Dominance Games: An Essay on Power
Disembarked from Europe, the damned war, discharged, Richard Kenny went home. He would pick up his life. He would pick up his wife. He would settle his life.
Richard Kenny’s wife made money. She made money for herself. She knew people, Richard Kenny’s wife. She could take her pick of all different kinds of suave, Richard Kenny’s wife. She could dance naked in the streets of the Bowery when snow was in season, Richard Kenny’s wife.
Recuperating Soldiers had been assigned to areas in the South of France. There was aid and comfort given. Richard Kenny took pleasure, rest, recreation.
There were not many people there not of French citizenry, sans armies; there was one woman there, an expatriated American. She gloried in the life there. Her money was safe. She was a political sparrow, a rare bird of hidden prey. She respected her politics. She grappled with the circumstance of war. She had been widowed in New York, had found it in her best interests not to remarry. Her husband was precocious in corruption, precocious in death. She had refined sensibilities, Richard Kenny’s wife; defined realities.
Richard Kenny’s wife had known Richard Kenny in New York. She had known Sweet Amy. She had been seen and left by all of the usual snakes. There was usual carnage she had seen on the battle fields of the slick and willful.
The once and past husband of Richard Kenny’s wife married smartly. He was older, she, younger. Her own background had been moneyed, once. Much of what held it went the way of all flesh. She was alluring, attractive. She was lean and lithe, had sincere, perceptive eyes. She was smart enough not to be slain by inches.
Rational thinkers. She was descended from rational thinkers. She was educated, fascinated, Richard Kenny’s wife. She knew pity. Never young and callow, tribute was hers. Those who were not saved was not saved. She garnered respect for the infinities of presumed strength. Richard Kenny’s wife knew the games of her fathers, her mothers.
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There were newspaper people, those with the key to plans for good and clean living, blessed vision, truth, beauty. Faith, hope, charity. An abundance of knowledge Richard Kenny’s wife had. She would enter Richard’s party, sleek deviate, naked, fallow, susceptible to the weak, marginal and strong, a scholar herself in the study and practice of her arts.
She was pleasant, perfunctory, Richard Kenny’s wife. She showed Richard Kenny respect. He showed her the same. She was a woman of much substance, Richard Kenny’s wife. Richard Kenny showed her respect. It was more than respect for a wife. That she was the mother of Babe only seems right. Babe was of her. Babe was special.
Like her mommy and daddy before her Babe Kenny loved the dance. It allowed her enjoyment, companionship. It gave her pleasure. Daddy, Richard Kenny, was not heaven’s gift to the goodness needed somewhere, somehow on god’s green earth but Babe Kenny knew that Daddy had the requisite degrees of meanness and joy. Richard Kenny had his points. Daddy was a good man. He had shame in his past. About such things as Babe was concerned, daddy was one who understood.
Richard Kenny did not want that his Babe should have the type of life that he had had. He vowed to remove her from the types of pressures that had made life for him, at times, a very trying experience. If little Babe grew up to be just another run of the mill flighty little bitch then so be it. He would try his best to help make her canny and wise to the ways of the world as he saw it, smart enough to know when and how to speak, to whom and for what reason to speak.
Richard Kenny had great hopes that he would have his little girl grow up to not be a damned little whiner, to not be one enmeshed of trivial nonsensical banal emptiness. He did not want his Babe to be married to the damned pretentious, the usual clowns and hangers on, the high place and good breeding numbing flag waving absurd.
Between the jumping fools he knew that paraded as men and the laughing idiots he knew that paraded as women, Richard Kenny knew that it was a bad proposition to expect that his little girl grow up to be anything like a fine and decent person. For sure, Richard Kenny knew that there was no damned such thing. He also knew that his dream was cock-eyed and dumb and that if he had ever met such a woman as he had to himself described he would probably kick her in the ass and try to turn her into the damned no good whore that he would have been sure that she had been.
Richard Kenny wanted his Babe to have some guts. He wanted her to be able to have a little bit of class, have some reserve, some manners. Given what he knew of the damned world he knew he was hoping for too damned much. There were many things which were simply not in the repertoires of the worlds in which he lived, probably not in the repertoires of any world in which anyone lived except for the little dream world he had in his mind that would make and allow his little girl to be at least bearable.
She, Babe Kenny knew herself to be an American citizen and she felt that New York, offering what she thought to be at least a different world from the one in which she lived, offered the largest chance for her to attain the understandings and plays she so clamored after. She, Babe Kenny felt that someday she might very well turn out to be some poor little rich bitch with some asinine Italian lover dangling from her rich little arm and some other asinine little peccadillo with the cook’s little daughter to scream about to her worthless friends. For the mean, though, she would look towards, for, something else. If she failed there would be all of those rancid little pleasures waiting. If she failed to find that which she was looking for she knew that the cook would have an sick fuck assed daughter with death in her heart, that the asinine Italian lover would be a stiff and that he would try to steel her money and make her crazy.
