Tag Archives: art

Where Failure Ends and Success Begins

Someone, who someone else felt was wise enough to quote, said ,”You only truly fail in life when you stop trying”. I mean that’s not rocket science, so I’ll go with that.

So much that throughout my sojourn in prison, as I continuously try to go against the grain and create a masterpiece out of dust, I’ve adopted this quote as one of my life’s mottos. I mean why not. Corporations have mission statements and mottos, think Google’s, “Do know evil.” And human beings need them to, at least I think so. I also like this quote because in my book inactivity is death. I mean dang, do something even if that something doesn’t work at least you tried.

With this in mind I recently had the chance recollect on some of things that I have tried to make happen over the years but didn’t succeed at. At the time I counted them as failures but today I’m not so sure .

What got me to thinking about this was that the prison where I

am recently had its annual shakedown. For those not in the know, all

prisons in Texas have periodic shakedowns where the COs search inmates personal property for contraband and other prohibited items. How it usually works is that we are confined to our cells from seven to fourteen days and required to pack all of our property in nylon commissary bags and then take it to a designated area where several officers search it, piece by piece. I am pretty sure it goes without saying that it’s a rather dehumanizing process to have all of your personal items, pictures, letters from family, friends, books etc. searched through by a stranger who then decides what you can and can’t have .

Unfortunately it’s one of the indignities that you learn to live with, as being in prison can often be described as the forced endurance of one series of degradations after another.

For me I use the days leading up to the shakedown when we are confined to our cells to go through all my things myself and see what I really need and what I can live without.

In the process of doing so I came across three projects I had worked on in the past that I wasn’t able to do with what I initially set out to. The first was a cell phone wrist watch that I designed and actually tried to write my own patent on. While still in the patent pending stage, I submitted my invention idea to a few companies including Motorola and LG communication and collected a folder full of fancy rejection letters written on 100% cotton paper. And not long after that, the US patent office hit me with my first office action which unfortunately I didn’t have the technical knowledge to overcome and ended up abandoning my application.

Yet now that the Thomas Edison bug has bit me I feel like I got a few more better mouse traps up my sleeve and I am just waiting on the right opportunity. Plus I learned three crucial things about inventions and patents in the process 1. You need to do a exhaustive prior art patent search before filing. 2. Make sure your patent application is airtight with adequate claims. 3. A working prototype works a hundred times better than a pretty picture.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was pretty expensive knowledge considering the filing fee and research time. But when I invent the next I-Phone, it will be well worth it.

Besides this particular incident with inventing there was the time back in 2002 when I was watching a Nike commercial and thought, “Dang, I can come up with something better than that.” That thought prompted me to write the “No Limit Commercial”, which I copyrighted and submitted to Nike’s co-founder and billionaire Phil Knight. Nike told me I had to get with their advertising agency who really didn’t like the ideal of little old me poaching on their turf by suggesting ideas to their number one client. But like they say, it’s haters everywhere in the corporate suites.

Not easily deterred, lightening struck a third time when I designed a pair of tennis that I felt would fit well with either Tommy Hilfiger or Phat Farms casual clothing lines. But the fish weren’t biting.

Still each failure left a small seed of success. Seeds that I’ve been able to replant and try again with. While the validation of having come up with a great product would’ve been nice, not to mention the monetary payoff cause you already know a brother gifted but broke.

Damn, don’t that sound like a T-shirt logo? But on the cool I feel like these still births are paving stones on the road to success. And that the ability to make love to your intellect and birth your ideas is a reward within itself.

