“Are you sure you want to do this Bill?” Michael sat next to Bill on a couch in the living room. The room was still decorated the way Mary had done it. The house felt empty, in a way dead without Mary there with them.
“I can’t raise a kid and run a company at the same time,” Bill looked at the contract sitting on the coffee table. It was a deal to sell his half of the company he had started. Had he chosen to do this a few years before the amount would have been a few hundred thousand dollars, maybe less. Now, with three factories, several contract deals with businesses like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, and the option to expand into international markets the company was expanding in ways Bill couldn’t keep up with.
“This is your baby too,” Michael replied.
“Sometimes adoption is the best option.” Bill picked up the paper and looked at the bottom line where he would sign his name.
“There is so much more to make from this,” Michael said. “I think you’re making a mistake.”
From a bedroom down the hall a two-year-old Daisy started to cry. Bill left the couch and took her from the crib. Her nap was over and bill had to make some food for her. The girl laid her head on her father’s shoulder and clung onto his shirt as he carried her back into the living room. Without talking any further about the deal Bill signed the agreement and handed the papers to Michael.
“Where would you like the money deposited?” Michael asked.
“Just transfer it into my checking account. I’ll handle it from there.”
“All 3.5 million?”
“All of it.” Bill carried Daisy into the kitchen and started to cut a banana into small chunks for Daisy to eat. The sound of the front door closing told Bill the deal was done. He was no longer the co-owner of his own company. His half had been sold to investors and Michael who wanted to keep possession of a majority of the company.
For some reason, as he placed the food on the height chair tray, he felt more alone now than before. He had no connection to the outside world anymore. His existence revolved around himself and his daughter. As he came to this realization he watched as the little girl picked up a piece of banana and dropped it on the floor.

The day after Bill was sentenced all eyes were on Daisy. It wasn’t that she felt like everyone was looking at her, everyone was looking at her. Teachers ignored her, maybe it was their way of trying to be polite. When daisy didn’t turn in an assignment, they said nothing. The other kids were whispering and glaring more than usual. This was not the day for someone to do or say the wrong thing. The bell rang and it was lunch time.
The cafeteria was the normal chaotic mess she was becoming familiar with. Daisy moved into line and grabbed a tray. A few steps in Page cut Daisy. At first, she didn’t care, let the stuck-up bitch have first dibs on the shitty food. She was going to barf it up afterwards anyway.
“Get used to being in line. I hear cafeteria food is the family favorite,” Page said, not turning around but being loud enough for Daisy to hear.
“What did you say?” Daisy wanted the bitch to say it to her face.
“You heard me,” Page turned around and looked Daisy in the eyes. “Get used to prison food.” She never saw the white knuckles coming towards her. The snapping of teeth caught the rooms attention. Daisy landed a second left jab to Page’s ear sending the girls head into the tray rack. To finish up the job the fiberglass tray was slammed into the back of Page’s head, dropping the blonde to the floor. Daisy didn’t finish there. The words of the previous day in the bathroom came back to her and she mounted the girl on the floor with nowhere to go. Blow after blow was dropped on the girl as the whole school watched and did nothing. Skin split, teeth flew, and bones crunched as Daisy did her best to destroy something beautiful. When she was finished, she sat up and looked around breathing heavy.
“Listen up everyone,” Daisy yelled across the room. “You seem to misunderstand what is going on here. I’m not stuck in here with you, you’re stuck in here with me.” Daisy finished the girl off with a swift kick to the ribs before walking away down the hall and straight to the principal’s office.
Opening the door to the office Daisy walked inside and said, “You need to expel me.”
Once the reports came in from the school nurse and kitchen staff the principle wasn’t going to argue with her. It took the police much convincing to not arrest the girl before she went home to her grandparents. The image of the school was protected above everything else. As long as a report wasn’t filed there was nothing of public record about the beating. Pages parents on the other hand had other plans. The daughter of old money couldn’t be beaten in school and just walk away, oh no, that was when the lawyers would be called in. How would someone like Page be able to land a good husband with good genes and a prominent job if she had scars and broken teeth. This was unacceptable. Someone would have to pay.


Finding the Symbolism in John Wick

If you were fortunate enough to see John Wick Chapter 2 this weekend there might have been a few things that stood out to you if you are an action movie fan. One of the side effects of seeing this movie is finding yourself pulling out old exercise equipment and practicing a few moves you might have learned from a martial arts class you took decades ago. There is good reason for this and it is the mythology the movie used to play to the ideology of men.

After the initial scene where John finally gets his car back, nothing like trying to tie up a few loose ends from the first movie, we find John still mourning the loss of his wife. While he is retired from the business he is brought back due to a favor he owes a man that he doesn’t want to owe. The task is one that John doesn’t want to take and in the end the job is done for him. After completing the mission a contract is put out for John and he is on the run while trying to kill the man that pulled him back in. It is during this portion of the movie we start to see the mythology of the character start to come out, or as they like to call it these days, the Easter eggs.

The first job takes place in the roman colosseum, with some of the scenes taken directly from the Bruce Lee movie The Way of the Dragon (or Return of the Dragon for those not familiar with the original titles) where Bruce fights Chuck Norris, an equal opponent in martial arts. There is more to it in John Wick, who has to fight a small army while trying to escape, using a mix of Judo and gun fighting skills to reach safety. It is at this point John is a black belt in his field. He is the man that knows all the tricks and has become one of the best in his field, but like any black belt that doesn’t mean his journey is over. Like the road of the artist they must learn everything for their art before they can get really creative. Keep in mind John is an artist.

Then there was the subway scene, taking us back to the Matrix movies and reminding us where we have seen this version of Keanu reeves before. It was times like this where I wondered if John Wick was just a continuation of the Matrix movies, Neo plugged into a world where Trinity is still dead and he tries to forget the life he lived before. To feed into this theory Laurence Fishburne appears as the leader of an underground clan whose headquarters is located underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. We have seen this before in the movie Johnny Mnemonic, another Keanu Reeves action film from the 1990s. At this point, John Wick is forced to prove his abilities by trying to kill his target with only seven bullets in his gun, a play on numerology and the importance of the number seven. Of course, the bullets don’t last and he is forced to steal the weapons of the men he kills much like Bruce Lee had to change styles in his movie The Game of Death. Unlike The Game of Death, the fight scene ends in a mirrored room, changing films to Enter the Dragon, another Bruce Lee film. The final stage of John Wick’s transformation is having to fight himself, not being distracted by himself and his own image and killing his ego in order to reach his goal. The famous scene where Bruce Lee starts to smash the mirrors wasn’t because it was the only way to find his enemy but to kill the one thing holding him back in life and his enlightenment.

The woman he fights, a deaf assassin, was a nice homage to the Thai film Bangkok Dangerous, about a young man that over comes his disabilities and learns to become a proficient killer. Wick continues on and ends the confrontation by doing that which every martial artist must do in order to find themselves, he breaks the rules. He follows his own path and kills the man in the continental hotel. We learn about the untouchable safe zones in the first movie when Ms. Perkins tries to break the rules and is later killed when her membership to the continental is revoked. John does this knowing the repercussions and accepts his fate becoming the man on the run with a price on his head, or Caine from Kung Fu. The only question is, with his skills, do the rules still apply to him. How can he be deemed in violation of the rules if he is beyond the judgement of those that created him? This is the true start of John Wick, the ability to start over in uncharted territory where what he knew has been destroyed and he is free to write his own rule book as he moves along.