Babe Kenny felt that there was not much more to be had for her, her father, in the South of France. It had become a poisoned well.
She had then a fondness for the English speaking peoples, and she would not have been adverse to either London or Paris if Richard Kenny could find some cause to see either of those places as desirable. Babe Kenny knew that daddy was not one who held New York as his favorite place, having long since given up its ghost, and from what she could make out, having long since given up its ghost with pleasure.
Babe Kenny, then, would try to find a way to force movement to London, or at least Paris, but she would hope for a way to return the family to New York from whence it came. She would, she knew, be able to move where and when she wanted. She was free, she had means. She could do as she damn well pleased.
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Babe Kenny was facetious. Her mother had left her.
She loved not too wisely but too well, Babe Kenny.
She eluded the grasps of wild eyed men, Babe Kenny.
Queen of sustenance and honor reaped by worship, Babe Kenny.
She baited and cooed, Babe Kenny. She, laughed, darted, promised lusts with her hips, said goodbye with her lips, Babe Kenny. She, inspired trust, Babe Kenny, her voice aching want. Specters, false bravados, itinerant needs, Babe Kenny. A past that wished only to collect on its debt to itself, Babe Kenny.
She liked doing business with men who would conquer the world, Babe Kenny, liked helping flies lose their wings, Babe Kenny; liked helping megalomaniacs get stronger, liked getting with those cynical, perverse to a point, Babe Kenny.
She dealt with policy makers, Babe Kenny. It behooved her to skepticism. She reserved special insight for those special individuals with wholesome abilities, Babe Kenny. She saw and did intelligent things. In matured and intelligent splendor she found time to exhibit depths of understanding, sharpness of vision. Demure and outstanding, Babe Kenny was fascinated. She was tempted to throw herself at the feet of all overriding capacities, all overriding capabilities. Her honor easily marshaled, her awe easily overcome, she was a rotten hostess to money and power.
Babe Kenny, a young woman of twenty five. When not pursuing the ferocious games she was involving herself in, she was involving herself in what she thought to be conditions in her world which could justifiably be called wanting. She did not usually throw off the gains and relics of a misspent past. She did not put on herself the mantel of St Joan, cloaks of sack cloth and ashes, purposes enmeshed with deep burning desires to right all of the inequities, the inequalities, of mankind. She did not commit herself to the creation of a new and better world, did not place altruism upon the list of virtues towards which she aspired.
Much curious as to the nature of the United States, her country, her people, the well from which Daddy sprung, his problems sprung, Babe Kenny, involved herself with some groups involved in aspects of the coming social upheaval. She involved herself with some groups which had primary interests in preventing evil, in maintaining right.
She traveled much, also, in those years, Babe Kenny. She established for herself a satisfactory ability to survive, neatly, efficiently. As a means of continuity, she involved herself with the fields of publishing, running errands, doing some light research for friends connected with national organizations.
She was able to produce what was asked of her without making undue demands, Babe Kenny. She established satisfactory loose relationships that served adequately the aims and desires of all parties involved, Babe Kenny. She went often to Washington. Often she stayed for protracted periods. She did not find herself over weaned, overwhelmed. The many bright young things, the many bright young smiles ran up and down the highways and byways of goodness and charm. This was not a heaven to capture Babe Kenny’s fancy.
An occasional congressman, an occasional sterling thing from State, Justice, tried to convince Babe Kenny of the goodness of his heart, the warmth of his purpose. Babe Kenny was not overly eager to be in the clutches of the idealistic, the cynical wonders who smiled so brightly, worked so feverishly, championed so greatly the dignity of justice, of man, of mankind.
There were media people, there were those with the key to god’s own plan for good and clean living, the revelation of his wonders. In their hearts they knew that they were blessed with vision. Truth and beauty followed in their wake. All would lead the way ever after to the foundations of the noble and true. All bright young things were of firm beliefs. They all saw through sham and injustice.
Babe Kenny, also in Washington, met many of the many who lobbied for the cause of all things great, all things which would make all things greater, all things which would be guaranteed to be great. She met those representing things that had made America what it was.
They were bright and they too were young, the heroes of Babe Kenny. Anxiety jumped upon practicality, strength triumphed reason, disorder was a mother. Disunity fomented. Spring was cherished. The earnest and so pure. Babe Kenny liked them best. Babe Kenny dealt with policy makers. It behooved Babe to skepticism. She reserved insight for those special individuals with wholesome abilities. They saw and did intelligent things. Charmingly lucid. In matured and intelligent splendor they found time to exhibit the depths of their understanding.
The earnest and pure. Babe Kenny liked them best.
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