No Limit Commercial

Tennis Nike

WatchWatch 2Phone

Stolen Lives

One Million black men 

Not marching in D-C

Brought together by force,

legal farce

Victims of a common fate

Residents of America’s penal

institutions

Whitewashed plantations,

littered across the nation

No longer confined to the

South

Descendants of slaves

Confined to the big house

One million stolen lives

 

Reprinted from ”A Windowless Room” by Kenneth West, Trafford Press

43,800 Days

The judge gave me 43,800 days

1,140 Months

1,051,200 hours

63,072,200 minutes

To build a nation

His prison, My university

His punishment, My salvation

Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s house

Old Pharaoh still feeding Moses at his table today

He fed Malcolm, Huey, Geronimo Pratt, Eldridge Cleaver, George Jackson,

Big Tookie, Mumia Adu Jabar

And now Old Pharaoh feeding me

Yet I have the blood of Nat Turner in my veins

The brains of Booker T

The brashness of Muhammad Ali

What Old Pharaoh going to do with me?

Right now I am eating in the kitchen, growing strong

Tomorrow I will own the table

Time to rewrite this American fable…

 

Reprinted  from  “A Windowless Room”, Trafford Press

119,000,000 Dollars For That?

Call me unrefined, crude, even barbaric, if you will. I can take it, because I’ve no doubt been called worse. Whatever the case may be, I couldn’t help but shake my head and continue shaking it when I read that Norwegian artist Edvard Munch 1895 ‘The Scream’ went up for sale at high-end auction house Sotheby’s on May 2, and sold for a record 119,000,000 million dollars.

The picture or some version of it has been reproduced in one form or another by everyone from Macaulay Culkin, Homer Simpson, Andy Warhol to Wes Craven in his horror films of the same name. If for some reason you’ve missed it, please refer to the four original versions below.

Allright, now that you’ve seen it, can you or anyone else please tell me why anybody in their right mind would pay any millions for it, let alone 119 million? Because I am obviously missing something here.

For those of us who need a refresher of exactly how much money a 119,000,000 million dollars is, or what you can buy with it, here’s a primer.

 

$50, 000 for 4 years of college at a public university

$150, 000 for 4 years of college at a private university

You could pay for 2,380 degrees at a public university, or 714 at a private such as Harvard or Yale.

You could buy 6 Gulfstream 8 passenger jets for 20 mill a piece

119 3-bedroom loft apartments at 1 million a pop

238 5,500 square feet homes in Houston for $500,000 each

 

1 393-unit multi-family luxury apartment complex for 73 million

Or you could just buy Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. Maybe being a product of the inner city where the closest most people get to any type of art is a cheap framed poster from Wal-Mart. I just don’t get it. But this seems like a no-brainer to me.

Other Outrageously Prices Art on The Market:

Author’s Note: For the record, if you’re reading this and you happen to be one of those rich tycoons with more money than you know what to do with and you decide to buy one of these pictures , excuse me, masterpieces. I feel it’s only fair that for making you aware of these ‘great works’, I receive a small commission off the sales price – how about 10 percent and we’ll call it even.

Sources: Wall Street Journal and Getty Images

 

A Gordon Spirit

The man in this 1863 picture is an escaped slave from the Mississippi Delta, named Gordon, whom I like to think of as a distant relative. Even if the connection we share isn’t of the molecular one composed of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon combined in the double helix better known as DNA that CSI NY has so many of us assuming we are familiar with, even if we failed high-school chemistry.

However, the connection that me and Prince Gordon share is a soulish one as we’ve both been victimized in the country of our Birth .

When you see the flesh of Gordon’s back cut open into a thousand pieces, what’s the first thing that jumps into your mind?

One person may wonder aloud, “what did he do to possibly deserve such vicious, inhumane treatment?” While another would protest vehemently that there was no offense that a man could commit that would warrant such treatment. Another person might bemoan the injustice of the entire American slave system and its aftermath that declared some men as masters and the others as beast of burden with absolutely no say so over their lives based solely on the color of their skin. Each would have a hold on a small fiber of the truth.

When I encountered the portrait of Gordon eight years ago, I was immediately drawn to the regal grace and kingliness of the man. And I saw the welts on his back representing not a source of shame but pride. A crown of splendid glory carved into his flesh as majestic as any that was ever worn by the Kings and Queens of Europe. For Gordon’s crown is emblematic of his quest to be a man, in a unjust soul-crushing system that refused to acknowledge him as such.

