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MINOR_final_TheDM.fc

 

Doing the right thing means you don’t eat.

I should have known this almost universal of maxims. But I refused to acknowledge it. I steered and stuttered my way through traffic, distracted along the way by a series of dead dogs that filled consecutive ditches. I love dogs.

After winding through an arbor of live oaks that shrouded the wealthy streets, I arrived at the scheduled meeting at the Fort Bryan County Courthouse…

Introductions are in order, and when it’s my turn I stand and give my name and occupation, “Mason Dixon!” I declare, knowing that those in the room who don’t know me will think it almost strange, maybe somewhat comical. “I’m the District Manager for House District 100!” My boss, the state rep who I work for, signals discreetly with his hand for me to sit down…

I can’t help but dwell on the meeting I’ve just left as I head east into the big town. No matter what its good intentions, government is a bully. The collateral damage nearly always disproportionate to its benefits. But something happens to people after they get elected to office. In reality, there are no good guys. Maybe at some point in the past there were, but not anymore.

The closest thing to a good guy is me. And what is it that I do?

I’m Mason Dixon—really. I’m the District Manager for House District 100. Nobody knows what I do, and that’s the beauty of it. Nobody sees me coming. And what do I do? If you’ve got a problem with a government agency and can’t get anywhere …if you’re tied up in red tape…maybe I can help. It doesn’t matter if you are having trouble renewing your driver’s license or a family wants to see a loved one, one last time before they die in prison. I will go to bat for you. It isn’t political—far from it. Some English author once said, “Heroism begins where politics ends.” That’s me. Nobody knows what I do. I can help anyone, anyone but me that is…

When I finally pull up to the District Office it’s getting dark out. This sucks. Why? The D.O. is haunted. No bullshit, it’s creepy. Our office is housed in the center of Fort Bryan, in the historical district. The building we rent is as old as anything for fifty miles. It’s situated in a complex of buildings, constructed around the turn of the last century. The D.O. is in an old bank, in fact. The walls are several feet thick. They had to be, so as to withstand a dynamite attack. The place looks like a citadel. All the buildings on our block are connected in typical early twentieth-century fashion. What’s interesting is that they are connected by a labyrinth of internal passageways as well. I’ve only ventured their stairwells on one occasion—too creepy. Anyway, according to local lore, the building that the D.O. sits in was once held up, with several people getting killed. It’s said that it’s haunted by these victims. I fucking believe it. We share the place with an oil and gas company, but this late nobody’s here.

Read more by Matt Minor.