The Day After

Piotr slept well. He turned around under the blanket, yawned and stretched out his arms with a loud cry of contentment. Sunny morning after a successful action, what could be better in life? Yesterday had been busy. He had gone to the march. Bleeding-hearts had been demonstrating. Lame. That’s what liberalismo is about. ‘Liberals, keras, meras, fucki-beras’ he played with the word under his breath. An angry vein swelled across his forehead from the hairline to the base of his nose. He snorted with contempt and energetically jumped out of the bed.

He did push-ups, steadily and fast, without losing the rhythm. The muscles were warming up, and endorphins started to flood his brain. Piotr broke into sweat. Tiny beads of perspiration soon joined one another, forming streaks. The cotton pyjamas, with the repetitive pattern of tiny golden bears holding on to a fir twig crowned with a bell and red cockade, absorbed the sweat preventing its rivulets from falling onto the red rug. It featured the black emblem of the organization in a prominent white circle. The organization is always present in every act of our daily lives; the thing is to respect it and its ideals in all these moments, big and tawdry.

 

The world was going from bad to worse. Piotr couldn’t stand it. His parents didn’t think about anything else but their daily bread and how to provide it, to themselves (and to him). Huge changes had taken place, but they seemed not to notice, stuck in their hopeless jobs with no future. Mum took care of three- and four-year olds in the last state-subsidized kindergarten in the town. The stream of kids enrolling with this establishment had dried up to a trickle. The times when parents applied for scarce places years in advance, and ingratiated themselves into the good graces of the staff with gifts, were long over. Most of Piotr’s peers had left the town for the vibrant metropolises in the west of Eunion, and their children were born over there.

 

It didn’t help either that mum’s health had visibly deteriorated. Her movements became uncoordinated. The director already breached the subject of her unsuitability to carry on with her current duties. She proposed to mum tasks more akin to the job of a janitor, though with the same pay.

 

Father – or fater as they called him – was good for nothing. Before the change he had been a respectable engineer in charge of the maintenance department at the local power plant. He had drunk with others to smooth out the workings of the centrally-planned economy. Drunk and drinking, he had failed to notice the coming of the new. Vodka ceased to make the world go around or provide contracted goods and services on time; and now meeting payment deadlines became the novel de rigeuer. They sent fater into early retirement; plush enough to enable him to continue with his addiction. As earlier in the case of his salary, now when his pension arrived, he gave a third to mum, and stashed the rest into the inside pocket of his jacket. He always had it with him. When sleeping, even when blind drunk, he folded it carefully and placed it under the mattress. In this way, the piece of his clothing remained freshly pressed, though unwashed for years on end. It had lost its original color to grime, and a curious odor emanated from it.

 

Fater was not overly troubled by the tiny niceties of life. In a bar, repeating his repertoire of stories, already well known to the regulars, he liked to make the point: ‘They removed me from the post, you know. Have they got anyone better? No. The best ones anyway had left years earlier for the BRD. Das stimmt, na panie.’ ‘Yeah, yeah’ his public agreed, and they nodded their heads to encourage fater in his tirade. ‘Na panie’ he continued ‘and them, the party’s ass-lickers, you remember them, eh?’

‘Yes, we do.’

‘Where are they now?’

‘Where are they?’

‘Six feet under. And look at me, I’m as good as a young guy, even better.’

‘Yeah!’ the crowd consented enthusiastically.

‘Greenhorn university-leavers slog it out on the dole, and I am well-off.’ Fater turned to the bartender ‘Marysien, a round of vodka for everybody. I’m paying.’

‘In no time, Mr Engineer’ she replied.

The patrons united in happy camaraderie, cheered their benefactor. Fater relaxed and surrounded by red-face drunks, seated himself comfortably in a chair with a drunkard’s cherubic smile gracing his lips.

 

Piotr hated this hopeless life concerned only with itself and its small matters. What about Principles, Ideals, the Glory of doing Great Things. Shortly after he had learned how to read, he graduated to the clandestine use of fater’s bookcase. Mum shooed Piotr and his brother away from this forgotten altar of learning, to which fater, in his drunken stupor, often paid obeisance, collapsing in front of the books into an alcohol-induced deep sleep. He snored away his night on the rug, with his head cooled by the glazed pot in which a towering ficus grew curled at the top in its futile search of a way up through the ceiling.

