Keep NW While I Convertibally Roadsterize

Look up. The phenomena of groups of people simultaneously looking down and thumbing their phones is almost so normal that I’m beginning to feel like a monkey in a zoo of  shackled humans.

I was politely informed that it would be in my best interest if I stopped going to my favorite coffee shop and pizza joint. How dare I walk the street on which I was raised, how dare I permeate and somehow soil the good names of those who are more concerned with me than with the sanctity of their own sacred institution…how dare I.

Keep NW. Keep Nob Hill, Westover, Goose Hollow, Burnside, Everett and Vista, I hereby surrender all land, delis, venues and avenues that have been laid claim to by the most advanced level of melodrama to ever walk this tree-lined neighborhood. Keep the tourists, traffic and transients. Keep the lifestyle, the drinks and the drugs, the nights of emptiness despite the money spent, keep NW, you’ve earned it (I mean, burned it).

Let it be known. I’m kicking rocks, hookerfish.

Can we protect Russell, please?

Can we eek into the playoffs, please?

Cubs? Really? Cool. (Go Mets).

The beauty and violence of suicide will always both weigh on me and lighten my step because those I’ve known who have chosen that path still stroll aimlessly inside my soul. Everyday.

I miss smoking cigarettes.  A lot. Waking up, reaching over and lighting a Marlboro before even opening both eyes, resting the ashtray on my chest and watching it rise up and down with each drag, cursing the hot sting of burning ash that always flaked onto my bare skin.

There was a day where I would spend all my money on intangible things and during the hangover/comedown I’d rue the decisions I had made with my dividends. Then there became a day when I would spend all my money on objects, things, random stuff and I would still not satiate the emptiness in my belly that usually a new pair of shoes would fill. These days I understand the term “sock away” because most my dough now gets stuffed into an actual sock. Not on a bottle or a bag, not on toys or couture. Not on anything…except maybe something for a girl. Maybe.

Have you seen this? Heard of this? It’s tea. It’s amazing. I’m sold. The industry in which I work sometimes shocks me with its ingenuity.

Kissing is the singly most underrated and underappreciated action two people can perform. The smell of hair and skin, breath and auras, laundry and product, all determine the aftertaste of a passionate embrace.

One day I’m going to bomb around in a little two-seat, convertible roadster, my white silk scarf will billow furiously behind me as my lady and I careen through the hills like happy bats out of hell and I will then surely be satisfied with how things in my life have turned out. Only then.

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Breakfast of Rainbow Puppies

Killers and jailbirds, dilettantes and scofflaws, I’m just trying to have coffee and someone is talking about some pseudo-news-reality-witch-hunt-bloodbath-headline television show. Apparently we all crave the details of how some father in the midwest went berserk at work with a sidearm or a couple in Florida rented their own daughter out from down in the basement until she was old enough to vote, it just never ends. The more it’s splashed everywhere, the less it all matters in our everyday lives, it just becomes wallpaper. I just can’t figure where the fringe sits between the filthy perpetrators and the good folks who love hearing about it. I eat cereal and drink orange juice and read about the most nefarious and disgusting kind of people doing the worst kinds of things to each other. Suddenly things ain’t tasting so sweet this morning.

Strangely, advertising revenue and media ratings have little to do with good and happy news.

Oh money, how you sometimes turn the world in such a dark and twisted way!

Maybe if I sprinkle some dollars on my breakfast it’ll give it some yummy again.

It’s Easy To Think Money Is The Answer

I cut my income by half by resigning from an establishment that wasn’t going in a direction I was comfortable with. Cut my income by half and I’ll admit that I miss that dough quite a bit I have never felt better about such a frightening decision.

I’m depending on my photographic talent, proficiency in writing and my pure luck with people to lead me to the land that allows me to lounge around all day sipping cool Arnold Palmers instead of wringing out my panties drenched with the sweat of not having enough money.

Then I look at women like these three, who are far from wealthy but will let nothing stand in the way of them sitting in the middle of a street and laughing they’re asses off. Nothing.

Inside my pocket there may be a financial crisis but inside my belly lies a future full of fortune because money just doesn’t matter.

Nice House, Insert Jerk

This unruly universe continues to bring glory to those who seek no virtue, the uncommon union of a toiling workforce sometimes, as a whole, contradicts the very reason for its tireless labor. Simply, the concept of money equating happiness seems silly if you hate your job. Money is only as valuable as how you burn spend it.

If you’re generous with your wealth and time, then good things happen to you. If you’re of forthright character and act with well intent, then despite visible shortcomings, good things will happen to you. If you’re a selfish prick with avarice and contempt in your blood then either you eventually change for the better or you just fester in your own sickness. Likely those of strong fiber will determine which direction you go.

If you have a 7,000 square foot house but don’t regard those around you with equity, then that house is little more than a soulless prison and nothing more than a lonely tomb.

Selling Cars

Keep your chest out and your chin up.

When I sold cars the Trade Center went down and I remember watching the end of a great Super Bowl on a dealership waiting room TV with cock-eyed rabbit ears. Patriots slapping the Rams at the very last minute in a huge upset or something like that.

On the car lot I was what they called a “liner”. One who approached and lined up the customers for the higher paid and more experienced “closer” to come and grind out whatever agreement they could so then the better dressed and shinier teethed “desk managers” could finally approve said deal and we all got paid.

