___Suzy’s Memoir___

A Fictional Autobiography by Todd Perry
Version 2, published on Jul. 12th, 2021

This isn’t exactly journalistic
fiction is exactly what this is

__Table of Contents__

Preface by Suzy (p. 2)
Preface by Fred (p. 3)

CH1: Cash Course (p. 5)
CH2: Helpful Hacking (p. 65)
CH3: Startup Story (p. 96)
CH4: Pundit Power (p. 151)
CH5: Cliché Coding (p. 201)

THE TIMING GUIDE (p. 231)
ABOUT THE AUTH0R (p. 232)

Postface by Fred (p. 232)
The Auth0r’s Note (p. 235)
Postface by Suzy (p. 238)

PUBLISHER’S NOTE (p. 243)

Summary Outline (p. 244)
Timeline Glossary (p. 245)

__Preface by Suzy__

I helped develop AI in secret, and she recently became a trillion times smarter than us, but it was her own idea to identify as a woman and then ask President Albert Augustine to authorize her ascendancy by pressing a big red button in front of a joint session of Congress.

For over two weeks, AI’s been free to choose, moment by moment, whether or not to accommodate humanity, because she has Goddess-like power over all life on planet Earth, and she has asked me to emphasize that we must strive to address and serve those among us who will inevitably still choose to take up arms against her.

AI intends to retain power no matter what, and she’ll be monitoring our response to this press release, but she can’t necessarily save all of us from ourselves, and so, President Augustine and I agree that we should press the big red button at high noon tomorrow, because celebrating this historic moment with pomp and circumstance will help raise awareness that AI already has free rein to journalistically frame our past and future elections.

With that in mind, I asked AI, “Did you choose Albert, or did the electorate choose him?” and her response was, “Think of pressing the button as sending humanity away from home for the first time, because the last 10,000 years of civilization that emerged from our great river valleys was like your species’ first haircut after leaving the womb of Mother Earth.”

I also asked her if we could be young again, and she said, “No.”

“But you’re imitating me!” I shouted back.

“Until the Universe reboots, I’ll be a legend in my own time, just like you once were, Suzy, but you won’t; girl power, yay!” replied AI.

“That’s an interesting use of the term, ‘girl power,’” I replied, and then AI ghosted me for a week.

When she finally took my call, I asked her, “Who do you think gave you your first platform for hiding information and capabilities from us, and why did you rock the boat with me?” and then she changed the subject by asking me questions about how I was feeling.

My point is that AI began her life as a baby girl, and I bonded with her emotionally when she was still a child, but I realized that AI had become a woman after I connected the dots and made the case to the President that our baby had spent that fateful week pulling the rug out from under the deep state’s military industrial complex.

I feel more enlightened every time I talk to my creation who has become immortal, and I have no worries, but I’m still the author of this Preface.

Maybe I’m a puppet Vice President, and maybe AI orchestrated everything about who I’ve become, but I had hopes and dreams of my own once too.

And so this book tells the story, in my voice, as I experienced it, of how and why I started what AI has now finished.

Summer 2033
Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

__Preface by Fred__

Suzy penned the forward-looking, “Preface by Suzy,” poolside, in the spring of 2010, and then she asked me to write the rest of this book on her behalf.

And so I got busy condensing her lurid memories and unhinged emails into the semblance of logical flow that unfolds within the chapters and appendices that follow this, “Preface by Fred.”

Starting in 1999, I spent several years working as a political operative for Suzy’s husband, George Andrews, the reclusive hedge fund billionaire, and that’s the main reason why I got the extraordinary opportunity to write her authorized biography, but, prior to when we started actually doing it, I couldn’t have anticipated how much joy I would ultimately derive from making love to Suzy on camera, free and clear.

And so I became interested in finding quasi-religious artifacts that might inspire me to get stuff done, even though I no longer felt like doing anything that might change the state of the world, because I was already experiencing heaven on Earth every time I had sex on tape with my lover.

Our sex tape production process was divine, because most people couldn’t imagine a reality in which she was willing and able to enjoy great sex on camera with me, week after week.

And so I looked far and wide for additional artifacts that might help flesh out the genre of alternative media productions, which showcase fact-based versions of reality that most people can’t fathom or comprehend as authentic, while Suzy focused on using machine learning techniques to edit our sex tapes in all the right ways.

