Nada in the Chamber
[Zombie Cowboy struts following his bulging penis pointing out like an arrow into the local saloon. Like a cartoon bull on his hind legs in gigolo-pimp cowboy duds, he strikes a pornographic pose as he stalls at the swinging doors to stalk the room. He’s a wannabe bounty hunter, zombie to voodoo economics of greedy capitalism, a puppet of the corrupt plutocracy that incites violence to enforce it’s will, expand its empire and feed its constant cravings. He snorts like a bull, his phallus like a divining rod points toward the poker table where he charges toward insatiable fulfillment and muscles his way into the poker game to the surprise of the other players. Across the table sits Billy the Kid, incognito to the strange intruder. Around the table Kid’s gang and friendly locals look to Kid questioningly. Kid looks up surprised like he didn’t hear Zombie Cowboy’s obnoxious entrance.]
Kid: Where did you come from Zombie Cowboy: New York. [Everyone laughs but a clueless Zombie Cowboy.]
Kid: Well, that makes six. Ominous! [Grabs a new deck, shuffles, deals. The first hand everyone’s feeling high and lucky, all but one player holds his high cards and discards the low ones –that player is Billy the Kid, who takes the pot with a 2-7 heart flush. And though other players settle down after a while and begin to play more strategically, the game pretty much goes like that, in Kid’s favor, for the rest of the night. You see Kid plays poker like you or I ambulate or pour a cup of coffee, or other motor skill, without conscious thought. He knows what cards to hold and throw away subconsciously. Perhaps it’s cosmic sense, like he was tuned in to some other dimension, or maybe he uses a part of his brain not commonly accessed by other homo sapiens– evolution? Perhaps unconsciously in the back of his mind he’s just playing the odds? But it was because of this subconscious ability he won almost every hand, many with some very humble cards. No one ever suggested he was cheating.]
Zombie Cowboy Any of you know where I can find Billy the Kid?
Kid: What you want him for? Zombie Cowboy: [Thinking the town will be happy to rid themselves of the Kid.] Planning to kill him collect the bounty.
Marx Marin: So you’re after the money, solely profit motivated like the plutocracy.
Zombie Cowboy: What’s plutocracy?
Marx Marin: That’s all the wealthy people control government, politics, what dictates civilized society. Enforce the law harshly for poor folk but consider themselves above the law.
Josh: Folks around here say Kid’s a hero, never shot a man but for justice or self-defense.
Zombie Cowboy: Law says he shot a sheriff Brady and a deputy.
[The cards continue to fall, each hand Kid holds without thought the cards that will match up with what he draws to take the pot again and again, losing the hand only when deprived of the winning cards, not due to vision or expertise.]
Josh: We rode with the kid at John Tunstall’s ranch, decent businessman and rancher, unlike Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, corrupt, establishment ranchers and businessmen, who didn’t like Tunstall’s democratic, share the wealth ideas or want anyone threatening their monopoly and their inflated bottom line. Sheriff Brady worked for them, bought and paid for, by them. First they sent him to run Tunstall off his own land, then when Tunstall was on his way to the governor to seek redress, they murdered him–Sheriff Brady and his posse rode right up to him and shot him dead. Tunstall was unarmed. Kid was just dispensing justice, when he killed Sheriff Brady, even had a warrant from the local justice of the peace. A gunfight ensued. Brady and the deputy were among the casualties. Politics around here are fickle and inherently corrupt. Anyone tries to clean them up gets run off, bought off, or murdered.
Marx Marin: When Mexico was in power it was the same. All over the world governments are corrupt. Dong Chong: Often the intrinsic nature of those who seek to rule is one of compulsion to dominate, then once they become rich, get addicted to all the accoutrements of wealth, no force is too perverted in order to stay in power and keep this sweet life.
Marx Marin: Of course there are exceptions, and when people bring these honest, dedicated leaders to power we see improvement.
Dong Chong: But the deviant personalities have the energy of maniacs and surreptitiously mesmerize people and lure them away, especially effective if they distract them with promises of a wealthy payday.
Marx Marin: If people let down their guard they get caught up in the wealthy despots deceptive promises and lies or if the people become lazy or afraid to get involved, the honest leaders are forced out of power, quickly any gains are lost to the obsessive cravings of the plutocrats. We must stay alert and continue to support leaders who represent all the people equally–understanding all societies needs and interactions– leaders with compassionate vision.
Josh: To live in a compassionate world, you must be compassionate.
