Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Complex" Introduction

Welcome to Jason Rodriguez’s one month novel, being written as part of National Novel Writing Month. The book I’m working on is a satirical romance – modeled after the cheesy Hollywood chick flicks but from the point-of-view of a manipulative, sexist, egotistical, homophobic, racist, power hungry alpha-male who only has faith in one thing: No matter how dumb you are, you still have the potential to be smarter than at least 50% of the people in this country by exploiting their complexes.

If you actually feel like reading this unedited novel which I plan on writing in a month (and if that doesn’t turn you off you’re braver than I am) you can go to the bottom of this post and click through the links I'll be dropping as I post to the blog.

If you don’t feel like reading this I can understand. Wish me luck and stop by The Moose in the Closet, my other online writing experiment where I post a new story every Monday through Friday about growing up in Brooklyn or going to school in Boston. Sometimes funny, sometimes depressing – but people seem to like it so come check it out.

-Chapter 1 (2,433 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 2, Part 1 (4,498 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 2, Part 2 (5,217 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 3 (6,739 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 4 (7,893 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 5 Part 1 (8,990 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 5 Part 2 (10,089 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 6 (11,085 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 7 (11,704 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 8 (13,584 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 9 (14,881 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 10 (15,752 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 11 (16,088 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 12 (18,032 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 13 (19,227 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 14 (20,746 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 15 Part 1 (21,465 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 15 Part 2 (22,383 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 15 Part 3 (24,480 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 16 (26,410 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 17 (28,119 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 18 and 19 (29,827 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 20 (32,068 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 21 and 22 Part 1 (34,548 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 22 Part 2 (36,072 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 22 Part 3 (37,283 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 23 (38,009 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 24 Part 1 (39,415 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 24 Part 2 and Chapter 25 (42,025 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 26 (44941 words out of 50000)
-Chapter 27 (46,337 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 28 (48,002 words out of 50,000)
-Chapter 29 and 30 (50,332 out of 50,000)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Chapter 29 and 30 (50,332 out of 50,000)

29.

Charles stands me up, I wait thirty minutes for him at my place and decide to go to Cynthia’s party without him – Agatha is home studying tonight, she’s coming by tomorrow to help pack my mom up – she’s moving home Sunday. She was so pissed I cam home drunk last night that se decided she’d rather be home with my father – it’s the ultimate guilt trip, getting so pissed at your son that you fucking move out and go back to the man that kicked you out. Whatever, I need some fucking pussy and David’s been putting me off.

Anyway – Charles – comes to the party without me. I don’t understand why I gave him the fucking address – I don’t understand what I’m doing. Fucking Ed’s with him – Chris is here but he’s shying away from me afraid I’ll pop him in his goddamn snotbox again. Even Cynthia’s being a bit elusive – the mother excuse only went so far and now that my mom’s healthy and even moving out I go back to that guy that broke up her party by starting a fight. Charles was supposed to be my fucking peace offering but he fucked me. Him and Ed are in cahoots – I have no fucking allies at the moment – my biggest supporter is a goddamn Starbucks barrister.

I got an in.

“Charles, man, can we talk for a minute?” Ed’s got distracted on his way to the bathroom by Bethany. She’s a baker – a good one too, she made me one hell of a birthday cake two years ago – I think its retail price was along the lines of eight-hundred bucks – she made it for me in her fucking kitchen for free – it was my present. I haven’t called her in a while and Ed is working her nice it seems, she’s smiling, black people have an edge up right from the start just by being black – they get this fucking mix of sympathy and fear – I love when they get called minorities, they can have this world by the balls if they just take hold of it. I wish I got some of my father’s skin – just a little color would have made my life so fucking easy – my mom gives me more than her fucking grief.

“Hey, man – I wanted to call you today.” He glances towards Ed, wants to either make sure he sees this or make sure he isn’t – I can’t fucking tell anymore.

“You should have – I was waiting for you.” I’m letting him lead – what the fuck is wrong with me?

“Sorry man – I told Ed I was coming to this party, he wanted to come along. He doesn’t know many people in the city.” Negro-brotherhood doesn’t exist. They’re jealous of your shoes. They’re jealous of your lady.

“So what’s going on there?” I feel like I should be more aggressive but at the same time I haven’t just fucking listened enough lately – I haven’t let people fall into their own fucking traps.

“Nah – he’s cool. He thinks you’re a dick, obviously, but he ain’t out for revenge – he got played, he realizes that. He kind of admires you, actually – he’s thinking of going his own ‘cause Starbucks sucks. He doesn’t want to fuck shit up anymore than it’s already fucked up.” This is bad – this is definitely a plot. There was at least five different explanations in there – he’s nervous, he wasn’t expecting me to confront him – I have him making shit up on the fly and he’s not that good about it – his element is playing the nigger card and he knows that shit doesn’t work with me.

“Why do you keep looking for him?”

“Huh?”

“You keep looking to see if he’s coming.” He pauses, he’s not good at being backed in the corner – this may be the time to press him, get him out in the open – when Agatha isn’t around. If the shit comes out now, even if it does get to Agatha, I can always claim a negative bias – these fucking people are waiting for me to fuck up again, all of them, give them something to talk about – they’re not the most unbiased reporters of what might happen tonight.

“I don’t know, dude. He’s a cool guy – I don’t want him to know you sent me to spy on him. The guy’s been through a lot, man.” He definitely thinks I’m soft – he thinks I’ll go for the sympathy route – like he’s just trying to help repair the damage that I caused. Like I’m some type of fucking asshole.

“Bullshit, dude. Bullshit. What the fuck is this – you think I don’t know when people are conspiring against me?” He looks pissed – like he’s going to fucking hit me – let him. Let me be the one on the ground this time – let me be the one with the fucking sympathy poured on me – that’ll get me back in right quick.

“Joseph, man – I think you’re getting too into this whole thing – I think you need to go home and relax.” Way to turn it around, dude – way to deny every fucking urge in your body that was trying to get me to cap me in the jaw.

“You don’t fucking tell me what to do –“

“Seriously, man – Ed’s good people – he learned his lesson the hard way but he’s good people. But if you keep popping off –“

“What is this? You guys want to work my scene? You’re trying to push me out?” People are starting to notice but I don’t give a fuck – I’m right on this one and they all fucking know it – I’ve been here before most of them – I’ve been everything everyone at this party ever wanted – they want me in this scene – not this freeloading lazy fucker and his loser friend that can’t even hold his goddamn job for a week – who’s jockeying a register at Starbucks and can’t come close to affording his fucking rent because he though he can live like a king in some Manhattan high-rise.

“Joseph. Seriously. Go home. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“I’ll –“

“Go home.”

I turn and walk fast – part the crowd – no-one wants to come within arms reach of me – they’re all afraid. Chris gives me a smile and a nod as if he just watched me be defeated. A little fucking wink. Cynthia drops her head in disapproval – fighting her white guests was one thing but now I’m upsetting her charity case. Ed leaves the bathroom and asks me if I’m leaving – I refrain from breaking his nose but bump his shoulder hard. Cynthia’s nameless husband opens the door for me – I don’t even bother getting my coat – fuck it – I don’t want to be these people’s free fucking show anymore. No-one at the elevator – press the button and hear the ding instantly. Already ten stories down and it feels like I’m losing time – like there’s just shit missing – big chunks of the action just disappearing – I’m already in the lobby – I’m outside – I’m in a cab – it’s all just going fast – I’m missing things – I can’t remember a face I saw on the way home, I can’t remember the route the cab driver took or how much he charged me – I cant remember getting changed, I don’t know if I brushed my teeth – my mom might be in the living room, might be in the guest room – I don’t remember checking – I’m missing stuff – the TV was on ten seconds ago – my clock skipped ahead twenty minutes – I don’t know if I turned the heat off or I simply forgot to turn it on – I don’t remember waking up but then again I don’t remember going to sleep but an hours passed and I missed it somehow – the TV’s back on, it sometimes helps me sleep – I don’t think I’m having trouble sleeping, minutes are passing, sometimes hours, and they’re not there, I must be passing out – I’m on the toilet, I don’t remember waking up – I’m at the computer, downloading porn and masturbating, for some reason my own finger is up my ass and I don’t remember any of this.

I’m missing everything.

30.

She gives me a hug and tells me she’ll miss me, it was fun, thanks for helping her out, thanks for being patient and loving and understand, Agatha is sweet and a keeper, come by more often, call when I can, she’s going to be ok, she’s going to go to the gym, she’s happy to be going home, I shouldn’t drink so much.

Apparently last night I told her I feel like I’m losing control. When I got home from the party – I woke her up and told her all this shit about how I feel like everything around me is falling apart, about how it feels like everyone is trying to get me. She was scared, she said I sounded like I wasn’t even there, like I was coming down off of a high. She has no idea how fucking right she was.

She tells me to stay off the cocaine, if that’s what I’m using. She tells me to see a doctor. A shrink. She tells me to put more faith in Agatha, open up to her – I can trust her – she’s never seen me in love like this.

Apparently last night she asked me when we were getting married and I told her that I don’t know if I can. I want to but don’t feel like it’s going to work – I feel like she’s against me too and by proposing to her I’d be playing right into her trap. I told her about Ed and Charles – I told her that the three of them were conspiring against me. Apparently I didn’t know why they were conspiring when my mom asked.

She tells me that I should take the next step with Agatha. She tells me she wants grandkids before she dies and then she pauses and puts her hand on her stomach. She reasserts that she’s going to be going to the gym. She tells me not to worry. She tells me that she learned her lesson.

Apparently last night I told her that she’s a great mother. That she was always there to listen to me and I have this guilt inside of me because I squandered it – I let it go away – I got too involved in this game I’m playing that I cut-off all of the people who weren’t major pieces. I told her about Rick Desa. I told her how I felt responsible for his death – I told her that Agatha tried harder to save a stranger than I tried to save a friend. I told her about the funeral and how mad I was at her – how I thought she was lying – how I thought it was all some elaborate scheme of hers.

She tells me to eat healthier, to stay in once and a while – Agatha likes to play board games so I should consider staying home with her once a week and playing monopoly. Boggle. Two player clue. She tells me that I should go bowling with my father and it feels so out of place – I’ve never once went bowling and neither has my father.

Apparently I told her that I loved Agatha. I don’t remember doing it – it was probably just to shut her up since she was talking about grandkids and weddings and support and all this shit. Here she is, living with me for several weeks because my father kicks her out of the fucking house, doesn’t even come to see her when she has a heart-attack and she’s telling me about how important a stable relationship is. About how necessary marriage is. So I probably said I loved Agatha, that I planned on marrying her, only to make my mom fucking shut-up about whatever she was rambling about last night.

She tells me that she appreciates me taking time to tell her my problems last night. She tells me I helped her feel like a mom again. I helped her feel needed. I fucking fed her primal mind, I suppose – I remember none of it. For all I know she was dreaming. Either way in some way I gave her what she needed and that’s what I fucking do.

That’s all I ever do.

Apparently I compared myself to Jesus last night. I told her that I’m always taking shots for other people – giving them a better life and in exchange I never really get what I want. I have all the material shit and all of the invites and the free food but even when I’m enjoying it all I have to be someone I’m not. I’m a fucking social martyr, apparently. I told her that when I stopped doing it, when I took some time to focus on Agatha, everyone turned on me. They didn’t like the me underneath the me they knew. It all started falling apart. I apparently told her that I don’t mind, I would rather it all go away. I told her that I think I’m done, I think I need to move on and just have a fucking life, be content with what I have and prepare for my thirties. I told her I’m going to quit my job before they lay me off – I told her they’d likely do it on Friday since I’m no longer my bosses pimp or drug runner – the no longer have a need for me. I told her that come next weekend I’ll likely have no-one left but her and Agatha. I pushed it all away.

My father shakes my hand and tells me he’ll take care of my mom.

Apparently I told her I was afraid I’d end up like my father.

As they drive off and wave I realize that I may be going fucking nuts – I’m sane enough to admit that.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Chapter 28 (48,002 words out of 50,000)

28.

My mother’s giving me grief for going out – I need to get her and my father together again soon because this is starting to get ridiculous. I come home from a night out and she’s fucking passed out on the couch, some shloppy romance station on the cable box – off-air now – and she’s snoring and drooling and just ruining any fucking chance I have of getting laid. I haven’t gotten any pussy in the past week and I really either need to get this bitch our of the fucking house or go slumming with David. I can’t work any of the people in my usual circle because Agatha’s plugged in for the moment. If I didn’t know her better I’d say this bitch was working me – feels like something I would do – except I have a good understanding of where her skills in this matter lay – she’s mine, you know, I broke her a while ago. With the sex thing, it’s not even like she’s getting frustrated yet – she’ll casually invite me back to my place sometimes and I just picture my mother on the couch, looking alone and pathetic and tell her that things will be back to normal soon – by Christmas at the latest, I promise her, and she tells me it’s ok – that she understands – that if it was her mother she’d be doing the same.

That she needs to get some studying done anyway. That finals are coming up. That she doesn’t feel like she’s ready. I buy her some comfort coffee – she’s starting to acquire a taste for the good stuff – and send her on her way. She holds me a little closer, it’s as if she’s trying to comfort me, as if she feels bad for me and wants to let me know that she’s here for me – like she wants me to open up or some shit. I called my father yesterday and he says he’ll be willing to let her back in, that he misses having her around. He’s just sick of fucking eat McDonald’s every night – it’s amazing how these relationships become a matter of comfort, convenience – how people get so afraid to leave the person they’re with because a certain part of their life has simply become dependant on them. She should be out by next week, I’d imagine – one of them just needs to call the other. That’ll make Agatha happy – she won’t admit it, obviously, but I know her better than she knows herself – she’s so fucking transparent most of the time – she thinks she’s fucking Hollywood – she thinks she’s Audrey Hepburn and life is nothing but romance and love and puppies – she’s so fucking easy to please.

I kind of assess where I’m at and I think I keep losing sight of the goal – it’s kind of fucked – I can admit to that – it seems like everyday I have a new endgame – but it’ll all become clear soon enough, it always does. I’m sure there’s a clearer path to get there and I’ll see it in retrospect – it’s not like there are rewrites in life but you can at least learn from your mistakes and build on it. Not saying this is one big mistake – but I am saying that there may be a better way to get to where I want to get, wherever that may be.

Rambling a lot. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. Rambling. Changing course. Second guessing. Re-plotting. I feel pressed for time, I want to get back to where I was, to the stuff I was doing before this but at the same time I want to see this to fruition.

Haven’t heard back from Charles yet, been a couple of days. He’s supposed to be coming with me to Cynthia’s party tomorrow – he better deliver something before then. I wish I had the information before today – before this fucking Happy Hour – I feel so defenseless. I honestly have no idea how this is going to go but I need to be there to defend myself. Ed’s going to be drunk, Agatha’s going to be drunk – all of their coworkers are going to be drunk – there’s going to be an audience. It’s the perfect time to strike, it’s when I would do it.

I’ve been on edge lately, accusatory – maybe a little paranoid. I keep feeling like I need to find a way to get Agatha out of this potential shit-storm but then I ask myself why it even fucking matters – why am I even in this fucking shit-storm – how is this even a shit-storm? Why can’t I just work through it?

I feel like I’m losing control of this whole thing sometimes. I hate to admit it. I feel like someone else is controlling my life, like I’m a character in someone’s story and that someone keeps having different plans for me.

I feel like everything’s going somewhere, things are coming together, and I just don’t know what the final resolution is going to be.

That’s a scary place to be. For me, at least.

__________________

What the fuck. What the fuck.

“Joseph, my man, this is my friend Charles.”

What the fuck.

I missed this – there’s something here. What the fuck is going on. The way he introduced Charles – he knows I know Charles – he knows what I’m trying to do – what the fuck? Did he offer Charles something better? What the fuck could he even offer him. Oh. Wait. Wait, wait, wait.

“Yeah, yeah – I know Joseph – we go back.” No nigger camaraderie my ass. This is a fucking plot – this has to be a plot.

“No shit? Small world.” That fucking look – that fucking look – this is it, this is the end, unless I get Agatha out of here this is the fucking end. But what can I do? Fake sick? She’ll want to come home with me to make sure I’m OK and my mom would know I was faking sick – if there’s one thing a mom can do it’s tell when her child is faking sickness – no-matter how dysfunctional the mother in question that shit is like breathing for them – any moronic fucking mother can do it. I can’t go back to her place sick, she would question why I want to do that. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck – how did I miss this? Goddamn black people are so fucking hard to play sometimes – especially the ones with little to offer. All Charles had to offer me was the fact that he’s black and my fucking friend. Fuck!

“Yeah – how do you know Ed, Charles?” Agatha sense this tension it’s so fucking obvious – this whole conversation is awkward and robotic and she can tell – she has the most peculiar fucking expression on her face.

“The man can ring up one hell of a mochaccino.” Everyone laughs, inside Starbucks humor – I’m the fucking outsider here. Look at them all – Agatha is wearing a sweater from New York Inc, a big fucking fluffy-ass turtle-neck and pants from Anne Taylor. Ed is wearing some Polo clothes – black man’s fancy wear. No matter how much money these guys make they wear shit like polo and Hilfiger – that’s their going out gear. Charles with a basketball jersey – fucking Knicks. The other barrista, Ellen, got that outfit off of the front page of a fucking Land’s End catalogue – November’s. Joe’s shirt says Old Navy on it – he’s proud of the fact that he can’t afford a decent shirt without a cost that’s partially subsidized by being a fucking walking billboard. There’s some gap. Some fucking Banana Republic. J. Crew, Eddie Bauer, H&M – that guys wearing Cubavera – white as fuck and trying to rock Buena Vista Social Club knock-offs. They’re all drinking Miller Light because it’s on sale – it’s the goddamn Happy Hour featured drink. They’re all laughing, they’re all in on the fucking joke.

How’d I get here?

_____________

Miller Light tastes like piss. I don’t understand how these fucking people can drink it. They’re putting them down like water because it is fucking water. I had like ten and I don’t even feel drunk, I mean, maybe a little buzzed but that’s about the extent of it. I mean – just a little tipsy, you know – whatever the fuck you call it – like – a little elated, you know? I took off my sweater – it’s too hot – that fucking sweater cost more than everyone in this party’s goddamn outfits combined and Ed spilled beer on it and apologized and I can’t say shit because this isn’t my FUCKING show. Agatha keeps looking at me, she thinks I’m drunk, I know it – I can fucking tell – she thinks I’m being an anti-social asshole – she thinks I should mingle with these fucking commoners – talk about coffee and sports and graphic novels and whatever else these wannabe fucking hipsters are talking about. Charles hasn’t said shit to me all night – him and Ed. Fuck! I opened myself up to this shit. Agatha’s probably in on it already, too. She has that empowered thing – had it until I fucking got to her – she probably got a spark of it back after they told her the deal. She probably feels empowered again, she probably fucked both of these guys because I know she has a nasty streak – she probably took them at the same time – doing shit with them she’d never do with me – taking it in the ass – screaming in ecstasy – probably had these guys inviting the goddamn million-man march to swing by after the protest for a gang-fuck. White woman love to fuck black men, everyone knows that – and black men are fucking sexual predators – everyone knows that as well.

How the fuck did I get here?

But nobody said anything – they’re enjoying this – they’re leading me on and playing with me – they’re hanging this shit over my fucking head for as long as they can.

All of them. They’re all in on this. And I fucking missed it.

Chapter 27 (46,337 words out of 50,000)

27.

I haven’t spoken to Charles in fucking months – haven’t really had the time too. He has his thing, I have mine. Last I heard he’s living in some upper management type’s basement – been there for about seven weeks now, a bit longer than his usual stay so this cat could have something worth holding onto or Charles is running out of boarders. Charles stayed at this one guys place for about four months because he was fucking the dude’s daughter – I think that’s his record. Charles gives me the big smile he gives everybody, asks me if it’ll be turkey like the rest of these white folk, I tell him us mullato types are partial to ham for some fucking reason – he just laughs and asks if I want it cut thin, his chorus of “hip” white folks all giggle and smirk and if I’m the outsider experiencing Charles for the first time – as if Charles didn’t just give me a wink indicating he has his next five places to stay lined up. He hands me my ham that I have no intention of eating and I quietly tell him hat we should talk – he announces his break to all of the white folks’ dismay – none of them want the hairy, dirty grungy looking dude with the hairnet on his beard to slice their honey maple turkey and proscuitto.

It’s cold out – December is rarely this cold – Charles likes to smoke during his break – sometimes cigarettes, sometimes dope. Depends on if it’s the holiday season or not. “You want some of this?”

“Nah – I’m good.” Charles gets some swag – I don’t smoke dope all of the time but when I do I like to make sure it’s not the type of shit you buy off some Jamaican fuck in Washington Square Park.

“Then just keep a look out.” He lights it up and tokes two like a pro, I’ve seen this guy suck down a fatty in less than a minute – it’s like a fucking super-power. “So what’s been going on, man?”

“Nothing, bro. Same shit.”

“Ain’t what I heard – I heard you’re shacking up with some white bitch.” By being a butcher is such a hoity-toity neighborhood Charles hears more gossip than anyone I’ve ever met. Seriously, this cat has talked to everybody who’s everybody in New York or at least overheard them talking about paying off someone’s abortion.

“I ain’t shacking up – I’ve just sort of been screwing around with her.” It’s not good that information like this gets to Charles; guys like Charles – guys like me – see this as a sign of weakness, like I’m out of the game. Next thing you know he’ll be working my party circuit, trying to learn the ropes – using his “negro-slave charm” to worm his way into the houses of a whole new clientele.

“Shit, I heard you were going to fucking Disney World with this bitch.” Goddamn people talk. At this rate Charles will be trying to con me into putting him up for a month.

“I have my angle.” He gives me a knowing eye, I got blood in the water and this fuck knows it – he smells it. “Look, bro, you know some guy named Ed Stevens?”

“Stevens?”

“Yeah, Stevens.” I’ve seen that look in Charles’ eye before – I should just end this shit right now.

“Black dude? Right? A black dude?”

He doesn’t know him – I think I’ve seen this exact routine. “So you don’t know him?”

“No – why’d you think I would? ‘Cause I’m black? All us black folk hang out?” He’s good, I’ll tell you that much. If it wasn’t for the fact that I agreed with what he was saying I’d probably feel a pang of guilt. It takes a black man five seconds to call another black man his brother or his cousin. You go to a black club and you feel like you intruded at a family reunion – when they’re not fighting each other they’re the best of fucking friends – every single one of them. I honestly think that every black person in New York has, at one time, gave a pound to every other black person in New York. Now, as far as how long they retain that information is up for debate.

“Don’t pull the nigger routine with me, bro.” He takes a toke, smiles, and toasts to me – I’m not out of it yet, Charles knows I’m the fucking master at this shit. “He works at the Starbucks across the street – just started there.”

“I fucking hate Starbucks.” There must be a gene that correlates intelligence to hatred for Starbucks.

“Well – Agatha works there too.” Fuck.

“Hold up. HOLD UP. This bitch you’ve been with for, what, two months?”

It’s been three. “Yeah – two months.”

“Works in a fucking Starbucks?” What’s funny is – everyone else I tell that too they completely understand – Starbucks is a perfectly respectable job. Dudes like Charles – dudes like me – we understand that there is nothing good to come of working at a Starbucks. This person likely has nothing to offer the world except for over-processed coffee drinks.

“I have my angle.”

“It better be a good one.” The whole mood shifts – Charles lost his faith in me – he doesn’t even want to be in this conversation anymore.

“Look – I fucked this guy Ed hard, recently. He was working at my office for a week and in that time I distributed pictures of him fucking a hooker in Atlanta to everyone he knows and everyone at work – getting him fired, causing his girlfriend to leave him and his family to shun him.” Charles pick up on that one – he gives me a loving smile – that’s some hardcore shit and he knows it.

“Aight, aight – so what you need from me?”

He’ll take this fine, I imagine. “I need you to talk to him – about Agatha – he can fuck up my work with little effort.”

“You want me to do the whole “nigger brotherood” angle.” That was easy.

“Yeah. Yeah, that would be great.”

“You know that doesn’t always work, right?” He takes the last two puffs of his joint – it’s amazing, really, he sucked that thing down like it was a fucking cigarette.

“How you mean?” Straight from the horse’s mouth, I suppose.

“There’s a lot of jealousy there – almost instantly. Niggas get jealous if you’re shoes are nicer than there’s or if you’re taller than them – you got to play into that but it’s tough to do.” That’s really fucking good information right there. No wonder I don’t have a lot of success with black people – at least not the real ones – I always thought my mom instilled a sense of white man’s guilt into me when I was in the womb. “That’s why you don’t roll with many niggas.”

Yeah, that and the fact that not many of them have much worth offering – at least not the real ones, again. It would be fun to get in with some rap producer or athlete but, I don’t know, I’d rather know the rich white guy that writes their checks. “But you think you can poke around a bit – see if he has anything planned?”

“Yeah – but I don’t see what’s in it for me.” Guys like us – we don’t shit unless there’s something in it for us – unless we can see someway to play it out way.

We usually end up trading a contact. I’ll do better than that for Charles; I’ll give him a whole new fucking scene. There’s only so much you can do as a butcher – it’s good enough for what he’s trying to do. But we all have aspirations beyond our current disposition and Charles has been looking for an in. Being a butcher, most rich folks wuld rather him stay at home or go out with his negro friends – he doesn’t get to work my scene much – that’s the fucking big leagues – that’s where you can go for anything you want. A butcher conning a place to stay is one thing. A butcher conning free dinner at Manhattan’s most exclusive restaurant – that’s practically fucking impossible. “How about a rich black couple with tons of racial guilt who throw the best fucking parties filled with the every contact guys like us fucking salivate over.”

He drops his blunt and gives me a look of disbelief.

Chapter 26 (44941 words out of 50000)

26.

I have had a fucking Peppermint Latte every day this week. They give me a headache – there’s so much fructose in one of those goddamn things I can feel my teeth corrode with every fucking sip. Agatha likes when I meet her here, though – gets her all giddy and shit which is where I want to keep her for the time being if I can. Same shit though, every fucking time I come here – I get a sad excuse for a latte while she finishes up her last few orders, we get lunch at Quiznos or some god-awful equivalent, it’s all the same shit food when you start slumming around like that, take a walk – she likes to walk around in the cold for some fucking reason, hold hands and shit, she pulls in close to me on big gusts of winds and smiles – it’s pathetic, really. She’ll keep cracking jokes about how it’s warmer in Orlando and how we should go out there – if she only knew what she was really asking for. I like putting it off, I like keeping her in this state where I’ve completely broken her, no more games, I just get what I want and know in the back of my mind that she has what she deserves coming to her. Two days ago she convinced me to get our picture taken with fucking Santa Claus at the thirty-fourth street mall – it had to be one the most degrading things I’ve ever sat through – the fat loser fuck actually asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said a puppy – Agatha laughed like I knew she would – she likes stupid fucking kid jokes. He asked me what kind of puppy and I told him a pug, I noticed how Agatha always likes to stop and play with people’s pugs – she must have a thing for them so I figured I might as well use that to my advantage and get something out of the fact that I needed to sit on some child-molester’s lap. Agatha told tubby fuck with the bloodshot eyes that matched his fucking dirty suit that she wanted some new boots – how goddamn typical can you get? But, whatever, if that’s what she wants that’s what I’m getting her – give them what they want, right? Keep them happy. Make them reveal their complexes. Take advantage.

Fucking repeat.

I snuck a peek at her shoes when she was taking a shower – size eight – one things for sure, I sure as hell will not be going into nine-west or DSW or any of those fucking beggar’s shoe stores, I picked out a pair of Manolo Blahnik boots that she’ll have a conniption over when she sees them. She’ll have no idea what the fuck they are, probably classify them as the “cutest boots she’s ever seen” as if I picked them up at a fucking Nordstrom. I’m going to be sickly cute with it as well, get her all gushing – I’m going to take them out of the box and wrap them individually so that they look like nothing but boots covered in wrapping paper – play some silly “couples” joke like “guess what they are first” so that she can shake it and ask if it’s a DVD and I can give a hearty laugh and say, “Yes, it’s the complete first season of Dallas.” It’d be even cuter if I put the first fucking season of Dallas in the boot. She’d get a kick out of that.

