, obsessively vilify people who embody motherly caricatures to distance herself from them just to build her “cool mother” persona. And this is all done to gain validation from the same men who hate people like her, all because she couldn’t get that same validation from her own family. She sucks up to this idea of “violent motherhood” and the people who appropriated it because she literally sees her parents in them. But in the end, no amount of validation from her peers will ever fill the gaping hole her parents left in her heart.
And now, the sole person taking the consequences of her descent to madness is her son. I have vowed to myself that I will do all that I can to prevent Ivan from falling the same way his mother did.
I don’t want to see another bitter old fuck walking about the world like a corpse given enough ungodly curses to talk.
The interview ended on that note. The two gentlemen slid their business cards on the table in front of them. They did so with the sleek and smooth movement of their long and slender fingers. My uncle promptly took them, but he did not do so fast enough for me not to notice the name plastered on these smiling visitor’s black business cards. Plural Heights. These two men are agents working for a company called Plural Heights. Is it the same Plural Heights as the one I visited? The megachurch? It’s incredibly odd, but I left it like that. I don’t want any unnecessary stress plaguing my mind again after this interview thing.
Just like what my uncle told me, he drove me back to the Lawson I worked for when the interview ended. Janine was just sitting on the dining table while drinking a full glass of wine and looking at nothingness again when we were about to leave the house. I find comfort in seeing her that way. This unfortunate state of hers fills me with utter euphoria. I could laugh at her as she sits there ever so miserably in her lonesome for all of eternity. I bet I would even be hysterical at her funeral.
Anyway, my uncle drove me to Lawson. We didn’t say much during the entire ride. We also didn’t open the radio. I guess we’re just not into it today. When we came to the store, my uncle and I instantly went into the backroom where Sir Mark’s office is. An employee I haven’t met before is manning the cashier. I just nodded at him. That was when I started asking myself where George is. He’s an awfully workaholic and serious man, so I find it odd to see him late, later than me! When the backdoor leading to Sir Mark’s office opened after a few moments, I saw Sir Mark inside, sweaty and beet red, as he looked at us from the other side of the slightly open door of his office. My uncle awkwardly stuttered as he explained the situation, and Sir Mark very nonchalantly agreed to this and just told me to do my usual work shtick while he prepares for the day. So that’s what I did. My uncle then scratched the back of his head after his conversation with my boss and left the store momentarily. It seems like he’s not in the mood to do anything right now. Can’t say I blame him.
George came out of Sir Mark’s office after a few minutes. At this point, the other employee on the cashier was already leaving, so George is the only one who could supervise me. He seems like he’s in a daze the whole day, though. Weird. He was sweating profusely, his body is reddened like a cherry bomb, and I could even see some marks around his skin that I have never seen before. Is he wounded? I didn’t press on that further earlier, but it still plagued me as I’m writing this journal entry. Sir Mark then left wordlessly after a few hours and said that he really was not supposed to be in the store today and just came to check on something. Both of them were acting oddly, but I can’t quite point out what exactly is it that is weird in their behavior. I guess the fact that they both came out of Sir Mark’s office is a bit strange. That must have been it.
Nothing really happened at work today again. But something did happen when I finished my shift. I saw Ivan outside of the Lawson I’m working in. I was about to go after Ivan when I saw him heading inside the hotel where Lawson is connected. I was beyond confused at this point. What does my cousin intend to do inside of such an extravagant and luxurious-looking hotel!? I ran after him, but when he came inside the hotel, I lost him. He looked like a bubble that had been popped out of existence once he stepped foot inside the hotel. There were a lot of people in the hotel lobby at that time, so I immediately lost him amid the growing crowd around me.
I’m sure that’s him, but I have told no one about this incident because I’m not sure if that person really is Ivan or if my stupid freak mind is playing tricks on me again. It’s also especially notable that I didn’t spend too much time in that place because the crowd instantly made me feel nauseated. I find it funny, actually. Well, I’m not laughing at the fact that I started feeling groggy just after staying in a crowded place for a few moments. I’m talking about the name of the hotel. I just find it funny how the world works sometimes. It was such a silly coincidence. This extravagant and 100% gold-standards 5-star hotel is called Plural Heights. Just like that megachurch. And just like the company that my uncle trusted enough to hire in finding Ivan instead of contacting the cops. So if I really puked in that hotel lobby, then it would have been the second time I’ve thrown up inside of a crowded and colossal place that has the name Plural Heights. I dunno why. I find it kinda funny, and I guess I also found it a bit sad.
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