With the right pen, a man can rule the world.
You wine them, dine them, flash them smiles, slip them gifts, massage them with compliments and praise and give them the old hey-buddy-buddy. You play golf or see the ballet or compare four-thousand-dollar suits and ten-thousand-dollar watches, and then you casually apply the leverage, the bladed facts against the soft underbellies, and handshake by handshake, you build yourself something new and shimmering and golden.
And when they’re at the precipice, the point of no return, when they are looking behind them and see their last chance to back out—that’s when you hand them the pen.
And they take it into their hands and it’s solid and weighty and cool to the touch, and they uncap it to see the engraved gold nib ready to drip with the promise of money and power. And when they press the pen to the paper and the ink flows so crisp and dark, like some kind of inky, terrible blood, that’s when it’s done.
That’s when you rule the world.
I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be. I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.
What do I believe in? Money. Sex. Macallan 18.
They have words for men like me—playboy. Womanizer. Skirt chaser.
My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.