I am the Violet Flame.
I am the Violet Flame.
I am the Violet Flame.
I am the resurrection and the life of my finances and the US economy.

I had a dream last night about Clauneck, a wealthy dæmon from the Dictionnaire Infernal, wearing a pair of Red October edition Nike Air Yeezy 2 trainers. Coincidentally, in the morning Jack showed me some Nike SB Dunks that cost 10 grand. The color was called Yellow Lobster.

In Candide, Voltaire stated “we must cultivate our garden,” and I want the brightest flowers. I want to be blinded by flowers. Louis XVI gifted Marie Antoinette with the Petit Trianon, a small chateau, and she filled its gardens with roses and violets. In the freezing winter months, she took her orange trees into a gigantic hothouse. 

Jack said he watched a TED Talk about how to succeed in business which advised to always wear an aftershave with a chypre scent. Drown your competition in lots of citrus top notes. The entrepreneur looked at the audience and explained, “Citrus wakes up your colleagues and confirms your energetic soul to others. Spiced akigalawood is also good to deepen connection and resilience during those crunch time moments in the boardroom.” 

Jack said that smells are a spell. He splashes himself all day with Experimentum Crucis. He talks about Agostino Gabrino who founded The Knights of the Apocalypse, an Italian secret society from 1693. They wanted to resist the pull of the Antichrist. 

“Clauneck was loved dearly by Lucifer,” I said, and Jack smiled on the laptop screen. I watched him take off his clothes inside a cloud of Strawberry Banana Bubblegum Okay! vape. He masturbated for hour after hour, bored on Chaturbate, and our hearts fluttered fast as greedy butterflies to hear the tonnes of money come crashing down. 

“Money,” Jack proposed, “has always been tied to death.” He spoke about the Greeks placing an obol in the mouth of the deceased, for Charon to snatch. We smoked Skywalker OG and Sour Diesel and he described its skeleton hand holding up the coin. We considered superyachts sinking into the river Styx, billionaires experiencing fugue states. If the newly dead drink Lethe from the river, they forget their entire lives. 

“It’s possible that money is a form of hypnotism,” said Jack, drawing a sigil of a Nubian god across his chest. His flesh is like amber meat. We kiss inside his glistening room beneath posters of Drake and Lil Ugly Mane. I worry about my dreams and where they might lead. William Blake famously said that “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” and I see the poet’s corpse littered with gold and alligators, water-bloated in a Qatari reservoir. 

Wealth might be a beautiful sarcophagus, I think, as I paint Jack’s eyes shut with the Gucci Palette Beauté Des Yeux Floral. I tell him not to blink.

Clarice Lispector once wrote “Hell is my maximum,” and I want everything beautiful in this world to be mine. I deserve the zenith of Pandæmonium. I want to drain my entire body of blood and freeze it in crystalline buckets of staggering rubies. Agostino Gabrino was sent to the madhouse for screaming, “Ego sum Rex Gloriae,” (I am king of glory), on Palm Sunday. 

We drove around Manchester in Jack’s Porsche 718 Cayman. They asked him what color he wanted at the garage in Trafford. “Hot pink,” he replied. 

We drive at night to petrol stations as far as Rochdale, up across the desolate moors where even the stars resemble princess cut diamonds. He checks the London Stock Exchange on his iPhone and gambling apps that light up like Day-Glo pineapple patches. The fluorescent GIFs of tropical lands and rainbow-smirked leprechauns smash through our brains as we snort cocaine off the dashboard, along our own hands. 

We talk about Manhattan and feeding off the US economy. Jack applies for Amex, Santander, Klarna. We drive to petrol stations at night in the middle of nowhere, green and alone on the side of the road. We buy energy drinks, Rockstar and Relentless, fashion magazines with gigantic holographic images of Kendall, Gigi, Cara. 

We make bets on pai gow and three card. A tattooist in Salford scratched the Mallarmé quote, “A throw of the dice will never abolish chance,” into Jack’s left arm with bright black ink. The studio posted a photograph on their Instagram with the dice emoji. 

“Money is like a violet flame,” said Jack, as we emptied another bag of cocaine onto the dash. It made sense because spending felt like being on fire, kissing Jack tasted metallic.

In an empty parking lot, in a quiet petrol station, we walked up together towards the sheet of cold glass. A man in a blue surgical mask with sad grey eyes pulled down ten packets of Marlboro Golds and a packet of Extra Ice Spearmint chewing gum. We placed a Capital One card on the silent machine. It lit up like magic. 

— Matthew Kinlin lives and writes in Glasgow. His two novels Teenage Hallucination (Orbis Tertius Press) and Curse Red, Curse Blue, Curse Green (Sweat Drenched Press) were released in 2021. He tweets @garbagemagician.

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