The more I studied the photo, the more mesmerized I became with who this man was and what he had endured in the name of manhood. It was then that I realized me and Gordon were kindred spirits and that the scars on his back represented the wounds of my very own soul.

Like a ghost from beyond the grave Gordon’s spirit was a light onto my feet. Showing me the way. The way of all those who refuse to turn back, lay down, let up, shut up, or give up come what may even the hated twin foes of bodily injury and death.

In essence, Gordon was telling me and all the world that yes, he was beaten, but he was UNBROKEN. That his head was bloodied, but UNBOWED.

From the seeds of Gordon’s courage came the inspiration for my publishing company UNBROKEN UNBOWED PRESS, with Gordon as the company’s figure head for his life represents the highest aspirations that UNBROKEN UNBOWED PRESS seeks to embody.

A publishing company for all the kindred souls who refuse to take no for an answer, who refuse to turn back in the face of adversity – for the outcast, social lepers, misfits, convicts, and all the men and women which a Gordon Spirit who retain their dignity, pride, hope, courage and grace even in the face of unimaginable hardships and adversity. UNBROKEN UNBOWED PRESS is for them and all the Gordons of the world.

At UNBROKEN UNBOWED PRESS, we agree with the eminent late black scholar Manning Marble who said, “KNOWLEDGE FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF THE OPPRESSED, MUST NOT ONLY INFORM, BUT TRANSFORM THE REAL CONDITIONS OF DAILY LIFE IN WHICH PEOPLE LIVE.”

If you are anyone you knows has a Gordon Spirit check us out at http://www.wix.com/unbrokenunbowedpress/home as well as Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Unbroken-Unbowed-Press/365012860183016

Discovering the Wonderful Art of Sonya Clark

I would venture to say that it’s something few of us have ever thought of as anything more than a natural part of our lives, along with a occasional annoyance that we have to keep groomed and maintained. But not Sonya Clark, the textile artist, who often uses hair as her artistic medium. While studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, she said, “I got to thinking about what the first textile art form was, and that led me to hair dressing. Hair is the first textile humankind used in decorative and functional ways.”

Clark, who often uses her own hair in the pieces she creates, has produced a treasure trove of memorable pieces including Heritage Pearls, a strand of pearls made out of her hair, Black Hair Flag, and Afro Abe, that have been exhibited in over 250 galleries and museums all over the world. Clark says her art is about identity, individual and collective along with her black heritage.

One of her most politically charged pieces and the one that tends to cause the most uproar is “Black Hair Flag” in which the artist makes an American flag using black cotton braided into corn rolls for the stripes and Bantu knots for the stars, superimposed over a confederate flag – thus signifying the African-American triumph from the slave ship to the White House .

My personal favorite is “Afro Abe”, a collection of seven five dollar bills with ever increasing afros affixed to the nations 16th President. “In one sense, giving Lincoln an afro is honorific,” said Clark. “But Lincoln’s decision to free the slaves was an economic decision as much as anything else.”

She is currently in the process of making 44 slightly different versions of Afro Abe as a kind of tribute to President Obama the nations 44th President. According to Clark, “I almost consider “Afro Abe” as a kind of portrait of Obama.”

Sonya Clark is a amazing black artist who has taken a common often overlook element, “hair”, and transformed it into an amazing statement of human creativity.

A Dream — Deferred

For longer than memory will let me recall I’ve been somewhat of a fashion connoisseur. And I have always loved to see a well dressed woman — especially if she had that particular shape certain women have coupled with a outfit chosen specifically to accent it – I can’t say exactly where this aesthetic sense of beauty originated, but growing up as an only child and late addition to the family (l have one sister who is much older and was therefore already out of the house). My mother was still young and good looking with a flattering shape and in those days she loved to step out on the town. As she would be getting ready for one of her numerous jaunts, I often found my seven-eight year old self acting as her personal stylist offering subtle and not so subtle suggestions like, “I don’t like that one, you should wear the red one instead.”

