He is the wealthiest patriarch of Johnatown; his suit, one of the thirty-one he owns. Each day of the month has its own suit. All suits have a different shade of grey and blue, he has a few black suits. They are all plain, no stripes or patterns. The ties match. The shirt is always immaculate white. On the fifteenth of the month the first set goes to the dry-cleaner. On the thirtieth the second set. After a cold shower of exactly six minutes, he eats his breakfast. The elevator takes him down, from the penthouse to the entrance hall. He walks through the heavy bullet safety doors of the entrance onto the street and into the bullet proof car that awaits him. A black car with eight black windows. The drive takes ten minutes. He arrives at the building that he knows so well. The thirty-eight floors, the seventy-eight staircases, the four elevators, the golden lions on the elevator doors. The black triangle pattern on the marble floor. For seven years, six days a week he has entered this building., walked over the floor, passed by the lions, elevated up to the thirty-eighth floor and walked through the hallway with glass walls into the boardroom. A seat next to his father.
The eleven other chairs all empty except for Thursdays.
He signs all the papers but his father rules.
He transfers huge sums of money, buildings, high rises, stadia, marketplaces, railways, hospitals.
He is ready.
Today his father is dead. He is ready.
He waits for the others to come in. He knows each and everyone inside out. Their character, their family, kids, their address, their mistresses, their gambling debts, their toy cars. Today he is done with them. When everyone sits, he stands up. He walks around the big oval table, a pile of files in his hands. He walks behind them and places a file in front of each board member. A pen lies on the right of each place. While he hands out the files ,he talks about his father. The Great one died, but will live on in this city. Each of them picks up the paper and signs it. He waits till the last one has signed his paper . “Follow me up”.
J. walks out of the boardroom through the glass tunnel and opens a door. He walks up the staircase, the others follow him. He opens the door at the top of the staircase, the wind howls.
He walks out and to the edge of the building. The others follow him.
They gather around, he can see them clearly, the black and grey and blue ties, the white shirts. He knows they can’t see the colour of his tie. He is only black and white for them. To see colour will require them to change their position.
He says: We have a mountain to climb after we go through that valley down there. You have all been assigned a building. That building now is a place of darkness, you will make it light again. Each building has been allocated a specific amount of money for you to spend on. The gutters and the sewers will be renewed. Two sides of each building will be transformed into lush greenery. The other two sides will have clear and clean windows that will provide light for those who live in it.
Each building will have a ground floor that will be used for healthcare and education. Each top floor will be filled with places to dance and make music.
This is my dream, you have two years to do this.
Thank you, you can go now.
He turns his back to them and looks over the high rises. He hears them leave. They walk down the twenty-seven steps of the top staircase, through the glass tunnel. They leave the boardroom behind and go down the thirty-eight floors in the four elevators, they will look at the golden lions on the elevator doors. They will walk over the black triangle pattern on the marble floor.
J. sees his dream.