Sunday, November 20, 2005

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?

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