Michael Clayton

“Michael. Dear Michael. Of course it’s you, who else could they send, who else could be trusted? I… I know it’s a long way and you’re ready to go to work… all I’m saying is just wait, just… just wait and please just hear me out because this is not an episode, relapse, fuck-up, it’s… I’m begging you Michael. I’m begging you. Try to make believe this is not just madness because this is not just madness. Two weeks ago I came out of the building ok, I’m running across 6th avenue there’s a car waiting, I’ve got exactly 38 minutes to get to the airport and I’m dictating. There’s this panicked associate sprinting along beside me, scribbling in a notepad, and suddenly she starts screaming, and I realize we’re standing in the middle of the street, the light’s changed, there’s this wall of traffic, serious traffic speeding towards us, and I… I freeze, I can’t move, and I’m suddenly consumed with the overwhelming sensation that I’m covered in some sort of film. It’s in my hair, my face… it’s like a glaze… a coating, and… at first I thought, oh my god, I know what this is, this is some sort of amniotic – embryonic – fluid. I’m drenched in afterbirth, I’ve breached the chrysalis, I’ve been reborn. But then the traffic, the stampede, the cars, the trucks, the horns, the screaming and I’m thinking no-no-no, reset, this is not rebirth, this is some kind of giddy illusion of renewal that happens in the final moment before death. And then I realize no-no-no, this is completely wrong because I look back at the building and I had the most stunning moment of clarity. I… I… I realized Michael, that I had emerged not from the doors of Kenner, Bach & Leeden, not through the portals of our vast and powerful law firm, but from the asshole of an organism whose sole function is to excrete the… the… the poison, the ammo, the defoliant necessary for other, larger, more powerful organisms to destroy the miracle of humanity. And that I had been coated in this patina of shit for the best part of my life. The stench of it and the sting of it would in all likelihood take the rest of my life to undue. And you know what I did? I took a deep cleansing breath and I put that notion aside. I tabled it. I said to myself as clear as this may be, as potent a feeling as this is, as true a thing as I believe I witnessed today, it must wait. It must stand the test of time, and Michael, the time is now.”

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