 

Piotr didn’t remember fater ever taking up one of the volumes and reading it. Mum assured him that he had done so before Piotr’s birth. It didn’t matter anymore. Piotr’s life took a new direction, when he chanced on the translation of De Gaulle’s Mémoires de guerre. That was a revelation, a shaft of radiance opened for Piotr in the grayness of his nondescript life. Since then la Grandeur had become his Calling. Piotr preferred to spell important nouns with initial capitals to emphasize the gravity of his convictions and opinions. All Eunion’s languages had employed this technique in the past, but with time they had become lightweight and empty, and had lost this vital feature. The sole language of substance that remained was Deutsch. Piotr wished he had been brought up talking it. Now, the nuance of the tongue evaded him, so he had to settle for the local idiom, which he was unable to bring himself to write with a capital.

 

La Grandeur was also a call to action. His childhood friends from their street turned away from him. Piotr became a stranger: no childish games for him, going to the movies, wasting pocket money on ice-creams and McDonald’s toys, or chatting up girls. He desired Greater Things from life. Destiny beckoned. Piotr wormed his way through fater’s books, and over the web found out others who shared his trust in la Grandeur. Like them, Piotr opted for a crew cut, uniform-like clothes and steel-toe boots. The dark green and black hues of their attire emphasized the Seriousness of their Intentions.

 

In the last year of his secondary school, shortly before he took the matrics, the Organization contacted Piotr. Someone must have spoken up for him, and they wanted to see whether he might be suitable for membership. Piotr forgot all about revising and studying for the exams. School was an instrument in the hands of liberals, necessary to advance in life here and now, but forgettable in the future after Appropriate People have taken over the system, schools included. The meeting with the Organization’s Emissaries became Piotr’s real test of maturity. The Emissaries concealed their faces under black balaclavas with holes cut out for the eyes and mouths. The questions that they asked seemed simple to Piotr. They agreed with Piotr’s conclusions about the sorry state of the world that he voiced in reply. The emissaries were pleased with his answers. Piotr became a member. Further contacts were conducted over the web. In the Organization no one was ever to learn the names of other members. What linked them were the same values and the goal of bettering the world, in all ways available to them, however small.

 

They were tweeted out for actions. This Saturday they bashed those long-haired faggots and their friends with the multicolored Pace banners shamelessly unfurled. The mayor went rogue, permitting the equality parade. The Pace is not a flag of this nation. There is enough space for everyone on this Earth. They don’t like it here, let them move to a Pace nation then, if they can find one. Otherwise, they must observe the flag of our nation. Full stop.

 

The Police were late. They arrived after the action was over. The piercing sirens of ambulances, almost painful to the ear, tore through the post-battle calm. Piotr wondered if the Police sympathized with the Organization. Maybe some members had already infiltrated the force’s ranks. ‘It’s good’ he thought ‘the improvement has already begun. The trick is to maintain the momentum.’

 

The Organization divided Tasks among the Members equitably, in line with their skills, predispositions and experience. ‘Piotr the Rock,’ as they dubbed him, joined the Brain Division. He was responsible for keeping abreast with the latest developments in science. The Organization had to be up to date with technology and with arguments that proved the Superiority of their Values over the liberalismo non-values that had insidiously crept into the heart of their ailing society.

 

Piotr went online. He was in the habit of spending Sunday mornings poring over the Nature website. Whatever interesting or of importance there was to learn, Piotr was once told by fater, could be gleaned from Nature. His teachers were surprised that although Piotr was a withdrawn and erratic student, he had passed the matrics so well, especially in Englisch. They announced that Piotr possessed an innate talent and should apply for a university degree. He wasn’t to be drawn into the system though; that would be supporting it. There was no time to lose if the sickness was to be uprooted. Piotr found employment at LaptopDoctor’s. The job brought him a respectable salary, so mum resigned herself to Piotr’s choice. Fater, as usual, didn’t care – or more likely – he had no clue what was going on, while keeping himself high on freshly-brewed slivovitz. Last autumn the plum trees bore so much fruit that it would have been a shame to let it rot. Prices plummeted and people didn’t care to pick fruit. They lost all sense of Duty. Liberalismo replaced the Value with striving for profit only.