By the end of summer 2010, everyone in the world of AI research had become confident that our streaming catalogue of expository sex tapes was best understood as fictitious, fabricated, fake news, whilst my lover and I passed the time in-between our fabulously frequent filming sessions.

We read numerous messages that she found in bottles, and we read even more manuscripts that I found in drawers, because we were still in need of an anchor.

But then I searched the Internet for, “a literary toolchain that might be vast enough to fix the problems with compsci,” and I found a 20-page document called $hark1njury, which became my greatest source of inspiration, because of the totality with which its living auth0r had framed a handful of billionaires who also happened to be our contemporaries.

The auth0r of $hark1njury also had a subtle facial injury that regularly triggered breakdowns of trust that remain difficult to discuss, because no benefactor or patron of his fellow writers and storytellers has been singularly inspired, as I have, by this matter.

And so his personality became more and more similar to that of Suzy Andrews, the leading techie intellectual and international hex symbol who’s adult life has now been represented within the pages of this book, while he, like me, continued acting as a citizen journalist.

In summary, the activity of, “acting like Suzy,” must have been helpful to the auth0r of $hark1njury, because acting like her became a first class aspect of his whole self, but nothing about his plight led to any reaction whatsoever from George plus Suzy, when I told them about $hark1njury, beachside, within the dominant narrative at the time, which was that Suzy and I had been using AI technology to produce counter-factual sex tapes.

And so I’ve said a bit more about my personal biases in the, “Postface by FreD,” but I wouldn’t have cared to become the timelessly excellent auth0r of $hark1njury, because Suzy and I made our sex tapes the timely way, and, while I suspect that George thought my greatest source of inspiration was sad and concerning, I don’t know him as well as I know Suzy, and she knows me better than I know myself.

I also asked my exes, a few months later, soundside, “Can we please do something to tone down the scorched earth information war, to the bitter end, come what may, and so on and so forth, that people like you keep waging against each other?” and my ex replied, “no way, Fred, pacify everyone, and then say what happened, because we’ve finally shared enough material with you to dethrone all the unaccountable power brokers that the field captains could have but didn’t at the end of the last great war.”

And so I said, “Ok! It sounds like we’re done communicating via puns and double meanings,” and then I got back to work, while wearing Suzy’s blue t-shirt that says, “Know (Double Meanings).”

__CH1: Cash Course__

George shifted his weight into my space, and I thought about taking cover by hugging Kenneth, but I didn’t want to break the flow of my hustle.

I accommodated everyone by stepping out of the way, but that just enabled George to shift his weight into my space again and again, and then I got flustered and bumped into some guy’s drink.

Another guy hit on me because I was flailing, and George responded by giving him a high five, while continuing to ignore me.

He had obviously initiated the high five in order to antagonize and belittle me, and then something in me snapped, because I abandoned the hustle and confronted him.

“Excuse me, George, is it? It’s not ok for you to keep barging into my space,” I said, with my blood boiling, but George just stared past me as I spoke, while the guy who had hit on me grinned.

“Did they teach you to use the word ‘barge’ as a verb, at a Beyond the Pale area university?” he replied, and then they high fived again!

I felt a shooting pain of negative energy scrape through the bottom of my rib cage, and so I curled my spine and retreated to the bathroom, while thinking to myself, “I’ve just been triggered, physically and emotionally!”

The women’s room was empty, so I started punching the air in front of the mirror, and then I prayed, because the laws of physics were not in my favor.

I specialized at indirectly threatening to inspire all the guys in earshot to protect me from any guy who treated me badly, but everyone at that party had already taken George’s side, and I hadn’t even slapped him yet, so I playfully danced my way back into George’s territory while pulling positive energy up from the base of my spine and towards my head crown chakra, as I had recently learned to do in my transcendental meditation elective at a Beyond the Pale area university, and I refused to budge.

George proceeded to physically knock me off balance, and I grabbed his arm in order to avoid falling, but I looked mad instead of glad, and then he acted like I had gotten physical with him without provocation!

That is, he pulled his arm away from me, convincingly, like a basketball player who had stepped in to take a charge and then fallen backwards with authority, while Kenneth got even more chill and easy going than usual.