Worked that job for a year selling new and used cars, literally outrunning older guys to bum-rush any living thing that crept into those shark waters, it’s where I learned how to tie a tie 3 different ways and shine my shoes until I could see the future reflecting back at me.

Admittedly, I had a great time, car guys are some perverted and passionate people, a rowdy and joking group of people I could completely relate with. Like ninjas of disguise, ready with social weaponry suited for any occasion or company, crass or class whipped out like blades and masks in front of those who needed persuading. Many of these guys had wiring connected by the black tape of gambling, drugs and alcohol. Any other dangerous compulsion could be quickly spliced into their schedule as to complete their crazy circuit.

Very sensory oriented group of fellas I used to work with. They loved the rush of selling, the intense anticipation, how the possibilities were endlessly unpredictable when it comes to selling big-ticket items and how you can never really judge anyone. Someone could arrive on the lot in a broken-down Ford Escort and wind up buying a Lincoln. And someone getting out of a Humvee will run your smiling ass around all day, driving this and that and when you’ve finally pulled out the tenth car out for Mr. Rockefeller and his fancy shoes, he splits with a “thanks a lot, I’m going to go home and think about it.” Car guys call that a “jack”. They call that “brain damage.”

During my stint as a car guy I:

Learned when to say the exact right word and when to keep my mouth achingly shut.
Learned how to drive any kind of car anytime, anywhere.
Learned that selling is really just helping people find what they want.
Learned a little about how to use cocaine. Off a woman’s back. On a desk. In her office.                                                                                                                                   Learned that vices can make great, towering earners into hunkered down, burned-out robots. 
Learned that people who sell cars are some of the most entertaining group of people to ever gather on a slab of asphalt.
(The same group may also not even blink when they tear your heart out and trade it on the sidewalk if it meant a couple more bucks for a boat trailer or something equally ridiculous.)
Learned to make some of the strongest bonds with a few of those in that group.
Learned what kind of stereo system is required for a 6500 square foot house.
Learned the rush of making a huge hit by earning nearly a thousand bucks for an hour of socializing.                                                                                                  Learned that comptetitive, commissioned sales is X’s and O’s on a chalkboard. It’s war, baby.
Learned that confidence is the answer to every situation.
Learned that the hardest thing to walk away from is money.
Learned that the easiest thing to walk away from is greed.

Had it not been a career instead of a job, I’d have sold cars for a longer time. Had it not been for a few unsavory moments concerning the fleecing of young kids who just wanted a used car but will now be upside down in it a year down the road, then I would have sold cars for a much longer time. Had it not been for that job, I would have never had a desk manager spur my confidence one day by saying “Keep your chest out and your chin up, Reid. And does your grandma know you stole her drapes for that tie you’re wearing?”

I liked that Jack.

Files and Bills and Killers, Oh My.

Files. Bills. More crap in the form of paper than I can barely comprehend. An all-consuming pyramid of impending doom that towers up to the ceiling and hangs in the den like a black cloud with that weird hovering eyeball. It’s Machu Picchu demanding a check or money order. A looming pile of excess, financial drudgery and societal reminders that’s enough to make someone load a machine gun and prop its tripod on the crux of a dormer and clean the trees of squirrels. Not me, of course. Someone else, in theory.

Now I almost understand Texas bell towers and southern university rampages. Eep. Better watch what I write because freedom of speech only goes so far. But if the FBI is reading this than I’m just about big-time.

Book deal, here I come.

Economic collapse and food riots may be in our future but the hope in all the doomsaying is that maybe then we’ll come together and make a car that runs and sells, or maybe we’ll realize that we should help each other from across the street instead of cutting each other off to get to the red light. Or maybe just a health care system that helps us all instead of bleeding us dry and turning our elderly and children into dope-dependant zombies.

Palaver.

It takes the demise of many for those left behind to realize the importance of community.

I had no idea the stack of mail were bills, requests for attention, red lettered warnings of payment due and growing late fees were for me specifically since I’ve changed my name to Reid of La Mancha. And the rest of the credit collectors and public utilities can go jump in a lake because I know that the only reason light and gas cost so much is because it’s funding country club memberships and summer homes for those presently more fortunate than I. Don’t blame the “economy” as to why budgets crunch and prices rise, we all know it’s because the lifestyle afforded to those who are regularly privileged is being threatened and we certainly can’t have that. Who’s going to watch the cheewawa while the disgusting little brat gets her nails done? Who’s going to trim the hedges or nanny the kids, who’s going to cover the Nordstrom bill or the fancy luncheons if we don’t jack up the rates and milk the people just a little bit more?

Seriously.

When the economy truly collapses, when there’s rampant looting and wheelbarrows full of American legal tender are pushed up to the butcher shop for a few flank steaks, when the beggars outnumber the commuters and jumpers from buildings are mundane occurrences, maybe then we’ll know something about “economic downturns”. Buck up, quit yer bitchin’ and be lucky you have a few dollars for a glass of whiskey on the way home.

This is all really just a message to myself. You might not have enough for a glass of anything for all I know. Then again you may be a grinning fat cat who uses whiskey to wash your whitewalls.

Meow.

Better run, squirrel.