Marx Marin: But one compassionate leader, even a small group of well meaning leaders, needs the power of the people behind them, to keep the momentum toward liberty, justice, and equality. To realize the utopian potential of intelligent life on Earth.
Zombie Cowboy: Huh. Its bounty hunting are inching out a living as some poor cowhand, cold ground for a bed, rock for a pillow, farting beans and corn, if you’re lucky, or maybe just tortillas and constipation. Only women you can get you got to pay for.
Shane: That’s what we are saying, Tunstall paid good wages, provided housing, meat, fresh vegetables, beans and tortillas, treated his hands like friends and equals. Established powers are conditioned to hold on to their money and make more money without consideration for others. Not saying they shouldn’t make a profit, but these legal crooks are making a killing, and you can take that both ways. They are not trying to create a community that can grow and flourish and provide a better life for everyone.
Dong Chong: And as for the ladies the Mexican Nationals, Mescaleros, small ranchers and farmers all have dances with musicians, food and drink and beautiful women who can dance and sing. Here you can meet the lady you want to spend the rest of your life with.
The wife you seduce to marry you with money and the things money can buy will be covetous of anyone who has more and will nag you her whole life through. Your children will emulate her and become addicted to your materialistic gifts. Neither will love you for who you are.
[In the background you hear a raucous honky tonk piano, then the female voice of Venus Flytrap] Venus Flytrap: Here I stand the goddess of desire, set men on fire… Dong Chong: ssshh, quiet Cleavon and Venus are rehearsing the new Lili Von Shtopp work protest song. [in the background more wild honky tonk piano]
Venus singing: Who can satisfy their lustful habits, I’m not a rabbit, I need a rest. I’m tired.
Zombie Cowboy: Let’s play cards! [music fades out] What is she singing about anyway, what kind of work makes you a rabbit, doesn’t make sense? [around the table there is a domino effect rolling of the eyes]
Dong Chong: [chuckles] She’s the madam at the Flytrap, next door, the house of the evening which substitutes as a town hall during the day.
Zombie Cowboy: And who’s that crazy piano player, her protecting pimp?
Dong Chong: That’s Cleavon, owner of this saloon, whose beer you’re drinking, Both Cleavon and Venus are contributing members of our community, always ready to help someone in need, honest and fair business people, not like the shady law you’re wanting to kill Billy the Kid for.
Marx Marin: And the women around here can protect themselves, especially those at the Flytrap. I’ve been teaching them the art of Tai chi, and the ladies have really taken to it. It’s an ancient Chinese art of self-defense whereby you reflect the force leveraged against you, rather than absorb it, sending it back to your offender. Doesn’t require a lot of weight behind it. Good for the ladies.
Dong Chong: As if they need it. They lead those robber barons around by their dicks, seduce them to their will.
Marx Marin: Their dicks and their big heads, overconfidence, that’s where they’re weak. Women exploit their dicks and wannabe sycophants like gunslinging cowboy here, play up to their arrogance, always the admiring subordinate, but what you wannabes don’t know is, they’re exclusionary. They will never let you into their elite society unless you become indoctrinated into their opinion-based persuasion of irrational practices– philosophy evoked to condone their predatory actions, not well thought out governing technique or social engineering based on fact and history. Figuratively speaking, you will be a zombie of a plutocratic voodoo economy feeding on those without a voice in their government of the wealthy.
Dong Chong: You will lose your autonomy. In a possessed mental state you will no longer think independently, but be overpowered by their subterfuge diffused into your mind by their deceptive verbiage. Your principles and your diverse group of friends and associates that once made you the individual you are, will be lost to you. You will essentially be a zombie, surrounded by zombies.
Shane: Like the voodoo overlord mesmerizes his zombies, you will be totally dazed, like you’ve been stoned in the head, led around like a zombie, without the perspicacity to question.
Marx Marin: They will always control you, always act your superior. It’s a hierarchy. You’re a pawn for the law. The law answers to the politicians and the robber barons. The robber barons and politicians are controlled by the richest of the rich–predatory bankers, mind controlling publishers promoting their on agenda, owners of the railroads, plantations, the gold and silver mines, who get richer off slave labor, shyster speculators with all the inside information, some so shadowy no one knows their names. And nobody knows what ethereal, cursed malfeasants compel their crazy schemes.
