The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 86

by Mark Figueroa aka Anthony Abyss | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen

Chapter 86: Ergo Proxy. 

“Oh, you’re sitting! Nice of you to join me,” Eliza says passing me her glass.

“I’m not having another sip… no offense… Not because of the wine, which I don’t like, by the way. I just know how your weekends are. Your mouth is probably going to get dirtier when your guest comes.”

“Emery! Gross! Great pun, but still gross!” Eliza laughs.

Pun? That wasn’t a pun. “No pun intended,” I add nonchalantly.

“Cut the crap, Em. Even I can tell by that gleam in your turdy eyes that you have no idea you even made a pun. Don’t try to be so cool with your mellow behavior and cold demeanor.”

I sigh. “It be like that sometimes…” I say trying not to laugh.

“They don’t think it do, but it do…” Eliza inserts with a straight face.

We both laugh when I can’t hold it in. 

“I’m hip,” she says, “I follow the memes online. I know what the kids are into.”


“Jesus Christ, Em’. You’re on a roll today.”

I shrug. “So, when’s the pizza getting here?”

“Not sure, I was peaking when I ordered.  I really hope I didn’t give those damn Mexicans the wrong address.”

“What the hell kind of pizza are you ordering? Where are there Mexicans making Pizza in New Jersey?” My brain is oozing out of my ears. I can feel it. “What the hell is peaking?”

“Well, they’re some kind of Italian. But, they look Mexican to me. Hairy, short, tan… funny accents… love soccer… and they smell like food… ergo, Mexican.  Trust me, I’m a woman.  There are two kinds of men, Em’, Americans and Mexicans…” Eliza says pointing her finger and squinting her eyes.

“I can’t tell if you’re serious or not, but in case you forgot, we’re also ‘Mexicans’ to, like, two-thirds of Americans…”

“It’s a joke Em’, jeez. You don’t keep up with politics?”

“I’m thirteen. Besides, when I am old enough to vote, I probably won’t.”

Eliza slams her glass on the table. “Are you fuckin’ kidding me, turd? Voting—”

“I get it. I took history class too. Voting is a privilege, not a right; a bunch of people fought for their right to vote in a society dominated by white men in high water pants with two inch wangs. I get it. 

Everyone needs to participate in the system and subscribe to some shitty party that always comes up short on what the people who support them actually want. The guys in power, the old ‘Gatsby’ money guys only want to protect their money, while the other guys want to share everyone’s hard work. The system’s rigged, the choices suck, the players suck and the spectators are idiots. I refuse to vote and give that system power over me. Imagine there are 300 million people who can vote and only like one hundred people vote; does the president matter if no one recognizes his power?  

The new president doesn’t care about the white people that voted for him. And, my parents yap about it so much, that even I know the billionaires he put into positions of power definitely don’t care about anyone who isn’t rich or at the very least a white forty-year-old man. If you gave me a giant douche, or a turd sandwich, which one do you think I would vote for?”

“Well, obviously, the turd because of your lineage, turd,” Eliza leans in trying to derail my point.

“Don’t do that. I’m a kid, yes, my views might change, but I’m talking to you like an adult. Don’t be all high and mighty. I know all about civil rights and all that. I follow Malcolm X’s philosophy to the T. Why participate in something that wasn’t meant for you, why not change it, instead.”

“Fine—fine! Conyo! Who would you vote for Em’?” Eliza sternly silences me.

“No one. Like I said, if no one votes for anyone, and I mean absolutely no one votes, because the choices suck, then maybe people who should have power, and stuff, will jump in. But, in a situation where a bunch of turds are running for president, then I would pick the one with the least nuts, and most fiber… Like the old guy my parents liked. I’d pick anyone who wasn’t the worst… Completely going back on my rant…

Anyway, I’m in 8th grade and even I know politicians running for President get more money from agreeing with rich people who wanna’ protect their crap, than the President makes from spending all of his time keeping us safe and making choices that would leave permanent stains in anyone’s underwear. If I knew for a fact the entire nation would not vote either, then I would refuse to vote unless an actual human being, like Obama, runs for president again.”

“Are you finished ranting?”

I shrug.

“Listen turd, I actually happen to admire your opinion and I agree with some of it. But, by not voting, you make every other idiot’s voice that much stronger. If you’re faced with two choices, pick the best of the two. And, if it matters so much, go to school, study hard, learn about law, foreign trade, the economy and you become president. Besides, Obama has not been that great of a president. He highlighted our racial differences.”

“You’re rich and on drugs. Even I know Obama tried to make America better despite the idiots on social media and those racist news channels that slam him for missing funerals; it’s not like he missed important meetings about national security, or something. Besides!” I yell. “—Death isn’t the end, and a funeral isn’t as important as keeping the human race safe. The white people who voted for him just are just mad because he actually started some change, and the majority of Hispanics and Blacks who voted for him just because he was black, are just as mad that he isn’t advocating welfare checks to 20-year-old parents with five kids they chose to have. 

I don’t need guidance to recognize that I need to pull my weight in society. I don’t need you over my shoulder to tell me not to be like my Spanglish-speaking, high school dropout, 10 kids in a one-bedroom apartment cousins on my mom’s side. It doesn’t take a lot of common sense to recognize if you’re not white, and you fight with the cops, you will get shot; that isn’t Obama’s fault, but I’m glad he says something about it. I’m more likely to have a teacher think I’m stupid because of my race or tan skin than some white kid who really is stupider than me! 

Those problems are everyone’s fault! White people ignorantly reinforce racism and can’t see it. In turn, we encouraging ourselves to get stupider and ignore real problems, and act like it’s in our culture to be that way! And—”

Eliza sighs and rolls her eyes while I ramble.

“—st’s it! Because, I love hip-hop, and I actually do like rap, despite all the hip-hop and rock I listen to. But, rap and hip-hop are dying! I almost feel like there’s something suppressing good, enlightening content, not just in the hiphop community, but with everything, even cartoons. It’s ridiculous! 

Only a handful of artists actually care about making society better and elevating people’s minds with positive, inspiring art, like Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco… and, uh— I can’ think of anyone else! … But, even Lupe Fiasco quit rapping because there are more people willing to idolize Chris Brown and that other guy’s beef than there are people taking a step back and identifying how we got to this point where music isn’t even about music anymore.”

“Em’, I really won’t even pretend to know what you’re talkin’ about. You rant so much… Conyo… Politics, musicians… you’re frying my brain,” Eliza says. “But, I’m happy Ash and Courtney have done a good job raising you.” Eliza pours herself more wine. “I admire your passion. Cheers.” She extends her glass and I raise my fist. “I love you, Emery.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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