He is a man of narcotic induced effervescence, impulsive and talkative, a celebratory frivolity like that of a Danny Kaye Christmas performance…
“Do you even know who the fuck Danny Kaye is?” He leaps, clutching a champagne bottle, his lips jittery and uncoordinated, unable to sip while in flight. “Do you, old man?”
Within seconds, his feet thunk against the hardwood floor, his knees dislodging, body blundering into the wall, head clonking against a raggedly exposed section of brick.
“Fuck me…” Hand soothing his forehead.
“Hey, little brother…” I attempt to console, my approach cautious. “Also, can you turn the lights on in this place?”
“The electric went out hours ago."
“Why don’t…” I’m startled, goose pimples sprouting on the skin of my arms as my eyes adjust to the murky interior of my brother’s warehouse loft. “Is…Is…that an orgy?”
A few feet away, a patch of darkness is illuminated by a throng of seemingly disembodied smartphone screens.
“Oh, yeah…” I hear my brother. “That’s Kimono and Cupid, bro…They’re like super famous cam girls.”
As my eyes focus, bodies begin to develop: those smartphones are held by an audience of naked, bearded, and bespectacled men who groan and moan as they record the cam girls engaging in some strange giggling, teasing, Asian anime like make-out session.
“This is fucking bizarre…” I activate the flashlight of my own smartphone, surveying the cavernous interior of my brother’s loft. “This is the riches of Silicon Valley life, huh?” The bright amplitude of my phone reveals a home stripped of hospitality and ornamentation, the chairs and vases, all selected by one of the city’s elite curators of aspirational lifestyle, were reduced to charred fragments and ashes by a sacrificial bonfire that smolders in the center of the vast floorspace. “Jesuschristbrother…”
Outside the windows, helicopter’s thump and whump, the brilliant glare of their spotlights fixated on the riotous nighttime streets of San Francisco where emergency sirens screech amid the gunshots and shattering glass of rampaging anarchist brigades.
My brothers grabs me, “This is how it ends? This is the crash? This is your generation’s dream, right? Right? Isn’t this how Fight Club ends—”
He’s interrupted by a series of cataclysmic like explosions, both us shuddering as jubilant whoops and screams emerge from the chasm of the warehouse.
“Do you know what that sound is? Those detonations? It’s all the Tesla’s blowing up—”
We simultaneously cringe at another bombardment…
“They’re going around with shotguns, firing at the battery compartments of the cars…And, probably a whole lot of other stuff.”
“Dude, get whatever shit you still have and let’s get out of here…”
“Do I have to?” My little brother frowns, his nostrils wriggling and sniffling, lips stammering until he finally emits a whimpering sigh. “It-it’s finally gone, isn’t it?”
I nod to his rhetorical realization, watching him plop onto the loft’s floor scattered with the broken and burned ruins of his life.
My little brother was one of the glorious, venerated—and reviled, by many—for his singular ability at conjuring millions and billions of dollars from a succession of apps and startups.
He was invited to every conference and blatherfest, where from the stages of these enormous, capacity crowd theaters, he would strut, prowl and caper like a Broadway entertainer, all the while hailing the future of technology. The audience would become enraptured by his antics, recording and uploading, mythologizing him as the reincarnation of Steve Jobs fused with the charismatic talents of Hugh Jackman.
He was lauded as a new, epochal leader for Silicon Valley, an innovator who would—
Oh, then Dot-com Crash 2.0 happened.
During the early 2000s, when the first Dot-Com Crash ruptured the global economy and annihilated the millionaire delusions of GenX programmers everywhere—of course, this is before the Central Bankers inflated the market for the Millennials, beguiling them into a pursuit for Billionaire’dom—I remember sitting at my desk within the confines of one of Wall Street’s most esteemed investment firms and smirking, then guffawing, at the horror and despair of my Brooks Brother overlords…
Oh, How Could This Have Happened!
Get Greenspan on the phone!
Now, over twenty years later, as co-founder of a much revered boutique hedge fund, I’m witness to another market implosion, one of a catastrophic magnitude.
‘This is tracking at a phenomenal rate…’ Blake, my longtime college friend and partner in the hedge fund, murmured a few weeks ago while the two of us sat at the kitchen table of his palatial dining room.
‘It’s like a Ron Paul wet-dream,’ I laughed.
‘Fuck man, you can’t joke about this.’
‘We saw it. Years ago, Blake. It’s already in the air. The creepy crawlies of our clients are being felt from Boston to Miami. We shouldn’t be surprised by this—’
‘Yeah, but not like this, man! Holy fuckingshit…’ He flinched, his voice frantic. ‘I gotta keep it down, I can’t act like this. Kate is gonna flip her shit.’
‘Dude, it’s your goddamn wife—’
He raised his finger, ‘Not yet, okay?’
‘You gotta start preparing her…’
‘Well, maybe you should start preparing that idiotic brother of yours… His company is getting wiped out this week. He’s going to take the entire market with him. Fuck, he’s going to take all of Silicon Valley and San Fran with him…’
‘Yeah, I gotta call him.’
And now, on this street of San Francisco, my little brother and I stand paralyzed, our faces scorched by ravaging fires, our eyes confronted with an unimaginable array of apocalyptic brutality and depravity, of humanity slaughtering, pillaging and cannibalizing each other…
My little brother turns to me, “So, isn’t this where we slam the ammunition into our guns and run into the crowd, firing for survival?”
A hand grips my shoulder, “Hey, buddy, look!”
I turn to the voice of a haggard beggar with a long, tangled beard stained with years of bilious nicotine smoking…
The beggar laughs, plunging a shard of glass into his right eye…
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