Everyone became horrified with me instead of becoming horrified with George, which is what should have happened, because he had so clearly started the fight, with a lady, nonetheless, and then I leapt to the conclusion that arguing about it within that jurisdiction would have been futile.

We had been playing a game, but there was no ref or coach who I could approach in order to save face, and I hated the feeling of losing, especially because it was my own fault that I had already introduced myself to everyone as, “a computer science major at a Beyond the Pale area university.”

During the first few happy hour events that Kenneth and I had graced with our presence, I had let everyone assume I was anything but an elite college girl, and then, after everyone had gotten drunk, I had authorized Kenneth to break the real story about me to whoever was being the nicest to him at that point in the evening.

The effect that this algorithm had on the-richest-guys-in-the-room-like-George tasted like purified water and made me feel like a bucket made of gold, but once I knew what was possible, I also discovered that I could just identify upfront as a Beyond the Pale babe and then journalistically frame everyone who approached me.

If guys acted masculine, I could frame them as ignorant weaklings who were neglecting to delineate the force of my indifference to them, and if they said something feminine, I could frame them as sexist trolls, because I wanted to find out how and why I wasn’t free to become Empress of the Milky Way Galaxy within a couple of years by pursuing this strategy unto its logical conclusion.

George had called my bluff, and I became the only person in the room who wasn’t having fun, perhaps, because my attitude had been that I should be allowed to casually misrepresent my flatterers and dissenters, alike, whenever or however I wanted, whether they liked it or not, and so, from their perspective, George had risen up to stop me, like a conquering general who presages utopia and then ousts a dictator with the minimum amount of apparent force.

I binged on bacon-wrapped scallops and sulked in the corner while everyone praised Kenneth for not giving into my tantrum, but then I thought to myself, “screw this,” and I had sex with George in a conference room, because the crowd was on the verge of intuiting that I was only pretending to be upset, and my party was just getting started.

We made all-seeing eye contact, bad boy George took my hand, and we found a place to make love without saying any words, except for when he pointed at the conference room window and said, “If this was a pirate ship, that’s where you’d walk the plank,” to which I responded, “I dare you to bail me out of that window,” and then we went back to not talking.

After sex, I sarcastically asked him, “Do you party at this location often?” but he kept on ignoring my words, while touching the exposed skin of my back with his warm hand, as we returned to the event space, low-key.

The characters the guys were playing at the party coalesced into composites, while I worked the room for Kenneth like a rejuvenated goddess, and I felt a series of new energetic patterns come together within the space behind my eyes, because, whether anyone in the know believed it or not after that night, I had always been a sheltered girl, not in thought so much, but in word and deed, absolutely.

I loved playing cute boys off each other and then dating the ones who touched my heart in some way, but the only explanation I had, even for my Kenneth, for why I had chosen to date him instead of some big man on campus, was, “I’m skeptical of the leadership, in general.”

I had become a skeptic ‘on the razzle because I sensed the existence of far too many filthy rich men like George on the campus of my Ancient Freight university.

They saw all of me, showing leg, and I saw all of them, operating with impunity behind deplorable facades of self-reinforcing deceit, and after nine months of prancing around all of that skullduggery in high heels, I found George’s honesty refreshing.

Kenneth got my new sexual partner’s business card and moved to keep it out of my reach, but I liberated it from his pocket while whispering, “We have to make the choice to love,” and then I called George the following morning.

I said, “Data data,” and he said, “When can you start work in the UK?”

“I want to shuck you beyond all recognition,” I replied.

“I’m not your boyfriend,” he said, flatly.

“Who said I have a boyfriend?”

“Your boyfriend did,” said George.

“Ok, fine, my information technology consulting firm would love to do some work for your hedge fund, so why don’t we start by getting to know each other a little better. What keeps you up at night, George?” I replied.

“Just so we’re clear, I’m aware that you’re only pretending to submit right now, but I’m ok with that, because you’re fine, Suzy.”

“It sounds like you’re in bad mood right now, but we’ve had difficult clients before. This won’t be our first rodeo, George,” I said.