That’s where I want her – that’s where I keep her.

“Good afternoon, sir, can I take your order?”

What the fuck? “Ed?”

Stupid. Fucking stupid, fucking not paying attention. He recognizes me. He’s looking right at me and he fucking recognizes me – this can’t be right – I’m missing something here, I’m sleeping at the wheel, I’m getting too comfortable. I fucking missed something and now I’m in this situation.

Walk away. Just walk away.

“Hey honey!” He looks at her and smiles. He fucking got me – this bastard’s been planning this, he had to have been planning this – he’s looking back at me now, smiling, he knows – this fucking guy got me – he fucking knows – I’m missing something.

“Oh. Hey Aggy.” He’s smiling – I know that smile, I use it all the time. It’s the type of smile you get when you know you have somebody – when you fucking broke through – when you get an edge, a one-up. It’s that goddamn mother fucking arrogant as shit smile.

“Ed, this is Joseph – my man.” Even when she’s ruining everything she tries to be so fucking cute – she just said “my man” in a way that panders to Joseph blackness – as if she’s down – as if she’s going to grow fucking break dancing on a cardboard box after work and wants Ed to come along with her.

“Yeah – I know Joseph.” He’s not going to let me live, he’s no going to let this pass. He’s going to ruin me – this fucking twenty-two year old wet behind the ears punk is going to fucking ruin me.

“Ed used to work at Allied.” Just play it cool dude, play it cool – you missed this – you fucked it up – he’s here for a reason – just play it cool. Let him think he has control – let him power trip, that always buys time. “What are you doing at Starbucks?” Shit. That pissed both of them off – I tried to make my tone as neutral and non-condescending as possible but neither of them went for it.

“It’s just temporary until I find a new job, need to pay the bills, you know?” He’s being accusatory, even Agatha’s picking up on it – that’s ok, as long as I play it cool he’ll ride this out – he’ll keep it all a secret because he thinks that there is power in it – he thinks that there’s ace up his fucking sleeve for as long as Agatha and I are together. “I can’t get an references out of Allied, obviously, and employees get freaked out when they see I was fired after two weeks.”

Just keep him here, he wants to be in control, keep him in control.

I fucked up.

“Oh – honey – you didn’t tell me that. I’m sure Joseph can get them to say something for you – he’s big shit at Allied.” He teases me with the information, he’s not going to tell, you can see it in his eyes, you can see it behind that smile – he’s going through scenarios in his head, thinking of how he can ruin me as if he even has a chance of stepping onto my fucking playing field.

“No – not when you consider the circumstances under which I was fired.” He’s trying to talk like a fucking James Bond villain – it’s actually kind of comical – if I had the freedom to do so I’d laugh. The important part, though, is that he’s toying. People who toy are never a threat, I can phone this one in – just keep giving him what he wants and fuck him up when he loses his position.

“I can at least ask.” Nice delivery. Humble. Begging for forgiveness with the inflection of my voice in such a way that only he would realize what I’m doing. And he bites; he gives his head a little shake – a little nice try.

“No. No – I’d imagine there’s plenty of bad feelings towards me there.” Not a James Bond villain – a fucking comic book villain. Like right now he’s this “super-smart evil genius” trying to manipulate the Hulk.

“Why’d they fire you?” Moment of truth – does he take me out now or does he give me a chance to fucking destroy him later on.

“Not a good topic of conversation for a Starbucks.” You’re dead asshole, you should have took it when you had the chance. People get too fucking greed these days, they get a taste of victory and all of a sudden they’re fucking Vince Lombardi. That’s fine – mission fucking accomplished as far as I can tell. “Maybe I’ll tell you at happy hour.”

Happy hour?

“Oh, that’s right. We’re going to Happy Hour this Friday, baby, do you think you’ll be able to come?” Man – alcohol is not good for the situation we have right here. There’re two things that can be happening here – the first thing is the fact that he’s just going to try and ruin my life, tell Agatha all about Atlanta and my real job as I described it to him. If that’s the case this whole thing is over but, whatever, I’ll deal. The second possibility is that his revenge might come in the form of attempting to steal Agatha – as if he even has a chance with her. There’s something in that look. Of course, if I were him, my play would be to tell Agatha about her douche bag boyfriend and use her fractured state to fuck her in the ass. But I don’t think Ed’s that smart – if he was he would still be working at Allied and I would likely be jobless at the moment.

“Friday? Yeah. I have to pick up my mom from the doctors at four and drop her off home so I probably won’t be able to make it until five-thirty.” There’s no fucking way in hell I let Ed have friendly non-work conversation when I’m not there – if he says shit I’m going to have to be ready to counter it quick.

His cell phone – shit. The fucking pictures.

“Your mother’s living with you now?” Agatha laughed. Or smiled – her mouth opened a bit though as if she was going to laugh. She finds this funny – she finds Ed’s digs amusing – that can’t be good. I really fucked this one up.

“Just for a little while.” I’ll take this shot, it’s better than the alternative.

“I could imagine it being…frustrating.” He looks to Agatha with a knowing glance and she coyly dips her head away. He’s got one coming to him for that one. I’m going to be honest. People have played against me in the past and have played well. Agatha is a great example. There was also this guy who used to run my network, named Steve. Quite possibly the most unassuming man you’ll ever see – just a down-home white boy with blonde hair and blue eyes, a square chin and fucking dimples in his cheeks. This guy used to try too hard, though – he didn’t know how to play it. Within a minute of talking to somebody he’d ask them what they did and turn cold if he wasn’t interested or hot if he was. What he never understood was that you always stay neutral. The people who don’t have something that off the bat gets you going will likely know someone who does – people like to keep low-maintenance friends, people who are beneath them, it makes them feel more real. There was this one guy, Willis, he was a fucking janitor or whatever the fuck you call the guy that works in a large apartment and unclogs people’s toilets on Thanksgiving day – whatever you call him it’s a shitty fucking job. I lived in this one apartment once that was managed by this vile woman – this old, shriveled, white smoking woman with huge red hair and thick fucking glasses. She had this guy Willis working for her, doing all the real work – Willis was cool as shit and put up with this wretched fucking woman. One day my fucking dishwasher explodes on Martin Luther King Jr Day – just fucking explodes and there’s water and soap suds everywhere. So I go down to the office thinking that this fucking bitch, Fay, this epitome of white, would be working on Martin Luther King JR Day. I open the office door and Willis is there – no Fay. I ask him where Fay is and he tells me that she took the day off. I just kind of stared at him, I had no idea what to say, finally he just nods and tells me, “I know, I’m quitting soon.” Well this guy, Willis – if Steven met him at a party he’d be instantly dismissed – not even a fucking hello – he’d see the dude was obviously living low-class so he’d just ignore him the entire time. Me, if I were to see a guy like Willis at a party like the kinds I roll to – I know he’d have something to offer. Willis was just the buildings super until I saw him at a somewhat high-class party – turns out this cat knows more about boxing than almost any mother fucker on this planet and the mother fucking boxing commissioner of New York City is his goddamn cousin by marriage. I’m practically best fucking friends with this guy now and I get front row seats to every fucking fight at the Garden. Steve – he noticed that his technique wasn’t working and became a bit jealous of the way my shit was going. So instead of trying to follow up my moves he just started trying to poach the people I was with – he was the socialite equivalent of a fucking cock-blocker – he’d wait until I went to the bathroom and find ways to say nasty shit about me. But the thing is – I always played it cool – so these people would come up to me and tell me Steven was saying some nasty shit behind my back. I kind of laughed it of for a while but eventually I had enough and I decided to fuck with him – I switched up my strategy and started leading him onto to people that weren’t worth working. There are some people whose offering isn’t worth dealing with their complexes. Like this chocolatier I met at a charity function for fucking feline leukemia (rich people and how they spend their money boggle my fucking mind sometimes) who was extremely delusional about where he fit into the grand scheme of things – you hear this guy talk and you think he made chocolate by crushing diamonds with Gwyneth Paltrow’s ass while cherubs played harps in the background. So, you think about the trade-off – do you really need a guy that makes fucking chocolate that bad? Especially when people in Belgium and France do it better? Fuck that – but that’s the kind of guy I was getting Steven onto and the more parties he came to the more depressed he got – the more he felt like a loser that couldn’t just work this shit right. And he saw me – always happy, always at the center – always getting whatever the fuck I wanted – and it fucking killed him. He ended up moving to some low-maintenance city like Denver or Tampa where the people are easier but that’s because they’re also a bunch of fucking losers worth nothing in this world. Phoenix is the bottom – Phoenix is where players go to die – at least he didn’t go there off the bat although I’m sure he’ll find himself there eventually. I let him work my turf for a little bit but when you try to encroach on my shit – it’s over.

“Joseph?” Fuck, zoning out again.

“Sorry, what?” I have several looks going, the lady behind me is tapping her foot and huffing up a fucking storm because I’m keeping her fat ass away from her caramel macchiato.

“Peppermint Latte, right? Or are you switching it up today?” Who tried to change the subject first? Fuck, I’m fucking up left and right over here – I feel like I missed something – there’s a tension here – I wonder if Agatha said something or gave him a look or whatever. This fucking guy. Ed. Lasted a week in my world. Who the fuck does he think he is, keeping something over me?

“Yeah – grande. So, who’re you interviewing for, Ed?” I’m taking control of this mother fucker again. I don’t know why I was even scared of him.

“General Motors, Sirius – Motorola interview tomorrow to help them market their next-gen camera phones.” Was that a jab? Was that some lame excuse for a fucking threat? I can’t believe I was actually backed against the wall with this guy. “Great resolution to catch someone in those embarrassing moments – the kind of pictures you’d love to share with friends, family – significant others – anyone who’d get a good rise out of them.”

“That should be your slogan. Get a rise out of Aunt Felicia.” He shoots me a dirty look, he doesn’t like me playing – doesn’t want it – this is his moment. In his mind, at least. “She can be in a wheelchair, too. And her husband shows her a picture that the audience doesn’t see and she flips out, gets out of her chair – rises up, if you will.” He’s turning red, biting his lip – I have an audience and they’re laughing and it’s driving him insane which is good – I’d have to have to deal with a sane man. “And then she, I don’t know – kills the husband by cutting his head off with a Dean Martin LP.” He’s furious – you walk away now and show him you’re not afraid of him – he has no control over you.

“Aggy, I’m going to have to take that to go. Big day at the office today. Power Point Presentations and speech lessons.”

Ed eyes me hard – he’s not going to take this and that’s exactly what I want.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Chapter 24 Part 2 and Chapter 25 (42,025 words out of 50,000)

At 27 years old, on a Saturday, I should be out. Saturday is the number one night for going out, Thursday coming in second although Tuesday is nipping at its fucking heels. On a Saturday night, I should be out on the town, drinking high-class drinks and getting head in the back of a taxi. I shouldn’t be sitting at home, playing fucking Boggle with my mom.

“I don’t think piebald is a word.”

Playing boggle with me apparently illiterate mom, I should say.

“It’s a word – it means something’s put together by a hodge-podge of parts. A Puerto Rican’s car is a piebald.” Even Agatha went out, she says I’ve been staying in too much and I need to start living again. How the fuck am I supposed to do that? I got my mom moping around the house all day – she’s such a negative fucking influence. She’s just so goddamn depressed, she’s always crying about how her life is falling apart and how she can’t lose the weight she’s supposed to lose and how that’s why my father kicked her out. He kicked her out because he had an out, me – he knew I’d take her in. And when she almost died he likely felt cheated, like he was so close to the fucking freedom that he’s been wanting and then it was just snatched away from him. Has nothing to do with her being a fat-ass - if that was the case he would kicked her out years ago – and has everything to do with the fact that most women on this earth likely fuck better than her.

“That’s not nice.” Agatha’s kind of pissed off, she’s fine with me putting my mom up for the time being but not too happy about how “intrusive” it’s become. Fuck her – I was paying for the Orlando trip. But that’s regardless, I have my heart set on ending this in Orlando and I’m a smart enough dude to realize that I’m stubborn sometimes – we’ll go next month. Or in February, even. Besides, it would be interesting to see what this bitch gets me for Christmas – I have my money on something ridiculously generic like silk pajamas and boxer shorts – fucking slippers or some shit.

“But it’s true. Pie.” I think I’m going to fuck with her some more – she seems to really dig living out the iconic relationship – keep that up, give her what she wants – if she’s happy she’s really good in bed, too. I misjudged her for some time, she has a supreme chivalry complex, knight in shining armor shit, probably comes from having an idyllic father – he died when she was eight so she never go to see him for the alcoholic let-down he probably was.

“I got that.”

“Drag.” Girls and their fathers – ninety percent of all female complexes can be traced back to that relationship. I don’t know if that’s documented or anything but it makes sense to me. Everyone always chimes on the mother. Overbearing or overly aggressive – only capable of showing love through physical trinkets – shit like that. All these chicks I meet – all the ones that want me to choke them with a belt or put a cigarette to their tits – all these chicks had some serious fucking father issues.

Phone.

“Who is it?” I don’t think I can enumerate the amount of things that annoy me about having my mom live with me but, if I could, I can only imagine number one being her fucking need to ask “who is that” every time someone calls.

“Agatha – hold on.” I normally would let it got to voice mail but she hates that – she’s been getting on about it lately and I need to keep her happy, need to keep her in the mindset that this is all innocent fun and that there are no hidden intentions – especially with recent delays in the master plan. “Hey honey. No, no – it’s going fine.” It fucking kills me to have to act this out sometimes, it’s all so mechanical – it’s the same fucking conversation every “couple” in the world is having at this exact goddamn moment – I’m just contributing to the noise. “Yeah, Boggle. I am.” As if my mom could even come close to my score in any board game – this bitch never even beat me in Chute & Ladders as a kid. “Actually – yeah, I’ll meet you there. That sounds good.” She always picks the lamest joints to meet up – her and her annoying fucking friends who I need to put up with way too often are going to T.G.I.Fridays – it’s fucking insulting to have to be there on a Saturday night. My mom’s giving me a look like I just ripped out her heart and replaced it with a steaming pile of shit. “Sure – like twenty minutes.” What the fuck does she want from me? I give her food, a place to fucking stay – played goddamn boggle with her – what the fuck more can I possibly do? Agatha’s the play here, my mom’s just getting in the fucking way. “See ya then. Bye. Love you too.”

I normally throw up in my fucking mouth when I tell this cunt that I love her but right now the immediate problem at hand is my mom’s depressing fucking face. “It’s late, anyway, you should go to bed. You gotta go to see your trainer tomorrow.” I signed her up for a personal trainer at the gym – you had to see this dude’s face when he met her for the assessment. Usually these guys weigh you first, take body fat measurements – the guy didn’t even bother. For weight he probably wrote “fat”, for body fat he probable wrote “all of it”. He sitting there and telling her all of the exercises they were going to do to help her lose weight and somewhere in the back of his head he fucking realizes that this bitch is so fat all she needs to do is move a little bit and she’ll shed fifty pounds. But he’s apparently going to get her doing some free weights (because the machines likely can’t support her) and get her on the treadmill (because they’re cheaper to replace than the elliptical machines). It’s going to be a fucking horror show. Especially in the locker room. I honestly doubt my mom would step foot in one but can you fucking believe it if she did? Could you imagine being in the shower and this four-hundred plus pound woman come in there and starts cleaning her enormous fucking snatch? Lifting her tits above her head so that she can clean her underarms? I’d tear my fucking eyes out – bludgeon them out with a bar of fucking soap. “Don’t look at me like that, mom. I hung out with you all day.”

“I know – you’re so good to me. Go and have fun.” She goes through all of the motions, the fucking clenched throat and the sobs and the teary eyes – I’m honestly fucking sick of it all.

“Look, not tonight, all right – I’m going out.”

She just puts her head down and looks at her list of Boggle words that she never got to scratch off her fucking list.

25.

David’s been harassing me to go to a strip club with him for the past fucking month – I don’t mind doing it on business – that’s work and I tend to have a good time – but I’ve been weary about doing it at home – I don’t like the idea of coming home smelling like a goddamn whore and having Agatha smell it on me, have her instantly know where I’ve been and what I’ doing. I don’t need to ruin everything I’ve worked for just for some skanky stripper fun – if it was a high-class bitch than that would be a different story, but David doesn’t go to the high-class places. “You see the Sox signed Beckett – I thought he was going to go to the Yanks for sure.”

David looks at me more with annoyance than disbelief – he’s had a few too many and I’d imagine he’s a bit volatile. “Dude – we’re in a fucking strip club.”

He turns back to the woman on stage that’s currently working overtime for David’s fucking dollar. She keeps moving for it but he keeps teasing it away from her – making her do one move, making her pay attention to him for one more second. I taught him that move, it’s a basic strip-club play. The thing is, these girls come to you for a dollar. A fucking dollar. They come to you and they shake their hips and they show their tits and they wrap their legs around your neck for a fucking dollar. Whereas that’s low, doing it for free is exponentially worse. So you tease them with the dollar. They already invested their dignity, there’s no rule saying you have to tip them, so the only thing they can do is prolong the hang-time, give you a little more show. The method doesn’t hurt your chances of getting the lap-dance and the eventual blowjob, either – you’re talking about a bitch that will lean over you wearing no shirt and kiss your cheek for a dollar – throw her a twenty and it’s a fucking party.

She takes the dollar and scurries away before he can take out another one but a new girl comes over. David just looks back at me and shoots me a dirty look, sighs and shakes his head disapprovingly.

“I don’t know what the fuck happened to you.”

It almost hurts getting insulted by a forty-year-old man with wife and kids – I’m just lucky I’m in control, I always know what I’m doing.

“It’s rough, dude, I don’t want to go home smelling like hookers. No offense.” I can’t believe that look she just gave me. As if she’s not a hooker. That’s right, she’s an “exotic dancer”. At least hookers start their pricing at twenty bucks for the low-rent ones, hundreds for the nicer ones. Fucking strippers – no matter the venue – start out at a fucking dollar. They usually hook for a Jackson. And they get insulted when you call them hookers – as if they’re above a common street hooker. Street hookers get to set their own hours – they maybe have five guys groping them a night instead of forty. But yeah, they’re above the street trash because they stand on a stage and shove dollar bills in their panties. Because they grind you for ten or twenty bucks while inviting you in the VIP room. Where for some extra money they fuck you rotten. And that’s at the classier joints. A place like this you can skip the lap dance and go straight to getting blowjob in the alleyway if the price is right. But they’re not hookers.

“Fuck that – by the time you get home Agatha will be passed the fuck out.”

That’s one thing about Agatha – if she doesn’t go out she’s in bed by eleven at the latest. I never understood that shit – I don’t think my body is physically capable of sleeping at eleven. She even starts work at noon – which is about when I start work – but you’d think she’d stay up later since she doesn’t have to get up ass-early. Instead she gets up ass-early and goes to the gym. That’s what fucking lunchtime is for. Everyone should have my schedule. I get up a ten or eleven, shower. Get dressed, do the hair – all that shit. Get to work at around twelve and go to lunch. Go to the gym, workout, shower, get dressed, do my hair, etc. Get back to work at around two, stay until three. Find something to do, go get some dinner, party all fucking night. That’s the way to live.

“It’s not like that. It’s my mom, man – it’s rough having her stay with you. She knows everything and she’s always judging.” He just turns back to the strippers, points at me and laughs. It almost hurts having a forty-year-old man miming “can you believe this guy” to a used-up stripper. Almost, luckily I’m in control – top of my fucking game.

“The mom excuse is getting old.” This coming from the twelve-year-old tit sucker – I’m sure he uses his dead mom as an excuse for everything. Every time he can’t get it up or pay the bills e finds a way to swing it around to his fucking mom.

“She’s working it out with my father, she should be out soon.” At least that’s what she tells me and I try to believe. Honestly, whereas I like helping her out and I like fucking with my father, enough is indeed e-fucking-nough. I’m sick of the crying and the guilt-trips, the broken chairs and the Ding Dong wrappers left on the kitchen table.

“I hope so, man – we’re getting kind of tired of you being such a fucking pussy.” Not a pussy, David. For once why don’t you say what you really want to say. Without me, you are nothing. Without me completely on my game, taking you out and getting you stoned and fuck, you are nothing but a miserable husband and father. Fuck this.

“Pussy, dude? Come on, David, you’re talking to the guy that gets you fucking laid on a daily basis.” No gratitude in some people, the turn on you in a fucking second. You want to see this human trait in action, go to a goddamn Yankee game. They’ll boo the fuck out of their own players until someone hits a homerun – they’ll cheer him on like her was fucking Jesus with some pine-tar. But the next at bat, if he strikes out – right back to booing. That’s what corporate America is like – that’s what people like David are fucking like.

“Used to.” Son of a bitch. What the fuck, I still do get laid on an almost daily basis. Why is it that when people get married and start having their own shitty sex they always assume you’re having shitty sex as well. These fucking guys put it in for several thrusts, pull out and cum on their wife or girlfriend’s stomach – clog up the belly-button – and assume that everyone else in a relationship, real or fake, is having the same fucked up sex.

“Used to? So, wait, you don’t get some stripper snatch for what – a fucking month – and I’m a goddamn ‘used to’? What the fuck is that?” The stripper gets the fuck out of here, can’t say that I blame her.

“Get the fuck out of here, man, ever since you starting hooking up with Agatha you just haven’t been on your game – we all notice it. Even in Atlanta you weren’t having a good time – we weren’t having a good time – I don’t even think you fucked anyone in Atlanta, did you?”

“Yeah. This one bitch.” I don’t even think I did. I was a little drunk, I might have gotten a hand-job. But I was busy, you know – I was fucking with Ed – that took a good amount of my time. A good amount of concentration – Ed was like the fucking warm-up, the snack before I get to Agatha. Believe me – if I wasn’t having so much fun other wise I would have been fucking all goddamn night.

“This one bitch! It’s fucking Agatha, man – she’s getting to you. She’s fucking with you. You can talk about your mom all you want but I think we both know that’s just a big fucking excuse.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chapter 24 (39,415 words out of 50,000) Part 1

24.

I’ve been to Orlando once. At Orlando, you can find examples of everything that’s wrong with this country - you just need to sit on a bench at Universal Studios for five minutes.

For example, ninety-percent of the parents in this country really don’t want to be parents. I don’t know why they do it – they probably get knocked up to save their failing marriage and tell themselves that they’re doing it because of an obligation to the human race and God – as if either God or humanity doesn’t hang their head in shame every time they think they somehow influenced two fat pieces of white trash to raise a kid that they despise and, in turn, end up neglecting. I don’t understand the need to reproduce; I never really studied it since most of the people I interface with on a social level don’t have kids. They have careers. They have material items and pimped out apartments. They have things worth getting in on. There is a direct correlation to the number of kids a couple has and whether or not they’re worth knowing. One or two kids – maybe they’re worth seeing on occasion and keeping close by, they might have something to offer. I never met a lawyer with six kids though. Never met a fashion designer with more than one. The people that fucking matter – few kids. The people with NASCAR posters in their kitchen – eight kids. And they hate every single fucking one of them. They hit them, they call them “little shits”, tell them to shut up. I’m not the most patient dude in the world but Jesus Fucking Christ – these people made some sort of agreement with nature to spit these kids out of their cavernous vaginas – you’d think that fucking counts for something, taking on responsibility and shit. But none of these people want these fucking kids. They shut them up by shoving candy down their fucking throats – these fat fucking kids now serve as justification for these grossly overweight parents. They can say their fatness runs in the family – it’s in their fucking genes – and has nothing to do with the pack of twizzlers that’s running through their fucking arteries. These kids are miserable, all of them, while vacationing at the Happiest Place on Earth. Their fucking parents are miserable. And all of this miserable will translate to one of these fucking kids jacking me up at an ATM machine in ten years.

I’ve also learned that everybody hates everybody else. Not dislikes, not “doesn’t trust” – they fucking hate everybody they see and everybody they hear. And for the stupidest fucking reasons – they hate people for the shit that they themselves do everyday. They hate you if you stand too close to them, they hate you if you’re too fucking loud on the cell phone, they hate you if your kids are screaming, they hate you if you bump into them, if you walk too slow, if you’re taking too long at the concession stand, if you’re in a wheelchair and get to skip to the front of the line, if you get the last slice of pizza, if you’re in front of them in line for the bathroom, if you ask them what time it is, if you tell them they dropped something, if you’re sitting next to them at the fucking stunt spectacular, if you ask a park attendant a question that they know the answer to, if you’re laughing, if you look like you’re having an ounce of a good fucking time. They simply hate you. They pass by you and roll their eyes or look back at you and give you the nastiest fucking look. And the thing is, everybody is doing it to everybody else so you can’t even feel bad for people – and they all hate each other for the same fucking reasons.

Another thing you realize is how fucking ugly this country is. In New York, you don’t notice it as much. People put effort into their appearance here for the most part – a lot of people take care of themselves, keep in shape – have basic fashion sense even if they’re wearing cheap knock-offs of the good stuff. But in Orlando you get none of that. I fucking swear to God I’ve seen the same goddamn Tasmanian Devil shirt on ten different people within a five minute span, the only difference is the city they’re representing. One says Atlanta, one says Texas – as if the people in Texas are too stupid to break it down by city, they’d rather make it easy and declare the whole fucking state – one says Memphis as if Memphis is the kind of city you’re proud to come from – as if the Tasmanian Fucking Devil would be proud to come from Memphis – as if he wouldn’t shit on a preacher and eat a Baptist church. They all got the shirts that cost them two dollars to make and they matched it perfectly with the black or grey spandex shorts or pants that are stretched so goddamn far you can see their flesh through it – fucking spandex is not supposed to be see-through. These fucking people buy spandex so that they can feel thinner. They can buy an extra-extra-large instead of their usual extra-extra-extra-extra-large and pull it on with minimal effort but plenty of pain. Besides the clothes and the fat there’s just the general ugly. The crossed eyes, the damaged teeth, the scars. The fucking ponytails and the cornrows. The bad breath. The raspy smoker’s voice – the freckles and the sagging tits – the bellies sticking out from underneath their shirts. I don’t understand how these people get fucked. Even if I was as ugly as one of these people I wouldn’t stoop so low to fuck one of them. But that shit happens. There was this girl that was in my neighborhood growing up, her name was Luz. Do you know that person you picture when you think of the name “Luz”? That’s exactly what she fucking looked like. Big ass girl, looked like a fucking brontosaurus. Fat-ass face, nose that went from ear-to-ear. Greasy-ass black hair that curled down to the small or her massive back. Breathing heavy every time she moved, always talked in screams. This bitch was the type of bitch you expected to die alone at the age of thirty with a fucking chicken wing lodged in her enormous throat. No – she gets married. And has a fucking kid at the age of nineteen. What the fuck is wrong with this county? In any normal country she would be a fucking social outcast, a goddamn hermit locked up in her apartment and eating rats. In this country she’s not only accepted but she’s allowed to procreate – she’s not mocked or shunned and if she is it’s OUR fucking fault – we’re inconsiderate. And when you’d in Orlando – about three-quarters of the people here are like fucking Luz. It’s amazing.

I figured all of this shit out when I was fucking twenty. I finagled my way into some Youth Leadership conference in Orlando and part of the deal was a free pass to Disney World – I realized everything wrong with the other half of this country within five-fucking minutes. The girl I went down there to fuck, this chick named Emily, was having fun riding on Small Fucking World and the Peter Pan ride so I just smiled and pretended that everything was normal – that I wasn’t witnessing The Fall of American sitting on the Dumbo ride and eating a fucking corndog.

If I saw all this at the age of twenty, when I was still learning my shit, can you imagine what I would have realized at twenty-seven, when I’m on top of my fucking game? I would have written a fucking thesis on it so powerful and honest that the world would be talking about, fucking camel-jockeys out in Fuckastan would have been using it as their manifesto to why they kill Americans – people in our country would have read it with shame before slitting their wrists – it would have been glorious.

But the Orlando trip, the last week I was to spend with Agatha – playing her into a myriad or embarrassing and painful situations while being hundreds of miles away from home and trapped with me - had to be postponed for a later date.

My mother is moving in.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Chapter 23 (38,009 words out of 50,000

23.

