HE WAS SOMEBODY’S nephew. That was the way people talked behind his back. As if he never would have gotten the job any other way. As if he was a bum, some kind of hack. Born in the final minutes of New Year’s Eve 1984, Charlie Busch had never been able to escape the feeling that he had missed something vital by inches. In the case of his birth what he missed was the future. He started life as last year’s news, and it never got much better.
As a boy he loved to play. He wasn’t a good student. He liked math okay, but bore zero love for reading or science. Growing up in Odessa, Texas, Charlie shared the same dream as all the other boys. He wanted to be Roger Staubach, but he would have settled for Nolan Ryan. There was a pureness to high school sports, the knuckle slider and the backfield flea flicker, that got into your soul. Wind sprints and alligator drills. The low-shoulder kamikaze into heavy blocking sleds. The football field, where boys are hammered into men by pattern and repetition. Steve Hammond and Billy Rascal. Scab Dunaway and that big Mexican with hands the size of rib eyes. What was his name? A fly ball shagged on a cloud-free spring day. Pads and helmets shrugged on in jockstrap locker rooms, stinking of heat and the fight-or-[expletive] pheromones of hot teen musk. The oiled mitt between your mattress and box spring, and how you always slept better with it under there, hardball wrapped in a web of leather thumbs. Boys on the verge of what comes next, grappling in the dirt, using their heads to open alleys. And how it felt to run forever and never get tired, to stand in a dusty dugout trash-talking relief pitchers, your buddy Chris Hardwick lowing like a cow. The coffin corner and the crackback block. The primal monkey joy of picking dirt from your cleats with any old stick, a bunch of boys on a bench spitting sunflower shells and digging deep down in the rubber. The in-between hop and the lefty switch. Hope. Always hope. And how when you’re young every game you play feels like the reason the world exists. The pickoff and the squeeze play. And the heat. Always the heat, like a knee in your back, a boot on your neck. Drinking Gatorade by the gallon and chewing ice chips like a mental patient, bent at the knee sucking wind in the midday sun. The feel of a perfect spiral as it reaches your hands. Boys in shower stalls laughing at each other’s [expletive], bell-curving the cheerleaders., and pissing on the next guy’s feet. The beanball and the brushback, and how it feels to round first base and dig for second, eyes on the center field, sliding headfirst, already safe in your mind. The panic of getting caught in a pickle, and how white chalk lines when they’re fresh gleam like lightning against the grass, itself a deep, impossible green. Heaven is that color. And the bright lights of Friday night, those perfect alabaster lights, and the roar of the crowd. The simplicity of the game, always forward, never back. You throw the ball. You hit the ball. You catch the ball. And how after graduation nothing would ever be that simple again.
He was somebody’s nephew. Uncle Logan, his mother’s brother, Logan Birch, a six-term US senator from the great state of Texas, friend to oil and cattle, longtime chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Charlie knew him mostly as a rye drinker with sculpted hair. Uncle Logan was the reason Charlie’s mother pulled out the fancy plates. Every Christmas they drove out to his mansion in Dallas. Charlie remembered the family all dressed in matching Christmas sweaters. Uncle Logan would tell Charlie to make a muscle, then squeeze his arm hard.
“Gotta toughen this boy up,” he told Charlie’s mother. Charlie’s father had died a few years earlier, when Charlie was six. Coming home from work one night an eighteen-wheeler sideswiped him. His car flipped six times. They had a closed-casket funeral and buried Charlie’s father in the nice cemetery. Uncle Logan paid for everything
Even in high school, being Logan Birch’s nephew helped him. He played right field for the varsity team, even though he couldn’t hit as well as the other boys, couldn’t steal a base to save his life. It was unspoken, this special treatment. In fact, for the first thirteen years of his life, Charlie had no idea he was being elevated above his station. He thought the coaches liked his hustle. But that changed in high school. It was the locker room that woke him up to this conspiracy of nepotism, the flapjack mentality of boys in jockstraps surrounding him in the shower. Sports is a meritocracy, after all. You start because you can hit, because you can run and throw and catch. In Odessa, the football team was notorious for its speed and precision. Every year veterans of the baseball team got a free ride to good colleges. West Texas sports were competitive. You put up lawn signs. Businesses closed early on game days. People took this [expletive] seriously. And so a player likes Charlie, mediocre in all things, stood out like a sore thumb.