Upon entering my teenage years growing up in an urban environment (the hood), a portion of this fashion-forwardness was suppressed. And I adopted the personal dress styles and taste of my environment. Which resulted in me never paying much attention to the fashion scene, especially not the upscale side of it.

That changed when I winded up incarcerated. Now that I had time I began to read the multitude of magazines that were constantly floating around. In prison guys will do or read just about anything to drown out the mindless soul stealing day to day humdrum of prison life. Name it and somebody has a subscription to it from Robb’s Report and Dupont Registry to other magazines featuring products and services a gazillion times beyond most inmates current or future financial stations— to weeklies like Jet, The Week, Newsweek etc. And there is always a ton of women’s magazines within easy access Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Lucky, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, and Allure.

Initially I was perturbed as to why so many guys were subscribing to these women publications. Eventually I concluded that apart from looking (and lusting) on the models that the second reason came from what’s called the scarcity syndrome. Which means that whatever unmet needs a person has, that need becomes paramount. Since heterosexual men like myself are prevented from having the loving intimate and sexual relationships with women as we desire to as a result of being incarcerated. All things WOMAN become of immense importance and interest. It’s like oxygen few of us give much thought to its’ importance, but that would change in a heartbeat if we suddenly found ourselves without it.

At first I began to look at these fashion magazines just for something to do. Soon I found myself appreciating the designs of designer like Michael Kors, Valentino, Tracy Resse, Marc Jacobs, and many others. In that instant the old fashion bug that I had long forgotten began to stir. It was then that I began to believe that I had the eye and creativity to be a fashion designer. Motivated I subscribed to several fashion magazines, (funny huh? At first I was a critic of other guys getting all those women magazines and ended up subscribing to a half dozen myself. What’s that old saying about the pot calling the kettle black?) and began to sketch my own designs. Designs that I shared with family and friends and for which I received mostly positive feedback. By then I was hooked and began to have Project Runway dreams.

Along the way, I dabbled in urban design, tennis shoe design, women’s ready to wear, as well as couture. But decided I liked designing women’s ready to wear the most at least in the higher price points. But being that the state of Texas wasn’t about to let me travel to New York, or Parson’s School of design any time soon. I slapped images of Heidi Klum out of my head and scaled down my ambition. Because of my unique circumstances, lack of capital, or fashion experience, decided that trying to launch my own line was probably out the question. And set my sights on finding a small established designer with a in-house seamstress who I could contribute seasonal designs to be integrated with their existing line. Kinda like a nameless, faceless ghost designer.  Dream Deferred Design 1 Dream Deferred Design 2 Dream Deferred Design 3 Dream Deferred Design 4 Dream Deferred Design 5 Dream Deferred Design 6 Dream Deferred Design 7 Dream Deferred Design 8 Dream Deferred Design 9 Dream Deferred Design 10 Dream Deferred Design 11 Dream Deferred Design 12

Trumpeter Extraordinaire

How would like to attend a private one hour intimate performance by Grammy Award winning trumpeter Phil Driscoll— for absolutely free?

Sounds kinda too good to be true, right. But that’s exactly what I and a group of men were treated to for the holiday season.

Now before you jump out of your seat screaming “yes” and “hallelujah” and thinking about what you’re going to wear to make sure you don’t miss the next private performance, there is one catch. One Caveat Emptor.

The concert I attended was hosted by Mike Barber Ministries, the ministry founded by the ex-NFL player turned evangelist who host Billy Graham style crusades in prison around the country. And the concert hall was the prison gymnasium with plush hard plastic fold-out chairs.

In this intimate setting as different from the Wortham Center or any other luxury music hall as humanly possible, the man who had blown his silver trumpet for five US Presidents: Reagan, Carter, Bush Sr and Jr, and Bill Clinton, brought down the house. While regaling us with humorous stories about his cachet of famous friends, including Stevie Wonder and the late great Ray Charles proving once again the healing power of music.