I think Ed might have been the quickest firing in this company’s twenty year history. The poor fucking guy started last week. Wet behind the ears, out of college, thinking he was getting hired because he took a couple of marketing courses, because is fucking bachelors is from the School of Management. He apparently broke down in the kitchen, too, and said all this shit to Derek who, obviously, told the rest of the office.

Apparently – Ed keeps a lot of people on his phone list. More than the average man.

Hi priest, for starters – which I found rather hysterical – who the fuck has this emergency need to call his priest? Does he routinely seek spiritual guidance at the fucking supermarket? His karate instructor. I keep picturing Ed getting into a fight and calling up his sensei, asking for advice. His mother, obviously, I knew that – didn’t realize she was this fucking hypochondriac controlling bitch who would lecture him for hours on end about how dangerous AIDS was – that’s some funny shit. All of his friends, boys and girls. His fucking landlord – the dude evicted him without second thought, didn’t even wait for Ed’s next rent check to bounce. His girlfriend’s father which is probably the funniest one, even funnier than his girlfriend herself who, obviously, broke up with him. Another of my favorites is the fact that this fucking boy scout had our new customers cell phone number in his address book – that’s one hell of a follow-up to a meeting, I’ll tell you that much. Who would have thought one picture could do so much damage?

I’ve been avoiding him all day – don’t really want an incident - I’d hate to have to administer a beat-down to this faggot after everything he’s going through right now. He cleared his desk and got escorted out of the building like a fucking criminal. I’ve seen this many times before. One time a guy I worked with was actually caught stealing company information and passing it off to a competitor. Another time this girl was smoking dope in the computer lab, somehow managed to start a fucking fire and destroy three computers. One guy even flipped out and threw some girl into the copy machine. All of these guys walked out with their heads held higher than Ed has his right now.

David, Bob, David and Eric won’t stop laughing about it. Around the other employees, obviously, they try to act all stern, as if they’re outraged by Ed’s behavior, not even realizing the employees are passing around a whole different set of pictures courtesy of my phone and giggling like idiots of them. Laura supposedly put them together to make a fucking screensaver and that’s making its way around the office. There are copies of the pictures hanging in bathroom stalls – being emailed all about – I even heard a rumor that someone was considering putting on of them on a coffee mug and giving them out as fucking Christmas presents around the office. When the employees aren’t around, however, they’re using Eric to puff up their own egos – talking about how funny it is that this young shit loses control, how bad he though he was and how he was shown up by people twice his age. I get lumped into that “twice his age” thing, of course, but I don’t complain – I’m one of the guys again.

Luis, the guard who escorted Ed out, says that Ed was asking about me. Nothing major, just asking if they knew me personally. They said no, of course, and reported the incident like they’re supposed to. I just find it funny, this spineless fuck somehow got it in his head that he can even consider coming after me. That’s it’s worth feeling out. This guy wouldn’t know what to do. What the fuck, would he punch me? Try to shoot me? What would that do, seriously? I mean, yeah, if he shoots me I could be dead but who gives a fuck about that once it happens – not me, that’s for sure. After all he went through this week he still doesn’t get it, he still doesn’t learn shit.

Look at what the fuck I did to him without throwing a single punch.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Chapter 22 Part 3 (37,283 words out of 50,000)

He was just sitting there, he look miserable, you know? He has some titties in his face, an ass on his crotch, and he just had this fucking face on. David, Eric and Bon were noticing, too – it was totally killing there evening and in turn making my fucking life harder. Plus, I don’t know – I might have felt kind of bad for the kid. I can only imagine, you know, he comes out of college and gets this type of money – it goes to your head. You’re getting all this shit you can’t afford and if the job falls out from under you you’re fucked. So he’s sitting there and I just fucking know he’s going to get laid off if he keeps acting like this and I think about him getting evicted, selling off all this shit he bought, his girlfriend shacking up with some other dude who can actually hold a job – and yeah, I felt a little bad. I went with the headache angle, gave him a couple of amphetamines (you can get anything in a strip-club, the strippers themselves are walking fucking medicine cabinets – they mark up the price of their shit and it pays for a week’s worth of junk) and told him to take them for his aching fucking head – he has this fucking scowl and tells me he’s fine – I tell him to take them and start acting like he’s having fun or else all this shit he’s been looking forward to is going to go away. He drops them down without even looking, trying to sell his headache to the bosses, chases it down with his goddamn Bass.

Now he’s in the VIP lounge with us, doing coke, smoking dope and I think he was even free-basing at one point. The strippers don’t even want to go near him, they all think he’s going to hurt them. The bosses are laughing, they’re using Ed as an outlet for their fucking dip-shitness – this young guy can’t even party harder than a couple of old fucks, they’re going to like having him around for that reason alone – if this was prison, Ed would be the bosses’ bitch.

He’s cursing, calling every woman a bitch, demanding lap dances, flashing hundred bills and claiming it’s all on the corporate account which it isn’t but the bosses thought it would be a funny joke not to tell him that. He’s already puked once, he punched a wall and tore the skin off of his hands as well. He tripped a couple of times and about five minutes ago he began to spontaneously jump around with his dick hanging out of his zipper – it’s like bringing your retarded cousin along with you.

I still do feel bad, maybe – he’s having fun, though – he’s securing his job by finding his niche. When David, Bob, David and Eric first brought me back on I had no idea what this fucking kid was going to do but he seems to be adapting, finding a place for himself – that’s good for him. But then I sort of remembered I don’t really like the kid and that I wanted him fired. I don’t like his shitty Polo cologne. I don’t like his demeanor. I don’t like his eyes, the way they stare at you and fucking judge you, deem you less than him. I don’t like his wardrobe – his fucking Dockers pants and Old Navy “dress shirt”. I don’t like his walk – it’s almost a strut – like he has some music about him that only he can hear and I can only guess the music is Dave Fucking Mathews with or without his goddamn band. I don’t like his shoes – they’re pretty fucking generic, probably got them at Macy’s at their year-end clearance sale. I don’t like his voice, the way it doesn’t shake, as if he’s confident – as if he’s actually fucking worth something. I don’t like his hair – too much gel, too affected – too Hollywood – he looks like he’s trying to look like some guy that’s trying to look like Brad Pitt – he looks like a copy of a bad copy.

So I take a picture with my phone that’s only available in Japan. I snap one off of Ed giving a stripper’s tits a raspberry, send it to Cynthia – she’s our receptionist.

I take a picture of Ed getting spanked by a stripper – his shirt is unbuttoned and his hair is all messed up – his brow is sweating profusely – I send it to James, he’s our human resources director.

I take a picture of Ed going into the bathroom with this absolutely rank stripper, one of the local girls that try to undercut the lap dances being offered by the actual employees – I send it to Shelly, she works in IT.

I take a picture of Ed grabbing at a stripper as a bouncer pulls him off – he already got some of her blouse and her tit is falling out - I send it to Janet, she’s one of the technical people.

The bouncer wants to kick us out but we already spent well over a grand here and the manager would rather we stay – he calls over some of his girls and tells them to pay attention to us – to have some fun with us – to do what we want. They take us to this stealthy VIP room and we start throwing hundreds around as if they were worthless pieces of paper. Ed is fucking this stripper, right here in front of us – she’s riding him hard and you can tell he’s never fucked a real woman before – goddamn smile like you’ve never seen. I take a picture, I send it to Phil – he works over at Corporate. Ed turns around and gets shit-faced excited, reaches into his pants pocket which is currently resting down by his ankle and pulls out his own piece of shit camera phone he likely got at Best Buy, probably used their credit card to get no interest financing for two years to pay for a phone that costs three-hundred bucks, tops. He throws me the phone and says he wants one too.

His face is enraged, he’s high on speed. His cock is submerged into this stripper’s snatch and he’s slapping her ass. I take a picture with his camera and send it to “Mom”.

He’s pulling her hair back and sucking on her neck, asking her how she likes it – the boredom on her face is priceless. I take a picture with his camera and send it to “Nick”.

He’s ready to cum, you can tell by his lips – he’s doing that hard-breathing thing that kids do before they realize they look like idiots and women find it threatening. I take a picture with his camera and send it to “Nicole”.

He’s shooting his load, he’s screaming like a bad porn star, everyone around his is laughing, you’d think the stripper was ripping his balls off. I take a picture with his camera and send it to “Noel”.

He’s pausing now, flexing his non-existent bicep as the stripper rolls off of his spent cock, he’s smiling like it’s Christmas morning. I take a picture and realize his phone has a “Send All”.

Chapter 22 Part 2 (36,072 words out of 50,000)

When David, Bob, David and Eric told me they wanted to go to McKendrick’s for their pre-meeting steak I figured it’d be a “high-class” night by their definition. An upper-tier strip club. But David, Bob and Eric are putting down shitty beers and getting nice and liquored up so I’d imagine we’d head over to Boomer’s and get these guys some VIP room action. It almost makes me feel like I’m being wasteful by knocking down a bottle of Volnay Santenots Hospices de Beaune Mochel Picard 1997 but I almost feel like tonight’s a celebration and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a bottle of Cote de Beaune. Ed, on the other hand, is drinking Sierra Nevada. What an idiot.

“Joseph! What’s the story with Boomers?” Bob’s eyes are so glazed over and wild I think he’s going to rape the waitress – something tells me I’m going to be bailing him out today.

“It’s one-sixty for about thirty minutes in the VIP room – that’s with tip. And I understand that sometimes the sluts will take you to this crazy stealthy, cop-evading, super VIP room of sorts – let’s just say that’s the goal for tonight.” I already know who to talk to and how much money to give. I have the proper amount, four-hundred dollars, rolled and labeled for each of my three guys tonight, even have an extra one in case David comes out with us – if he doesn’t I’ll consider using it myself – I haven’t had a good nameless fuck in almost two-months.

“I considered going tonight – tomorrow, though. I’ll catch-up with you fuckers tomorrow.” Excellent – I call that a sign if I call it anything.

“Yeah, I’m going to pass on tonight too.” The table goes silent as everyone looks towards Ed. What an idiot. It’s like the McDonalds cook telling his boss he’s not going to make hamburgers anymore – as if he even has the fucking right to have any say in how anything in his life is going to play out. David and David stare at each other, silently agreeing with the fact that this could have been a huge mistake. Ed doesn’t know what to say, he looks at me and realizes that I’m not shitting him – that he was only hired to make these guys happy. You have to wonder where his mind is. This kid’s twenty-two years old and pulling eighty-k a year. You don’t just walk away from a salary like that – I assume he’s already spending that money, too. I assume he has a nice apartment, a couple of new video game systems, a pinball machine, a charming neon sign that read “Budweiser: King of Beers” in his kitchen. You can see his mind going, weighting his options, trying to gauge his worth. “I have a headache.”

The silence is killing him. Headache is the worst excuse imaginable – nobody sympathizes with a headache. Nobody sympathizes with anything that doesn’t directly affect them. You can say you got shot, mugged, raped, fired, bit by a horse and contacted fucking glanders but as long as the only person getting hurt is you - as long as the person you’re giving your excuse to has never been shot, mugged, raped, fired, or contacted glanders – as long as the person you’re feeding an excuse to doesn’t have a headache at this exact moment – nobody gives a fuck about what’s bothering you. All you are at this point is a fucking party-pooper. A goddamn kill joy. You want an excuse, you need to tailor it to the person you’re giving excuses to. If someone won’t stop talking about their new fucking dress you simply tell them you need to go shopping. If someone had abusive parents you tell them you have to take your neighbor’s child to crisis counseling – you noticed bruises – you couldn’t let it go unchecked. If someone’s son has recently been hit by a drunk driver you tell them you need to do a fucking walkathon for MADD. You make up the most ridiculous shit imaginable, the shit no-one in their right mind would ever fucking do, and you just sell it as your excuse and the person you’re avoiding would never think twice. Because if he or she pushes it they’d need to reveal their addiction to shopping. They’d need to admit that they weren’t watching their kid when he chased his ball into the fucking street. They would need to admit that their father touched them in the dirty place – that he beat them when he came home drunk and they always felt so fucking defenseless – no-one was ever there to help them, they never had a fucking neighbor who took them to crisis counseling. They won’t even ask questions like “what about social services” or “doesn’t the kid have an uncle” because by asking those questions it proves that they know a little too much about the subject.

You’ll never hear an incognito AIDS patient talking about a condom’s failure rates.

“I took some aspirin, though. Like an hour ago. I should be fine.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of a man’s dignity breaking in half. I almost feel bad for the guy – he likely has a girlfriend, you can tell by his posture and the way he dresses. This kid is fucking draped in GAP clothes. No self-respecting man wears GAP. If you’re single, you wear the high-end shit if you’re classy and you wear fucking Wrangler and Levis if you don’t give a shit. Only a bitch inspires a man to wear GAP clothes.

Like all things in men’s fashion, fags don’t really qualify for any of these blanket statements – but I’m pretty sure Ed’s not a fag.

“I hope it does work. I can’t wait to see some bitches dancing.” Ouch, Ed. Ouch. That one hurt you so much the pain shot across the table and hurt me. He can’t even look at me, this guy is one of those male-feminists, you can tell – most guys are out of college. This fucking generation. They don’t realize there’s no such thing as men and women.

There’s just you.

“Joseph – I think you’re ringing.” My phone has a distinctive ring, everyone calls me out when it goes off. The fucking thing is only available in Japan for now, it’s some fucking Motorola PDA/cell phone that does MP3s, pictures, movies, FM radio – but because it ain’t available in the states yet the fucking thing sounds like Dance Dance Revolution every time someone call me. Agatha – screened. I took her picture so that it comes up every time she calls – she thinks it’s because I like to be reminded of her when I’m business – truth is because the brain processes the picture a split-second quicker than it does the name or the phone number, gives me that much more time to get into my character – to make sure everything’s in order.

“Was that Agatha, Joseph?” David with his fucking smile, as if he knows something. He’s still pissed because two weeks ago I asked if I could get both corporate tickets so I can take Agatha to a fucking Yankee game.

“Yeah. But, whatever, fucking business, right?”

“I think David’s getting soft on us.” Mother fucker. This guys calls his wife every night on business – regardless of what the plans are. I’ve seen this guy take a phone call from his wife while he was getting a fucking lap-dance. His wife put his daughter on the phone and David told her the story of Goldilocks and the Three Fucking Bears – the stripper moved on, of course, having already took this idiots money. I’ve had this fucking exact conversation with David:

Hey, David, I got this guy that’s gonna run me some coke, he’s down on Cocoa. I’m gonna go pick it up.

Oh, wait, I’ll come with you.

Ok man but we gotta roll.

Ok, I’ll just call my wife on the way.

And we drove down to Cocoa Beach, going to pick up fucking COCAINE, and this guy is one the phone with his wife and asking her how the goddamn kids are doing. An hour later he’s pouring lines down his cock-hole and fucking two hookers at once.

“I’m doing all-right, bro. I just never realized the benefit of having poon at home.” The other David, Eric and Bob all laugh. Ed puts his head down, I just referred to his girlfriend as “poon at home” in his mind and there’s not a fucking thing he can say about it. David just shuts up and looks at me for several more seconds. I know you, David. I know you don’t get fucked at home. I know you don’t get blowjobs. I know you don’t get a quarter of what I get for you. You have no idea what it’s like to have poon at home and you fucking know it. When you call me out, you need to be ready to face the shit that’s going on in your head.

This is the old Joseph. Do I need to prove it to every fucking single one of you?

Chapter 21 and 22 Part 1 (34,548 words out of 50,000)

21.

“When are you going to ask me about Chris?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Chris – when are you going to ask me about what he said at the party?”

“…”

“…”

“When are you going to ask me about what he told me at the party?”

“I know what he told you.”

“Oh.”

“And I know you know I know what he told you.”

“Ok.”

“So?”

“So?

“You don’t care?”

“It was before we were getting together.”

“Yeah, true, but…I don’t know.”

“I don’t understand – do you want me to be mad at you?”

“No.”

“If it means anything I hooked up with someone that night too.”

“I’m not feeling bad…who’s you hook up with?”

“If you’re not feeling bad what’re we doing here?”

“You’re a guy.”

“Ok.”

“And guys are stupid.”

“Most of the time.”

“You’re supposed to be mad.”

“But I’m not.”

“Jesus Christ, Joseph, you…you fucking beat the crap out of Chris. You put him in the hospital. And you’re saying you weren’t mad?”

“I lost control.”

“No shit.”

“But I’m Ok now.”

“You’re ok now?”

“I’m ok now. Does that bother you?”

“What? What…no, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t particularly get it, but it doesn’t bother me.”

“Either way, you know you liked it.”

“Liked what?”

“The fight.”

“Not particularly.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Yeah right what?”

“You were hot for it, come on. You can admit it – this is me.”

“Hot for it?”

“Yeah – totally hot for it.”

“It’s the biggest emotional response I’ve seen from you since we’ve gotten together. I thought there was something there with Rick but you just bottled it. I was hot for you, you big doof. If anything I was kind of appalled you had to use your fists to express yourself. You keep flipping back and forth, now with your mom you’re this deep and caring man all over again. I don’t need you to always be like this – I just like to occasionally know that there’s more there than the two-hundred-dollar coffee and the shirts you wear sometimes, that’s all.”

“…”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

22.

He’s not even talking to her. The girl sitting next to him has her leg crossed towards him, she’s fake reading a book while twirling her hair with her pen. He should be fucking her in the cramped bathroom right now but he’s not even talking to her. He’s doing a fucking crossword puzzle, listening to his IPOD, taking a break from reading “The Catcher in the Rye”, the book of choice for every angst-riddled poseur. The fucking guy probably has Postal Service on his goddamn IPOD – how can people try that hard? You either have it or you don’t, how does a fucking kid like this deicide to waste so much energy pretending to have it. This kid should be at home right now, playing Dungeons and Fucking Dragons, masturbating to the latest copy of Final Fantasy. He shouldn’t be here.

She looks at him and asks if she can get by, she has to piss, obviously, the wine she’s kicking back is going right through her. If I was sitting next to her I’d have her in the back of this plane, fucking her brains out, while the flight crew video taped it and occasionally brought me a complimentary gatorade to keep my fucking electrolytes up. But this fucking guy, quick glance, this fucking indifferent nod and he doesn’t even get up, he just sort of shifts. The thing he doesn’t realize is, he’s driving this bitch nuts. She obviously wants to fuck him but he’s just ignoring her – her primal mind is going nuts, his isn’t how it’s supposed to be – he’s supposed to be hunting her, he’s supposed to be fucking her – she’s supposed to be nurturing these needs. SO in that regard, he’s doing good – he’s making her desperate, making her feel like a failure. But he’s leaving no opening to bring it home, by the time he makes his move – if he makes her move, she’ll have already shifted her minds focus onto someone else – he’ll be inconsequential, just another cock.

I need to talk to this guy.

He doesn’t even watch her leave, doesn’t check out that spectacular ass, could he be a fag?

“Ed, we haven’t really talked yet.” He lowers his IPOD, doesn’t even take his headphones out, looks up at me annoyed. If it wasn’t for his calm and cool fake-o demeanor I’d say he was simple afraid of flying and trying to block out the fact that he’s something like fifty-thousand feet in the air. But if that is the case, he’s really fucking good at blocking it all out.

“Yeah…Joseph, right?”

“Yeah, Joseph.” I wonder what happens to you when you get into a fight on the plane? Do they land it or something or do they just try to contain the dudes and lock them in some special room the rest of us flyers always assumed is nothing but a closet? I don’t know, this fucking kid is just some arrogant shit, that’s what his fucking problem is. He groans as I push him to move over so I can sit down, he’s fucking so emo I don’t feel like a goddamn tool using the word “emo” to describe him. This kid – this kid has no idea what’s ahead of him. I almost feel bad for him. If I were a better man I’d take him on as a prodigy but I already have my charity case. “The girl you’re next to, what’s her name?”

“I don’t know, man.” Oh – there’s some anger there. Does he feel like I’m calling him out? Challenging him? I’d have to assume so and you know how I roll, always give them what they want.

“She’s hot though, dude. She’s totally wet for you, too.”

“Well, Joseph, first off she has to be at least thirty. Secondly, I don’t know what gave you the impression that I’m your fucking locker-room buddy but I’d seriously reconsider that assessment of our relationship.” Using sixth-grade words in a well-spoken manner, he’s a fucking comic-book reading faker – this guy never read anything tougher than Michael Crichton.

“Well, Ed, first off a thirty year old chick will make you shoot your load so hard the inner wall of your cock will shed and a semen/blood mixture would cover her tits. Fucking secondly, and this is going to be great, why the fuck do you think David, Bob, David and Eric even fucking hired you?” This kid – this fucking kid – something tells me he honest-to-god thinks he got hired because he knows shit about business. Maybe he thinks he was hired because he’s one fuck of a marketer – his Power Point slides look like Jesus Christ made them.

“Because of my speaking skills – it’s why they have me running point at today’s meeting.” Oh. Man. This is beautiful.

“Speaking skills?”

“Yes.”

“They’re paying you, what? Eighty-k a year for your speaking skills?” David, Bob, David and Eric – seriously, guys, what the fuck will you do without me? You guys struck fucking gold the day I walked into your office – you are so lucky you didn’t let me go – if it was you and this fucking guy in Atlanta – when you wanted to go out and get laid and he wants to go over his presentation notes – you fucking guys would be calling me up and asking me to meet you out here. There’s nobody like me. This guy isn’t even fucking trying.

“That’s none of your business.”

“They originally wanted you to replace me.”

“I heard you don’t do shit, Joseph.” I don’t do shit. I’m sure they whisper that around the office. Joseph is making two-hundred-thousand a year fucking base for doing jack shit. He doesn’t even know what this fucking company does. He gets large bonuses. He’s always taking time off. Yet he doesn’t do shit. Nothing. But they don’t see what I do – none of them can even conceive what my two-hundred-k a year gets David, Bob, David and Eric. These are guys who pay thirty, forty-k a year to play golf in a club with no minorities or women – paying me 200-k, 50-k for each of them, to get them pussy once a week is a fucking steal. But they don’t see that. To the rest of the office, the people with no vision, the people with no sense of how fucking pointless their job is – they all think I do shit. Business – our goddamn capitalist society – is motivated by fucking. Everything we create, everything we do, is because we want to fuck. A guy doesn’t spend four-plus years in college so that he can get a job that pays well and have a sense of fulfillment. He dos it so that he can get a job that pays well and in turn flash his money to get some fucking pussy. That’s what I do – I get them the pussy they need. I’m the goddamn cornerstone of our economy.

“I don’t do anything?”

“That’s what I’ve heard.”

He has this smile about him, this weasel arrogant smile – this fucking King Shit smile – it’s the cool kind of smile, the one that’s supposed to make an “old fart” like me unhip and outdated. I got six years on this kid, round-a-bouts, but even when I was four years younger than he is now I’d fucking destroy him. “Let me tell you what I do. What you were hired to do. Tonight, for instance, is the night before the bog kick-off meeting. David Jones will likely just want to get a steak tonight and then retire early. Contrary to what you believe – he’ll be running point tomorrow and of the lot of us, he owns the most stock in this company and thus has the most to lose. David Richards, Bob and Eric like to get fluffed, however. I have a couple of strip clubs picked out already, which one we go to usually depends on what the guys drink at dinner. If they’re drinking beer we go to a sleazy joint – local – where the strippers have three kids at home and their vaginas are cavernous traps. If it’s wine we go a more ritzy club where the strippers are referred to as exotic dancers or adult entertainers and whereas they likely won’t be sucking anybodies dick there more inclined to anal sex and other more risqué fetishes if the price is right. David like blowjobs, if possible – I’d set it up for him behind his back he likes to believe he’s getting special treatment. I give the girl an extra tip and let her know he really likes to get his balls sucked. Eric just likes to watch – I set that up as well. Sometimes two women, sometimes one woman with several toys. From what I understand, he doesn’t even masturbate. He just soaks that shit up like he was a fucking TiVo and then waits quietly for us to return to the hotel room. My money is on the fact that he’s an in the closet homo – he likely fingers his asshole while he jerks off, maybe rolls on his back and shoots himself in the face – sucks on his finger with his eyes clothes – shit like that. Either way there’s a reason he doesn’t take care of it at the club. Bob likes to hit women – from my experience three out of four guys like to hit women, one out of ten actually act on it – Bob acts on it in a sexual aggressive fashion with the more run-down hookers, I tend to give them about five-hundred bucks in hush-money to get them to take a couple of slaps, maybe a cigarette to the tit – they always take it, they’re lucky if they make five hundred in a week some of these girls are so fucked up. If you stand outside the window you hear belts slapping, women crying – it’s a fucking thing to experience, I’ll tell you that. If you ever see Bob’s wife you will almost always wonder what he does to her when they’re home – the girl looks like a fucking church receptionist. Answer is – he doesn’t even touch her. Last I heard they had separate beds. Now all this, this is the night before the big meeting – this is how they window. On the celebratory nights it’s completely different. They all get laid or at the very least they flirt with women who would normally never talk to them but I’m lighting up Alabama Slammer shots for the ladies to have as long as they humor my guys. There’s always a bar fight, too, usually involving me. When I’m not acting as their pimp I’m their own fucking private gladiator. Occasional arrests, I have a bails bondsman contact in almost every city. I always keep a couple of hundreds handy to give the cop that pulls us over for a DUI. It’s all stupid Hollywood shit but that’s all these fuckers know.

“So that’s what I do. That’s why I get paid a couple of six-figures. That’s why you never see me working and why people joke that I don’t do anything around the office. It’s because my job, the job David, Bob, David and Eric are now expecting you to pitch in on, apparently, is more important than speaking well and fucking power point presentations. We keep this company afloat, we provide a service only the elite within our country are able to benefit from. Sure, it’s not the job you write home about, but who give a – Oh, sorry, is this your seat?”

She looks at me like I’m the man this fuck Ed will never be. She knows it when she sees it. She’s so fucking hot right now, so desperate and denied that it would be an easy score. “Sort of, you can have it if you want to talk to your little friend.”

“No. No, I’m done with him. The seat next to me is empty, though, if you wanted to talk for a while.” Ed shoots me a look – he still thinks I’m nuts – he still thinks I’m some bitter old fuck who’s trying to shake him down, who feels threatened by his knowledgebase.

“Yeah – I’d like that.” She shoots Ed a look that freezes him – Ed’s fucking childsplay, she was going to give him a courtesy fuck and teach him a few things – now she’s going to have fun, do for herself.

“Excellent. Ed – nice talking to you. This should be an interesting trip for you, aye?” He doesn’t answer, he stares at his seatback and puts it all together. Meanwhile I already have the name of the hotel she’ll be at as well as her fucking schedule and cell phone number.

Ed and I, we’re going to have some fun on this trip.

Well, I will.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chapter 20 (32,068 words out of 50,000)

20.

My mom’s laying on the bed, a fucking tube in her nose and another one jacked into her arm, looking pale and frail as shit. I never realized how black her hair is, you know? I always kind of thought it was brownish. Maybe she’s dying it in her old age, maybe she wants to cover up the grays because I really don’t see any of those and she’s at that age where she should be graying. But it doesn’t look like a dye job – her hair is actually kind of vibrant. When these older folks start dying they get dependant on it, they don’t ever want to spontaneously show gray one day and let people know they’ve been lying to them every fucking day. So they start dying their hair once a month. Once a week. Next thing you know they’re dying their hair as often as they use conditioner. Everyday they look in the mirror and everyday they see a new gray hair sprout. They get obsessive, they dye that shit until their hair turns all brittle, it starts to feel like straw and it falls out, clogs the drain with pieces of hair that feel like fucking razor wire. So I don’t think my mom’s dying her hair, yet, it’s too black – it’s at that dye-job a day phase if she was doing it. It’s not like my mom knows shit about shampoo – it’s not like she uses Frederic Fekkai or anything like that, she probably gets the fucking five-dollar mega bottle of Suave over at CVS and pours in on her head by the pint. So, her hair looks so black because her skin looks so white – it’s a fucking illusion. Yesterday I was sitting here staring a my mom who looks like she’s gotten hit by a fucking truck – quadruple bypass – doctors are amazed she survived – Agatha looks more run down than both of us – My mom is crying constantly, apologizing, telling me I was always a good boy – telling me my father was an asshole for not seeing it – asking me every day if he called, if he came to visit while she was asleep, I could lie but I keep telling her “no” because it makes her happy – a martyr needs to suffer to perform their job correctly and my mom loves to suffer – and as I’m sitting here, I’m trying to think of an angle. I felt good, before this, you know? I felt like I finally broke Agatha. I was starting to feel like, once I got her, she was worth hanging around for the uninhibited sex alone – but she’s a smart one and I don’t want to be around when she snaps out of where I put her. Who would have thought she was so masochistic? She’s ashamed of it, it’s buried pretty deep, but the sight of blood, of other’s people pain, really seems to get her off. She’s probably wet right now, staring at my mother, thinking of taking a break and going to the bathroom so she can viciously masturbate. She’s been a livewire ever since I beat the fuck out of Chris, she’s been giving herself without even thinking, anything I want. Seriously, if it wasn’t for the fact that she was a fucking barrista, if she had something beyond coffee and great fucking to give to me, I would seriously considering marrying this bitch for a couple of years. But for now, with my mother, I kind of look back at the past month, assessed where I’m at, look back at her and assess what just happened – how I can use this – and I came to one firm conclusion.