“Watch your [expletive],” they told him.
Cowering in the corner, Charles could smell their sweat, the musky funk of half a dozen teenage linebackers, not one under 250 pounds, who’d just spent three hours steam-cooking in the August sun. He bent and vomited onto their feet. They beat him good for that, slapping him around with their [expletive] for good measure.
In the end, huddled on the floor, he flinched when Levon Davies bent and hissed in his ear.
“Tell a [expletive] soul and you’re dead.”
It was Uncle Logan who pulled the strings to get Charlie into the flight training program of the National Guard. It turned out he wasn’t a bad pilot, though he tended to freeze in sudden emergencies. And after the National Guard, when Charlie was kicking around Texas unable to hold down a job, it was Logan who spoke to a friend at GullWing and landed Charlie an interview. And though he had yet to find anything in life he was truly good at, Charlie Busch did have a certain sparkle in his eye, and a certain cowboy swagger that worked with the ladies. He could charm a room and he looked good in a suit, and so when he sat down with the HR director of the airline he seemed like the perfect addition to GullWing’s fast-growing stable of young, attractive flight personnel.
They started him as a copilot. This was September 2013. He loved the luxury jets, loved the clients he served—billionaires and heads of state. It made him feel important. But what he really loved was the grade-A, top-shelf [expletive] working the main cabin. [Expletive], he thought the first time he saw the flight crew he’d be working with. Four beauties from around the world, each more [expletive] than the next.
“Ladies,” he said, lowering his aviators and giving them his best Texas grin. The girls didn’t even blink. Turns out they didn’t sleep with copilots. Sure, the company had a policy, but it was more than that. These women were international sophisticates. Many spoke five languages. They were angels that mortal men could look at, but never touch.
He had been with the company for eight months when he met Emma. Right away he could tell she was different from the others, more down to earth. And she had that slight gap between her front teeth. Sometimes during a flight he’d catch her in the galley humming to herself. She would blush when she realized he was standing there. She wasn’t the hottest girl in the fleet, he thought, but she seemed attainable. He was a lion stalking a herd of antelope, waiting of the weakest one to wander off.
Emma told him her father had flown for the air force, so Charlie inflated his experience in the National Guard, telling her he spent a year in Iraq flying F-16s. He could tell she was a daddy’s girl. Charlie was twenty-nine years old. His own father had died when he was six. The only real role model he’d had for how to be a man was a rye drinker with fancy hair who told Charlie to make a muscle every time they met. He knew he wasn’t as smart as the other guys or as skilled. But being less talented meant he’d had to develop ways of passing. You didn’t have to be confident, he realized early on. You just had to seem confident. He was never a great fastball hitter, so he learned how to get on base by walking. He couldn’t deliver the monster punt so he mastered the outside kick. In classroom situations he’d learned to deflect hard questions by making a joke. He learned how to talk [expletive] on the baseball field and how to swagger in the National Guard. Wearing the uniform made you a player, he reasoned. Just like carrying a weapon made you a soldier. It may have been nepotism that got him in, but there was no denying now that his resume was real.
And yet who had ever really loved Charles Nathaniel Busch for who he was? He was somebody’s nephew, a pretender, the varsity athlete who’d become a pilot. It looked, for all intents and purposes, like an American success story, so that’s what he called it. But deep down inside he knew the truth. He was a fraud. And knowing this made him bitter. It made him mean.