According to Mr. Driscoll, after suffering a well publicized series of legal and financial problems, he made a promise to God to tithe 10 percent of his performing time to inmates. A promise he was keeping on the night he blessed us with a concert of a lifetime.

If you’ve never heard any of his amazing music, YouTube him, Google him, hit iTunes, swipe one of your parents old 8 Track cassettes – whatever it takes. But check him out because the cat is bad.

RU-842: What Would You Do To Save The World?

Regina watched the white Ford cargo van disappear around the bend. The last one was finally gone. For two years they had been out there—like the neighbors from hell. Now just like that they were gone. Off to the latest scandal, affair, murder, or whatever else viewers were willing to stomach in the name of news.

Finally, after two years they were old news. Her husband Michael’s face would no longer be plastered on the nightly news show while his fellow doctors and researchers commented on the questionableness of his ethics, while debating if his medical license should be permanently revoked.

The cameras came months before the criminal trial got on the way, a trial strangely reminiscent of the Scope’s Monkey trial, the O.J Simpson murder trial, Michael Jackson’s molestation trial, or any other trial that was more about show than substance.

But through it all she remained the dutiful wife, cooking, cleaning, and looking after their two kids who thanked God for small blessing-were at an age where they could understand what was going on. She also maintained a full load teaching Sociology at the University of Georgia where she was a tenured professor.

Talk about stressed, but somehow she made it. And every step of the way she smiled at the media personalities who hounded her mercilessly.

“Mrs. Hamlet, how do you feel about your husband’s medical license being revoked?”

“No comment.”

Because they got paid to be persistent inevitably another would shoot, “Mrs. Hamlet, do you feel it’s right for your husband to play God and determine who lives and dies?”

Inwardly she smiled at the sound bite, “play God” but only offered her usual, “No comment.”

“Mrs. Hamlet, now that your husband Michael has been charged with a criminal offense, how has it affected you and your family?”

That’s right hit below the belt try to use her motherly instincts against her. Nice try, she thought, while giving her the same, “No comment.”

“Please Mrs. Hamlet, one more question. Is it true your husband is considering giving up his American citizenship?”

Question like those came on a good day. At other times they were so vicious she would make it into the safety of her home or office bolt the door and cry. Yes, yes thank God it was all finally over the trial and the media circus it caused.

Yet even as she stood in the window watching the last media van leave she did so with a pain of regret. For there had been one unintended causality of the entire ordeal. Something broken without the possibility of being fixed. Her twenty-five year marriage to the love of her life.

Don’t cry, not again she told herself turning from the window. She surveyed the pastel colored living room, looked at walls she had painted herself, at wallpaper she installed. Now the room was filled with brown packing boxes. Boxes filled with twenty-five years of love. Twenty-five years worth of precious irreplaceable memories. Overwhelmed she could no longer fight the tears. How had they gotten so far off track?

In the eighties, they were just another cute couple, voted most likely to succeed. Two college kids in love. Of course even back then her dreams were a lot more modest than his she wanted to be a social worker, but he wanted to save the world literally. This translated into a teaching position for her while he went on to become a genetic scientist.

His specialty was infectious diseases, a field near and dear to his heart. As he was still in middle school when his favorite uncle Buck succumbed to the AIDS virus. Then and there he vowed to find a cure.

It was a vow that would eventually lead him to Princeton where he earned his Ph.d. at the top of his class, and to a decade later being generally recognized as one of the top three pathologists in the country.

While Michael became more and more recognized in his field earning awards and writing books about the different workings of the immune system, Regina was more than content with the quiet drama free life they had built that included a four bedroom home in a peaceful upper, middle class subdivision, two kids, and a black cocker spaniel named Hillary. For years her biggest gripe was that Michael’s career frequently kept him away from home, especially when he worked for the CDC.