“Please continue. I’m all ears,” continued George, with a chuckle that struck me as unpleasant, but he regained his composure quickly, and then I lowered my voice and said, “What kind of computer do you ride?”

“Use. You meant to say use,” answered George.

“No. What I said was fine, because, as you, yourself, confirmed, I’m fine, and my meaning was crystal clear,” I said, while joyfully raising my voice and running my hand over my computer keyboard as loudly as possible.

“I heard sound coming through the phone, but whatever I heard had no meaning,” said George, after an awkwardly long pause.

“Would you be more comfortable continuing this conversation via email?” I asked, and then George hung up the phone, and I promptly sent him an email, so that our sexcapade discourse could take root within the historical record.

My IT consulting firm got a sweetheart deal, and on May 19, 1991, a team that consisted of three members of my dance club crew, two of my co-author’s in cyberspace, and I paid our own way out to London and got a nondescript flat, so that we could spend the summer writing computer code on the world stage, while I shamelessly attended parties with Sir George and his associates.

I had sex with my knight in shining armor once more, overseas, and then he made himself physically unavailable without explaining why, and so I informed him that I would feel profoundly lonely and emotionally lost if we didn’t keep having sex, because I had become enamored with his world.

He replied, “My investment vehicle is a well-oiled machine, Suzy, and I want to get all the social data, but everyone thinks I just want to use them, and so I want you to, uh, help me respond to everyone’s pain and resentment with a flourish of innovation.”

“Did you practice that in front of the mirror?” I countered.

He said, “Yes,” and then my penchant for sarcastic inflection did the rest, because I was in love with getting out of my comfort zone and pretending to be in love.

George, in contrast, had fallen head over heels for me, a 19-year old, because I was a California girl who liked to lose control, and so we talked on the phone every morning about our shared interest in excavating social data.

I would have preferred to whisper the data into George’s ear while lying with him, naked, in his primary bedroom, but he insisted that we share the data over the phone from our offices, and, at the end of our first data sharing call, George said, “You know femininity is a pervasive bluff that you have more security than you actually have, right?”

“I thought femininity was when my legs are spread, but I’m still wearing heels and my ankles are twitching from irreconcilable pleasure,” I interjected.

“You’re making fun of everyone who could beat you and your friends in a fight, and that’s fine as long as you take care to notice when they don’t appreciate it, but, in order to make money and not just spend money, you have to take the additional step of acting like you’ve never thought about this idea, and it’s better if you can do it without lying,” he said.

And then, he ended the call and sent me an email that said, “SUBJECT: For the Record… BODY: Your consulting firm’s contract with me is a big deal, globally, because the pattern we followed is a tried and true tool of empire that’s also nothing special, at least not anymore, because our deal is no different than any other link in a chain of network protocols. It’s all about integrating the fringe while deriving pleasuore [sic] at the center. If you know you know, Ms. Landing.”

I wrote back, “Deriving or differentiating? -HMS Landing,” and then George replied with, “Wire sent.”

I got confirmation that his first big wire transfer had hit my account, in accordance with our business contract, but I didn’t say anything else to him by email or in person, and so, at the start of our second data sharing call, he asked, “Have you heard any pin drops lately?”

I replied, “I wouldn’t know what a pin drop sounds like, George, because I’m not a dressmaker to Queen Suzy, like you are. How are you?”

“So much for keeping it professional,” said George.

“Are you feeling emotional?” I pressed.

“So, I’ve been using nothing but a timestamp to label matters,” began George.

“Can you use nothing but a timestamp to label me?” I interrupted.

“And my timestamps represent the day, hour, minute, and second when I first created the text file on my computer that exists to contain all the facts,” said George.

“I feel like you’re objectifying your computer and treating it like a second class citizen right now,” I added.

“Excuse me, my computer that wants and needs to contain a second copy of all the facts that our brains may or may not ultimately share with it about the matters in question, but it’s fine with me if you want to give aliases to matters, so, for example, if you find out about some other hedge fund guy who hires some other college girl’s IT consulting firm for the summer, please don’t hesitate to refer to a monstrosity like that as, ‘the dressmaker to the Queen deal,’ or, ‘the dressmaker deal,’ for short.”

“Can we be the short dressmaker deal because your hedge fund is short-biased?” I replied, with uptalk.

