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Chapter One: Meet July Eason

In the second summer after the great American insurrection, I was sent to Amarillo, Texas, to meet my new boss.

I was in love with Leo Torres long before I met him this morning. I guess a lot of young women are, because of his daring role in the revolution that just took place, or rather, is just taking place. I suppose there may be individuals who had a bigger role in engineering the takeover by the coalition of Marxists and Greens, but none of them stands out like Leo Torres. Certainly, none of them meant as much to me.

Two years ago, when I was fifteen, I first heard of the "final offer" at American Textiles. Most people know the story now: Leo Torres led a band of revolutionaries right into the "heart of the beast," into the Boardroom of American Textiles during the strike there. When the fat cats refused Torres' demand and attacked him physically, Leo Torres singlehandedly knifed them all completely dead. Then he climbed down the outside of the building and declared victory for the strikers! It was the turning point for everything!

Since then, I haven't known exactly what great accomplishments Commissioner Torres had done, but I'm sure he has been directing this revolution through its most tender stages. I can hardly believe I'm interning for him as he starts this world-shaking project here in Amarillo, Texas.

When I first saw him, he doesn't look like his pictures. He isn't as tall as I thought, just a couple of inches taller than me. His skin is cinnamon brown and his eyes are a deeper brown. I've seen better-dressed men, mostly before the revolution. He dresses OK, but without panache. He seems to be conserving his thoughts and his movements, as if he were afraid of expending all his energy too soon. The most impressive thing I noticed this morning is his modesty. He listens intently and speaks very little.

I suppose that's why I found myself talking so much about myself, about how I had volunteered for any kind of service with the revolution and been assigned here. As far as I know, the quality that got me this assignment was being able to transcribe recordings faster and more accurately than any of my classmates. I him that they called me "Nimblefingers" in school. He nodded rather solemnly as if it made perfect sense to him.

Without my asking him, he told me that I could record and transcribe everything I wanted. I gushed and smiled and thanked him, but didn't mention that I had already had it explained to me firmly that I was to do just that. Even before I came here, I knew that was what I had been hired to do. In fact, I probably should have turned on my recorder then and there, but it didn't seem appropriate during our first meeting.

He asked me if my accommodations were comfortable and if I had all the equipment I might need, and I said yes.

At first, I was delighted when he asked me if I had any questions about the job. I immediately asked about the project. All I knew, I told him, was that we were going to become the world's biggest colony of criminal drug offenders and addicts. I wanted to know what we are going to do for them and how we are going to do it.

"I'll have to explain all that, as much as I understand it myself, at the general committee meeting in the morning," he said with finality, "No point in my having to do it twice."

And that was my first encounter with my hero.


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