Things were a little better now that he was at Merck, but he still crisscrossed the country several time a month.

Then came the 21st Annual Infectious Disease conference which was held in Singapore that particular year. Michael had just finished giving a well received presentation about a new cell engineering process that Merck had recently perfected when Borris Yelkstein, the eccentric Russian oil barren and multi-billionaire approached him out in the lobby. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Mr.Yelkstein had just recently finished serving a three year prison sentence for tax evasion and had fallen out of favor with the Kremlin. A very bad position to be in, in Russia’s dictator-democracy –

Nevertheless, Yelkstein was as bull-headed as ever and had recently acquired a controlling stake in InLiv, a small Russian vaccine maker that was making waves on the Russian stock market.

Ever the salesman, according to Yelkstein, his scientist had discovered the “drug of all drugs”, a miracle drug tentatively called RU-842 that could render the AIDS virus completely harmless. The drug was still in its infant stage and Yelkstein was looking for a pathologist to take over the program and help him market the drug. Was he interested?

Interested was an understatement. He was completely fascinated . If what he was being told was true, it would be the biggest medical breakthrough of the twentieth century, even bigger than Jonas Salk invention of the Polio vaccine.

Once the conference was over, Michael was consumed with thoughts of RU-842. He told Regina, “Baby, not only is he offering me a million dollar a year salary, but a five percent equity stake in the company. If we can successfully bring this vaccine to the market that could be worth millions, maybe even billions. I mean think about it… This is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

She wasn’t convinced, “I don’t like it. If it was a respectable research hospital or even a reputable drug company if there is such a thing … maybe. But who is this Yelkstein character? So what he has lots of money? The man has zero experience in the drug business and a reputation that puts him a few notches above Al Capone. And what if his miracle drug doesn’t win FDA approval? Huh, Michael? Then what?”

He respected his wife’s opinions and listened carefully to what she said. Everything she said had merit, in fact they were the same concerns he had spoken out loud.

“I mean, you’re right and of course it’s much too early to say what’s what. I haven’t even reviewed the data yet. But if what Yelkstein says is true…My God think of the implications just for Africa alone?” He shook his head. “Regina, do you remember what I told you when we first met?”

She turned her head, of course she remembered. He had told her he believed it was his destiny to find the cure for HIV, AIDS. But what young college student at an Ivy League university didn’t have big dreams?

Regina told him, “What I want to know is why he chose you? Out of all the other professors, doctors, scientist, and researchers at the conference, some with bigger names than yours? What made him approach you with this golden opportunity?”

Michael looked at his wife and smiled its funny at how two people who have been together for so long begin to think alike. He said, “I asked Yelkstein the same thing. His reply was that he had been reading my papers and keeping up with my research that he supposedly found fascinating. He also said that since Africans and African Americans are the two groups hit hardest by the virus, an African American doctor was first on his list.”

Not convinced she shook her head. The tad bit she had read about Yelkstein on the internet didn’t go a long way toward convincing her that he was the type of man that gave a rat’s ass about affirmative action, much less cultural diversity. Borris Yelkstein would put his own mother in front of a firing squad as long as the executioners used bullets produced at one of his factories. She wanted to slap some sense back into her adorable, brainy husband and say, “Get for real, the man is permanently banned from 13 countries.”

Reading her expression Michael raised his hands, “Now, I’m not naive. We both know American scientists are generally held in higher regards than their Russian counterparts. Having an American scientist as the lead researcher will help give Borris the credibility he no doubts craves…”

Regina didn’t let him finish. She was tired of talking about it. He had just made it home, and Borris had taken up enough of their time.

“You mad,” he asked. She told him that she wasn’t and to prove it she grabbed his hand and lead him to their bedroom.

Exactly six months from the date Regina was in the kitchen cooking a roast while grading mid-term exams when Michael returned from his first fact finding trip to Russia.