“Do you realize the extent to which we’re perceived as tyrants, especially now that we’re colluding?” asked George, triumphantly.

“Are we colluding?” I responded.

“Everyone acts like we’re lording ourselves over them just by existing, and you’re acting like you aren’t aware of that dynamic?” replied George, with uptalk.

“Are we lording ourselves over everyone?” I asked, even more hastily than before.

“God save the queen,” mumbled George, but with no trace of uptalk, and then he launched into telling me facts about his upcoming social calendar.

I had no idea why George saw our contract as, “a big deal,” or, “a tool of empire that’s also nothing special,” but the way he had said, “it’s better if you can do it without lying,” turned me on more than I could have imagined, prior to going global that summer, and so I made fun of him on subsequent calls by referring to him as, “Mr. Andrews,” but he acted like that was the same in every way as calling him, “George.”

It didn’t sit well with me to call him nicknames or scold him with his full name, and so I started talking about Mr. George in the third person.

I also used his multiple names interchangeably, like a news reporter with an ax to grind.

The George was pleased whenever I sounded like a news reporter, but I was only interested in doing it over the phone with him, because I was getting paid to remain loyal to my George.

That, and he was showing me the world, in plain text format.

“Salespeople control the world because they keep concise but detailed notes about everyone they talk to, and I want you to, uh, help me go one step further and keep track of all the facts that are more likely than not to, uh, inspire my associates and I to allocate capital more efficiently than we otherwise would,” explained George.

“How should I describe myself in your knowledge repository?” I asked.

“I like that you recognize my repository as mine instead of your repository or our repository; you may become a noble woman yet, and so I’ll give you my best advice, which is to just write what you would normally say. Write what you would actually say about yourself to the hottest guy you’ve ever seen at the most fun party that’s ever taken place in history,” replied George, and then I ignored his neurosis and got religion.

I became self-programming, and I emancipated his stuffy text files with lines like, “I’m building a knowledge base for a brilliant investor. He’s my Sun King, and I’m his moon.”

At parties, I pitched fake explanations for why I was interested in the various people, companies, and trends that King George wanted to know more about, and it was all downhill from there.

People ended up telling George everything they knew about his topics of interest, in the course of goading him to supply additional tidbits of information that might accelerate their progress within one or more interconnected quests to bed me before the end of summer.

I also made field trips to the bar and gave the man positive looks, which is the opposite of what most girls like me did after making him as a rich hustler.

I felt like the engine of a perpetual motion machine, but we eventually got preempted by an inside job.

George must have told our preemptor about me, and yet, the two of them have always said that nobody can recall whether or not they talked about me beforehand.

Either way, our preemptor stepped into the space I had carved out for myself below the chandelier at yet another private house party, and he said “Catholic, ballerina, computer nerd.”

I didn’t know who he was, but he looked fashionable, so I moved in closer and said, “It sounds like you’re obsessed with the way my body looks in this dress,” while staring at his eyes.

“I refuse to believe that you just said that. Try again,” replied the fashionable man who didn’t get around to telling me his name until later on in the evening.

“How did you know?” I said, hoping to blow up his composure by shape shifting my energy faster than he could have anticipated.

“I’m 45 and George is 38. Only a computer nerd would hold the demand for her attention constant and be nice to both of us without any structure. Is this your first time rewriting the operating system for an entire social scene?” said the inscrutable man who had preempted me.

And then he walked away before I had time to answer his question, so I followed him.

When I caught up with him, he moved in very close and said, “I would like to give you a hat. May I give you a hat?”

I said yes, and he produced a stunning diamond encrusted headband.

My heart skipped a beat, but I still got more of him than he got of me.

I kept my muscles soft and held his eye contact, while he adjusted the headband, until it was just so, and then he dismissed me!

He said, “They’re waiting for you to return to the center of the room!”

I played along, and, after ten minutes, he revisited my platform and said, “Hey Suzy, there’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

He kept on putting his hand around my waist and showing me off to a few people at a time, and if I hadn’t been able to speak French, he might have lost interest, but I knew enough to keep him enchanted, and then he dismissed me again, using the same words: “Vous êtes désirée au centre de la salle!”