This shit is like Christmas.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t particularly like seeing her like this. I don’t particularly like the roll I took on but if I didn’t I probably would have lost Agatha just when I broke her, before the coup-de-grace or the cull-de-sac or whatever the fuck you call it to signify the fact I’m two months away from destroying this bitch for good. This shit is expensive, my father has crappy insurance and it’s not like he has a medical reimbursement account or anything like that, it’s not like he would give a fuck enough to send in the paperwork if he did have one – especially not when his son – his wife’s child – has been inspired by Jesus enough to take care of the fat cow – that I’m finally deciding to pull my own weight and pay them back for the years of love and affection and the financial and emotional support he gave me. SO he’ll let me handle it, he’d rather she died anyway – so he won’t have to live in sin anymore, the Lord Jesus Christ is more forgiving of your indiscretions when your wife is dead, after all. Your own morals don’t count for much; it’s a matter of how your actions are perceived by a guy that’s been dead for almost two-thousand years.

This shit, right here, my mom – she’s my out. I fucked up this past month. Cynthia, for instance, was not going to invite me to anymore parties. She didn’t say that, to me at least, but you kind of have to look at how she is – the whole racial guilt thing, throwing parties to make up for it – and the last thing she wants is to have to deal with is two people acting like a couple of the “jail-bound niggers” she deals with everyday at one of her parties. I heard some of these uptight fucks that were at her latest party actually sought therapy because they witnessed me pounding Chris’ face in – they’re even trying to stick her with the bill. Sometimes I’m so embarrassed to be white, honestly. But I call her up to apologize again – she’s cold to me. But, being a good socialite she asks how I’m doing, assuming I’ll catch her coldness and rush off the phone. But, instead, I get into my mom. About how her health has been deteriorating and it finally came to a head on Thanksgiving when she had a heart-attack in my fucking dining room. And Cynthia’s listening, uncomfortable, guilty – realizing she wasn’t giving me a fair shake, she wasn’t giving me the chance to explain myself. She’s not only a bad lawyer, she’s a bad friend – a bad host. She’s having a party in two weeks, a Holiday party no-less – those are always fun – and Agatha and I are invited again. That’s good, too, because by the end of January I’ll be working the field again and I’m feeling good about my ability to get some new contacts, get back in touch with older ones, I just need to make use of the mom-card and everything will be fine – no-one denies the mom card because there are two basica feelings we have towards our moms: we love them or wew feel guilty about hating them. That’s it. Black and fucking white. Getting to put my mom in play was like it was my fucking birthday.

Same with my job – David, Bob, David and Eric had enough of me. David, my main supervisor, wasn’t having fun outside of work with me anymore. I didn’t want to get hookers or get into bar fights or go to strip-clubs, I didn’t want to pay for his blowjobs anymore. I wasn’t going to Yankee games because I was fucking sick of hearing him cheer against them. It was never really fun, but I tolerated it for the corporate seats – either way I stopped going. The marketing meeting, the one in Atlanta – I wasn’t even invited to that shit. They said they had to work hard – fucking bullshit. They had some guy under-qualified guy in for an interview that didn’t exist yesterday, little snot-faced looking twenty-two year old punk – he was probably capable of partying but that doesn’t mean he’s capable of making their lives a fucking party, that’s my gift. Either way he was interviewing and they were all smiling because they can’t really tell the difference between that fucking kid and me – but with all the shit going on they thought I was damaged goods. The Thursday before I was likely getting laid off I went into David’s office, told him that I’m excited we won the Atlanta contract, whatever the fuck it was, and how I was excited about the kick-off meeting – I found some new strip-clubs in the area where the girls will fuck your brains out in exchange for some coke. David just kind of brushes me off, he doesn’t give a fuck, as far as he’s concerned I’m out of here tomorrow – but then I push on. I tell him how I need this. I tell him about the mom shit. I get him to relate, I’ll take nine-to-one that says David was a late nurser, sucking his mom’s tit until he was seven, sleeping in bed with her until he was at least eleven or twelve. I know she died last year and he took a fucking month off from work. A MONTH! You tell me he and his mom didn’t have a “special relationship” that consisted of the lonely divorcee bitch dry-humping her only son in the late night hours while Johnny Fucking Carson wore a goddamn turban and red fan mail or whatever the fuck he did during that ridiculous skit. So I’m telling Eric this, thanking him for his patience, making jokes about the nigger nurse my mom has – relating to this fuck on his level and you can see the conflict. It’s as if his old girlfriend is telling him that she wants to come back and she’s doing one fuck of a good job proving it’ll be just like it was before it got bad – fucking better, actually. It’ll be like perverted fucking Care Bears banning together and doing their Care Bear Stare to pull more ass than ever deemed imaginable. He finally caves, tells me he understands, tells me I should have come to him sooner, took some time of – anything. He tells me I should book my trip to Atlanta – he changes his mind and calls the travel agent for me, tells me he’ll take care of everything, I should just go home – be with my mom. Friday comes and goes and I’m not laid off. Monday comes and the new guy shows up to work, the new me, and he’s pretty miffed that the office he was promised isn’t available – he’s getting set-up in a spare conference room.

“Joseph – can you change the TV? I hate the news.” I’m not going to lie, I’m really not – this isn’t easy. I sit here and stare at the TV with my mom – it’s a Tuesday fucking night, Tuesday nights are the new Thursday. I could be out scoring, having some fucking fun. Shit, I could even be back home with Agatha dressing her up like a nun and fucking her in the ass. We haven’t done that yet but I doubt she’ll say “no” at this point. But instead I’m with my mom because it’s too important to let this character lapse. This is my out, this is my penance for fucking around the past month – this is my fucking meditative retreat designed to remind me that you need to work for this shit. SO my mom asks me to change the station every hour and I do and then she cries, says how good I am and how much she doesn’t deserve it. She tells me to go home. I refuse. She tells me not to look at her. I give her a kiss on the forehead. She tells me not to worry. She tells me she’s going to be fine. She tells me not to worry about the hospital bill – she tells me that she’ll pay it – she tells me she’ll find a way to come up with a couple of tens of thousands of dollars. And I deny it all, I tell her I’m here to help her out and she starts to cry again. She says how she should have died. She says she’s such a burden. She promises me she’ll get healthy. She promises me she won’t abuse this second chance. I tell her I’d love her regardless but if I had a choice I’d rather she wouldn’t die yet – I’d rather she stick around for a while. This starts the whole cycle over again.

This is my forty fucking days in the wilderness.

But I got my second lease on life. I’m back in command, I got Agatha’s number, the bitch lost. It’s even nice to have my mom back – a charity case to keep me grounded – kep me caring about something. I’m smart enough to gaze inward, see that I’ve been missing that. We all have our complexes, I’m no exception. I’m not that detached, you know – I need someone that I can give to not because of what I get in return – I need a fucking charity case for the sake of having a charity case – and who better than my mom?

I can admit to this.

I can admit to what this all is.

Bless me father, for I have sinned. It’s been a year since my last confession.

This is my repentance. Now I can get back to what I was doing.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Chapter 18 and 19 (29827 words out of 50000)

18.

She’s never fucked like this. Her hair is matted down in sweat and her eyes are fucking enraged. She’s grunting and breathing heavy through her clenched teeth. She’s pounding on my chest and she’s pinching her nipples and she’s telling me to pull her hair and slap her ass. She’s jumping on my cock, she’s telling me she loves it, she’s telling me it’s the best cock she’s ever had. She’s cumming all over me, she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, she’s jerking me off with her feet, she’s licking my sweaty balls, she’s deep-throating my dick. She’s playing with herself, standing over me, asking me to do the same while she looks down at me like a fucking cheerleader – like a fucking dirty, nasty cheerleader. Her legs are wrapped around my waste, around my neck – she’s pulling me into her cunt and demanding me to taste it – demanding me to tell me what it’s like – she’s pulling me up and deep kissing me, licking the pussy juice off my lips and telling me she tastes good. She’s sucking my fingers while I ram her snatch, she’s pretending it’s someone else’s cock, her eyes are closed and my hand is fucking her throat. Her legs are on my shoulders – now she’s bending over and showing me her ass, begging me to take her from behind – she’s asking me to slow it down – to speed it up – to tease me with my cock. I’m slapping it on her face, fucking her tits, rubbing it between her ass-crack. I’m cumming on her belly and she’s rubbing it in while thriving in ecstasy, she’s licking her fingers and telling me how good I taste.

You know you have a woman in your control when they fuck you like this.

19.

When I was six my mom caught me in a lie. It wasn’t a big one, it was something stupid like she asked me if I ate some fucking candy and I told her that I didn’t and she didn’t believe me so she me asked me if I was lying. I said I wasn’t, obviously, and she asked me to swear on Poppy’s soul. Poppy was my grandfather, he died before I was born. Supposedly a nice enough guy, plumber or something, the neighborhood people liked him and shit – no other plumbers in all of South Brooklyn so I guess you gotta like the only guy who’ll scoop your shit out the bowl when you clog it up. Apparently my mom and poppy were close, I don’t know if that’s true or not because I never witnessed them together but she always said she was close with him and with nothing else to go on that’s good enough for me. My father always told me that mom wore black for about a year after poppy died so, you know, she must have liked him quite a bit. What I couldn’t understand then was, if my mom really cared so much about poppy, why the fuck would she ask me to swear on his soul for something as trivial as ruining dinner? I said yes, I swear, fully realizing I was damning poppy’s soul to hell and I think my mom realized it to because she actually has the fucking tits to ask me, “Are you sure? Because if you’re lying my father is going to burn in hell for all of eternity.” I mean, she obviously knows what’s at stake here, you’d think she’d just take it back and ask me to swear on Mr. T or some shit at this point but no, not my mom, not the woman who loves her dad so much, poppy’s soul is a fair trade for the truth about a fucking six-year-old’s eating habits when you look at the big picture. So I said yes, I am sure, and by doing so I caused my mom to cock her head, stare at me with tear soaked eyes for what felt like a fucking hour, before saying, “OK.” What the fuck else was she going to do at this point? If she pushes on and says she knows I’m lying it’s the same thing as admitting you just purposely banned your dad to hell – you used his soul as a fucking bribe. So she just dropped it, she buried it. Like all people on this planet, my mom buries her problems deep. Her main problem? A fucking flare for the dramatic, you could say, with a decent dose of self-esteem issues, anxiety, reckless endangerment and some obsessive compulsive complexes to go along with her obvious eating disorder and complete lack of health.

My mom is a fucking wreck. If I keep that perspective, I’ll get through this fucking dinner just fine.

“So he goes hunting every year?” Her and Agatha are getting along, they both have this hidden disdain for my father going on, I think my mom is excited about the fact that she’s no longer alone in thinking her husband is a complete fucking asshole. All she had to do all these years is pay attention to what people are like around him, the only people that get along with my father are his asshole religious fucking freak friends and even that is shaky. But Agatha and my mom roll their eyes at the mention of my father and have their little across the table moments and I just ignore it – I have no patience for this clown-shoes junior high school shit. When I was ten-years-old my mom checked me into the hospital because I had a “persistent cough”. She didn’t call my pediatrician; she didn’t consult a fucking medical handbook or anything like that – straight to the hospital. The doctor looked at her like she was nuts, he thought this was a veiled cry for help, my mom was seeking medical attention to deal with her own fucking problems but could justify to herself, her husband, whatever, that she needed to spend the fucking co-pay on herself. Knowing enough people and working them over I think it’s safe to say the doctor’s psychology was a bit sketchy – plus, it’s obvious my mom is simply fucking nuts.

“Yeah – I haven’t seen him on Thanksgiving since…the year after his father passed.” Paps. Fucking paps, that guy was a goddamn ball buster if I’ve ever seen one. He was old military guy, Korean war or some shit, not really a hero – I even think her was dishonorably discharged or some shit – don’t know what for, though. He’d always give me shit, rough me up like he was fucking power tripping and then give me a quarter to shut me up. He supposedly had it out with my mom some years back, told her he never liked her but never gave a reason although anyone with a half a fucking brain would know it goes back to my mom being so sweet and innocent she brings out the worst in you. The thing is, no-one ever heard him say this – just my mom. My father thought she made it all up, like she was starting shit to tare the two of them apart – this is the kind of shit that goes on in my family – everybody’s playing these fucking games and no-one trusts anyone else. If, down the road, some fucking shrink decides to do a case-study on me I’m pretty sure what he’ll decide is the cause of my “controlling, domineering and manipulative” personality. He can blame my fucked up family all the fuck he wants and I won’t contradict the dip-shit as long as I’m getting something out of the relationship.

“How long ago was that?” Ten years ago – I was fucking there. It was the worst goddamn Thanksgiving of all time, this was about a week after my mom’s blowout with my father over whether or not paps was talking shit to her. My father, being an understanding man, decided to tell fucking paps who, obviously, denied saying anything of the sort. My mom was berated the entire fucking meal by paps and my father, they called her a lying bitch and a lazy fuck and a whole slew of insults designed to break her, and they succeeded. I felt bad then but, looking at her now, I’m fucking pissed at her. She fed this asshole, you know? Her goddamn passive personality caused her to just fucking take everything this douche –

“Marla?” It was ten years ago, what the fuck’s her problem?

“Marla? Joseph – “ Oh c’mon, what the fuck is going on here?

My mom falls of her chair clutching at her chest, she’s fucking silent and her face is pale. She’s gotta be choking or some shit, I don’t fucking know, she wasn’t eating anything. What the fuck is she faking? Is this her attempt at getting me into her life again?

“Joseph! Call an ambulance, Joseph!”

She’s gotta be faking. That’s so what she does. She’s fucking dramatic – she loves to be the center of pity, she loes to be a fucking martyr. This isn’t real. This is what she does – this is what she’s been doing to me since birth.

“JOSEPH! JOSEPH!”

She’s not even selling it right. She’s twitching too much, I think. The whole saliva thing is way Hollywood. The eyes turning up – I mean, come on, is she going for a fucking People’s Choice award over here? Clutching at her left arm, gasping for breath, sweating – this is fucking textbook. She’s not fooling anyone except Agatha and Agatha’s easily fooled.

“JOSEPH! FUCK! I’ll call.”

She knocked the turkey over, dropped a bowl of mashed potatoes on her oversized dress. Her cranberry sauce is all over the floor because she pulled the table cloth off with her. The wine glass shattered. Agatha’s flipping out. She’s convulsing. This is fucking After School Special. This is fucking Lifetime: Television for Women. This is fucking a “very special Different Strokes”. Everything is just fucking right, this is Steven Spielberg filming a heart-attack. This is Andy Kaufman playing a joke on someone. This is Colin Fucking Farrell trying to prove he can act.

Who’s going to fall for this shit?

I’m getting through this dinner just fine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Chapter 17 (28,119 words out of 50,000)

17.

I’m at Cynthia’s party. I don’t know what I’m drinking. I think Berlin’s playing. It’s the usual turnout. Some judge. Some chef. Pedro the gardener. Cynthia’s laugh is so fake. It cuts through the crowd and slices through my fucking head. I’m eating the crab chowder – it tastes like shit. You never eat soup at a party, only the fucking hacks do that. Soup eaters are easy prey. I’m eating the crab chowder. Saltine crackers are making me thirsty, this drink is doing nothing. Cynthia’s husband is refilling the shrimp-avocado-mousse dip, the first thing I realize is that there are no chips. Pita. Celery. Carrot sticks. I eat my crab chowder. Agatha’s over by the stereo that’s probably playing Berlin. She’s talking to Jimmy. He’s a accountant. He did my taxes last year. I should get him again this year. I haven’t talked to him in a while. Every time Agatha meets my gaze she smiles and waves. It’s all the same.

I’m at the DMV, Agatha is waiting with me. It’s hot in here. The fans aren’t on. AC is busted. Sweating. There’s this black woman behind me. She’s being loud, obviously. Screaming at her five kids. Complaining about the wait. Looking at her number and sighing. She’s on the cell-phone with her “boo”. Her “baby-daddy”. She’s talking about the wait. About how she’s been here for hours. Her corns are acting up. It smells in here. There’s a terrorist working the counter. She had Popeye’s for lunch. She needs to get her hair done tonight. One of her five kids keeps kicking my chair. I want to turn around. Agatha puts her hand on my knee. My number is up. The black woman tells her boo she’s been here longer than this white boy. Longer than me. I consider letting her skip me. Agatha pulls me to the counter. I renew my registration. The clerk tells me I can do this online. He asks me if I knew that. I didn’t know. Agatha looks at me and smiles. It’s all the same.

I’m just kind of standing. Someone’s talking to me about the President, I don’t think he likes her. I have no idea who it is. He’s everyone else at this party. I’m out of touch. No he’s talking about baseball. He’s a Yankees fan. Yankees won last night. I missed the game, I tell him. I haven’t been to a game in weeks. David stopped inviting me. Or I stopped suggesting it. I forget how it used to work. I’ve been out of it too long. Agatha is talking to someone else now. She looks at me. She raises a finger to her head. She pulls the trigger. She sticks her tongue out. She tilts her head. It’s all the same.

I’m on the phone with my mom. My mom asks me if she should bring anything Thursday. I ask Agatha if my mom should bring something Thursday. Agatha tells me my mom doesn’t have to bring anything on Thursday. I tell my mom she doesn’t have to bring anything on Thursday. My mom asks if Agatha likes Cranberry Sauce. I ask Agatha if she likes Cranberry Sauce. She raises a finger to her head. She pulls the trigger. She sticks her tongue out. She tilts her head. It’s all the same.

I don’t know where the guy who hated the President went. I’m standing alone. I’m not smiling. Agatha notices. She mouths, “Is everything OK.” I smile and point to my drink. She rolls her eyes. I’m drunk. It’s all the same.

We’re out at dinner. I think it’s Outback Steakhouse. The food is making me sick. I haven’t had Kobe steak in weeks. I don’t know the waiter. I don’t know the chef. Agatha asks me if everything’s OK. I point to my drink. She rolls her eyes. I’m drunk. It’s all the same.

I’m at Cynthia’s party.

I’m at the zoo. We’re looking at Monkeys. She talks to them. We’re looking at polar bears. She leans against my arm. We’re looking at elephants. I tell her my mom loves elephants. I tell her we used to have these decorative elephants, wood carved. Her father got them when he was in Africa during the war. She asks where they are now. I tell her I don’t know. It’s all the same.

I’m at Cynthia’s party.

I’m at church. I haven’t been at church since Confirmation. Agatha wants to go. She wants to feel God again. She wants me to find Him. We’re on our knees. We’re standing up. We’re on our knees. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. I assume he says the word. I assume I’m healed. I receive the Eucharist. The father. The Son. The Holy Spirit. I’m kneeling. I’m praying for an out. I’m praying for death. I’m praying for a sign. I don’t know what happened. The Eucharist slowly melts. It tastes like cardboard. I don’t feel healed. I assume God heard me. I assume he laughed.

I’m at Cynthia’s party. Chris walks up to me. I never followed up. I never partied with the models. I never saw his penthouse apartment. I never fucked the woman he wasn’t man enough to fuck. I pray for an out. I don’t feel healed. I assume God heard me. I assume he laughed. It’s all the same.

I’m at work. There’s a big meting in Atlanta. They need to work the whole week they’re there. Meetings and meetings and more meetings. Marketing and networking. David, Bob, David and Eric don’t need me for this one. I’m to sit it out. They need to score this contract. They won’t be having any fun. They’ll be working twelve hours a day. When they win the contract. When they come down for the kick-off. That’s when we’ll party. I call Agatha. I tell her I’m not going to Atlanta. She says we can stay home. She says we can rent a movie. I pray that I don’t have to go. I pray that David, Bob, David and Eric change their minds. I pray that I’m going to Atlanta. I’m praying they decided to party. They haven’t changed their mind yet. They leave Monday. I assume God heard. I assume he laughed. It’s all the same.

Chris asks me about Agatha. He heard we’re together. He tells me she’s a tiger. I look at him. I ask him what he’s talking about. He laughs. He tells me I know. He tells me last time, at Cynthia’s party, he took her back to his place. He tells me that she was crazy, she was a great ride, one of the best fucks he ever had. He winks at me and he smiles and he nudges me and he asks me if I agree, if Agatha’s wild for me too. He thinks he’s my friend, he thinks he’s one of the fucking guys – he thinks that this is fucking football camp and we’re in the locker room swapping stories – he thinks this is fucking high-school all over again and he’s wearing a leather jacket and making cat calls at the school’s resident slut and he expects me to back him up.

I’m at Cynthia’s party. My fist is pressed against Chris’ face and time has paused, I feel the meat of his cheek fold, I feel his teeth scraping my knuckle, I feel the spittle on my hand, I hear the crack of his jaw, I see the capillary burst. Time speeds up a little and my second fist flies, I feel the nose crack, I feel the ridges of the bone, I feel the cartilage spread out – it’s like mush – it’s folding beneath the pressure of my clenched fist, it presses on, it passes the nose, I feel his eye socket, I don’t think I’ve ever felt an eye socket and I’m surprised how fucking underwhelming the experience is. Chris falls back, he’s clutching his bleeding nose, he’s cursing but I can’t hear a word he’s fucking saying, I don’t even care – the people around me are screaming, they’re running away from me like I was a fucking nuclear bomb, they’re tripping over each other, pushing each other down – Pedro the gardener isn’t running, he wants to see a good fight, this is the best fucking party of Cynthia’s he’s ever been to – for the first time I realize his name probably isn’t even Pedro, that’s his stage name, he know people want a Latino gardener named Pedro, I realize he’s getting work with that name, I realize that he’s outsmarting Cynthia and it makes me fucking smile. Chris is running away, there’s a trail of blood following him, everybody’s scrambling from me as if I’m unloading with a gun on the audience, these fucking pansies – these fucking faggots have had someone like me protecting them for so goddamn long that they forgot what adversity looked like – they forgot what it was like to be in the middle of the shit storm, they forgot what it was like to have blood on their hands and scrapes on your skin from punching bone. I look at Pedro and he’s fucking beaming, he toasts his beer towards me and I salute him – I gave that to you, Pedro. Agatha is coming over, she’s giving me the benefit of the doubt, she’s not afraid of me, she looks like she cares, she thinks something happened – I tell her I’m sorry, I tell her I had a couple of drinks, I tell her Chris was saying some horrible stuff about her and I lost control – I apologize again and again and again – Cynthia is coming over to us, asking me what just happened – Agatha talks for me, she tells Cynthia it’s fine, she tells her Chris was being a jerk, Cynthia asks where Chris was and I tell her he ran off – Cynthia asks me if I need anything, Agatha says we should just go home. We’re walking out of Cynthia’s apartment and Agatha is turned on, I can smell it off of her, her pussy is sopping west, she’s wilder than she’s ever been, I pray to God, I thank him, I assume he hears me.

Chapter 16 (26,410 words out of 50,000)

16.

Don’t think.

David’s outside, he wants to get some hookers, he’s been harassing me all night, saying he’s bored, saying he needs to get some ass, saying he wants to get into a fight, saying he wants to score some coke, saying he wants to fuck a coke-head stripper in the ass with a bottle of corona in the bathroom – he says he wants to break it off while it’s in there and then nervously laughs when I look at him, tells me he’s just kidding because he didn’t get my instant approval – that’s what David needs, David needs me to tell him that’s ok – I do it all the time, he gets angry and calls someone a fucking spic and then looks at me and I laugh and tell him not to worry, that the fucking spic is going to go out and work at his tire shop in order to feed his fucking future gang-banging spic kids and his flat-faced olive-skinned whore of a knocked-up wife while he’ll go home to Judith and put a vibrator up her ass and a cock in her mouth, cum all-over her face and make her work for the money he brings home to her.

Put five more dollars in the money slot, the window opens up again, the stripper’s still dancing as if she never stopped, as if she enjoys this and just continuously does it all night whether someone’s watching or not, as if she doesn’t ever pick up her cell phone and cal one of her girlfriends to see if she wants to go out tonight or maybe just call him, call the babysitter – her mother – and see how her future jailbirds are doing, see if her husband Tyrone came by, see if he was bringing presents with him again, trying to buy his kids affection by coming by once a week with bikes and cash and video game systems, never giving money, forcing her to strip in this fucking place behind a glass window with a hole in it that’s made for tips – if someone puts enough money through the hole they can also stick their dick through and she’ll happily suck him off, she’ll tell him how good his dick taste, tell him she wants to taste his cum, tell him he needs to hurry up and cum for her because in one minute that screen is going to come back down and chop his fucking dick off.

David bangs on the door – don’t think.

“Show me your ass.” She immediately stops what she’s doing and awkwardly turns around, bends over and spreads her ass cheeks - her asshole is all irritated, the fucking thing looks like a goddamn knuckle – she must give it up for next to nothing, these desperate guys who come here, you got to wonder if they even care, if they fuck it despite the hemorrhoids and the inflammation, despite the fact that she must bite her lips so hard that blood drips from them and splatters all over of the sticky floor - I can’t imagine ever being that desperate, I can’t imagine ever being so low that I would go within several inches of that ass to get off.

“Dude, fuck you, I’m going home.” God, why won’t she just turn back around? How long would she stand like that, it’s fucking awkward – she’s not even looking back at me, she’s just staring at the wall, probably contemplating exactly what she did in her life to get to this point – a point where she’s displaying her puffy asshole to a complete stranger as if this was completely fucking normal, as if the fact that she does this every fucking night is justification makes it ok, makes it less sleazy, makes it some kind of fucking joke. You wonder what she fantasizes about, while I’m here staring at her asshole? Does she fantasize about someone holding her hand? Running their fingers through her fucking hair? Does she just fantasize about something as trivial as being held, kissed on the fucking back? Having someone say that they love her? What the fuck does she think about right now while she bends over, while I jerk-off and pant like a dog getting off, while I build to a fucking orgasm and begin cumming over for Thanksgiving dinner, we invited her, she invited her, what the fuck was I think –

Don’t think.

She told me she loved me again, after the blow-out with my father. She told me she fucking loved me and I said the same and I’m not even sure if I didn’t mean it. I can’t tell the difference between playing the roll and losing the war anymore. I don’t even know my next move, we got my mother coming for Thanksgiving, Agatha’s talking about taking a trip to fucking Disney World, I haven’t worked the field in a month – I’m losing contacts, I’m losing leads – I just need to get the fuck out of this, cut my losses and call it a fucking day – at least one-hundred-and-fifty-million people in this world are dumber than Agatha and I need to just come to terms with the fact that I may be –

No, don’t think.

The stripper turns back around and she just looks at me, something in her eyes, some type of sadness. “You’re not doing anything.” I can’t even tell if it was a question or a statement. I’m not doing anything, she’s right, but she looks hurt – she looks let down – she looks like she’s failing.

“You got your tip.” It’s none of her business but she insists on sitting down and looking at me with these big fucking eyes, these goddamn nurturing fucking eyes – she covers up her body with this cheap red shawl and crosses her legs and acts like some shrink she might have seen in some movie.