[Venus, playing the coquette, comes up behind Dong Chong puts her arms around him], speaking to Chong and Marx in a sexy voice, deliberately teasing double entendre]
Venus Flytrap: When you two get tired pontificating with these pokers, come next door and practice pedagogy with us. Would love your input. [Using her left thumb and index finger, making an O, and inserting her right index finger into the O. Misunderstanding the pun and the word pedagogy, all the young jaws around the poker table drop with envy, except Kid, who sees no reason to correct their misconceptions. He remembers just yesterday sitting with his lady and his townfolk, adults and children of all shapes and sizes and sentient beings of all kinds (even some cowpokes) lounge around the room, soaking up all the wise words and teachings of the Wisecrackers, multicultural philosophers who have integrated the knowledge of their ancestors, with their own ideas and reflections, into a cohesive and highly functional technique for altruistic living. Brilliant teachers who have seen reality with all its peaks and valleys and still retained a sense of humor. Wisecrackers Dong Chong and Marx Marin sitting on the floor in the middle of it all, facing each other discussing the interdependence of all things and how not understanding this cause and effect phenomena can lead to negativity that can destroy your mental and physical health. Dong has said many times. “Allow yourself to evolve. Let every experience create a truer you.” That you need NOT be a slave consciously or subconsciously controlled by dark forces. “You are your own master, which is a blessing. But also a responsibility in that you have the capacity through analytic meditation to grow to feel compassion instead of negative emotion toward sentient beings in problematic situations.”
Dong teaches and debates with Marx this analytic meditation of ancient Chinese philosophy and Buddhism. Once you learn the technique, they say to share this with others, over time creating a compassionate civilization and preventing violent conflict. Marx further explains the political interactions and adds, you must also understand and expose the deceptive practices of the wealthy plutocrats now in control, who like parasites, have convinced their host, the people, that their way is necessary for society’s existence and to maintain our economy and democracy. These established despots insist you must enslave, kill and take from others to live the good life. When people let these parasites get in their heads and control them, eventually they adopt their parasitic doctrine as their own, not realizing they are no longer the one in control of their own brain. They have become one of plutocracy’s zombies rapaciously feeding off fellow sentient beings. Is this cowboy, this gun toting intruder already one of their zombies or can he be awakened? A feeling of desperation washes over Kid, which he consciously replaces with determinism and acceptance. He thinks of his Wisecracker lady, he and his lady, so content and peaceful, wanting to continue living in this progressive community, listening to the Wisecrackers, looking for the elegant solution, and snaps out of his reverie.]
Kid: My lady can dance on the wind. Apache grandmother taught her all the ancient ways, their dances and philosophy. You should see her dancing in the sun. She says she clears her mind of all sensory thoughts, sees and feels her movements with her mind’s eye. Spinning backwards in a wide swirling skirt, she leaps but you would swear the wind lifts her, and then she leans against it, she’s horizontal, suspended, then stretching reaches with her right leg, rolls and falls lightly touching the ground. Like a cat mostly weighted on her legs, back arched, fingertips barely touching the ground, she tucks her head and somersaults to her feet, raises her arms open to the sun, absorbing its warmth, then she brings her arms and hands down in prayer posture (says she’s praying for the elegant solution) and bows to the sun. Next she lowers to one knee and pounds the ground with her fist, shouting no arranged marriage to Dollar Bill. Dollar Bill’s a robber baron, her patriarch has promised her in marriage. but she wants me, a cowhand. She’s too intelligent to fall for his selfish promises and lies Zombie Cowboy: [incredulous] Intelligent women? Like those temperance gals won’t do as they’re told.
Kid: Smart, independent, let you be independent. Plus my lady can dance on the wind. Her Apache grandmother has taught her all the ancient dances, music and philosophies of the Wisecrackers — studies battle strategy, not just military but verbal debate. She can wake people up to the facts, prevent violent conflict, deals with the dark forces that surreptitiously control the plutocracy, their greedy nature that’s passed down from generation to generation, their addictions that keep them drooling for more and more, which means less and less for the rest of us. Says this is repressive leadership which history has proved only leads to revolution, violent revolution. This is not the way to a stable peaceful community and a prosperous future for all. For that you must share the wealth. Plutocrats are exclusionary, will never let an individual who thinks for himself into their exclusive club. You are expendable, someone they use, abuse, sacrifice to perpetuate their illusions of grandeur.
Dong Chong: You could say delusions of grandeur, some of them actually have themselves fooled.
Marx Marin They’re zombie imperialist feeding on the disenfranchised, They don’t want peace, they get richer off war… murdering, pillaging, taking the property of their victims. If you work for them, you contribute to the downfall of the democracy.
Zombie Cowboy: I’m just looking out for myself, times are hard choices are few.