* * *
He caught a ride from Heathrow on a GullWing charter, landing in New York at three p.m. on Sunday August 23. It had been six months since Emma broke up with him, since she told him to stop calling her, stop going by her place and trying to get on her flights. She was scheduled to do a milk run to Martha’s Vineyard and back, and Charlie had it in his head that if he could just get a few minutes alone with her he could make her understand. How much he loved her. How much he needed her. And how sorry he was about what had happened. Everything, basically. The way he’d treated her. The things he’d said. If he could just explain. If she could only see that deep down he wasn’t a bad guy. Not really. He was just someone who’d been faking his way through the world for so long, he had become consumed by the fear of being found out. And all of it, the cockiness, the jealousy, the pettiness, was a by-product of that. You try pretending to be someone you’re not for twenty years, see how it changes you. But my God, he didn’t want to be afraid anymore. Not with Emma. He wanted her to see him. The real him. To know him. Because didn’t he deserve that for once in his life? To be loved for who he was, not who he pretended to be?
He thought about London, seeing Emma again, like a snakebite, poison spreading through his vein, and how his instinct when he felt out of his depth was to attack, close the distance between himself and his—what? Opponent? Prey? He didn’t know. It was just a feeling, a kind of panicked advance, that had him put on airs, had him hike up his pants and slip on his best cowboy swagger. The only thing you can do, he had long ago decided, when you care too much, is to act like you could give two [expletive]—about school, about work, about love.
It had worked often enough that the behavior had calcified inside of him, and so when he saw Emma, when his heart jumped into his throat and he felt vulnerable and exposed, this is what he did. Turned up his nose. Insulted her weight. Then spent the rest of the night following her around like a puppy.
Peter Gaston had been happy to give Charlie the Vineyard flight, get a couple more days of R&R in London. They’d bonded Friday night, drinking until dawn in Soho, bouncing from bar to nightclub—vodka, rum, ecstasy, a little coke. Their next scheduled drug test wasn’t for two weeks, and Peter knew a guy who could get them clean piss. So they threw caution to the wind. Charlie was trying to get his courage up. Every time he looked at Emma, he felt like his heart was splitting in two. She was so beautiful. So sweet. And he’d [expletive] it up so royally. Why had he said that to her before, about putting on a few pounds. Why did he have to be such an [expletive] all the time? When she came out of the bathroom in a towel, all he’d wanted to do was hold her, to kiss her eyelids the way she used to kiss his, to feel the pulse of her against him, to breathe her in. But instead he made some [expletive] wisecrack.
He thought about the look on her face that night when he put his hands around her throat and squeezed. How the initial thrill of sexual experimentation turned first to shock, then horror. Did he really think she would like it? That she was that kind of girl? He had met them before, the tattooed kamikazes who liked to be punished for who they were, who liked the scrapes and bruises of reckless animal collision. But Emma wasn’t like that. You could see it in her eyes, the way she carried herself. She was normal, a civilian, unblemished by the trench warfare of a [expletive] childhood. Which was what made her such a good choice for him, such a healthy move. She was the Madonna. Not the whore. A woman he could marry. A woman who could save him. So why had he done it? Why had he choked her? Except maybe to bring her down to his level. To let her know that the world she lived in wasn’t the safe, gilded theme park she thought it was.
He’d had some dark times after that night, after she left him and stopped answering his calls. Days he lay in bed from sunrise to sundown, filled with dread and loathing. He kept it together at work, riding the second chair through takeoffs and landings. Years of covering his weaknesses had taught him to pass, no matter how he felt inside. But there was an animal attraction inside him on those flights, a live wire sparking in his heart that wanted him to push the yoke nose-down, to roll the plane into oblivion. Sometimes it got so bad he had to fake a [expletive] and hide out in the washroom, breathing through the blackness.
He sat in that bar in London and watched her eyes, the corner of her mouth. He could feel her deliberately not looking at him, could feel the muscles in her back tensing whenever his voice got too loud at the bar, trading jokes with Gaston. She hated him, he thought, but isn’t hate just the thing we do to love when the pain becomes unbearable?