“Honey, you gotta get something for your money. Why don’t you tell me what’s on your mind?” Oh man. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone this nuts. This is really some fucked up shit, right here. This bitch –

“You’re fucking kidding me, right? Ten seconds ago you had your face pressed against the wall and you were spreading your ass-cheeks apart – you’re going to help me with my life?” It’s an insult. It’s an honest-to-god fucking insult. I mean, what’s wrong with people that –

“Aye! You just looked like –“

“JESUS. FUCKING. CHRIST. What. THE FUCK. Is WRONG with you people?”

“You people?”

Don’t think.

“You fucking people! Your lives are SHIT. Fucking meaningless! And you people see a fucking opening to do something with it and you all of the sudden, despite fucking YEARS of being…THIS…you fucking think that you have what it takes to be something bigger than you’ll ever be.”

“Steve!”

“Oh, fucking Steve, right, your fucking bouncer – your fucking protector. Steve who throws out perverts every fucking night while these guys have a pistol grip on their cock – this is the guy that solves your fucking problems and yet you think you’re going to solve mine!”

This big mother fucker. “All right, let’s go dickweed.”

“Who solves your problems, Steve? What fucking degenerate, low-life prick helps you when you can’t pay the rent? Who steps up to tell you everything’s going to be all right when your wife leaves you?”

“Shut the fuck up, pal.”

“ALL of you! All of you fucking losers! Three-hundred-million people in this country, who solves your problems? Which of the three-hundred-million make you feel better about your miserable fucking lives!”

I hardly feel that fucking punch. I hardly feel the ground as my face scrapes across it. I hardly feel my tooth fall out. I hardly feel my body bounce, my muscles tighten, my forehead split. I hardly feel the stares as I try to turn to Steve.

“If I ever see you in here again you’re leaving through the fucking window, pal.”

I hardly see the door slam. I hardly see the people backing away from me. I hardly see the looks on their faces, trying to avert their eyes, trying not to look at the bloodied man with his pants down to his knees and his dick poking out from his Armani underwear.

“What about you? Who the fuck is your savior? All of you? Who the fuck helps you bury your complexes, ignore your problems? WHO?”

I hardly hear the grumbles, I hardly hear people saying “loser” and “drunk” and “pervert” and “call the cops”. I hardly hear the sounds of disdain, as people brush me off – they don’t have any fucking problems, I’m just some crazy guy with blood all over my face and a fucking tooth clenched in my hand, trying to get my pants back up but I don’t even have the strength to stand, I’m fucking swimming with adrenaline.

“I DO! That’s the fucking answer! You don’t HELP me – I’m the sanest fucking person in this country – you’re the ones that are fucking nuts – you’re the ones that need me! All three-hundred-fucking-million of you! But you’re all so far gone that you don’t even fucking see it. Right now, I’m your fucking problem. I’m your FUCKING excuse!”

After Disney World Agatha’s talking about taking the trip to California to meet her parents. To meet her fucking parents.

“Even when I’m at my lowest, I’m still your fucking savior.”

Just don’t think.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chapter 15 Part 3 (24,840 words out of 50,000)

________________________

“Agatha, what, exactly, caused you to lose faith in Jesus?”

Holy shit, this is a good one. He’s going for some deep, spiritual shit – he’s not even bothering with the surface stuff. He’s not going for the lying or the power-tripping or the over confidence or the vanity or any of the other sins he likes to peg on – this guy is going right for the body and blood of Christ jugular and tearing at that mother fucker. Agatha’s just sitting there with mashed potatoes stuffed in her mouth – I don’t even think she’s breathing – she’s looking at me so I give her the dumbfounded “I have no idea look” to keep her off balance, letting her think that I’m not smart enough to help, that she’s going to have to handle this one on her own.

“I…don’t…” She didn’t even swallow her mashed potatoes, the words are coming out all muffled and starchy, little flecks of heavy-white spittle fly from her mouth and onto this ridiculous turkey-tablecloth my mom likely bought at Winn Discount for ninety-nine-cents, as if she was having people over for Thanksgiving – as if anybody but my father would ever even see it. I used to feel bad for her, you know that? In college I would always call her up and see how she was doing, she’d light the fuck up – nobody ever talks to her anymore, you know? She wasn’t a bad person, technically, she just wasn’t fun to hang out with out. She’s fat, for starters, and no-one wants to hang out with fat people. I mean, a little meat is ok if they have some trait to compensate but the fat fuckers that just gave up – the four-hundred and change pounders – what the fuck will you ever get out of that relationship except a midnight call asking you to take them to the hospital because they just had a fucking heart-attack, as if they couldn’t call a fucking ambulance, as if they’re not just looking for the pity and calling you up because, otherwise, no-one would even realize they were fucking missing. They’d be in the hospital alone for days with tubes up their nose, getting lectures from the entire hospital staff on the importance of watching their weight. So I’d feel bad, I think she was the only person to get to me like that – at a time when I was learning how to take what I want I shouldered my mom as a fucking charity case. Take her shopping. Out to dinner. Parade that fat bitch around town and draw stares from everyone. By the time I was becoming well connected I had to make sure to restrict it all to phone calls and house visits. Then it was just phone calls. Then I just stopped all-together and she didn’t try to call me, it was like she thrives off of misery, like she’s a fucking martyr. It’s been a year and now I’m sitting here, staring at this fucking ninety-nine-cent tablecloth, and feeling bad for her all over again. You really can’t go fucking home again.

“You’ve been looking at the cross, on the wall – you’ve been looking at it and then looking down at your plate. Ashamed. Like you abandoned him.” She looks at me again and I just stare in mock-disbelief. My mom puts her head down, she sees where this is going. She just got her son back, the only person that treated her like a person over the years, after years of not talking to her (and it was obviously her fault, in her mind), he’s going to be chased away again. She’ll be eating Thanksgiving dinner alone again, while my father goes hunting with his church buddies, a turkey for eight laying out on the ninety-nine-cent tablecloth, she picks the meat off and eats the whole thing, angry at herself for her lack of self-control, spooning stuffing into her fat mouth and fucking crying.

“I don’t think Jesus abandoned me. I don’t –“

“You’re lying. I can tell you’re lying.” Agatha looks at me again but this time I don’t even acknowledge her, my mom’s tearing her napkin frantically, piece of paper are rapidly dropping from her shaking hands, I keep thinking she’s going to say something but there’s not desire there, the thought of speaking up doesn’t even enter her mind – she’s just going to take it – she’s just going to let my father have his way because it makes him happy – she’s just going to let me slip away again because she thinks she deserves it. For marrying my father. For being fat. For being unlikable. For being too nice and getting shit on everyday of her fucking life. She’s going to take it like the goddamn martyr she is.

“Well – what if Jesus abandoned me?” I’m not sticking up for her so Agatha’s taking the offensive – let her do it for all I care. Let them battle it out and talk theology all fucking night. My mom is shaking now, rocking, the chair underneath her fat ass is creaking, giving way, she’s going to break it – they get these reinforced chairs for her bit they’re not made for sudden movements – she’s going to break it and she’s going to fall on her fat fucking ass and she’s going to get so embarrassed, she won’t be able to get up – she’ll be rolling around the ground, her stocky arms flailing about and reaching out for something to help her out, asking us for help, fucking crying, thinking about nothing but Junior’s Cheesecake and Thanksgiving’s alone and just wanting to end it – just wanting that fucking heart attack to come so she call me up only to have me not answer, so she can die alone in the fucking hospital.

“Jesus would never –“

“My sister. My sister Joannie – she’s older than me by about ten years. Was older than me.” Agatha’s voice is rising and my mom buries her head in her hands, she sees this ending coming, she can’t stop it. It sounds like she’s mumbling something or maybe she’s just sobbing, either way I just wish she’d shut the fuck up – it’s fucking distracting. Always a fucking martyr.

“In the 80s, when I was still in elementary school, she fell on hard times – she fell in with the wrong crowd – she got into drugs. Heroin.” My mom’s not even listening anymore, she’s waiting. Her face is flushed, her eyes are frantic – beads of sweat are running off her forehead and soaking the palms of her hands, dripping down her arms and ruining the ninety-nine-cent tablecloth, the ink on the turkey is starting to run, she’s probably wondering if she should replace it – if it’s even fucking worth it – if she’s even going to be alive on Thanksgiving – if that Junior’s Cheesecake is going to finish her off.

“But she cleaned up. It took a couple of tried but she cleaned up. Found a husband. Had two kids.” When I was a kid my mother would take me to the park over on Congress Street. She was a bit thinner then, thin enough to walk the ten blocks and have faith that the bench wouldn’t collapse under her as she sat and watched me play in the sprinklers. All the kids would point at her. Stare at her. Laugh at her and make jokes. None of the mothers would sit near her or even look at her. And she’d just sit there and fucking take it and you can tell she was trying to ignore it – she would say high to everyone – she’d attempt to pick up the kid’s balls when they rolled over by her but she can never bend over quick enough, some speedy Puerto Rican kid would run over and pick it up first. She’d try to make awkward conversation, she’d ask if he was having fun and he’d just mumble a yes and run off without even looking at her. My mother – my fucking charity case.

“Early 90s she found out she had AIDS. Her husband had AIDS. Her two kids had AIDS.” She’d go to my school assemblies and she couldn’t comfortably fit in the fucking seats – this was in the 80s when it wasn’t posh to be grossly overweight – when you didn’t have terms like obesity in our common vernacular to describe people, if they were in the three to four-hundred pound range they were just fucking fat. Everyone would be in a chair for the assembly and my mother would stand in the back, alone. My father never showed to these things so she’d stand back there with no support, the only person in the entire congregation that can’t fit in a chair, and she’d hear the whispers, no-one knew her name so she was always “Joseph’s mom”, and she would try to stand proud, try to keep her shoulder back and her head straight, staring at the stage while I play the roll of Frosty the Fucking Snowman. Tried to be strong and appear strong for me, trying to teach me something about handling adversity, not letting others around you affect you. How to be a better person.

“They died. All four of them. My sister and her husband died first – my two nieces spent their last year on this planet parentless and dying of AIDS.” We’d go to McDonald’s, I loved to get me some Happy Meals when I was a kid – especially loved it when they had Saturday morning cartoon toys like Smurf themes or the occasional Snork paraphernalia. That was always the worst – I wasn’t a fat kid, I was actually thin as a fucking rail, and people would look at my mom like she doesn’t fucking feed me. Like instead of taking the time and effort to be a mother and make sure that there is food in my mouth she just kept stuffing her own fat ass. Looking at her like she wanted to go to McDonald’s, not me – like she wanted to eat a big fucking carton of fries and a quarter-pounder with cheese, wash it all down with an extra fucking large coke-a-cola because this was when hippies and yuppies drank Diet Coke. And I’d play with my fucking matchbox car, dragging it across a layer of ill-washed ketchup and grease that coats the tables in McDonald’s, oblivious to everything – thinking people were staring because I had the best fucking mom in the world – thinking that they were jealous. Proud that my mom would take me to McDonald’s for dinner even though my father considered it to be unholy food – fucking poison – we weren’t allowed to eat it when he was around, only when he was visiting his family. And what the fuck could my mom do? She’d eat her Big Mac and her apple fucking pie and drink her coke and put down her fries because that’s where we fucking were. And all around her people would whisper that she’s gross. That she’s negligent. That someone should call child services before she eats me. And she never looked at them, just watched me play with my cheap happy meal toy that I’d forget existed by the next day.

“I didn’t abandon Jesus. Jesus abandoned me.” One time we were down by Woolworths around Christmas time, shopping. A fucking plastic bag comes towards her, caught in the wind, wraps around her face. She tries to get it off, her big fucking arms trying to get around her massive tits enough to grab this bag, and by doing so slips on some ice. She goes down hard, everyone on Fulton Street turns to look at her. She can’t get up, she’s on her back and she can’t even turn around, the ground is too slippery. She looks like an overturned turtle – struggling to just get some leverage, rocking back and forth in an attempt to get up – in an attempt t get on her stomach so that she can look at the ground and not the faces of the people that are standing over her laughing – everyone’s laughing. Loud. And I’m laughing too. I’m a kid, I don’t understand the concept of being mocked yet – falling is funny – to everyone, even the person who falls. And I’m standing there, with everyone else, laughing. And for the first fucking time my mom doesn’t even try to look strong, she doesn’t even try to teach me any lessons about adversity or being the better person.

She cries.

She cries louder than I’ve ever heard anyone cry. And everyone around just laughs harder, everyone but me. I realized what I’ve done – I felt her embarrassment and her disappointment in me – I was always the one that was there for here, through and through, I never saw her for the fucking disgusting fatty that she was. She was just my mom. And even though I was laughing because the falling was funny, I was also laughing because she couldn’t get up. I was laughing because she was too goddamn big to even roll over. I was laughing because she was a fucking joke.

I finally go over to help her up but there’s nothing I can do – she’s too heavy and trying to help her up is only causing me to fall, everyone is laughing at the two of us now like we’re some type of fucking sideshow. Finally an older man comes by, offers to help, calls over one of the younger kids near by and tells him to help as well, tells him he should be ashamed for laughing at a woman in need.

He should be fucking ashamed.

The three of us help my mom up although I don’t contribute much. We walk home in silence – she doesn’t hold my and when we cross the street, she doesn’t ask me if we want to stop of for pizza like we always do. We don’t even finish our shopping. She wasn’t crying anymore but she was certainly shamed. Her caked-on make-up was running all down her face, he cheeks were oily with sweat and tears. She was limping.

She looked like a broken woman.

It took her weeks to almost get back to her normal self around me – she was embarrassed to be around me, afraid that her own son was secretly mocking her, waiting for her to fall or some similar situation it’s funny to see fat people get into.

“Jesus didn’t abandon you – he punished your sinful sister.” My mom. My fucking charity case.

“Woah, woah, woah – what the fuck, dad? Wasn’t Jesus’ big thing redemption? Atonement? Sound’s to me like Agatha’s sister atoned for her supposed sins.”

You really can’t go home again.

Chapter 15 Part 2 (22,383 words out of 50,000)

___________________________

My mom just questioned Agatha for about a half hour. Asked about her family, her job, her future – all with a smile stretched across her fat cheeks and low-fat muffin clenched within her sweaty, meaty paws. She’s put on more weight, I’ve never seen her this fat – this is muumuu fat – it’s the kind of fat when I just look at my dad and wonder when was the last time he got some pussy. He’d have to be hung like a fucking horse to even get near that pussy, I’d imagine – I wonder how far his religious beliefs go. I wonder if he’s just like the rest of them – judging and preaching but fucking an 18-year-old (or younger) prostitute. I could see that, I could see my dad cruising around Wycoff looking for a whore, picking up some black chick and taking her to an alley, having her suck him off or ride his cock – then he kicks them out, throws the money at them, calls her a temptress while crying to his lord for forgiveness, begging his lord to strike this girl dead, to punish her for existing – for tempting him – for giving herself so freely to his lustful desires.

She doesn’t even listen anymore – she hears it every night.

Agatha holds the eyes sometimes. Quick extra glimpses at the fat under the arms, the quadruple chins, the folds of the stomach, the puffed out cheeks, the dinosaur thighs. My mother catches every glance and painfully goes on with the conversation as if she didn’t notice it, as if the embarrassment isn’t hanging thick over the room, as if she’s not thinking about that Junior’s Fucking Cheesecake that would put her into a diabetic coma, as if Agatha isn’t picking up on this and feeling guilty because she’s a fucking amateur and she’s messing with shit that she can’t fucking handle.

As if my father isn’t picking up on this guilt, letting his eyes wander from the TV set – let it move away from King of Queens or Everybody Loves Raymond or Two and a Half Fucking men or whatever the fuck dumbed down piece of crap network TV show righteous men watch when they’re not watching the 700 Club, when they’re not watching pornography and fantasizing that their wives would look one-tenth as good as these sluts who will do anything for a couple of bucks – these sluts who haunt their dreams, slithering about like serpents, offering an apple placed firmly between their legs, pressed against their diseased cunts.

If my father had something to give me, something worth working towards, he would be so easy to play. As a kid I never understood it – I thought the way to my father’s heart was by fearing him. He likes the fear, sure, but what my father needs is someone to save. That’s what all these religious nuts need. Because none of us are perfect. We all have our little sins, some of us have rather big ones, and for a religious man – those sins drive you fucking nuts. My father wanted people to fear him because he thought they feared his righteousness – his connection with God – his ability to sniff out your sins was Jesus working through him – their fear of him being a validation of the perceived holiness within them. And this fear allowed him to expose people – allowed him to save them instead of his own soul, hoping that by saving other people his sins would be pardoned – he’d be as holy as he felt. If I knew this then, I would simply let him save me. I’d lose God every Monday, find him every Friday and get permission to hang out as late as I fucking want with whomever I fucking want, blame them on Monday for my lack of faith and repeat.

Agatha is already getting worn down, my mom is doing what she does best – making people feel awkward. My father is stating to circle, you know he wants to say something, wants to find this opening, wants to measure up this agnostic woman – a woman with faith buried in her but no direction – and discover her sins, discover why she needs saving and take it upon himself to do it. Jesus is coming soon, coming in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end – are you ready, Agatha? Is your soul prepared for the rapture? My father’s asking these questions in his head right now, reminding himself that for every soul he can save before the rapture means that there’s one more sin he can commit. If he can save Agatha tonight he’ll be forgiven for calling the new neighbors a nigger, even if it was only in his head. If he can save her – the Good Lord will forget about the fact that he hit a parked car today – only a little dent – but he still turned tail and got the fuck out. If he can save her, everything he did to me as a child can be forgiven. The belt. The verbal lashings. Everything else. Calling me lazy. shiftless. Stupid.

But look at me now, father. Your stupid little boy that hasn’t been beaten by anybody in over seven years – this little boy is now using you to get the best of this Agatha bitch and you’re fucking falling for it. You’re only what I want you to be, not what you think God wants you to do.

Who’s stupid now?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Chapter 15 Part 1 (21,465 words out of 50,000)

15.

I think my mom’s excited to see me – I couldn’t tell, exactly, she cried the whole time I was on the phone with her before handing it off to my father. He asked me what I wanted, assuming the answer was money despite the fact that I’ve not only never asked him for a dime but that I also make about four times the amount of money he makes. He doesn’t understand that, though, he thinks I’m doing queer work. The devil’s work. Idle hands and all. I told my father I just wanted to come home – I haven’t seen them in close to a year and I miss them – I ask him about his health – I ask him how work’s going – I ask him about mom, if she’s been doing all right, if she’s still crying – I ask how the rest of the family is doing knowing full well that half of them don’t speak to him because he decided not to speak to the other half – my father isn’t the type you side with.

He asks me if I’ve found Jesus yet.

I tell him I found a girl.

He asks me if the girl’s found Jesus.

This is going to be so much fun I’m going to be shooting cum from my nostrils. You sometimes need to step back and admire your own persistence and imagination – your own determination and ability to get things done. What is Agatha going to do? She’s playing this “love me” card so hard that she needs to do the parent thing – she can’t handle this. She’s a fucking amateur. She’s fucking Fraggle Rock at this type of shit. These guys are going to break her down better than I ever could and I’ll be right there to put that shit back together the way I want it – this is the fucking killshot, the deathblow – this is the fucking David Caruso – I haven’t been this excited in years.

I’ve played it perfectly – I even told her my parent’s are abnormal, I fucking warned her so that she can get some prep time – so that she feels like she can come here with her “A” game. This way, when she fails – when they fucking break her – she’ll know that she’s a joke. She’ll know that this is my game she’s playing and she’s nothing but a fucking wheelbarrow – a fucking knife that gets placed in the library but wasn’t used to kill Professor Plumb – she’s a goddamn prop, a fucking red herring. And she’s standing right here, at the door, shifting – biting her lower lip, trying to smile at me but you can see the nerves getting to her, holding a fucking Junior’s Cheesecake and a bottle of shitty twenty-dollar merlot for my diabetic mother and her anti-alcohol husband and unsure of her abilities to pull this one off, honestly thinking that she has me in a position where I care about her, ready to bring it home and put the goddamn ham sandwich on me. I give her the reassuring smile she needs, she needs to think that she has me, that this isn’t a play, that I’m still under her control.

I wish I had a camera on me.

My father stares at her with one eye cocked, moving instantly to the wine, right back up to her nervous, smiling face. She looks at me, not sure what to say, wanting me to introduce her, but I just smile and nod, let her make her first move, throw her right to the fucking wolves. “Mr. Monaco – hi, I’m Agatha Williams – Agatha – I…” She waits for him to say something, waits for him to acknowledge her existence but all he does is stare, he’s measuring her up, looking her over, seeing what’s inside her, what makes her work.

“Hey, dad, is it ok if Agatha and I come in?” She smiles a little, realizing that I’m still with her, thinking that I’m still trying to make this easy for her. My father catches her nervous grin, however, and sees it as an insult – like he’s one to be laughed at – like Agatha feels superior to him.

“She has to leave the wine outside. I won’t have none of that in my house.”

This is going to be fucking perfect.

______________________

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Chapter 14 (20,746 words out of 50,000)

14.

My mom is one of those sweet ladies, the type that’s so fucking sweet she’s extra receptive of any hatred that might be directed towards her and there’s a lot of hatred directed towards her because she’s so fucking sweet. People don’t like sweet. They like ugly, they like cynicism and vulgarity. They like nastiness. They like the dregs, the black, the underbelly – they like to be around someone who’s worse than them. Someone who’ll make their dysfunctions look like fucking Candy Land. Someone who’ll make their excessive masturbation on par with a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter day. Someone who’ll turn their attempted murder of the neighborhood queer into a fucking Fudgy the Whale and Cookie Pus orgy. People hate my mom and it’s fucking impossible to hide it.

But she rolls with it, she takes it and just keeps on giving – but she can always feel this uncomfortable shift when she picks up on the hate – she sort of pauses, looks down for a moment, slowly continues with what she was doing while occasionally shifting her eyes to the hater. It’s so obvious that my mother knows, the person who is hating gets real quite, you can see their mind searching for something new to talk about, looking for some way to change the subject and alleviate the tension. My mother is the type that takes the task on, she’ll force a new conversation in order to spare the person who can’t fucking stand her any additional embarrassment – that’s the kind of person she is - the kind of person that brings out the worse in you and makes you feel guilty about it.

Guilty is the perfect state to have a mark in. If they’re feeling guilty, there is honestly nothing you can’t do with them – nothing you can’t get out of them. It leaves them open – leaves them vulnerable.

And that’s where my father comes in.

My father is cold, calculating – he looks at you with these eyes and sees into your fucking soul, sees everything misaligned and calls it. I’ve seen my father drive the most vile secrets out of people. I’ve seen child molesting uncles crumple at his feet and beg for forgiveness. I’ve seen my father act as a one man intervention for drug addicts, a stare and a quick “cut the shit” enough to get them to check into rehab. I got my gene for gauging people from my father but luckily the sense of righteousness was stripped out of it. My father goes to church three times a week and prays for the souls that he encounters – he prays for the inflictions he sees within them. He’ll meet up with an obsessive compulsive magazine editor-in-chief and pray for his soul whereas I’d turn the sink knob for him in a public restroom to work my way towards his penthouse parties and eat foie gras while chatting it up with his twenty-three year old assistant editor with social anxiety disorder, leading her away from large crowds as she falls in love with me, thinking I don’t know her story – thinking I don’t see the beads of sweats and the shifty eyes every time someone new comes over to mingle with her.

My mom and my father make one hell of a team and they don’t even realize it.

I never got away with shit when I was kid – especially when I hit those teenage parent-hating years in high-school. I’d get into some shit, nothing ever major – smoking a joint at my friends or something like that – getting home a little late but smelling clean, feeling fine. My father never cared if I got home late – he’s so old-school he thinks fourteen years-old is a man, the added school is pansy shit and I should be out doing manly work – driving trucks and hauling bricks or whatever the fuck he does six days a week, ten plus hours a day. But my mom would worry, I’d come home and she’d start screaming and crying, saying that she wants me home by ten and asking if I was out gallivanting with fucking pimps and gang-bangers and guys named Tito that sell fucking crack cocaine out of their hijacked ice-cream trucks while fucking sixteen-year-old girls high on candy, laid out across the broken coolers. My mom would confront me with hypochondriac inspired kindness, telling my she isn’t made but she just wished I would call, she wished I wouldn’t worry her so – she just wants to know her baby – the love of her fucking life – her only goddamn child – was all right. She was worried sick. She had a heart attack. She spent all night watching the news and listening to the police scanner she bought at a flea market for ten buck two years ago and never once picked up a goddamn signal. She sat by the window, watching and waiting for me to come home, the police scanner blasting static – the news reporting shootouts and beatings and daily casualty tallies over in the Persian Fucking Gulf. She laid it on heavy and I hated her for it. I pictured her flapping her fucking lips so much that she bites her tongue off and chokes on it, clutches her throat as she flops around on the floor, her waxy eye peeled wide like a fish, reaching out and trying to grab my leg so as to plead for help but I slowly back away from her and smile.

And then I would feel guilty.

My father would pick up like a fucking bloodhound, look right over at me and call me a pothead. He’d know where to look; he’d know were to smell. He’d look right in my eye and tell me to confess my sins before the lord and there was no way to lie to him, I didn’t even bother anymore. My mom would get nervous; she’d tell my father it was a one time thing. I was a good kid. I do well in school. Kids experiment, that’s what they do. I’d stand there firm and take the punch – take it like the man he wanted me to be at fourteen. I’d take the belt – I’d take the backhand. Whatever he had up his sleeve for my punishment I’d fucking take, I’d thank Jesus for punishing me through my father, for showing me the light – I’d fucking do whatever my father wanted to appease him, to get him to stop before I broke.

Before I became less than a man.

My parents were the first people I learned how to play – they were great to practice on. My mom wanted to be loved, my father wanted to be feared. You can tell my mom secrets, things she knows my father would hate but things that no-one would confide in her because they feel she’s too sweet to know about them – her sweet brain can’t process them. They weren’t big, dirty secrets – they were just enough to make her feel a little guilty pleasure while making her feel loved at the same time, making her feel trustworthy. I’d tell her that I got a seventy on my chemistry test. I’d tell her that I kissed Susy Jenkins at the movies. Stupid shit every kid did but in my house, with my father, they were fucking sins worthy of eternal damnation. And she’d take them all in and keep them, because who confided in her but me? And her hiding these secrets from my father caused her to worry – caused her to fear him – and he sensed it and thrived off of it. He didn’t care about what scared her as long as she was scared of him. Scared of his ability to pick you apart and deliver just punishment.

Once I learned how to play them I tested how far I could push it. Sneaking an extra twenty from my mother – my father hate when she gave me money, he felt as if I should work for it. Whenever I’d go out my mom would sneak a twenty in my pocket and tell me to treat Suzy to some ice-cream, never realizing I dumped that cunt months ago – she was good for a fuck but wasn’t worth investing in, not even at that age. My father was difficult to play directly but the influence he exerted on my mother made him a pawn by proxy. Like I said, the were a great team.

Agatha will try to play this girlfriend roll with them, she has to, she’s in too deep to turn it back now. And when she does my parents will expose her for the fraud she is – my father will cast her out of the house and run to church, pray for her soul. My mother would slip me a twenty and tell me to take Agatha home before my father gets his shotgun, then she’d ask me if I’ve been to the doctors lately, I look pale.

Even if Agatha knows how to play, like I suspect she does, my supporting cast trumps all.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chapter 13 (19,277 words out of 50,000)

13.

“My division leader – ex-division leader – Jeremy, he always believed in second chances.” This cunt should win an Emmy. She looks right at me, she has to, I guess, I’m the only one here. And she smiles, her eyes a little watery, like she’s actually drawing back to some fond memory. I just play along and smile back, nod my head – I’m just going to be what she wants me to be – what she thinks I am.

“Us ‘straight people’ at the office, we’d make light of his generosity when it came to ex-cons and recovering substance abusers.” It was a good play. She knows what she’s doing - she saw that opening and took it. She’s either faking it because she wants to throw me off, get inside my head like I’m trying to get into hers – if that’s the case this can be really fun.

“And yeah, there was obviously a certain level of fear there, as well.” Or this is it – this is the answer. She’s some type of compulsive lying, drama-queen pity whore. I don’t know, that’s not a lot of fun, I’m hoping for the former – I’m leaning towards the former. Either way I’m getting closer to figuring you out, bitch.