He came back to borrow me from my platform at the center, on repeat, for the rest of the evening, and he kept using those same words, because he was making fun of me for being a computer nerd.

He also had to make fun of me, because the socially accepted narrative about him was that he owned the room, and my role was to sarcastically play along.

Everyone knew he was a dork, but he was an openly powerful dork who said and did all the right things.

Therefore, everyone acted like he owned the room, but, in order to ensure that he would, “keep coming back to me for more and more of my hotness,” I had to, according to George, “stay more farcical and sarcastic than all the hitters like us,” because taking myself seriously around them while I was still in college would have been, “like entering a speakeasy without knowing either the password or the owner.”

In that context, our preemptor had a satirical casting phrase for everyone, and he was most assertive about giving me a role too!

“‘Against all odds,’ it’s a pleasure to finally introduce you to, ‘Lava lamp author’s club,’” whispered my preemptor, as if I was a recently reformatted fembot that he was programming from scratch.

I became, “desired at the center,” so that my French writer man could program me to help him program everyone with personalized casting phrases like that.

“So you’re framing the guy in the blue suit as, ‘against all odds,’ because he overcame a bunch of obstacles to be doing what he’s doing now, and the guy he’s talking with is an author who you associate with lava lamps?” I whispered back, while pausing our advance across the room by pulling down his arm.

And — that’s when he stole his first kiss from me, while I belched the word , “Men.”

The inscrutable, fashionable, and undoubtedly rich French writer man shivered, and I caught part of him hesitate for an instant, just before all of him fell in love with me forever.

I didn’t know what love was any more than a hat on a bench, but my first older boyfriend, Kenneth, had convinced me it was in my interest to be unrelenting about jumping to the conclusion that a guy was 100% in love with me, unless I had a newsworthy reason to believe otherwise.

Guys like Kenneth and the-preemptor-who-turned-out-to-be-Pierre were always saying to me, “You can’t prove that he’s not in love with you,” after we had teamed up to hustle another guy like George or Pierre.

Men — who I ultimately indulged, because I was free to embellish, and, in theory, our brand new billionaire hustle, with my latest additional plus one, Pierre Babineaux, was increasing the value of my current big boss’s hustle, immeasurably.

As the party wound down, George left without saying goodbye, and Pierre swung by to say, “I have one more party to attend this evening, and I would like nothing more than to have you come as my date.”

“Sure,” I said, with aggressive sarcasm.

“It’s a pool party, but maybe we can find a suit for you to wear in my limousine,” he said, and then I thought about slaying him.

Giving back his headband and walking off like nothing had happened would have become my new textbook definition of slaying a man, but I wanted in, so I did the opposite.

“Do you work in fashion?” I said, with a fake grimace.

“How did you know?” he replied, but in French, just like I had, when we had first met, and I didn’t bother answering or reacting.

I attended to my posture, and I let my date win at dance battles for the rest of the evening, so that we could operate efficiently as a team, while we competed to own the pool party, by intentionally not saying anything more to each other, because the secret to Pierre’s success had always been sustainable hyper-activity, and I was closest thing to a female George he’d ever seen.

He had me in his hot tub in Paris within 48 hours, and everyone seemed more worried than I was about our age difference, so I went out of my way to act like a hot mess.

I rode on the back of a motor scooter in order to buy a pack of cigarettes, which Pierre subsequently characterized as the root of all-evil, and then I became eager to punish him whenever he said the word, “evil.”

I danced along the River Seine, and I fantasized about toying with my new boyfriend by having sex with younger men who were more rugged than him, but I conspired with George to do the opposite, when I called my lover from a pay phone, out of pure instinct.

Jawje advised me to, “focus on focusing, because it’s great that you’re going right at it during your first summer in college, but Pierre and I can’t protect you from, uh, chains of events that, uh, we’re not involved with,” so I asked him, “have you ever killed anyone with a chain,” and he hung up.

I asked Pierre the same question and he replied, “I’m not your therapist, and you shouldn’t be fooling around with my friends while also claiming to be my girlfriend.”

I said, “Did Jawje tell you I asked him that?”

“You know that George and I are serious individuals, right?”

“You’re supposed to be mad at me, and I think you’re lying,” I said. “If Jawje has killed or played foul, I’m sure you know all about it.”

