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My Job

by Jeremiah Tolbert

I don't mind telling you that I am great at what I do. All it takes is a little creativity and a seething hatred of the rich and powerful. I was born with an eye for composition, and I inherited a propensity for the second. My parents were French immigrants. As a child, my mother told stories of the Revolution that had been passed down to her by her mother, all the way back to France. She said Robespierre was the great, great grand uncle of her father's father. My childhood toy was a miniature guillotine. I held trials for my sister's dolls.

An uncle bought me a camera. I liked it better. Liked taking pictures of people at their worst. I was there when Jacko dangled that baby out of a balcony. I was there when Lady Di bought it in the limo. Got some great low-angle shots of that one. Someone offered me a job. I don't know who. The paychecks are deposited directly into my account. Anonymous email delivers my week's targets. I have my theories as to who my bosses are, but it doesn't matter, and I don't actually care.

They gave me a computer with the job. The computer has a database containing the contact information for everyone connected to the entertainment industry. Even people that are supposed to be dead. Yeah, even him.

Most celebrities are dull. They work long hours pretending to be someone else, so much that they don't even know why they are themselves. Not one of them has anything interesting to say that hasn't been written down for them.

Stupid primates, we are. We're conditioned to respect and admire the beautiful people. They're our alpha apes. That they're boring and shallow is what makes them dangerous. A clever bastard can manipulate celebrities, use them as pretty mouthpieces. The rest listen to what the pretty people say.

So? I destroy their respectability. Spread rumors. Upload sex tapes. The only rule is that I can't do anything to affect their profitability. I'm sure you've seen my work. The hamster story? Mine. That last sex tape? I leaked it. Gay rumors? Always true, but I'm responsible for you hearing about them. America is desperate for royalty, and it's my job to make sure nobody is suitable for the title.

And I fucking love my job.

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