After giving her a quick peck on the cheek, he leaned against the cabinets with his hands deep in pockets of his blue dockers. The fact that something was wrong was written all over his face, but still she waited for him to tell her. Call it woman’s intuition if you like, but the way she felt about Yelkstein and InLiv had finally sunken in. Humming to herself, it took an inordinate amount of self control to keep her from blurting out “I told you so.”

When the silence became crippling she said, “What’s wrong? InLiv not on the level?” At the time she said it, she had no idea and had assumed that InLiv was at worst some type of cover for one of Yelkstein shading business deals.

Without answering, he kept staring at the same spot on the floor like a Gypsy studying the Tarot cards. Slowly he looked up, “They’re on the level. If the data I examined can be validated and reproduced in a controlled blind study, I believe they have did it. Found a cure for the deadliest killer of our times.”

Obviously she was missing something, “So, what’s wrong?” Something was wrong, of that much she was certain.

He stepped out of the kitchen and glanced at the stairs. Listened. Heard Michael Orchard at work saving the world on his Play station 3, he dropped his voice, “The problem is the vaccine itself,”. He was barely whispering now and she had to strain to hear him. “It has to has to be cultivated in two stages before it will produce the antibodies necessary to neutralize the virus. Healthy stem cells fused with anodes of the drug along with a carbon copy of the virus have to introduced into an unaffected immune system. Then the new immune cells can be extracted and transferred to an infected person, which causes the immune cells to attack the infected ones, render the virus harmless.”

The confusion showed on her face; her area of expertise was cultures and poverty and couldn’t tell bacteria from a nuclei. “I still don’t see the problem.”

“There’s two: For starters, due to the size of the nanos, they can only coated with enough of the drug to produce a small amount, perhaps enough to cure a hundred people, give or take a few.”

That didn’t seem like much of a problem to her; a hundred people a batch was better than no people and a limited supply would drive the price of the drug sky high which she was sure Borris would love. No, that wasn’t it, there had to be something else?

She asked, “What’s the other.”

He sighed, “Live samples of the virus have to be introduced into healthy immune system, i.e. host for the incubation process to work, but only those who receive the stage 3 drug will derive any type of benefit. The host will be immune to the drug, totally resistant.”

Regina’s mouth fell open, “So what happens to the host?”

“The same thing that happens to any other person with the AIDS virus.”

He had to be kidding! She said, “you mean they die, don’t you? Michael, you’re talking about infecting healthy people with a deadly disease? Listen to me, Michael. You can’t do that, it’s unethical! They’ll revoke your license,” she was practically screaming

“They would be selected from Third World countries where people generally have a lower life expectancy to begin with, and compensated for participating.”

“Participating. Compensated. We’re talking about murder,” she shook her head. “Michael, you can’t do this.”

Irritated he fired back, “I didn’t say I was going to do anything… I’m just telling you how the drug works, for Pete’s sakes.”

After that there just was no use talking to him about it. He was convinced he could find a way to do good without doing evil and became obsessed with RU-482-Making monthly trips to Russia to observe the various clinical trials that were already taking place, he was certain there had to be a way to harness the power of the drug without the human casualty factor.

Then the scandal broke. News reports said he was participating in unlawful drug studies in violation of the Marin Act. Newsweek labeled him a “Mad Scientist,” a man so obsessed with saving life he was willing to play God to do it.

The media onslaught was followed by a 31 count federal indictment. And like that in the blink of an eye their wonderful life was gone. They had to mortage the house and raid their retirement accounts to cover his legal expenses. And with every household dollar being dedicated to keeping him out of prison, they could no longer afford their oldest daughter Lisa’s MIT tuition, forcing her to transfer to a instate college.

With options slim to none, he turned to Yelkstein for help. Yelkstein agreed to pay him the million dollar salary in advance, provided he come aboard as a full fledge member of InLiv once his legal troubles were over with.

That day had finally arrived.

In the morning, Michael was leaving America, perhaps for good.

And Regina was leaving her 25 year marriage.