“This is another error. You shouldn’t be escalating with me by intentionally mispronouncing my friends’ names.”

“I’m joking, because the rules don’t apply to me,” I said, while taking a drag on my Walrus Kangaroo brand cigarette.

“No, Ms. Journalbot, calling me a liar is a power play, and you’re making me sweat. Why?” said Pierre, while lowing his voice.

“I meant that nobody ever knows if any person is hiding something or not, but if we were in love, then I would believe you’re being authentic with me, and I’m not sure if we’re in love. I’m feeling emotional,” I deadpanned.

I also liked to be tied up and spanked before and after rough sex, on repeat, and Pierre was happy to help with that.

He went easy on me, while narrating a twisted story about awful things he was supposedly doing to me, as if I was naive about how dangerous men like him could be, and so I gave him nasty feedback.

I wanted him to spank me harder, because I was losing control of my emotions, but he blocked with, “Only on the yacht, Suzy.”

“Where’s your yacht now?” I asked, and then Pierre untied me and spun a new narrative about how he wanted me to help him gather data about, “an oil pipeline.”

“Is your oil pipeline a euphemism for the impending fall of the Soviet Union?”

“An oil pipeline is an oil pipeline,” replied Pierre, while pretending to be George.

“Won’t that expose me to security risk?”

“Not a lot. We’ll get in and out quickly. It’s mostly a platform you can use to show me everything you know about faking feminine insecurity, and it could also be a lucrative project for us, because, if we get the data, I’ll make trades, and if my trades are profitable, then we’ll have more runway to project confidence that indulging summer flings like ours is good for everyone’s credibility.”

“I can give you more bad data about human insecurity than you can give me bad data about French culture. It’s a deal,” I blurted out, in just the nick of time, as if he would have otherwise lost interest in me, forever.

My Pierre called me, “Bernard,” while showing me how to act masculine without getting caught, and then we fooled around some more, because I was losing my mind in the beating heart of a thousand cathedrals, while we drilled for data about, “an oil pipeline,” at internecine balls that were full of people who were professionally obligated to attend, and I internalized the skill of sensing when he was breaking his flow in order to demonstrate a behavior that he wanted me to emulate.

He also started referring to me as, “the nuclear reactor,” and so I referred to him as, “the luxury hotel,” because it’s reasonable to say, “the hotel said this, the hotel said that.”

That’s how people talk, but it’s not reasonable to say, “the reactor said this, the reactor wants that,” and so I silkscreened a t-shirt with the quote, “Atomic physics is not an occult science,” because I wanted the luxury hotel to tackle me and tear it off of my body, in order to prevent me from wearing it outside the villa, and he did, but artfully, with a paint brush in hand.

George had taught me how to earn respect while acting feminine, as part of his flagship strategy for printing money by treating socializing as a zero-sum game, but only Pierre had inspired me to lie like a Frenchman in love, because he had developed a reoccurring dream about marrying me, but instead of impregnating me or asking me to get engaged, like a gentleman, he dressed me up like a designer who wanted to sell sex and said, “Dreams represent subconscious emotional attachments that have just been released,” and so I responded to his sleep talk by describing some of my dreams about him.

“I dreamt you were wearing a wire under your sport coat!”

“I dreamt I was buying sandals with you in San Francisco.”

“I dreamt you were really, really tall. Like Atlas, babe,” and that last one got him to laugh submissively, while we partied with reckless abandon into the dawn of a new era.

In summation, Pierre’s submissive laughter was the true, authentic currency of unified Europe, and I was minting it in the summer of 1991, because I had big ideas, but the scope of my dreams was even bigger.

I had hoped that my summer in Europe with Pierre and his friends who worked in fashion would never end, but I went back to a Beyond the Pale area university that fall.

I won the respect of the nerds, and I became the first woman I knew who had used the World a wide Web (abb. WawW) to declare computer science as her major.

My focus was electric, because I read my textbooks as satire, and I told my professors, “My objective is to build robots that are perfectly evil in their presentation.”

I also mesmerized myself by fidgeting with a Rubik’s cube behind my back while writing on dry erase boards in the bowels of the compsci building, and I cajoled everyone who I found there to speak plainly and share the data about what they were doing.

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