“I’d never leave my purse unattended or my office unlocked, for instance.” If she is playing a game, which I suspect she is, I need to tread careful here – she’s getting a good read. I know enough about myself to know that I never care about anything; life’s only there so you can pass through it. But this shit, this shit fucked me up a bit – I can admit that. This dude was my age, you know? I knew him before I knew who I was going to be, some of that must have stuck around.

“But after a year of working there and nothing ever being stolen – after working in the same office with people who just apparently did just need a boost – we all kind of loosened up a bit.” And this bitch sensed it. She sensed it and she used it and for a minute there I almost fucked it all up. Standing in her apartment, fucking ready to cry it fucked me up so much, and she just looked at me as if she needed consoling – as if we were supposed to lay down on the couch and hold each other and cry. And she got me, she really fucking got me.

“But we never really hung out with them.” I sat on her couch with her, I held her.

“We never ate lunch with them.” She told me that she worked with him, I told her about the block-races.

“We hardly ever even talked to them.” I told her that I was worried about my own mortality.

“Until Rick, that is.” I actually fucking cried.

“Rick was – Rick just lit up the room, he was so happy to be given a second chance – every time he entered the office he was beaming.” She cried too, pretended to, whatever the fuck she does. She patted my back and ran her fingers through my hair, rubbed my earlobes while I told her I felt guilty – that I turned my back on this kid – that I cut him off because I couldn’t deal with who he was.

“He found out that I had a thing for Jelly Doughnuts, from Dunkin’ Donuts, of course – he’d bring me one every morning and he’d sit down with me and tell me about his evening – about how good everything was getting.” I told her that it felt good to talk with him when he was sober. That it smelled like childhood. I actually FUCKING said that. Smells. Like. Childhood.

“Things were really picking up for him, he was clean for months, making some money – he had an apartment now, away from the home he was living in where his old dealers would come by every day to see if he was doing drugs again.” She asked about my childhood and I told her about the old block. I told her about the Johnny pump and the stickball and the fucking BMX bikes. The fucking skateboards. Told her about a bunch of people I haven’t thought about in years, ones that weren’t fucking dead.

“He was just so happy.” And she smiled, cried, told me that she’s been waiting for me to open up to her.

“Every morning he’d say how great it felt to be on the right course.” She told me we just took a big step.

“How great it felt to belong again.” She told me that she wanted to love me.

“And then he stopped showing up for work.” She got greedy, to say the least – she almost fucking had me.

“A week passed and I still hoped he would come back – went out looking for him and everything – but he just disappeared, never seemed to be at his apartment, never saw him around his neighborhood.” Amateur move, when you open somebody up, when you expose them – you parlay it into the next day, you don’t try to seal the deal. You give them time to weigh their options, process it, question their decisions – you make it seem like they have a fucking choice.

“Eventually I stopped looking; the office went back to normal.” If she would have left it, I would be telling her I love her right now.

“It’s a shame it has to end like this, it breaks my heart, he was so close – he was happy – I don’t understand why he needed to go back to this.” I would be at her apartment with a fucking toothbrush, packing my shit into the drawer she cleared out for me. I would have been a changed man; I would have decided to give this fucking relationship thing a shot. I would have question my decisions, started on a new path, turned over a new fucking leaf, made a u-turn, double backed, gotten the monkey off of my back, praised the new fucking day. I would be picking out drapes and doing her fucking laundry, watching The Daily Show while she rested in my arms.

“But I’m not blaming him; despite how happy he was I know how hard he really had it.” If she just let it go, I would have came to her – she would have fucking won – I would be a broken man right now.

“I know because of the way I felt about him before I found out who he really was.” But she had to push it, she had to expose herself by being so fucking careless.

“I just – I just hope he’s found that happiness again.” And now I’m feeling good, I’m in a position of power, she could have made me cared but now I’m back to not giving a fuck.

“I just hope he’s finally at peace.” And she doesn’t know that.

“That was beautiful.”

“Thanks.” She smiles, ducks her head like she’s embarrassed, playing the fucking part but she doesn’t realize the goddamn play changed. She doesn’t realize I’m playing the lead now. And now she’s going to see how this game is really played; now she’s going to know how a fucking master does it. This ain’t pre-school anymore, cunt.

“I think you should come to Brooklyn with me on Sunday. Meet my parents.” You want to play in the majors; I’m going to fuck you up.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chapter 12 (18,032 words out of 50,000)

12.

I slip the stripper a twenty and tell her to take extra care of David. She nods and shifts her blank eyes away from my grin, away from my soul gazing acknowledgement of what she’ll do for twenty bucks – away from my dominant smile – away from my controlling posture. David begins to lead her over to the wall but she pulls him towards a private book, he looks back at me and smiles, puts his thumb up, thinking that she’s interested in him – that she’s pulling there on her own volition and it has nothing to do with the fact that I slipped her a Jackson. It has nothing to do with the fact that she can’t get a job in modeling because the lighting would look horrible with the amount of make-up she needs to spread on her face with a putty knife to hide the acne scars he’s been carrying since she was twelve. It has nothing to do with the fact that she can’t get an administrative job because she’s a coke-sniffing whore who’s been fired twice already for fucking employees in the storage room for an added Christmas bonus. It has nothing to do with the fact that she needs a tit-job soon, her skin is starting to sag and her thighs are starting to fatten, if she doesn’t enhance her breasts soon she’ll be slumming around during amateur night at the Mexican clubs where twenty bucks gets a fuck, five for a blow.

David thinks this chick wants to give him special treatment.

I don’t think tonight, I’m smart enough to know I shouldn’t be brooding. I should just enjoy myself, relax – I’m getting too caught up in the job. It’s like in the detective movies where the guy goes deep undercover and starts doing illegal shit, first to keep his cover but later because he likes the power – he likes the rebellious feeling – he likes knowing he’s alive. So tonight I don’t think, I let every distraction come to me. A girl with no shirt kisses my cheek and I buy her a drink. She asks if I want a lap dance and I say yes, I tell her to bring a friend over and I let them switch it up, take turns, one has a cigarette while the other pushes her ass against my crotch, turns to me and breathes on my neck, keeps her tits an inch from my face, lightly brushing them and smiling devilishly.

It’s the most boring shit in the world but it keeps me from thinking.

People think too much, it’s one of their biggest problems; it’s one of the many things that make them an easy target. They deny that they have a problem and they spend their whole time thinking what to do about this no-problem, how to handle it, how to explain it, how to hide it. When you hit a wall, when you see something that you don’t like, the key is not to think. I’m not saying bury it, I’m not saying ignore it. Just don’t think. Tomorrow you’ll see the solution, tomorrow you’ll know how to deal with it, tomorrow you’ll see it for what it is – whether it’s a problem or a one-time thing – whether it’s easily fixable or will require some work. But if you start thinking on it from the start, if you let it become an issue before you allow it to simmer, before you allow time to pass, it will fucking consume you. That’s why people bury shit, why they explain it away, because they have no idea what to do with it – they don’t have faith in their subconscious to work the problem while they let their mind relax, they don’t hand control over to their instinct or their id or whatever the fuck is processing information in the background, whatever it is that knows you better than you know yourself and thus does it’s work while you’re just being yourself.

Just don’t think.

So I go over to the stage and hold out a dollar bill, a flat-chested “girl-next-door” with a Chinese character to the left of her belly-button that likely reads “skank” although she thinks it says “hope” walks over, shaking her ultra-wide birthing hips and smiling. She gets on her knees, tosses her black hair around, spins onto her ass as if she’s break-dancing, spreads her legs and shifts her panties to the side to show me her perfectly shaved snatch. If you look close enough you can see a sweat stain, why she’d wear pink panties at a strip-club is beyond me – it might give the innocence look you’re going for but black or deep red is always safer – plus we all know you’re nothing but a fucking whore. She leans into my ear and asks me if I want a dance – I’m really not up for it with this chick so I just put the dollar bill between her tits and sip my Moskovskaya vodka I had to sneak in with a flask because the closest they come to vodka here is Chopin. I don’t even respond, just put my glass back down and stare at her until she leaves – dismissing her – reminding her that she doesn’t work for my money unless I decide to give it to her – unless I decide I want her.

This is the most mundane night in years but it keeps me distracted.

David come out from the private room, smiling, zipping up his pants because he didn’t have the fucking class to do it before exiting the room. The girl he’s with looks ashamed, she walks over to the bar and orders a Corona, stripper’s brew, and David come to me, smiling, his penis bulging through his fucking Dockers, some un ignorable semen soaking through the khaki – what the fuck is he not even wearing underwear? My money’s on silk boxers, they pass liquid right through and don’t provide much for support – I had to tell that to –

Don’t think.

“That bitch sucked me dry.” I’ve been to enough of these skank joints to know that “sucking dry” isn’t exactly what fucking happens, they always use the condom. But David either likes to play it up like he was wanted, like he’s hot shit that strippers line up for to get some of his dick in their mouth, and that’s fucking fine with me.

He may be the biggest douche in existence but he’s keeping my occupied.

“This is a good time I missed this– though you were getting all soft with the Agatha.”

Don’t think.

“What’s it been, a month?”

I don’t even respond, I walk over to the wasting away stripper with the corona, sitting at the bar and staring off at nothing in particular except for her waste of a fucking life. I grab the beer out of her hand and she screams something, looks over at the bartender, worried that I’m going to hit her I would imagine. The bartender makes a motion for me as I grab the stripper’s wrist with my left hand, pull out a fifty with my right – plop the fifty in the stripper’s panty-waste and she tells the bartender that it’s all right, she knows me, she was just startled. As she lies through her teeth to cover for her whoring ways I clench down on her wrist harder, digging my nails into her diseased whore flesh before pulling her into a private room. Everyone stares at us, thinking I’m going to beat her, but no-one steps up, no-one says anything, maybe if she was some random chick off the street but no-one is going to waste their time defending a stripper at a joint like this. This isn’t high-class, this is where the blue-collars go after a shift at the auto-body shop, grease on their hands and the smell of oil permeating from their sweaty bodies – the girls that work a place like this do it because they can’t get in anywhere else, they’re dirt at best.

We get to the private room and I pull my dick out as I sit down, pull her head towards my crotch. She resists, pulls away, and gets a condom from a nook by the chair, how a place like this doesn’t get discovered is beyond me – these chicks must suck a ton of police cock. I grab her by the hair and pull her head back hard, reach into my pocket and pull out another fifty – tell her she won’t be needing the condom, I’m clean, as if my word is gospel. She doesn’t believe me but she eyes that fifty and weighs the risk, finally realizes that the extra Grant will buy her a lot of coke and she starts slobbering on my unprotected cock. You can tell she wants it to end, she’s not taking it as deep as she can, she’s hardly touching the tip as her hand rapidly moves up and down my shaft. I shove her head down until she gags and continuously fuck her in the mouth as hard as I can. She’s looking up at me with these tear-filled eyes, she can hardly breathe as she heaves up deep-spit and tries hard not to throw-up. She resists, her neck is rigid and she tries to force back on my hand.

This has got to be the most unfulfilling blowjob of my life but at least it keep my mind from wandering.

She’s crying now, I can hear pleas for me to stop between her gurgles. I’m telling her that I’m going to cum in her mouth and she’s trying to shake her head no, trying to say it except every time she flexes her throat she gags, she can’t get a word out. My balls are hitting her chin and my pubic hairs are pressed against her nose so hard she can hardly suck an oxygen in. Her entire face is beat-red, her cheeks are tear soaked, her mascara is running. I throw another fifty in her face and tell her that I’m going to cum in her throat and she’s going to swallow it. She stops saying no and just rides it out, knowing that I could be some diseased junkie but selling it all out for an extra fifty. She’s crying even harder, thinking ahead to these agonizing months where she’ll be going to the free clinic monthly, getting tested and retested for AIDS, never being sure if she’s in the clear, thinking back to this moment in the strip club when some stranger pounds her throat and cums hard into her mouth.

I release my load while holding her head down, she tries to fight it despite the money, I need to use all my strength to keep her there. Shot after shot and she’s gagging, spitting up – her hands reaching out for something, a weapon or something that will give her enough leverage to pull herself away. She’s groaning, mumbling, trying to scream for help – she committed herself to taking in diseased semen and now she wants to change her mind as if there are second chances in this life – as if whores like her even deserve it. She’s pounding the floor, pounding my leg, trying to hurt me, trying to get me to stop – trying to get me to give this up out of the kindness-of-my-fucking-heart. As if I feel remorse. As if anyone can feel for a stripper past her prime, someone who’s out of here in a week unless she gets her tits done.

As if I’m feeling anything right now.

As if I’m even thinking.

November 8th, 2005, Upload 1, Chapter 11 (16,088 words out of 50,000)

11.

“Why are you so late?”

“I’m not – I stopped at the, uh – funeral home.”

“Funeral home?”

“Yeah – guy I knew from elementary school, saw the name and recognized it. Went in, I was the only one there.”

“Oh, honey, you should have called me.”

“No – no – it wasn’t like that, I didn’t even stay long, I was just kind of hanging out for a bit, in the back. Just kind of wondering who paid for the funeral, you know?”

“There was no-one there at all?”

“Just me.”

“..”

“I haven’t spoken to him in years, you know? We used to see each other now and again but then we just kind of drifted – you know how that can be –“

“Of course.”

“We just sort of drifted and that was it. Four years later, I guess, and I’m just wandering into his funeral – no-one there but me. I was kind of wondering what he was up to the past few years, you know? How he got along, what he did. I mean, three years is a long time. Did he get his shit together? Have some kids? Fuck – I don’t even know how he died.”

“You shouldn’t beat yourself up over this.”

“I’m not. I’m really not. It’s just – I’m 27, you know?”

“I know.”

“And so was Rick – it’s just, the guy always seemed to be the type who lived it day to day, you know? How’d you say I lived, without a goal? Destination or something like that?”

“Destination.”

“Right. And you were saying something about being empty and unfulfilled, you know? And I kind of think of Rick and wonder how fulfilled he was. I know he had his shit together for some time, a real entrepreneur – he made some great money. But just as he started getting to the top – the dude just checked out. That’s about when I drifted, figuring I had no time for a lazy, freeloading son-of-a-bitch.”

“I’m sure Rich –“

“Rick.”

“Rick?”

“Yeah, Rick Desa.”

“..”

“What?”

Monday, November 07, 2005

November 7th, 2005, Upload 2, Chapter 10 (15,752 words out of 50,000)

10.

There was a guy I used to know named Rick. I knew him since elementary school, the dude was in the first grade with me straight through to sixth grade. He ended up going to the same junior high school, different high school and he never made it to college. This fucking guy had the flattest head imaginable. We would have field day at our school, we’d all get together and play games only kids played and compete for certificates and medals that were going to be handed out at the final assembly. Popcorn Parachute, water balloon toss, relay races – shit like that. One game was this block-race kind of thing. You had to pt a block on your head, go across the school yard as fast as you can and then come back. If the block ever fell off you had to start over again – it was the worst game ever invented and the teachers only made us play it so they can pay us back for torturing them, watching us go back to the starting line over and over and fucking over because the block kept falling off our heads, watching our parents laugh as if we were amusing little shits. This kid Rick though, he would fucking sprint. He had this Teen Wolf looking haircut that required excessive amounts of hairspray; I suppose that combined with his ridiculously flat head made him the greatest block race champion of all time. In six years of elementary school I never one seen him drop that fucking block – he always made it to the finish line before the eventual second-place opponent made it halfway to the halfway point, the quarter-point if you want to get all fucking math about it.

The shit you remember about people.

I saw him after I finished college, about seven years back. He was peddling dope and coke to fuckers in Battery Park, making a bit of a name for himself but ultimately he was nothing but a one-man show and it was freaking him out. You might be able to pull that kind of shit in Brooklyn, distributing narcotics to sixteen-year-old rich white fucks home from boarding school but if you were a one-man show in Manhattan you were a fucking target. I’d get my dope from him because he always had some high-class shit and he made house calls, there’s no way in fuck I’d go slumming for my sticky-icky. He’d come over, I’d buy some dope off of him, he’d share a bowl with me and we’d reminiscent about elementary school because we never had anything else to talk about – field day always came up, obviously, and I would always talk to him about how amazing he was in the fucking block race and he would just fucking beam – it must have been the dudes moment, you know, his one shit that he’ll always be able to look back on and never the question the fact that when it came to block-races there was no-one in the city who was better than him. He couldn’t make a living off of it, it didn’t belong in a resume or help him in any college interviews he may or may not have taken but it was still fucking his.

I guess because I was the only dude who talked about those block-races as if Rick was our school’s version of Michael Fucking Jordan he’d usually give me my dope at cost, he was just glad to hang with me and shoot the shit about elementary school – it’s fucking sad, really, but I always figured I’d let him find that shit out on his own.

The stress of Battery Park starting getting to him, obviously, and he started tasting his llallo along with his dope, it started making him crazy. Eventually he got so burned out that he stopped dealing all-together, he got too careless and as a result he got run right out of the neighborhood, took a bullet to the shoulder and compensated by doing enough coke to reclassify himself as a junkie. After that I just stopped talking to him, I let him drift away – he’d track me down occasionally and ask for money but I never really had the patience for that type of shit – the way I saw it the dude wasn’t dealing ever again and block-racing glory only gets you so fucking far. I haven’t seen him in years.

But a name like Rick Desa catches your eye, I guess, and I guess I have an inexplicable thing for reading off funeral signs. You get inside so many peoples lives, get your hands in their shit so often, that it’s impossible not to know the person written on the signs, the plastic white letters changing daily and letting me know I need to find a new mechanic or a fucking housecleaner. But this time I’m sitting here, remembering all about block-races and dope deals and the real question is, if I’m the only person here and soliloquizing in my head, why the fuck don’t I get up front and send this cat off right? And I guess the second question is, why the fuck am I here at all?

November 7th, 2005, Upload 1, Chapter 9 (14,881 words out of 50,000)

9.

Driving through Central Park, late at night and hardly any lights, drunk off my ass, doing ninety miles-per-hour. If I had kids at home that hated me, I would be smart enough to say that I’m lashing out for help, that my destructive behavior will either end once I seek out therapy or once I die in an exploding car. This, right now, is me just needing to really take a shit.

I don’t get this chick – I can’t get a read, at all, I don’t see her angle, don’t see where she’s coming from. Three dates in and she just seems normal, despite the whole turning down sex thing – maybe that’s her issue? Three dates is a bit tough to gauge but maybe she’s prudish for some reason. Maybe she was raped or sexually abused, that shit is damaged goods, if I can get a confirmation on that I think it’s safe to say I declare victory and go home. There’s never a good reason to get involved with a raped or molested chick – she can be the president’s fucking daughter and you would need to stay as far as way from that shit as possible despite the world of opportunity it would open up for you, you’re better off packing your bags and going for the senator’s daughter instead. A quick fuck, maybe, their guilt over what happened might drive them to be the type to have a complete emotional detachment from sex; they could be a fun fuck, but to deal with their day-to-day shit, no fucking way.

But this bitch, I’m getting nothing. I’m not even sure if it’s ok to take a shit at her place. We’re having some wine, watching this god-awful Jennifer Lopez movie that she wanted to rent, and the shits hit me like a fucking Mack truck. It’s the food – this chick has the down-to-earth perception thing, I called that at least, and she’s ordering up food from Chinese delivery joints – six-bucks for a fucking tub of General Tso’s chicken, I don’t understand how people can eat that and not shit all over the place. Who the fuck pays six-bucks for a meal? You might as well eat at McDonald’s or Taco Fucking Bell for that amount, at least this way you don’t have the illusion that your ass isn’t going to explode all over your leather seats on the car ride home.

I can’t even get a read, do I shit in her bathroom? Do I excuse myself politely? Do just fucking ask her if it’s ok that I drop a deuce in her crapper? I pretend I’m not feeling well, stomach cramps and nausea, she’s trying to keep me around, telling me that I can stay the night here and she can take care of me – what the fuck is that all about? Three dates in, maybe she’s fertile – I can see that. Maybe she was involved with some dude for years and he left her because her poisoned womb wasn’t capable of supporting life so now she compensates by taking this motherly position in all of her relationships. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t fucked yet? Maybe she looks at me like I’m her child, maybe her primal fucking mind is so strong that she can’t even discern me from a two-year-old baby that needs to suck her tit for nourishment – maybe her repeated miscarriages as a result of her strip-mined uterus has fucked her up so much that she has just become a –

No. No, she aborted, that’s what the fuck happened. She aborted and she feels guilty, I’ve met chicks like that, except they usually go the depressed route, she went all Mrs. Brady on the spirit of her vacuumed out child, transplanting it into the soul of any man that was stupid enough to position himself into her life. I know it sounds like I’m joking and in part I’m just entertaining myself or else I’d be shitting my pants but that shit could really fucking happen. Losing a child fucks bitches up bad. Some of the easiest scores have been off of bitches that lost a kid – especially the sudden losses due to negligence, like if the kid was run-over by a car or drowned in the pool – within months the couple is divorced, blaming each other for the death of their three-year-old bundle of fucking innocence, within weeks I’m plowing their face and giving them some sort of hope that this time around, with me, the fruit of their loins will actually be around long enough to start school. That this time she’ll be able to go to assemblies and watch her son ride a bike and play soccer and beg her for a fucking beagle. This time she’ll get to watch her son start high school, play football, tell her how much he hates her, how much she doesn’t understand him, how she doesn’t understand what love even is, if she did she’d still be with dad instead of lecturing him on his new girlfriend with the dyed red hair and the blowjob lips that accentuate her cum-on-me cleavage. This time she’ll be able to see her son go to college, get herpes, experiment with drugs, drop-out and get a job doing construction. She’ll get to see him knock some skank up, marry her, beat her, divorce her and pay child-support to the bitch despite the fact that she’s obviously not putting that money towards the kid. She’ll be able to get old while her child neglects her, puts her in a home, harbors nothing but bad feelings towards her for reasons that she’ll never understand – didn’t she do everything for him? Didn’t she sacrifice and give all that she can to ensure that her baby will have a happy life? I give her all this hope by simply existing, by simply being something her husband wasn’t – whatever the fuck she wants me to be.

Within hours I know what I can get from her; I see how she’ll play out. If it’s worth it I stick around and reap my reward for being her savior, for being her fucking salvation. If it’s not I use my out, always careful to not burn a bridge, you never know who’ll be your auditor or real estate agent. You never know who’s going to end up selling you your next BMW. You never know who’s going to be waiting your table or fixing your car or hooking up your cable. There’s more to life than blowjobs and pussy, that’s just the bonus.

So with Agatha, I wait it out. It’s usually the ones that take some time to present themselves that are the most rewarding in the end. I already have my network of lawyers and judges and fashion designers and computer specialists and restaurant owners and novelists and tax specialists and chefs and Broadway actors and real estate moguls and carpenters and auto body specialists and recruiting specialists and team owners and landscapers and bank managers and stock brokers and car salesmen and doctors and dentists and gym owners and coffee importers and image consultants and hair stylists and journalists and CEOs and CFOs and bakers and wine tasters and food critics and movie critics and anyone else who can in some way make my life more enjoyable.

Agatha is a nice break – a reminder of how hard it could get without the pressure of high stakes.

So I’m doing ninety, drunk, no lights, Central Park – I have to shit – I still haven’t figured out her deal – and despite how it may all look, I’ve never felt more fucking alive.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

November 6th, 2005 Upload 2 Chapter 8 (13,534 words out of 50,000)

8.

She eats her cookie-dough ice-cream and all I can picture is shoving that fucking cone in her face. Just fucking smashing it right in there until the cone crumbles and little pieces of hardened sugar pierce her fucking eyes and cut her face, she bleeds all over the goddamn promenade as kids run from her in fear – couples look at her in disgust – the stupid fucking bitch that let it get this far. She’s the kind of cunt that you just look at and you know she deserves it – she thinks she’s so fucking smart – putting her nose where it doesn’t fucking belong, stepping on people’s toes who don’t like their fucking toes stepped up. Messing up a good thing, rocking the fucking boat – whatever the fuck cliché you need to realize that this cunt is playing on the wrong goddamn team. You just look at her once and you want to fucking punch her, she has that face that’s asking for it – fucking begging for four knuckles to press down hard against her mouth and knock her teeth down her fucking throat, cutting her esophagus and causing her to choke and die on her own fucking blood. You want to see her rolling around on the floor, clutching at her throat, gasping for air – face turned bright red and her eyes bulging out of her sockets. You want to kick her in the tits while she looks up at you with those big, fucking, eyes of hers – just kick her repeatedly until they fucking rupture and only then move on to swift kicks to her whore, choking face. Step on her neck, punch her in the cunt. Fucking grab her by her hair and drag her across the concrete, a trail of blood behind her as you scratch the perfectly smooth skin off her face.

You just look at her and want to humiliate her. You want to piss on her face while she cries, aim for the open wounds, punch her in the heart repeatedly until she opens her fucking mouth and chokes on your noxious stream of asparagus infused yellow piss. And you just won’t feel bad; you’ll feel like what you’re doing is right, like you’re only fulfilling your purpose on this earth. You’ll feel God shining down on you while Jesus sings Rocky Fucking Raccoon and smokes a bowl. Everything would be perfect, birds chirping and dogs humping and flowers stretching towards the bright sun while this bitch rolls around on the grass in nothing but agonizing pain, begging you to stop, begging you to just fucking kill her and get it over with as if that’s what this is all about. As if she’s not being punished – as if she’s not being taught a lesson.

Me? I’m not even a violent guy and all I want to do right now is beat the fuck out of this cunt. Get her to give it all up, whatever she’s hiding so fucking well. Look at her, just look at that slut. That fucking smile, she thinks she has something on me, I know it. She thinks she has me backed into some type of fucking corner, getting beneath my goddamn skin or whatever this whore likely calls it. She thinks she’s actually playing my game, she think she’s actually winning.

“How’s your ice-cream?”

“Mmm. Cake-batter is what the kids call ‘The Shit’. Good call.” She just keeps pressing on, keeps rubbing it in. With her fucking Old Navy pea-coat and her goddamn corduroys – playing this fucking character – trying to make me fall for it. What the fuck is your game?

“Can I try yours?” She just has this casual thing about her – she has to feel this, she has to feel this seething fucking rage – there’s no-one on this goddamn planet who could possibly be immune to this. I mean, I’m a good actor and all, I have to be, but this has to be fucking radiating off of me. She has to be able to see it, smell it, feel it, sense it, taste it – I don’t even comprehend how she can’t. So, assuming she’s not the biggest idiot in the world and assuming she does know that I’m five-fucking seconds away from pushing her in front of a goddamn bus she either has to believe she’s winning – that she’s controlling this shit – or that her best play right now is to ignore the fact that she’s this close to fucking dying.

Only once – only once - have I felt like killing somebody like this. Fucking high school – I think everyone’s “I wanted to kill that bastard” story takes place in high school. You have the sane dudes, of sane enough, really, who just let it fucking die – suck up the humiliation and roll with it, become content that karma or kismet or serendipity or destiny or whatever the fuck these metaphysical faggots call it will come back to bite the offending party in their goddamn asses. The not sane enough dudes are the one that go fucking Columbine, queering out with rifles and blowing the heads of the goddamn football players and cheerleaders as if whatever the fuck happened was so wrong that it deserved immediate punishment, as if the stars or predetermination or moira or divine fucking decree won’t work out for them. I played fucking basketball in high school and we never goddamn won but whenever we lost to some ghetto-ass school from Utica or some shit we’d just chant, “That’s all right, that’s OK, you will work for us some day.” The Columbine gothic fuck types, they don’t get that. I wouldn’t care, so much, except for the fact that they’re killing my future fucking janitor.