Marx Marin: You look healthy and well fed, why so impetuous? You’re not looking far enough into the future. They create conflict between the people to divide us. They knowingly send you to your death. They trick you with promises of a piece of their action to get you to kill a good man who is in their way or to force a good man to kill you in order to prove their lies about his character and perpetuate their rumors. Face reality, the only way for you to succeed is to join with others plagued by this corrupt government. All genders, races, ethnicities and cultures, benefit by sharing our knowledge and ways to survive, working together, united in our individualism.
Josh: Plus you’ll never kill Billy the Kid. You’re just a wannabe gunfighter, Kid can outsmart you, out shoot you, out maneuver you, if you’re looking out for yourself get smart, lose the foolish bravado, be a part of the peoples’ world, wake up to compassionate consciousness!
Dong Chong: Consider cause and effect. You plan to kill Billy the Kid, cause- for the $500 bounty and fame, a totally selfish and compassionless act, effect- if you succeed would bring you immediate gratification, but contribute to your future downfall both personal and worldly, personal because you would become the target for up and coming wannabe gunfighter stars and wordly disastrous because Kid is an active member of the resistance to the plutocracy, and his death would severely set the people’s revolution back. Or you will get yourself killed.
Josh: Yea, cause and effect how you plan to do it anyway, gun fight, bushwack, shooting in the back … so you take your options.
If you want fame, to get written about in the gunfighter books, straight, face to face shoot out is your best option.
Shane: You’ll never beat Kid in a gunfight, he uses ten bullets to every one the other cowhands use. He practices all the time.
Zombie Cowboy: I’ve been practicing too.
Kid: Let me see you draw.
[Zombie Cowboy stands and draws on Kid.] Not too bad, what about your aim and your equipment, even the best guns must be maintained. [Kid takes out his gun to demonstrate how smoothly the barrel turns and demonstrates all functioning parts.] Take a look. [Slides gun across the table to Zombie Cowboy, who pulls out both his guns and lays them on the table for Kid to see. They each examine the others’ guns.
It is common in these days for novice gun users to keep the firing chamber of the six-shooter empty, as there is no safety to prevent accidental firing and Kid may be motivated at this point to protect everyone including Zombie Cowboy from the obvious inexperience and carelessness of this strange intruder. Surreptitiously Kid removes the first bullet in each of Zombie Cowboy’s guns.]
Kid: Excellent hardware, maybe should be worn in more to work smoother.
Shane: I don’t think you have a chance against the Kid. [The whole table agrees.]
Kid: Maybe ambush.You got a rifle, know how to use it.
Zombie Cowboy: I know how to shoot a rifle.
Shane: Man, you can forget that, The kid has a six sense. Knows when someone is tuning in on him. When you ride with him you see his strong mental presence. It’s like he communes with his surroundings. He says it’s like hearing a continuous musical note, tells us to stay back, then rides straight toward the bushwackers, but taunts his pursuers, stops just out of range, with good shelter, The thugs get anxious, fire out of range. Kid flies off his horse, lands like a cat and rolls behind a boulder. It’s an amazing sight to see. Some will move forward while others fire to cover. But Kid he’s patient, then quick when he knows they finally fired all their bullets. When they go to reload, he picks them off one by one. He’s so fast seems like he’s in two, three, four places at once, and then they’re all down.
Zombie Cowboy: I ain’t no dummy! Why you trying to scare me?
Marx Marin: Man!
How are you still alive? We’re warning you, be scared.
Marx Marin: Disbelieve at your own peril.
Zombie Cowboy I’ll take my chances. Are y’all going to tell me where this Kid is are not?
Kid: I’m the one they call Billy the Kid.
[Zombie Cowboy stands to draw but before his gun clears his holster Kid is standing, has his gun pointed straight at him.
Zombie Cowboy drops his gun back in his holster raises both arms with elbows bent, palms forward and backs away shaking his head from side to side.]
Kid: This is my home, where my lady and I want to live in peace. I don’t want to kill you. I don’t want to harm anyone. I want that all sentient beings should know compassion and work together for a better world, but if you force me, I will kill you in self-defense. [He turns and walks toward the exit but as he reaches the swinging doors Kid hears a click. Zombie Cowboy has fired to shoot him in the back but his firing chamber is empty. Leaving a trail like a tornado Kid turns faster than the eye can see, and before Zombie Cowboy can fire again, he shoots.]
Marx Marin: [Looking down at the dead Zombie Cowboy, shaking his head, in low, sad mumble] Some people just don’t listen.
[Kid turns slowly and walks out the door, mounts his horse Midnight and rides off into space.]