 

Lost in his musings, Piotr read mechanically without taking in anything from the texts that were flickering in front of his eyes. He still had more than an hour of browsing to do before lunch. This, in his daily routine was followed by a workout in the Organization’s fitness club. He liked this part of his Duties most. What would become of the Brain without the Biceps on whose shoulders it stands?

 

He was almost drowsing off, when the word ‘neanderthals’ caught his sleepy eye. It could be important. Piotr clicked on the word, and the listing of a few articles was beamed to the screen. They dated back to the previous decade. Old stuff. This was discouraging, but Members took life in their stride and persevered. Strong will is the beginning of every achievement. Piotr knew and steeled himself to read on.

 

Neanderthals interbred with humans. Quite unbelievable, but if it was Nature writing about it, it had to be right. The world is what it is, can be changed in the future, but what has already happened can’t be undone. There is a little bit of Neanderthal leftover in almost all humans. The interbreeding happened about sixty thousand years ago in the eastern Mediterranean and, more recently, about forty five thousand years ago in eastern Asia. Those two events happened after the first Homo sapiens had migrated out of Africa. The researchers didn’t find evidence of interbreeding in the genomes of the modern African people.

 

Piotr sat stunned, while taking in the frightening ramification of this information. ‘Blacks are real humans. All the other people aren’t people, at all, but half-monkeys, interspecies half-castes. In the ancient miscegenation the blood of humans was tainted by that of Neanderthal rapists. In rightful revenge people exterminated this lowly race, but it was impossible to undo the indelible harm already inflicted on the nascent Homo sapiens.’ The annoying thought gnawed at the Organization’s White Power Principle. ‘Is it so’ Piotr ruminated ‘that after all Whites aren’t the acme of creation? Are we all mistaken?’ Piotr became dizzy from the rapidly coalescing doubt. He pushed the chair backward, stood up and ran to the toilet. He was retching long after having thrown up the little he had had for breakfast.

 

He didn’t go to the fitness club that day. It took him time to compose himself before he was able to bring himself back to the laptop. Piotr was at a loss what to do now. He opened the email program with the intention to write to the Organization, but after dragging in the address prompt, Piotr had no clue what to convey in the message. The white window gaped at him mockingly. ‘La Grandeur, la Grandeur’ he repeated pensively to himself, as if the words were an incantation that would put the world right. At last he typed ‘I am writing in order to request an urgent meeting regarding a scientific fact that is of utmost bearing on the Organization’s Goals and Ideals.’ He clicked the ‘send’ icon to dispatch the missive.

 

There was no time to lose. Piotr started dressing up, as he made his mind up to wait for a call from the Organization in the town center. They always had their emergency meetings there. While waiting for a call from them on his mobile, Piotr went to his favorite café. He preferred latte for its politically correct color, but this day settled for an americano to keep an edge on his thinking. Frothy milk was too dreamy for the occasion. Piotr badly needed to think, to understand what science got them all into.

 

An old chap, similar to fater, was taking his liquor; two old ladies were gossiping over a pot of steaming tea; and some high school girls chirruped banalities while sipping caramel mochas. It was for them that Piotr and the Organization were striving to build a better world. People were so oblivious to the reality, and it was lost on them that the coziness of everyday life and its sureties certainties were fragile. If left untended and without proper protection, they would unravel in no time. It was everybody’s Duty to protect their world, but so few graduated to pledging Loyalty to la Grandeur.

 

‘“People,” I think of us as “people”’ Piotr realized ‘but we aren’t. We are Neand…’ he couldn’t bring himself to articulate this word, even soundlessly in his mind. That was absolutely crazy. The discovery, though apparently just one among many on e-paper, changed everything. Not even challenged, but utterly shattered the old certainties. Nothing seemed to make sense any longer. What was surprising was that none of the scientists had taken notice of the crossing of the dangerous threshold ten years before. It didn’t bother ‘people’ that in light of the findings they weren’t people at all. Real humans live only in Africa. Until recently they were colonized and vilified by Whites, that is, Neanderthaloids. The non-humans stole the badge of humanity for themselves, and mendaciously made black skin into the symbol of inferior race. It was the other way around. Whites are white, because of the insidious admixture of Neanderthal genes.

