A Time for War

A Time for War by Michael Savage

Book: A Time for War by Michael Savage Read Free Book Online
Authors: Michael Savage
him the art of hardball negotiation. When you had something that someone else absolutely needed, you charged a premium. Of course, when you had all five performers on board you learned the value of counter-negotiation: you threatened to cut each one out individually until, without the others knowing it, everyone had reduced their fee.
    The deals made, he bought a used 16mm camera, set it up beside his lights, and then arranged private showings for underage kids in the backroom of a soda shop down the street from his apartment. He cut the owner in on the profits. When home video started making noise with the introduction of Betamax in 1975, Richard released his library—with a musical accompaniment—on his own label, Hawke-Eye Cinema. That earned him his first million dollars, which he used to buy his parents a big waterfront place in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, now a favorite neighborhood for Russians. Producing all-new, hardcore narrative films for Hawke-Eye earned Richard his second and third million. His next big purchase was the lot where his apartment and the adjoining apartments sat.
    Upon the advice of his attorney, Hawke diversified into more legitimate businesses. In the early 1980s, he had been fascinated with the early adoption of mobile phone technology by pimps to warn hookers on 44th and Broadway when the cops were headed their way. He bought the company that made the phones, infamously renaming it PMT—Pimp Mobile Technologies—and expanded by purchasing small microwave networks and nascent fiber optics companies and merging them into a communications empire. In the ensuing three decades, there was not a month when any company in any part of the world had more cutting-edge technology available for the marketplace. If they did, Hawke bought them. That was something he learned from Bernie Michaels, who owned the burlesque house: it was ultimately more economical to buy your competitor’s talent than to try and grow your own.
    Richard had always had more energy than any two men around him. When the cancer was diagnosed after a long, lingering sore throat—squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil—it was the first setback Hawke had ever encountered. He took some small solace from the fact that it had been caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. He had either gotten it from the showgirls or streetwalkers he hung out with as a young man, or the $2,000-an-hour escorts he hired as soon as he could afford them.
    However it had happened, it wasn’t recent. Richard hired escorts now to play different games. His favorite was an enactment: two prostitutes, one woman, one very well-hung man, having sex with each other while Richard pretended that the woman was a friend who had rejected him because of the size of his penis. He was only ever her friend, never a lover, and the two of them had agreed to this bargain, he imagined. Somehow this reverse fantasy, this sexualized double business arrangement, could bring Richard to orgasm. His constant anxieties about his penis size had only increased with age and every other approach to satisfaction usually failed. Business was his vitality; financial conquest, his virility.
    As a bonus, this particular need of his meant relationships were out of the question. Richard didn’t like relationships. He didn’t like to share anything; he liked to own, even if it was just for an hour or two. As for children, he had been known to comment, “Either you pay for it by the hour, by the day, by the week, or for the rest of your life.…” But mostly he just wanted to avoid the question of an inheritance. He would leave behind billions, surely, but he wouldn’t be obliged to. Obligations were for cowards.
    After the initial shock of the diagnosis, he met the throat cancer head-on. The tumor itself was surgically removed, cutting a diagonal scar into his throat. He underwent an aggressive regimen of radiation. As the diseased tissue

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