The dry courtroom air has taken some of the bounce out of FMJ’s famously curly hair. Cynthia looks into his wrinkle-free eyes and speaks to her own reflection in his colored contact lenses:
Cynth: “Mary, they’re for sure going to ask how you got into the organ-trading business from textiles. It’s an obvious talking point so we’d better have a non-rehearsed-sounding answer we can stop that line of questioning with.”
FMJ: “I can’t believe I have to answer to those nobodies out there in non-designer pret-a-porter. Those icky people are just jealous that I’ve been more successful than any of them could ever have hoped to have been in a thousand of their worthless lives. Their idiotic jealousy fills them with hate, and that hate gives them incredible bitch energy. This is what scares me: all that misdirected hate being pointed at an innocent corporate success-story like myself. I’m just a glamorous lightning rod for all their loser frustration.” Jesus reaches into his Gucci satchel and takes out a baroque hand mirror with rubies and designer logos encrusted in its gold-leaf frame. “Sometimes I even hate myself, Cynth. But then I realize that I too may be jealous of my own success.”
Cynth: “Jeez, that makes no sense. But you know what, I don’t care about sense. Let’s just go over what we’re going to present as our explanation for how you evolved from textile success to organ-trading success.”
FMJ:“Alright. On with the trial!” He takes a drag from his tenth menthol cigarette since the trial began. “I started trading organs because people kept dying at my textile mills. It started with old people who would just slouch over and stop breathing on company time. But then even the kids started keeling over after the new accountancy team rationalized our air-supply equipment. Getting rid of their bodies would cost me up to three weeks of their wages, and their families rarely had that much money saved. So I ended up paying to dispose of their bodies myself even though it was them who were doing all the dying. It just wasn’t fair. Something had to change. Why did I have to suffer because of their inadequacies.”
Cynth: “That’s horrible, FMJ. Why didn’t you stop them from dying by punishing them? Or you could have put up signs telling them to go home if they felt sick.”
FMJ: “I tried whipping them, but once they were dead, they rarely noticed the pain, so it didn’t actually bring any of them back to work… uh… back to life, I mean.” FMJ takes a sip of a glass of Perrier and ginger ale. “So, I had to figure out a way to make back all the money that I was shelling out for cardboard boxes and backhoes.”
Cynth: “Do you have any receipts for the backhoes? Some actual numbers might make our case more compelling to the judge and make our story even more tabloid-friendly.”
Jesus ignores Cynthia’s suggestions and emerges from a cloud of his own cigarette smoke as he applies pancake makeup to his forehead and temples.
FMJ: “So then I was reading the personals in a gay porn magazine, about some older gay man who needed to buy a bladder, and I thought, ‘How can I make money from all that need?’ And then I remembered that my textile mill employees sign waivers giving Passover Textiles the right to their internal organs if they die while on Passover Textile property. Next thing you know, my organ trading affiliate is grossing more than the textile mills. I mean, where is the incentive to improve worker safety with those kind of economics?”
Jesus snickers and then stubs out his cigarette on the stuffed carcass of an extinct bird.
FMJ: “So mine was a pretty common rags to riches story.”
Cynthia looks down at her perfect breasts:
Cynth: “Now I’m worried these implants are actually recycled bladders.”
Free Market Jesus places his hands on top of hers on the mahogany desk between them.
FMJ: “Let’s not forget which one of us is the drama queen here.”
And with that remark, he finishes dabbing his makeup, shakes his hair, and walks out into the courtroom to sing the first number of his trial. His ex-boyfriend and former employee – Jamil Tericho – sits in the courtroom that has been rapidly transformed into a concert venue with flashy colored lighting and a hidden rotating stage that comes gliding out of a hardwood floor-panel in front of the judge’s bench.
FMJ emerges centre-stage, the spotlight catching a plastic tear that he has glued onto the pancake makeup of his face. He begins to sing directly to Jamil:
Well I guess what you say is true,
I could never be the right kind of girl for you,
I could never be your woman.
It will be the best-selling fashion-trial video-clip compilation of all time.