 

‘Why am I thinking of these blasted Neanderthals with a capital N?’ Piotr scolded himself ‘for all they have done to humans, they are neanderthals, white monkeys.’ It didn’t make sense, ‘white monkeys’? Monkeys are black, as real humans are. What about neanderthals? Maybe as white as polar bears. But it didn’t seem an appropriate simile by any stretch of the imagination. Somehow it was hard to compare neanderthals to anything, they were ‘incomparable.’

 

His mobile buzzed in vibration mode. The place they told Piotr they would be waiting for him was two blocs away. He hastily paid for the americano, and zipped up his anorak outdoors, walking in long strides against the icy wind that whipped his face with sleet. He ran up the staircase in one of the few bourgeois residences that had survived the war. Now it was a tenement house. Piotr knocked at the door from which the paint was peeling off in ugly strips, and the number six was defaced by a crude graffito of the Star of David hanging from a gallows.

 

The door opened just a crack, and after saying the password, Piotr was led in by someone in a balaclava. In the living-room was no furniture, except the table behind which the Leader of the Organization sat on a palstic chair. The heavyset guy who had let him in stood respectfully near, but slightly behind, the Leader.

 

‘Emergency meetings are the last resort, you know, eh?’ the Leader addressed Piotr with an admonishment.

‘I wouldn’t dare to waste the time of the Organization’s Leadership with a trifle. It’s serious.’ Piotr replied, and told the Leader what he had just found out. He and the bodyguard listened with growing impatience, which they barely contained.

‘Conclusions, what is your point?’ the leader stopped his outpourings.

‘The discovery negates, neuters, destroys the very Foundations of our Program.’

‘Really?’

‘Unless…’

‘Unless what?’

‘Well, I see two solutions.’

‘Spit them out.’

‘Our Organization does not represent people, humans, in other words, Homo sapiens. But we say that we strive for a better world for people, the best race of people. It so happens that human are black. So to stay true to our ideals, the Organization could start serving blacks.’

‘You are not serious, I can’t believe what I am hearing.’

‘The problem would be’ Piotr continued unperturbed ‘that as it is now, the Organization is exclusively white, all its members being neanderthals.’

‘Outrageous!’ the Leader mocked him.

‘I don’t see it likely that an organization run by non-humans could be geared into working effectively in the interest of humans. The cognitive tension would be too wide. Needs and interest of non-humans and humans diverge too widely. How could we forget that it was genocidal humans who exterminated pure Neanderthals into extinction thirty thousand years ago. Obviously, some humans abstained from the mass killing and must even have helped the hunted Neanderthals. That’s why we are still here.’

‘So?’

‘The tide turned. We – Whites – have created the modern world and unwittingly revenged our Forefathers by colonizing Africa. And now if we want things to stay the same, everything must change. White power is Neanderthal power. Our enemy is humans, blacks.’ Piotr was panting with exhaustion.

‘You read too much, you are too credulous.’

‘But it was in Nature! Facts of science won’t go away, and the sooner we face up to them the better.’

‘Who wrote that? Who did the research? Have you checked that?

‘Yes, I have. It was an all-White team led by a Finn. Every single of them a Neanderthal.’

‘Oh, stop the crap about neanderthals, would you!’

‘But…’

‘No buts, I strip you of membership with the immediate effect.’

‘Our Organization’s motto says “lux et veritas,” and I pledged to follow it in my deeds.’

‘The Organization is not yours any longer. Go to your neanderthals.’

‘But you and I, all of us are Neanderthals.’

‘Go to hell!’ the Leader turned to his bodyguard ‘Take him out.’

 

The bodyguard’s huge palms descended at Piotr’s shoulders and clenched them like a steel press. Piotr cried out in pain. Despite his regular work-outs he was not able to budge even an inch. The bodyguard shoved him in the direction of the door. Piotr barely kept his balance; his head hit the wall. ‘Forget about the Organization! That you’ve ever been with us, or else’ the Leader spat out a venomous farewell.

 

The bodyguard opened the door and kicked Piotr hard in his back. Piotr fell down one flight of the stairs in a tumble, and lost consciousness. When he came around, a beautiful Neanderthaless put a white towel soaked in ice-cold water on his head.

 

Czissowa, January 2011

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