But in high school, there was this one bitch – theater chick, worst kind of bitch imaginable. I was at my friend Joe’s house; he played basketball with me, big fucking kid – power center if the term actually means anything. The type of dude that would throw an elbow at your nose just to shatter it. His girl was coming over this mannish looking chick named Hilary, and she was bring her friend Amy with her. Never gave two shits about Amy but I was backing-up my boy, I had to take her out of the picture for him. That’s the type of shit you did in high school, before learning to fend for yourself – you got each other’s back while you learned the ropes. So I go over to Joe’s house and we hang for a bit, warm up the grill, marinate some fucking steaks and wait for mannish Hillary to bring her friend Amy so I can take the fucking bullet and Joe can get laid. These bitches come over and we drink some beer and smoke a lot of fucking dope and Joe takes mannish Hillary to his room and I’m outside smoking with the no-lipped Amy, she has this scrunchy sort of pug-ugly face that looked sort of like a chipmunk after getting cracked in the grill with a fucking stick. I figure I do my duty, I’m tired, and I have no interest in this chick what-so-ever so I go up to Joe’s brother’s room and get to bed. This Amy bitch follows me in, climbs into bed with my room-spinning sickly ass and tries to make out with me – I just push her away – I wasn’t the desperate type in high school, I was in control of my shit enough to pull ass on an almost routine basis. The next day, though, this Amy fucking whore is going around the school telling people I have no dick – that she reached into my pants (which she might have, I was so fucked up I remember nothing) and realized I have no dick. Not a small dick, not that I wasn’t getting it up because I could hardly grasp what the fuck was going on around me, not that I was generally disinterred because the Northern Lights we smoked was well worth the eighty-bucks we paid for it – she told everyone that I simply had no dick. People were coming up to me the next day and asking me if I knew what the fuck Amy was talking about. I swear to shit when I saw her that day I was more than prepared to sink me teeth into her fucking throat and rip it right off. I was two seconds away from ending her fucking life – but I didn’t; I keep my cool in times like that. But right now, man, I’m so close to killing the fuck out of this bitch. Because I know she’s not worth it, I know I have no chance of beating it – and despite how riled up she’s getting me, despite how absolutely retarded this fucked up bitch is and how insulting it is that she thinks she’s actually on my level, capable of competing with me – the bottom line is she’s still a bitch and there’s no bitch worth giving up the rest of your life for – especially when you have it as good as I do.

That’s alright, that’s ok, she will work for me one day.

And part of me says the investment isn’t worth it – that she’s only a fucking barrister at a goddamn Starbucks – but that doesn’t matter at this point, if there was ever an argument for “the principle” it’s right here, right now. This bitch is the definition of principle.

“I thought you weren’t a mint-chip kind of girl.”

“I haven’t had mint-chip since I was a kid – my mom used to always take me for walks to Baskin Robbin’s after school and get me a mint-chip cone.” Sure she did. I’m sure your mother taught you this little trick as well, the way you lick that ice-cream cone while fucking eyeing me – fucking challenging me to bring it – as if you’re setting the trap and you fully expect me to go for it. It’s like the old comic books, where the villain would set an obvious fucking trap and the hero just waltzes into it in order toe draw the villain out – knowing all along that it’s nothing but a goddamn trap – but it’s the only in he has, the only fucking lead, the only way he’s going to get his arch-enemy to show himself before it’s too late – before the city is destroyed or the girl is killed (even though in reality I’m sure she’ll be raped first, thereby buying the hero more time).

It doesn’t matter. None of this. It’s all formality – it’s the fucking paperwork, academicism. She wouldn’t be the first person I’ve come across who thought she was hot shit and she won’t be the last. It’s all a matter of time.

“Watch out, your cone is melting.”

“Oh man, casualties.”

“Negligence, sergeant - You’re too busy eating my mint-chip that you don’t like.”

We’re just sorting out all the red tape.

November 6th, 2005 Upload 1 Chapter 7 (11,704 words out of 50,000)

7.

“How long have you been at Starbucks?”

“Only a year – it’s part-time work.”

“What do you do during the other – part – time.”

“School. Getting my MBA over at NYU.”

“Ah – didn’t know that. That’s great.”

“Necessity – human resources wasn’t quite working out.”

“Too many bitchy people?”

“No – too many cheap bosses. Ever explain to some eighteen-k a year pregnant twenty-year-old receptionist why she needs to pay for twenty-percent of all her check-ups? Especially when she points out that with her old job she had a five-dollar co-pay on everything.”

“Doesn’t sound like fun.”

“I figure if I’m calling the shots, I wouldn’t have to be the bad guy as much anymore. Although I’m sure I’ll still have those moments.”

“Bosses eventually need to fire people.”

“If they don’t manage their division effectively. What do you do, by the way?”

“Me?”

“Heh – yeah – you’ve been asking about me all night.”

“I’m interested in you.”

“Uh-huh, I work in Starbucks, nice try Cyrano. So, what do you do?”

“OK - I work in marketing.”

“What do you market?”

“Ha – umm – I don’t really know, most of the time, I’m not a very good marketer. Well, I mean, I get the job done – I speak very loudly, you know what I mean? But I don’t really care enough to know about what I’m selling, I just find a suave way to spit out the lines the engineers feed me.”

“So you sell people stuff without having any passion for what you’re selling?”

“I guess – I mean, selling people stuff isn’t a matter of what you’re trying to move. It’s a matter of what you perceive they need.”

“So you lie?”

“Well – no – not really, I mean, I sort of – I just adapt, you know? You let people ask questions and you perceive how they want them answered. It’s still the same answer you were trained to give, it’s just buried in the subtext.”

“And that’s not lying?”

“..”

“Well?”

“I don’t even really do much for marketing – I’m more marketing support. I sometimes get to say some things at a meeting but for the most part I gauge reactions and advise.”

“Do you even know what you do?”

“Ha-ha – actually, no. I know I get paid well.”

“Why don’t you quit?”

“Because I get paid well, like I said.”

“But you don’t really seem to work towards anything – you just work.”

“..”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“..”

“..”

“I must have said something, you’re all –“

“No, no. No – I’m fine, I wasn’t expecting our first date to be all soul-searching.”

“First date?”

“Well, yeah – I mean – what?”

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, we haven’t gotten ice-cream yet.”

“Oh, so we’re getting ice-cream?”

“If you want a second date, yes.”

“..”

“What now?”

“No, I just want to add something. I do have a goal – at my job – and it’s not just money.”

“OK, so what is it?”

“It just hasn’t presented itself yet.”

“Oohhh K.”

“No, I’m being serious. It’s just – things just feel right sometimes, you know? Sometimes thing just feel like you’re going towards something bigger than you. Like, this pay-off that’s so unfathomable you never planned for it – never saw it coming until it was right on your ass. Do you know what I mean?”

“No. Well, yes, I know what you mean. But I don’t know how you can live by that – no offense, but it feels pretty empty and potentially unfulfilling.”

“..”

“What?”

“Nothing. I just never pictured you as a mint-chocolate-chip kind of girl.”

“So we’re still on for ice-cream?”

“Of course.”

“And we’re leaving this conversation right here.”

“Yeah, let’s do that for now.”

“Good.”

“Good.”

“And I’m a cookie-dough kind of girl, by the way.”

Saturday, November 05, 2005

November 5th, 2005 Upload 2 Chapter 6 (11,085 words out of 50,000)

West Palm Beach has never been this much fun.

One of the problems that people have, one of the reasons that they’re so easy to fuck with, is because they never look inside themselves. To them, everything is fine – they lie to themselves and tell themselves that their brains are functioning normally – that their interest in gay pornography is just to see how low society can go, it’s a fucking sociological experiment. Their need to hit their wife is genetically fueled aggression triggered by the fact that they lost their job. Their need to get piss-drunk and drive home doing ninety-five on back roads with no lighting is in no-way correlated with the fact that their kids are always in trouble, that they feel like they failed as parents. Their constant spacing out and surfing internet message boards, trolling for eighteen-year-old girls is fueled by the fact that they’re not challenged, that life is too easy for them, that their wife doesn’t supply them with what they need as if every chick should be happy to take it up the ass and coax a load of cum from your balls onto their face while saying how good it feels, how much they like it, make some joke about protein loaded face-cream.

All of this – everything that they feel guilty about, everything that they refuse to get help for because it’s not a real problem, everything that no fucking sane, well-adjusted person will ever consider to be normal behavior – all of this burying is what makes them the easiest targets in the world. Everybody buries something, everybody has their shame and their motivation behind their motivations – no-one acknowledges it – they all adapt to it, find ways to explain it all away as normal behavior. Blame people for not understanding. Make up politically correct phrases that attempt to explain away that they’re fucked up.

We all got our shit – I got my shit – but what empowers you, what really makes you see the world like I see it and what allows you to do whatever the fuck you want is the ability to understand your shit and control it – not allow other people to understand it and control it. That’s what separates you from one-hundred-and-fifty-million people in this county and if you know how to work it right, it’s what’ll separate you from three-hundred-million people in this county.

I have a handle on my shit well enough to know that, right now, West Palm Beach has never been this fun – especially not with Dave. Especially not at this fucking tiki-bar that he loves so much. Especially not with the surfboards on the walls and drunken college bitches with the fake IDs and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” blasting through their speakers. For fucks sake I’m drinking light beer out of a yard-glass and having a fucking blast. I have enough handle on my shit to know what really makes me happy.

After this we’re going to go to a strip bar – not a low-class piece of shit one where the girls don’t make you work for the extras, where they hardly even make you pay for them. We’re going to a classy place, a fucking Gentleman’s Club, where the girls won’t even come up to if you hold out a measly single, where they won’t even take it.

They’re high-class. They’re not whores.

I’m going to buy Dave lap-dances and blowjobs, by the time I’m done with him he won’t even be able to walk. He’s going to feel like he’s been kicked in the nuts repeatedly by a fucking mule. I’ll drive him to the hotel, drop him off so he can call his wife and hide his drunkenness – tell her that he’s having a good time, that he’s tired and needs to go to bed, that he’s been working really hard but he thinks we got the contract, he thinks this trip is going to pay off big time, he thinks his Christmas fucking bonus should be sizable enough to pay for that trip to San Diego she’s been talking about – they’re going to drop off the kids at his mother’s place and they’ll bike over the Golden Gate Bridge and eat clam chowder down on the wharf out of a fucking sourdough bread bowl. Then I’m going to go back out and score some fucking martini bar chick, have more fun than Dave ever imagined within his world of blowjobs and lap-dances, thinking it never gets better – not even knowing what he’s capable of, never knowing how good his life can really be.

Tomorrow I’m back in New York City. I’m in love with it again; that fucking city was born again. Saturday I have my date with Agatha. Fucking Agatha. Thought hard about this one, I haven’t had this much fun in years. This chick has a thing for being “down-to-earth”, you don’t take a chick like this to the Russian Tea Room or Tavern on the Green. You take her to get pizza. Philadelphia Cheese Steaks. Hot Dogs and a walk through Central Park. We’re going to Grimaldi’s, under the Brooklyn bridge, best poor-man’s pizza you can get – right on the water so a nice walk can follow, plenty of cabs around so we can make the quick break back to my place once she’s had enough of the fucking around.

Once I break her down.

I got her, I thought about all her moves. I know how to play her; empowered I know how to maneuver within her sense of importance – how to keep her from remembering that she actually works in a fucking Starbucks, making frappacinos for fake-o haughty-taughty white folks and the occasional Uncle Tom. Pretending that her life is something more than what she made out of it. Pretending she’s carefree, that she doesn’t stress over rent or loneliness or being somebody.

The only complex this chick has, on the surface, is this insane belief that she doesn’t have one.

November 5th, 2005 Upload 1 Chapter 5 Part 2 (10,089 words out of 50,000)

She shakes it off, literally (the fucking ditz) but she’s backed into a corner now. “Do you want whipped cream on that?” See how she comes back to the casual, keeps her cool, hides her interest? She does that because she wants to regain what she feels to be the control of this conversation. This isn’t domination, mind-you – this isn’t like Fontay – this is empowerment. She makes the decisions. The influence my primal mind exerts over hers has nothing to do with where her feelings are going – she’s making conscious fucking choices – her programming has nothing to do with the fact that I’m getting her wet, her rooted complexes (in this case her need to seemingly prove she’s more than a typical woman, right down to the perceived importance of her bullshit job serving coffee at Starbucks) has nothing to do with the fact that subtly sucking on her bottom-lip and pretending it’s my cock – pretending she’s nurturing my load right into the back of her throat.

”I’d love some whipped-cream.” She likes it.

“So – you obviously didn’t come here for a venti gingerbread latte with whipped-cream.” She wants to hold onto her perception which makes my job easier, keep fooling yourself bitch; I’m more than willing to help your reality along. Keep those big blue eyes averted, keep those dimples hidden, keep those teeth clenched, keep that hands on the cardboard cup – keep it steady – you don’t want to show your weakness – you don’t want to show me that there’s a woman in there.

“I didn’t – No, no – I don’t even like gingerbread. I kind of wanted to see if you had some free time this weekend, maybe you wanted to get together.” Keep your position, keep me underneath you, keep me insecure and unsure of your feelings, keep believing that you’re not trembling, keep believing that cute and girlish ponytail isn’t feeling tighter than it normally does, keep telling yourself that your pussy is just “itching”, that it has nothing to do with the fact that it’s begging you – that I’m what you want and what your pussy needs.

“I don’t –“ Keep telling yourself that this is just about a latte. Keep telling yourself that this has nothing to do with the fact that your hormones are raging, that the estrogen is sending signals to your brain and telling it that you should fuck my brains out. Keep telling yourself that I don’t see this conflict, that you’re hiding it well by waiting me to finish the sentence, that you’re trying to get me to reject myself so that if I keep talking I’ll expose some flaw, something that’ll make it easier for you to tell your body to just shut the fuck up.

“I’m sorry. That was stupid.” Keep believing that I’m sincere. Keep believing that I’m embarrassed, that I don’t normally do this, that I’m intimidated by your womanhood. Keep believing that I’m going to turn back, one last time, to see if you changed your mind. Keep believing that I’ll find some excuse to make another past - I wanted the fucking peppermint latte instead of the gingerbread – I think I left my keys on the counter – I forgot the fucking slip cover that’s made to protect my hands from the extreme heat of a goddamn Starbucks cup - I forgot to leave a tip in the fucking tip-cup – my latte isn’t hot enough – I actually wanted a grande – I decided I also wanted a Blondie – I didn’t realize you sold Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits here – my nephew would love this teddy bear for Christmas – do you have a fucking bathroom because I just realized that I need to take a wicked fucking piss.

“Wait – uh –“ I’m devoted, I’m persistent, I know what I want – I took the two seconds to learn your fucking name, to learn where you work – I’m putting time in – I’m not who you thought I was – here I am being the man you always wanted, one who realized my place as your equal or lesser, and you never even put in the time to learn my fucking name.

“What’s your name, by the way?” My name is subservient. My name is insecure. My name is push-over. My name is devoted. My name is workable. My name is attentive. My name is emotional. My name is sappy. My name is partner. My name is compassion. My name is modern man, above my primal state, years evolved – a man of the times, a man that has adapted to fit the roll you women have rightfully taken – the supporter of your need to nurture the world, to make it work, to give it life in a way that only a woman can.

“Joseph.” I’m the story you tell your girlfriends when you’re at the club this weekend, dressed like a fucking hooker, wearing too much make-up and your tits pushed up to your neck and all the cleavage falling out. I’m the story you tell before you go onto the dance floor, grind your girlfriend and laugh as if it’s not making you hot, move onto the Latino guy with the moves, push your ass against his cock because you think it’s “fun”, laugh about it as he turns you around and the sweat is so thick on your forehead and tits that you feel gross because to you a dirty slut is gross. I’m the story you tell before you take this guy home, fuck him until the condom breaks only to fuck him some more – wake up to find him gone, no phone number, no note – you don’t even know his fucking name. I’m the story you tell before you realize how hypocritical you are, before you realize that you’re nothing but a slave to your own desires, before you realize that you made a huge mistake and you need to get your life back on course. I’m the story you tell before you realize that I’m more than a story – I’m your fucking salvation.

“I’m free Saturday night.” Keep telling yourself this is just a friendly date. Keep telling yourself you are just testing me out, seeing if I’m up to snuff. Keep telling yourself that Saturday night might be fun but likely I’m just going to end up being the same exact thing as every other guy you ever met. Keep telling yourself that this, right now, is an anomaly. I’m going to let you down. I’m going to be nothing but a man in the end.

Keep telling yourself everything I want you to believe.

Friday, November 04, 2005

November 3rd, 2005 Upload 2 Chapter 5 Part 1 (8,990 words out of 50,000)

When I first started drinking coffee I thought it was a vile drink – the kind of thing you drink if you want your teeth to stain and your breath to stink. Someone puts a pot on the office kitchen and everyone lines up to drink a beverage that by law has to be something like ninety-percent coffee bean. The other ten-percent can be bugs, twigs, fiberglass or body parts. Eventually I realized that people just drank bad coffee. That’s because they scoff at price, no-one wants to pay more than fifteen-bucks for five-pounds of coffee. Do you know how many glasses of coffee you get out of five-pounds? Its fucking nuts, you’re paying something like ten cents a cup of coffee. What the fuck beverage do we only pay ten-cents a cup for? You can get five pounds of some of the finest Jamaican coffee for a hundred-and-fifty bucks – you tell people that and they freak the fuck out. I’m paying like a dollar a cup, less than they pay at their local diner, and it’s the best shit in the world. So, coffee became sort of a passion for me, mainly because people are fucking stupid about it.

And it was fine; I had no problem with their stupidity. They can have their Dunkin’ Donuts and their seven-eleven and it doesn’t mean shit to me, I have my own little coffee machine in my office and every morning I have a cup of coffee that makes my nipple harder than diamond cutters it’s so good. And we were all good with that. They were over there, I was over here and we both enjoyed our coffee and you never even pretended to be in my world.

And then there’s Starbucks.

Now people are paying three or four bucks for a cup of Kenyan and pretending that they’re coffee connoisseurs. Taking some cheap Kona knock-off and adding white chocolate flavoring and ice and calling themselves “civilized” coffee drinkers. And they sit at these big puffy chairs and listen to Ella Fucking Fitzgerald over the speakers and stare at their laptops – at their fucking novels that they’re trying to write in an attempt to escape from their nine-to-five piece-of-shit job – trying to feel like they’re part of this “coffee culture” of fake-o artists and hipster posers. And still, despite their love for coffee, despite the fact that they’re inflating the price of Starbuck’s coffee to about three-hundred bucks for a five-pound bag every time they buy a cup of watered-down shit, they still make this exasperated sound of disbelief when I tell them I often pay up to two-hundred bucks for a bag of fucking Jamaican or Egyptian. Believe me, I have no fucking love for Starbucks, and standing in front of this one right now is fucking killing me.

But Agatha is a fucking barista at this one. This chick has some serious issues.

Cynthia didn’t think she did, I fucking asked her. When she told me Agatha worked at a goddamn Starbucks my first thought was that she was divorced with kids or maybe she just got knocked up as a teenager or something. Cynthia thought I was joking around, I didn’t want to push it – I like Cynthia’s parties and like the idea of being invited to future ones. Starbucks is so goddamn entrenched in our society that for some fucking reason there is nothing wrong with adult non-minorities working there. How is Starbucks any fucking different than McDonalds? They got fucking tip-cups at the counter for Christ’s sake. A fucking tip-cup for somebody who puts coffee in a cup and hands it to you. Doesn’t walk to your table, doesn’t keep your water glass full. This person stands in one spot and pours liquid out of a large cup into a small one. And there’s a tip-cup. She’s a fucking glorified smoothie-maker and we never tip those acne-covered teenage fucks.

“Welcome to Starbucks, whatta’ll ya have?”

They don’t even let you walk past the register without pouncing on you and trying to shove a venti crap on ice down your fucking throat. “I’m just going to – actually, I’ll have one of those gingerbread lattes.”

She’s kind of cute for a register jockey and she can’t hide those cuts on her arms – that shit is like a Christmas gift for a dude like me. “What size would you like, sir?”

“Large”

“Venti?”

“Wouldn’t that be an extra-large?”

“Grande, then?”

“However you like it.” She covers her scars and smiles coy – I know how she likes it and she knows I know.

“Venti it is, then. Agatha! Venti gingerbread latte for this gentleman!”

The cutter gives me one last smile and bites her bottom lip just enough to leave an impression behind. She’s the kind of bitch that wants you to slice up her tits while you choke her with her stockings; I’d never believe they existed either if I haven’t encountered so many of them. Chicks like that love to show it off but hate to get caught, they want you to shove their head in a public toilet while you fuck them in the ass but to be discrete about it.

At least one-hundred-and-fifty-million people in this country are like that, relative to you – remember that.

Agatha looks up a “this gentleman” and quickly looks away – she hopes I don’t recognize her. Probably doesn’t want me to know she works at a fucking Starbucks – she’d have some nerve blowing me off at the party with a job like this.

“I never pictured you to be a Gingerbread latte drinker.” This bitch actually acknowledged me? I’m starting to like her – she’s fucking nuts, unpredictable to a point. I knew the gingerbread would get her, though, she pictured someone like me to be triple espresso (or what passes for espresso in this fucking place). I got your number, Agatha.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year – I never got your name the other night, Agatha.” A little smile, subtle but there – she knows we’re playing, she knows how we do this – she gets it all the time.

“You don’t get brownie points for paying attention to my register girl.”

”Cynthia actually told it to me.” Stopped that bitch dead in her fucking tracks. That dumb stare as she’s processing what I just said, what I meant by it. If I give her time she’ll jokingly accuse me of stalking and all the possible responses on my end are clichéd and out of play. “I was a little hurt you blew me off the other night.”

Thursday, November 03, 2005

November 3rd, 2005 Upload 1 (7,893 words out of 50,000)

4.
David, Bob, David and Eric - they always like to go to tiki bars when they’re on business – all these old fucks do. I never understood what was so charming about a bar with a hay roof and surf boards on the wall. It’s just so commercial – it’s so full of stuff that that only uncivilized fucks like David, Bob, David and Eric would call “décor”. I sometimes try to get them to go to a martini bar – maybe a cigar bar – but they always say they want to go some place wild. They want to see 18-year-old titty and flirt with the waitress that has the charming Chinese-character tattoo - who the fuck am I to disagree? My job is to make sure they have fun no matter where they are – even if it’s in a place where they play “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” every hour on the half-hour and ninety-nine-point-five percent of the patrons sing it at the top of their lungs while sucking down tequila mixed with sugar and fruit flavoring. That song was made for them, seriously, it was originally going to be titled Mbube and the chant that’s apparently so fun to fucking sing is in goddamn Zulu – these fucking people don’t even know they’re speaking Zulu because if they did they probably walk around finding as many excuses to say “Uyimbub” as they do to say “Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir”. These guys don’t understand that they may be partying with some low-class, drunken bitches here and it’s fun and all but the chance of finding one that’s going to fuck your brains out when you get home is about as likely as me finding a tiki bar that actually serves the blue lable. These chicks, they’ll suck on your face for a little bit and maybe puke in your car – if you actually do get to fuck them it’ll be the standard missionary style (maybe doggy) and you’ll end up creaming on her pot-belly and going home at three-AM. You take some chick home from a martini bar – some thirty-some-odd-year-old breadwinner away on business while her husband is at home jerking-off to gangbang porn – you’re going to have the time of your life. She’s going to tie you down and ride your cock with her ass while telling you stories about how her husband never makes her cum anymore – she’ll be sucking on your toes and begging you to eat her out while she wears your spunk on her slut of a face. That’s because the martini-bar bitches have a sense of desperation – this is their night to do all of the nasty shit their husband is too fat and lazy to do. With the tiki bar chicks, there is no desperation – they’ll be back next week. Sex, to them, is a fucking chore – a competition. They have it almost every night with twenty-year-old boys who don’t know what they want and in turn teach them nothing about what they can get. These are the chicks that keep a role of paper-towel by the side of the bed and say “ill” while they wipe off the mess you left in their bush. These are the chicks that think they’re nasty when they offer you a hand-job, as if I couldn’t do it better in my hotel room by myself – as if the phone-sex operator can’t say nastier shit than these college sophomores. “You like that? You like the way my hand feels?” No, you fucking skank, I do not like the way your hand feels. Of all the body parts you can use to get me off, your hand would be my last choice, so why don’t you stop drawing attention to the fact that I’m getting jerked off.

But David, Bob, David and Eric love this place, it makes them feel young. I just don’t think I can take it anymore, I think I need to find a new fucking job. New city even, why not. I live like a prince in Manhattan, could you imagine what my life would be like in some laid back city like San Francisco? I’d own that fucking town, I’d be overlord of San Fran. Gay people have tons of issues too, that’s partly how I get over so well in New York, but what the fuck is San Fran, like fifty-percent gay? I’d fucking pay for nothing in that town I’d have so many people in my pocket. I imagine I’d be able to find my job there as well except it would pay a lot more. Some forty-year-old dude going to Houston for a single day – one day away from the femininity of a city that’s slowly killing him – he’d want to maximize the potential of that single day so badly he’d pay me high-six figures just to make it happen for him. Unlike David, Bob, David and Eric – these guys have gotten too comfortable with me. My last raise was seven-point-four percent. I travel across America with these fucks, buy them lap-dances, point out the stripper that would suck their dick for an extra twenty-bucks, get college chicks to let them feel their tits in exchange for a Midori Sour, convince two drunken bitches to make out in front of us, break a chair over some fucking pricks head because he didn’t understand the concept of a table scratch and how that concept applies to going for the eight-ball and all I get for all of my effort, all of my fucking ridiculous rock-star antics and slum bars these fuckers make me go to and uneven fights they encourage me getting involved in for all of that all I get is a goddamn seven-point-four percent raise. A little over twelve-grand, money that’s going to be swallowed up by my projected cost of living increase.

Fuck that. San Fran. Maybe San Diego or Miami. San Antonio if they find a way to cull their fat-ass population. Everyone seems to think I’d get along fine in Los Angeles but everyone also seems to think I like hanging out with them and for some reason they think they would get along fine in Los Angeles – as if they’d be shopping with Courtney Cox on Saturday and having dinner with Steve Martin on Sunday. I keep thinking that maybe I just need to get out of this country for a while – maybe go to Barcelona or Prague – but every time I visit I can’t find my groove. It turns me into a cynical bastard, makes me someone I don’t want to be. It makes me awkward, stumble over my own words – makes me sweat when people talk in a different language – makes me anxious when I need to get back to my hotel room. I rarely get laid and when I do it’s usually with an American chick.

Whenever I’m overseas, I become David, Bob, David and Eric.

November 2nd, 2005 Upload 1 (6,739 words out of 50,000)

3.
“COME ON, DEVIL RAYS!”

For the first time in as long as I can remember Dave is really pissing me off. He annoys the fuck out me, sure, but it’s usually the kind of thing I can brush off or block out entirely. But Jesus Christ why in the hell is he wearing a Styrofoam Tampa Fucking Devil Rays “Number One” pointy-hand? Where did he even get that thing? They sure as hell aren’t selling it here, any one of these booths stocks that goddamn thing and bunch of Yankee fans will burn that son-of-a-bitch down. But he somehow has it – it’s all big and black-and-blue and matches his Crawford jersey. Who even makes a Crawford jersey? I don’t even know the bastard’s first name; ESPN doesn’t even know it most likely. I swear to God, people in Tampa Bay don’t even cheer this hard for the Devil Rays and this cock-sucker is screaming so fucking loud his voice is getting all crackly and his face is looking like a goddamn super nova. And maybe if we were in the bleachers, maybe, this bastard’s behavior wouldn’t be bothering me as much – his apparent need to freak the fuck out like he’s high on cocaine – but for some reason the fact that we’re in the field level boxes is just really getting me on edge. I usually love this shit, really I do. I usually love watching as the guy in the three-piece suit and Yankee hat squirms as his wife tells him he should say something. I love it when the squirrelly guy stands up and politely asks Dave if he can watch his language around his five-year-old son. I love it when Dave takes a look at the kid with his bulging bloodshot eyes and tells the kid that he deserves to hear what he has to say – he needs to know the truth about the Yankees so he doesn’t make the same mistakes his father made. I love it when the usher comes over to David and politely tells him that he needs to calm down or else they’re going to revoke his season tickets. I love it when Dave turns to the infield one last time and shouts out, “Aye, Jeter, you’re off the hook for now you cock-sucking faggot! Ok, ok, I’m done. No, dude, I’m done. I’m done. It’s fine.” I love it when the usher gives Dave one last look before walking away, expecting to hear one last syllable out of his mouth. I love how as the usher leaves Dave mumbles under his breath something about Nazis and faggots. I love all of that; it’s what makes these games more fun than simply seeing the Yankees deliver another pounding. It’s what makes hanging out with Dave somewhat enjoyable, it really is.

