Diesel Mukai is a disenfranchised young man who leads a simple and lonely life.
Then along comes the intensely charismatic Sheila .
There is something mysterious about Sheila that defies words. Yet when she asks him to help find her absentee mother, he readily agrees.
He is not sure he had a choice. But she has him hooked to her objectives like a trailer to a runaway train.
I met the man during my twentieth year in California. His name was Emerald Mighty.
He was the president of a large corporation that sold boxes. Containers, he called them.
They made containers of every size. Little ones for radios, and toys, and who knows what. Big ones for televisions, stereos, blah, blah, blah. All shapes and sizes. He talked at great length about his business. He told me with a smile how he had gained the business by screwing the ex-husband of the woman he married. I laughed out of politeness, not really believing him, thinking instead that he was making crude jokes to bridge the gap between us. Anyway, I was wrong. I didn't find that out till much later.
But by then, it didn't matter.
So he tells me his whole story, and then invites me over for dinner. I told him sure, that would be great but first I needed to call home, just to be sure no one would miss me. He commented that he found it very responsible of me to think of such a thing. I smiled and thought what a terrible pain in the ass it was to have to check in like this.
I made the call and nobody answered the phone. I left a message.
"I won't be home for dinner," I said. "So go on without me."
I almost said more, but then I decided against it, figuring I didn't want to concern anyone with the details of my evening.
Dinner came quickly. Not too quickly though. First, he had to show me the whole place. His house was huge. I remember as we drove up to it thinking how the driveway was so long it would never end. His car, Mercedes of course, was equally beautiful. I didn't know that cars were still using wood on the interiors. I inquired about it. He gave me a long explanation about the type of wood, how Mercedes selects it, the manufacturing, everything. I said it was impressive how muchhe knew about things. He laughed and said he didn't just like to own things, he needed to know everything about them also. That was during our drive into the house, or more aptly, mansion. Compared to what I was used to. I had grown up living in apartments mostly. And the houses I eventually lived in were old, decrepit things. Nothing like this place of his.
It was a mansion.
Once inside, he showed me to his large living room. There, he mixed some drinks, offered me one which I declined, to which he responded that it was a good quality to not drink. That a man should watch his liquor.
"I've seen many a promising young hot-shot get taken out by drink," he said, tapping his fingers on the edge of his glass. "Many good ones."
It looked like he was thinking of someone in particular as his eyes sort of drifted off and his voice faded to a whispering trail. I waited, quietly while he came back around.
"But no problems for you though, right?" he asked, not really asking. "You don't drink. Good quality…fine quality! You'll go far."