He could fix that, he thought, turn it back, explain the hate away with the right words, the right feelings. He would have one more drink and then he would go over. He would take her hand softly and ask her to come outside for a cigarette and they would talk. He could see every word in his head, every move, how first it would be just him. How he would lay it all out, the History of Charlie, and how she would have her arms folded across her chest in the beginning, defensive, but as he went deeper, as he told her about his father’s death, being raised by a single mom, and how somehow he ended up a ward of his uncle, how, unbeknownst to him, his uncle paved the way for Charlie to coast through life. But how it was never what he wanted. How all Charlie wanted was to be judged on his own merits, but how, as time went on, he got scared that his best wasn’t good enough. So he surrendered and let it happen. But that was all over now. Because Charlie Busch was ready to be his own man. And he wanted Emma to be his woman. And as he talked she would lower her arms. She would move closer. And in the end she would hold him tight and they would kiss.
(Before the Fall, Noah Hawley, 367-374)
|United States Senator
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1981
|Preceded by||Homer Capehart|
|Succeeded by||Dan Quayle|
Downtown Logan, with courthouse
|Motto: “United in Service”|
(God’s visible organization’s 2017 Convention Program [graphic complements of Mormon CIA infiltrators], https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/convention-program-2017)
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures [With References]
July 26, 2017. About Me. My copy of the above Holy Bible is one of my most prized possessions (this translation of God’s World the Holy Bible, and my copies of INSIGHT on the Scriptures, and the Bible Concordance, also published by God’s visible organization, are my most prized possessions); I would not part with it for a million dollars, a billion dollars, even a trillion dollars, and only Jehovah God knows if I’m lying or telling the truth or would weaken and do otherwise if actually offered money, or, offered alleviation of torture. cc all Mormon barristers
Newburgh – Howard Johnson Inn Newburgh
July 26, 2017. About Me. Tomorrow I will go to Newburgh, New York. I’m staying at the Howard Johnson hotel in Newburgh until Monday morning. (No matter what the fake and the false do, I will not react. I will follow the example of my brothers and my sisters.) The Mormon Church of Satan advertised Howard Johnson hotel, in Newburgh, New York, at MarketWatch.com earlier this morning, however the advertisement disappeared before I could get a print screen picture. This is a picture of the advertisement that appeared after the Howard Johnson advertisement:
The Grand America Hotel … The Hotel at River Rock … Hotel Metro … The Grand America Hotel
http://www.marketwatch.com/, July 26, 2017
ALWAYS CHAMPIONING THE TRUTH BBC NEWS … [cat]
(BBC, London, July 26, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40704990)Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian–Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters.Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” In the first sentence, she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.” Emma is spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people’s lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.This novel has been adapted for several films, many television programmes, and a long list of stage plays.
Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency
Flag of the Central Intelligence Agency
|Intelligence agency overview|
|Formed||September 18, 19471947-09-18)(|
|Preceding Intelligence agency|
|Headquarters||George Bush Center for Intelligence
Langley, Virginia, U.S.
|Motto||“The Work of a Nation. The Center of Intelligence.”
Unofficial motto: “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
|Annual budget||$15 billion (as of 2013[update])|
|Intelligence agency executives|
|Parent Intelligence agency||None (independent)|
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency [emphasis added]
http://www.marketwatch.com/, July 26, 2017, 11:40am
The purpose of this website is to expose the Mormon Church of Satan and all enemies of Jesus Christ the Way the Truth the Life, the Prince of Peace. This website is also the beginning of a presidential campaign to elect Caroline Kennedy President of the United States. I prayed to Jehovah God to please, by means of His son Christ Jesus, please, arrange national events and world events in such a manner such that Caroline Kennedy is elected President of the United States. I know Jehovah God hears my prayer and will answer my prayer because that particular prayer of mine is one of my deepest desires and Jehovah God has promised me that he will satisfy all of my deepest desires. All of the information posted at this website is interconnected; directly connected to the Mormon Church of Satan’s illegal sting operation surrounding Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, and me. The illegal sting operation that encompasses every human being on earth, and has resulted in the LEGAL CASE, unlike any other, ever. The LEGAL CASE, headed to The Hague, Netherlands. cc all Mormon attorneys
Maintain Your Focus on Jesus!
(Matthew 14:22-34; Hebrews 12:2)
(Concluding talk, Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention 2015, worldwide)