Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Moral Mayor

[Media prompt] Rape reaches ‘epic proportions’ in South Sudan’s civil war.
The Moral Mayor

The Mayor took another sip of absinthe, a recent addition to his liquor cabinet to which he was rapidly becoming accustomed, and, comprehending he was now thoroughly intoxicated, congratulated himself on being the sort of man who didn’t show it. He drained his glass and filled it again.

“You know,” he said, going behind his desk and seating himself, “Sanctuary City will always have room for the tired, the poor, the … the rest.” He waved an arm expansively. “It’s what the people who elected me expect. Not only expect. Demand. They demand it of me.”

The Mayor took another sip of absinthe, and looked at the woman he thought the prettiest. He wished she wasn’t sitting, so he could appreciate her rear. She was slender, but with a fine figure. Much better looking than the other two, who were older and haggard. One of them really could do with losing about fifty pounds, he thought.

“You see the red line?” he said, standing abruptly and walking over to the map on the wall. He pointed to the thick border encircling the city, noticing as he did so that his hand was shaking. A man can drink as much as he likes if he can hold it, he said to himself. “You see?” he asked again. “The federal government, Washington, can’t set foot in here without me giving them permission. I’m more powerful than the president here.”

She really was a very attractive woman, he noted again, topping up his glass before returning to his seat. He wouldn’t mind … well, he was a powerful man, more powerful than the fascist sitting in Washington, or from wherever it was he ran the country these days. If he wanted her, then he could have her. Women were like drink; you had one when you felt the need. He sat down again.

“Mr. Mayor,” said the heavy one, “we agree with the principle of sanctuary…”

The Mayor cut in. “You’re right, it is a principle. Sanctuary is a principle. It’s what this city was built on.”

“We agree, but the men from South Sudan…”

“Yes, South Sudan,” the Mayor repeated. He tried to picture it on the map. “A terrible situation.”

The pretty one crossed her legs, and the Mayor smiled at her. “Your Honour,” she said, “the situation there is tragic. But the war there has made the men…”

“Yes, I know, it’s terrible. Which is why I’m so grateful for your support.” He looked at his watch, nodding to his assistant. “It’s been a pleasure to meet you.” He stood, taking another sip from his glass. He walked with them to the door.

As they left, he motioned to his aide. “Tell the pretty one I’d like to meet with her privately. To discuss our policy on refugees.”

He poured himself another drink. It felt good to be the justice at the end of the moral arc of the universe.

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