Bob was not enjoying his birthday party. Pleasure was never the primary motivation for these affairs, which he allowed only because they shored up his influence and power. It was important to give people a chance to give him something in return. Otherwise, they would feel too guilty about the help they get from him, and it would backfire. But despite the practicality of the event, he did usually enjoy it. After all, it was a challenge, maneuvering through so many relationships all in one time and place, remembering just where he stood with each one, and just what to say. His more usual one-on-one encounters were almost always boring.
Today, however, a sense of dread underlay each interaction. He kept rubbing his hands together as though blood were still on them -- Since when did he have a nervous tic? Something profound was occurring, and he had no explanation for it. What exactly was he fighting by fighting with Donald?
Object: the eternal
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