I honest to God usually love it.

Usually.

“Yo, did you see that girl at Cynthia’s party last night? The one with the ponytail and the J. Crew turtleneck?”

Dave looks down at me and cocks his eyebrow because I let something slip. I’ve been working this mother fucker for a year and I let something slip. When you play so many characters, though, sometimes you get your lines messed up.

“J. Crew turtleneck? What the fuck, did you memorize the catalog?”

This dumb asshole picks up on it. People surprise you sometimes, I guess.

“It was just some JAP-py looking turtleneck, dude. It’s a fucking expression.”

“Uh-huh,” he fucking smiles like he just won a cool point on me, “I saw the ho-bag in the J. Jew sweater. She was a walking blowjob, that one.” He stole that from me, “walking blowjob”, I remember when I made that up. I made that phrase just for him because it has just the right amount of vile corniness and I knew this fucker would eat it up – after all this is the guy that refers to a girl’s tits as “melons”. “Walking Blowjob” just came to me and I smiled and knew it fit, threw it out, and he smiled right back. Now he’s using it like he made up the phrase and that’s fine with me – it was his gift he can do whatever the fuck he wants with it.

“What was her fucking name?”

“I saw you talking to her.”

“I know, I can’t remember her fucking name.”

“It was Agatha or something – did you fuck her?”

Agatha? Holy shit this bitch has some serious issues. That’s the kind of name you change unless you’re a grandma, a nun or a fucking mystery writer. Agatha. Agatha? You can’t even put that name into sex-talk with a straight face. “You like that, Agatha? I know you like that you dirty little slut.” I mean, Jesus Christ what kind of a parent names their child Agatha? My mom wanted to call me Alewicious but my father, a much smarter man than he used to let on to be, told her that she was out of her fucking mind. Could you imagine walking around with that handicap? Could you imagine trying to get Fontay to fix up my apartment with a name like Alewicious? How do I even get around that? “My name? Alewicious. But you can call me Al.” Holy crap I can’t even imagine having a name so goddamn lame the coolest you can make it sound is by ripping off a fucking pop-song with Chevy Chase in the goddamn video playing a trumpet. It reminds me of this chick I used to hang with, she was one of the top chef’s in the city, ran the kitchen of some haughty-taughty French restaurant, always got me good deals on catered parties – knew all these up-and-coming chef’s that were trying to impress her and would do a party for a hundred people and I would pay cost, no service pay, no tip. Turns out this chef-chick was total manic-depressive. The thing with manic-depressives is, everyone tries to cheer them up when they get into their funk. Fuck that, give them what they want – they want to be depressed when they’re in that stage. They don’t want you sending them flowers and fucking e-cards and sending them a singing fucking telegram only to remind that that they are completely incapable of being happy at this juncture in time. They want you to ignore them so that they can fucking hate you – so that they can channel their depression and blame you for everything they perceive to be wrong in their life. So when this bitch would get depressed I’d just give her shit and leave. Tell her she’s being a downer. “Why don’t you just fucking kill yourself already.” Might sound harsh but she isn’t going to go and do it or anything, you just made her fucking day. Sure she’ll scream at you, sure she’ll try to make you take it back, try to make you feel bad, but the reality is – the next day she’s going to thank you for helping her focus her depression on something tangible. You want to make a depressive person your best friend? Kick her in the fucking cunt when she’s down. So I make her feel like shit once a week and in return I have the best goddamn spread at my parties. This might sound like the best fucking deal of all time but the chick’s name is Gloria which in and of itself is fine except every time her goddamn cell phone rang, and it rang often, this bitch starts singing “Gloria, Gloria! I think they got my number, Gloria!” Catered French-food is the fucking balls but that song should be outlawed – I had to cut her off – last I heard she actually did kill herself.

“Well, did you?”

“Did I what?”

“Fuck her, dude? Agatha?”

I usually love this shit, I really do. I love it when David assumes that I just fuck everything with a pulse, that I’m some type of pussy-magnet that pulls ass every night. I love it when he looks to me in an almost older brother way despite the fact that he’s twenty years older than me and married with a daughter that I totally plan on boning next year. I love it when he stares at me, empty, waiting for that answer – that sense of fulfillment – when he’s waiting for me to give him permissions to live vicariously through me cock. I love it when he pauses and there’s this moment I feel like I’m in a Rembrandt painting, like I’m Jesus on the cross and he’s the Virgin Mary – not believing that I’m dead and just waiting for me to rise again in glory to fuck the living and the dead and my kingdom will have no end. I love it when the moment is over and I tell him how I cream-pied the skank and laugh – he looks so fucking relieved as he slaps me on the shoulder and says for a minute there he was afraid I lost my shit – that I was getting old.

I honest to God usually love it.

Usually.

“Not yet.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

November 2nd, 2005 Upload 2 (5,217 words out of 50,000)

She’s totally not feeling this guy that’s talking to her – he’s not even looking at her, what a fucking shmuck. Girl like this wants you to look at her. She wants you to notice what she’s trying to tell you, she wants you to see the signs, why else would she even be at a party like this dressed like a fucking 18-year-old. Who’s she with, anyway?

“Haven’t seen you at one of Cynthia’s parties before.”

Generic, I know, but these guys that come with elaborate pick-up lines and introductions honestly have no fucking idea what they’re doing. Do you know what woman want you to be? Stable. Not saying they want stability in their lives – those bitches are thankfully few and far between – but I am saying that they want to make sure the man (or woman) they’re fucking around with is stable. They don’t want some loon that can’t get it up in the bedroom, gets so embarrassed he ends up cutting her fucking throat so she won’t tell anyone. They don’t want someone that’s going to break down and cry in the middle of sex. They want someone efficient yet pleasing – someone who gets in, buys dinner, gets in, comes out and goes home. Calling the next day is an option – one I rarely take.

“That’s because I’ve never been to one.”

Smart-ass. I like a good smart-ass sometimes.

“What do you think so far?”

That smile – she knows I know. She’s a smart one – she knows how to play it. Or she’s really fucking horny.

“I think I’m going to refill my drink.”

Without a look. Without a look! This bitch is something else, who the fuck does she think she is? It’s an interesting situation, she obviously wants me to come after her, wants me to chase. But I think I got her figured out, already – this is a test. She wants me to chase because she wants to prove that I’m pussy – that’s not a good position to be in, you don’t ever want to prove you’re the thing a girl like this despises. With Fontay, yeah, you’re filth. This chick, she wants you to be better than she thought you were. She’s too obvious in her execution, too quick to walk away without any hints. If I go after her, yeah, I may be able to fuck her. If I play it cool, hang back, she’ll be hanging from my fucking ceiling for days if I wanted her to. Chicks like this, they think they’re so smart but they don’t know about their primal mind. You can’t overpower the primal mind, that shit is always behind every decision you make. For a dude, the primal mind tells you to hunt, find shelter and fuck. For a chick, the primal mind is all about nurturing – the chick’s primal mind wants to feel needed, wants to feel like the dude she’s nurturing would be shit without her. A chick that denies her primal mind like this chick is the easiest girl to play. All you gotta do is the opposite of what your primal mind tells you to do and her primal mind will fucking explode.

I’m supposed to hunt her. I’m supposed to throw her over the mini-bar and pound her pussy in front of all of these people. I’m supposed to feed off her flesh, find nourishment between the crevices of her massive fucking tits. And she’s expecting it, that’s why she walks away, this bitch has denied her primal mind for so long that it has secretly taken control of her actions, she thinks she’s acting on free will but she’s be driven by nothing but genetic memory or instinct or whatever some fucking biologist would call the thing that drives a woman to be nothing but a goddamn nurturer. And by ignoring her, by turning back to my Cadenhead Old Raj Gin and Tonic, I’m causing her primal mind to go fucking haywire. I can see her now, sneaking peaks over that goddamn J. Crew turtleneck she’s wearing, looking over the rim of those cum-on-me glasses, wondering why I don’t give a fuck about her womanly nurturing fucking spirit. Meanwhile I breathe in the saffron aroma coming from my glass and turn around, shoot her a glance...

Where’d she go?

November 1, 2005 Part II (4,498 words out of 50,000)

2.

I only talk to Cynthia because of her parties – otherwise she’s depressing as fuck. She went through law school in Alabama and passed the bar there, hoping to set-up shop, thinking Alabaman firms would hire her when a black lawyer is prone to scare the shit out of half the jury. She stuck it out as a public defender for ten years before finally deciding the whole deep South scene really isn’t for her and came on up to New York City. Passed the bar only to find out that she was damaged goods – she lost her “edge” or whatever the fuck it is lawyers need to ruin people’s lives. Now she’s a public prosecutor, I don’t know what you call it, the person whose job it is to put petty crooks and deadbeat dads in jail. Thing is she finds herself prosecuting primarily black people, they give her dirty looks every time they get pulled away, their eyes accusing her of being a traitor to her people. She bites her lip until it bleeds and averts her tearful eyes as some cat who was going to hock the TV he stole to buy his son a goddamn baseball glove for his birthday gets carted off to do a couple of months of jail-time. She comes home and plans these elaborate parties, taking on a subservient roll and passing out highballs to people who barely remember her name. Always a good turnout, judges, lawyers, tax specialists, restaurant owners – people who are good to have in your network of friends. The higher-up people are on the social scale the easier they are to grab hold of. Lots of money and the desire to hold onto it makes for easy marks - besides the complexes they’re born with they develop plenty over the years – paranoia, fear of loneliness, trust issues. It’s easy to play someone like this, satisfy their need to trust and feel safe and loved and their deep-rooted issues will shine through - once you get a handle on those you own the person.

Of course there’s always a few low-class minorities at Cynthia’s parties – she invites her dry cleaner and her mechanic – thinking in some way this will alleviate her guilt, not realizing these poor guys just want to watch the Yankee game and have no interest schmoozing with us snobs and socialites at a party where they don’t even serve Budweiser. They walk around nervously, trying to ignore the awkward attempts at conversation by some rich whitie who just found out the darky he’s talking to is a fucking gardener. “Oh – wow, that’s good. So, do you use fertilizer?” The low-class minority just nods and barely manages to sneak out a “yes, sir” and goes back to staring at his Captain & Coke while the whitie uncomfortably kicks his Benromach Vintage 1969 Scotch Whisky that Cynthia bought as if any of these fake fuckers can tell the difference between that and some Hankney Bannister swill.

But the avocado mousse dip is fucking delicious.

This guy Chris I’m talking to is new to Cynthia’s parties. He’s a goddamn scout for a modeling agency – this guy’s going to be part of my upper-fucking-echelon. I’ll take a modeling agency scout over a hotel owner any fucking day of the week without so much as a second thought. This guy goes to pajama parties that play host to a bunch of insecure, worrisome, sex-addicted prospective models trying to get noticed. That’s a fucking candy-store. The fucking pope would get laid at a party like that. And he’s easy, too. Loud, center-of-attention type. Good hair, possibly implants – the guy’s wearing fucking make-up for Christ’s sake. And the coup-de-grace of an easy mark – Banana Republic draped all over his body. This guy can afford the good stuff but he’s fucking clueless so he picks outfits off of a mannequin in a Banana Republic storefront window, considering it to be “top quality clothes”. He even told some chick that his Turkish wool sport’s coat was FROM Banana Republic – he’s proud that he shops in the poor-man’s fancy-wear store. And to top it off, as if this guy really needed to project the fact that he’s a fucking target, he’s wearing Kenneth Goddamn Cole shoes. Probably got them at Macys on sale for fuck’s sake. Picked them up when he went in to get some snazzy Hilfiger jeans at buy-one-get-one-fucking-free.

I’ll be partying with 18-year-old whores trying out the “modeling thing” before turning to cocaine addicted strippers in no time. I wonder how much ass this guy pulls, he has to use the whole “audition” thing to...

Oh.

She’s new.

Smells like Donna Karan’s Black Cashmere – cheap but different, she might just like the smell. Hair’s pulled way tight, she must be a fan of a good tug. Wearing a turtle-neck, though, she’s a nasty fucking little tease, isn’t she? Got the school girl thing going on as if she can hide those tits behind a pound of wool. Yeah, that’s it – school girl – you can even tell by those fucking glasses she’s wearing, all sweet looking. All emo-indy-chick-innocent and shit. Either way the turtle-neck’s attitude does not match the message of those heels, she’s either in denial of her continuously sopping wet pussy or she’s waiting for a dude like me to get it.

She’s drinking white wine, too – what is she, in fucking college still?

“Well, Chris, here’s my number – call me if you need some help juggling the ladies.”

Son of a bitch laughs and nervously pulls at his tie - I got your number, Chris. You never get laid by any of these chicks; you value your job too much to risk the lawsuit. But you like to pretend, you like to make me believe that you’re banging these bitches on a daily basis. That’s fine, I’ll pretend for you, you can keep me around to feed your ego – I never call anyone out.

So with this chick, this in-the-closet fetish queen, she obviously wants to keep it subtly hidden. The way you play her, the way you play everybody, really, is you give them what they want – you feed their wants and in turn their faults will slowly start to show. For some people it’s quick – the people that don’t have a firm grip on their shit – they don’t even try to hide it. It’s the subtle ones that are a bitch. The people with mommy issues and fear of success. You have to wait those out a bit, look for the clues, put them together. Nobody ever said collecting people was an easy fucking job – you gotta work for that shit, it takes commitment, poise, concentration and all that other shit they try to teach you in business school as if you can get all of this out of a fucking book. Once you get a handle on the shit that drives them, they’re yours to do whatever the fuck you want with but sometimes you really need to put the effort in.

Like this chick Fontay, she’s the hottest interior decorator in the city. She charges tens-of-thousands of dollars an hour just to get the perfect couch to match the perfect drapes to match the perfect painting that matches your personality. This is the chick that Donald Trump can’t afford; she reserves her services for Saudi princes at NYU and oil barons that are putting up their twenty-year-old mistresses. I see her at a charity event (the best place to work people) and think that she can do up my apartment fucking nice.

Not interested, obviously – I can’t even get her to look at me. She’s drinking liquor that I’ve never even seen, it sits behind the bar in a non-descript black box with a lock on it, wearing clothes hand-stitched by a one-armed Italian designer who makes million-dollar dresses for five people on this planet. This chick is making me look like Chuck E. Cheese she’s so high class. But I’m staring her down, watching her every move, waiting for her to give a hint at some shit that’s going on beneath the surface. She yawns – boredom isn’t an opening, unfortunately – not in these circles – only in Hollywood. She stares admiringly at her glass for a moment – platinum and diamond coated – but it’s not a klepto stare, she’s probably making a mental note to tell her assistant to order a set of them. The guy she’s talking to puts his glass down on the table and half of it hangs off of the napkin and this bitch can’t keep her eyes off of it. Now, this may seem obvious with her being an interior decorator and all but it never occurred to me that this chick may just be some type of obsessive-compulsive control freak or whatever you would call it, I never claimed to be a psychiatrist, I just have common fucking sense. The dude excuses himself to go to the bathroom or some shit and the minute he turns around she moves his drink onto his napkin and breathes a sigh of fucking relief. So I do what any sane man would do, I put some pâté on my jacket sleeve and walk up to the bar she’s standing by. It was like I brought kryptonite into her presence – she doesn’t even hesitate to grab a napkin and wipe the goose liver off of my tux that she would normally never touch because it wasn’t made from the wool of an orphaned albino sheep that was raised by a blind monkey in Thailand.

I turn and thank her as if she just took a fucking bullet for me and she doesn’t smile – she lights the fuck up. Her eyes go stern and her shoulders drop back straight as she tells me that she couldn’t let me walk around like that – I tell her I understand her completely – I tell her how much it sucks to have to walk around a disheveled mess and the world needs more people that are willing to wipe smeared goose liver off of a man’s shoulder.

Two hours later I’m in the back of her limo with her panties shoved into my mouth. She’s slapping me repeatedly and telling me to stop looking at her as she rams my cock so hard my stomach’s getting bruised.

When she pulls her panties out I thank her but tell her I didn’t deserve that, I didn’t deserve her cunt-infused panties in my unworthy mouth.

The next night she’s sitting on my face and riding it like it’s a fucking banister. I don’t even get off but that’s fine, I’ll be her man-whore, I’ll be whatever the fuck she needs me to be.

When she gets off I spit the fecal matter and pussy juice out of my mouth and tell her how good she tasted – how I never tasted a cunt so good in all my life, how her ass tasted like fucking Neuhas Chocolates compared to every other ass I’ve ever eaten. She asks me what the fuck is a Neuhas Chocolate.

I swear, this chick is so high-class she makes me look like fucking Exxon.

The following night she has clips on my nipples and a plug up my ass while she rides my cock, her eyes closed and she’s calling me “Philip”. And I’m Philip tonight. I’ll be Tony tomorrow. Fucking Regis Philbin next week. I’ll be whatever the fuck she wants.

Two weeks of being her slut and she finally makes her way to my place. She can’t even stand being in there it’s so chaotic and not tapped into my chi or some shit, I wasn’t listening – she doesn’t even want to degrade me.

“We need to fix this. Now.”

Two days later and my apartment looks like a fucking PALACE. Fontay calls me up and demands I come up and I tell that crazy bitch to go fuck herself – sometimes you need to know when you got all you can out of someone and you need to cut them off. So now I got a place that’s all lined up with my aura and makes the girls fucking wet and she needs to find some other poor shmuck to take a kick to the nuts.

That was hard work. This Donna Karan Black Cashmere wearing chick is going to be fucking cake.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

November 1, 2005 (2,433 words out of 50,000)

1.

The best thing about this country is, no matter how dumb you are, at least fifty-percent of the population is dumber than you.

It’s all about your station in this country. You can be some third-grade drop out from Fuckedmysistertown, Kansas and find yourself in a situation where you need to get the best of the President, Rhode-scholar direct descendant of David, King of the fucking Jews, and all you gotta do is play the “common man card” and you’ll get along fine. Because the President, despite his lineage to the first great king of the tribe of Judah and God’s most revered disciple, he loves his power – and if he denies the “common man card” – he ain’t holding onto it.

I read about a guy that played the “common man card” to get his tax debt waved. Pillar of the community – local farmer – feeding something like point-zero-zero-zero-one percent of some ass-backward state like North Dakota. The guy was as dumb as he was ugly and he died a lonely virgin in a town with four chicks for every dude. Dumb mother fucker never paid a dime in taxes – IRS found him out. Now this cat starts going around and giving free corn here and there to the people in his community and making a big stink about how he gives all he can to this country – he gives us life, he gives us federally subsidized fructose that’s making our asses fat – and he does it without turning hardly a penny of profit – he’s a goddamn martyr. The easily manipulated people that live in his district, they all start believing this dumb fuck and holding protests for him. The local congressman is twenty-three years in the business and doesn’t want to start shit with his constituents that barely even know his name at this point - the last thing he wants is to get called back home to North Fucking Dakota where the blowjobs are less frequent than they are in D.C. due to the fact that his ice-queen fat-bitch of a wife has better things to put in her mouth. Things like carcinogens, fajitas and the occasional piece of deep-fried broccoli. So this congressman uses some connections and makes some calls and gets the IRS to bury this guy’s tax bill.

And this was a dude from North Dakota, never left his town, and never even started school. Plowing fields since he was five – never done so much as a crossword puzzle – and he outsmarted the IRS.

My friend Charles, this guy works the deli counter at Pathmark five days a week. Didn’t even finish high-school. Friendly as all fuck, he’ll slice your meat, laugh, tell those jokes that black people only tell to make white people feel comfortable around them – make them feel “down”. Once he loosens these white people up he segues into this sob-story about how he just got evicted and he has nowhere to live. You see that laughter instantly fade to an uncomfortable silence – Charles ain’t asking for anything, he’s just telling it like it is – how it’s hard to be black and trying to get by. So he lays this shit on and the rich white woman looks to her rich white husband and the rich white husband rolls his eyes and silently nods and the rich white woman turns to Charlie and says, “You can stay with us while you try to get on your feet.”

If it was a white dude they’d tell the bum to get a second job but they can’t do that to black folk. These poor black folk where ripped from their homelands to be slaves only to be kicked out of their plantations and cast into a world that didn’t fucking want them. And now here he is the result of your great white ancestor’s oppression, homeless and starved. This poor black man that was always so nice to you and always cut your Santa Fe Turkey extra thin and gave you an extra tenth (and sometimes a quarter) of a pound of meat. He’s always making you laugh, always making you feel welcomed, never down-trodden and always upbeat and telling humorous negro anecdotes and saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times like that black guy that looks like that black guy that stars in that movie with Jackie Chan. If it was a white guy, he’d be shit out of luck.

And Charles sells it. He gives the white folks that put him up twenty, thirty bucks a week, telling them that this is the most he can give while he has these fucking “I’m sorry massa” tears in his eyes. They try to turn it away but he insists, saying that if they don’t take it he’s going to have to leave.

He’s not a free-loader. He’s not a nigger.

And these white folk eat it up. “Charles is so nice,” they tell their friends, almost proud that they found a nice black man as if it was as elusive as fucking Bigfoot. Charles will stay there for a month until he finds his next mark, some other old white couple that laughed at one of his jokes he made about white people.

“Turkey? Why white people allllwwaayyys getting’ Turkey? Back in the ghetto, turkey was what we called the girl next doh’ that was always bobbin’ her head up and down like ‘dis. Yeahhhh – she bobbed that big ‘ole head on me, too. What you think? I see you smilin’. Turkey. What ‘bout salami? Ham? Don’t white folk eat bologna anymo’?”

Charles makes seven-bucks an hour, forty hours a week and pays twenty-bucks a week for room and board. He’s living like a fucking king because he’s smarter than these lawyers and doctors and kings of industry that aren’t averse to taking in a charity case.

At least fifty-percent of this country is dumber than you. No matter who you are. You can be the statistically and biologically dumbest person in the fucking world and there are still at least one-hundred-and-fifty-million people in this country that are dumber than you. Because it all comes down to how you play them. It all comes down to what your cards can get you. I’m a twenty-something, well paid white dude. I’m not particularly smart nor am I what some corny faggot might call a lady’s man. I have nothing going for me. And I’ll still get the better of more than one-hundred-and-fifty-million of the people in this country – I just have to play them differently.

I went on a date with this one chick, upper-mid-management type for some company that sells some type of something that someone needs so badly that they make over a billion dollars in revenue every year – I pick her up and her low-cut shirt is so fucking tight that the seams are sweating, trying to hold on with everything they got. She was wheezing with every breath because she can barely force her lungs to suck in the minimum amount of air that is needed to survive. Her jeans look like they were grafted on, displaying every crevice on her lower body from the camel-toe to the varicose veins that were trying to break out of the dungaree treatment. She’s wearing fuck-me boots that match nothing but her fuck-me perfume. She even pronounced my name J-oohhhhh-seph like the fucking sound of it forced her to cream her pants. I’m thinking this is a guaranteed score so I waste no time – an hour into the date I’m sucking her face over a plate of scalloped oysters in tomato sauce when she pushes me off and tells me she’s a Catholic.

I tell her she don’t act like it, backing away from it, and she insists on proving to me that just because she believes our Lord and Savior will damn her to hell if she lets my dick within a couple of inches of her pussy she’s still a fun chick. Five minutes later she’s sucking me off in the bathroom of Red Lobster, this thirty-year-old divorcee slut that’s on the end of her rope and can’t cope with the fact that her savior abandoned her. Two kids at home and going down on some dude she just met in a family-oriented restaurant where the waiters wear Hawaiian shirts and try to push the Key Lime Pie on you despite the fact that you stuffed your face with crab legs and fiesta shrimp. This six-figure a year, PHD in management, balls-to-the-wall tough bitch that masturbates whenever she fires someone is kneeling in piss, toilet-paper stuck to her shin, and asking me repeatedly if I liked the way her mouth feels.

Statistically there’re at least one-hundred-and-fifty-million people dumber than me. Realistically I’d say it’s closer to three-hudred-million.

After college I got interviewed by four of them. I came to them with my b-fucking-minus GPA and rolled up the sleeves on my Ike Behar shirt that cost more than their Men’s Warehouse suits, loosened my Prada tie and told them why, despite what seems to be a complete lack of qualifications, they should hire me to work for their company. And all they could do was look at me and say to themselves, “holy-fucking-damn, now this is the kind of guy I want to go on business trips with.” I came to work for them and they gave me a signing bonus and a salary and an office and extra vacation time and all the space I needed to “get adjusted” and all I had to do was go on business trips when they asked, sit in on some marketing meeting and then shove some dollar bills into a piece of dental floss that’s wedged up a stripper’s ass, making my coworker not feel guilty about the lap dance he got in the private room from the girl that’s younger than his daughter.

Spent five years in that place getting stock and bonuses and raises and promotions and did jack-fucking-shit from ten-thirty in the morning until I left at three in the afternoon. Got a pin after being there a year. A wooden block with my name on it after two. I got to choose between a set of steak knives and a clock for my five year gift but instead I chose a new job. I’m a professional business trip buddy – I get paid a shit-load of money to drive drunk and coax twenty-one year old women into showing me and my fifty-six year old travel partner their tits in exchange for a shot of Jaeger – I’m a hot commodity. You don’t see my position in the Times or on Hot Jobs but when I walk into an interview they know exactly what position I’m applying for – my hair frazzled, lip-stick on my collar – apologizing that I’m a little late but letting them know it was only because I had a long night. Smiling at them, making them feel like they’re part of the fucking boys’ club, like they even know what a long night is. Their goddamn faces light up; they wink and say, “Ahhh - long night. I know what you mean.” And they shuffle some papers and put their feet on the desk and try to let you know that they’re cool – that you guys can be buddies, go out for lunch together and exchange humorous stories about the hookers you fucked in some hole-in-the-wall rinky-dink bar in Mexico. Tell him the story about how some whore tried to overcharge you and you slapped her and kicked her off your lap, called her a “puta” and spat in her wetback-hooker face. Play into all of their masochistic and racist fantasies, make up the most outlandish stories possible because you know they don’t know the fucking difference; let them escape from their structured perfect fucking lives. Let them tell you their wife is a nasty little slut if you give her champagne. Let them tell you how much they’re afraid of niggers and spics – be their supportive shoulder so they can spew all of their sexual aggression and hatred on it and expect you to pat their head and tell them it’s alright while kicking back shots of tequila and doing lines of coke off of an underage hooker’s ass.

Who knew my b-fucking-minus GPA would have gotten me this far?

So when my supervisor, Dave, my current “best friend”, walks into my office and asks me if I wanted to hang out this weekend I have no problem abusing this racist cock-suckers’ corporate Yankee ticket privileges to get me some field-level box seats to see them trounce the Orioles for the eighth time this year.

This guy, Dave, used to be a Red Sox fan, apparently. Now all he does is cheer for the teams that are playing the Yankees. He comes into the office every day wearing some sort of Yankee-opponent gear. A hat, a pin – something. First thing out of his mouth when the Yanks lose is, “Did you see the game last night?” Fucking smiling. Never celebrates when the Sox win, just when the Yankees lose. He gets the company tickets and goes to the game and heckles the Yankees the whole three-plus hours. I go with him because I love baseball and don’t care how this asshole wants to ruin his life. We’d be on business trips and go to some random White Sox – Indians game or some shit and this fucking guy will be wearing a Blue Jays shirt and stare at the scoreboard, scream “Yankees suck” every time Toronto scores a run.

He’s the suffering Red Sox fan in New York City. A fucking red and green martyr.

So when he comes into my office and says, “Do you want to do something this weekend?” I don’t even think twice when I tell him, “Let’s go to the Yankees game and cause some trouble.”

He’ll buy me beer and pretzels and make some jokes about the “hot bitch” sitting in front of us and how he’d like to “pass her a sausage” and he’ll scream at Giambi for being a ‘roid freak and repeatedly remind Jeter that he sucks more cock than Rod Stewart and I’ll just sit back and quietly enjoy the game as I watch the Yanks put a double-digit hurting on the pathetic Orioles.

Three-hundred-million people in this country are just like David, relative to me. If you can understand that – if you can truly grasp what that means for your opportunities in life – you’ll do just fine no matter how dumb you are.