A short stack of thick pancakes, thigh high rump pumpers sloshing white whipped butter into my syrupy reflection, helping me digest my wife’s words regarding it being a good thing in fact that Katz had had such a long line. My French toast being good enough to relate to her the passerby comments of the place being overrated. The line here so much less, I say, and coffee on tap. We do better in diners anyways, not trying to prove anything to anybody…
It’s snowing. I’ve got so many windows open. It’s bad for my well being. It’s the only way to do it though when you’ve got someone breathing down your neck like I’ve got with my boss, doing all that he can to make sure I’m working on what he wants me to be working on. But the faster I type, the better music sounds. And it clears the snow from the sidewalk, sending it slurping back to the sun, the dance of my fingers on these good feeling keys like a reverse rain dance, bringing happy times again, albeit maybe not so good for the planet and its global warming crisis.
With great power comes great responsibility, but I have been constricting myself so much recently, getting my voice out and heard, dressing up more professionally than usual. It’s okay for me to relax, stretch out a bit, change into some comfier clothes. I’m proud of my results so far. It’s good to experiment. You find out what works for you. You might think you know what’s best, but how can you know for sure when you haven’t given everything a shot yet? I know they say that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, but sometimes you don’t even know what’s broken. And what’s not broken today may easily become broken tomorrow.
So here I am at work, cutting my nails over the trash can and eating a crumbly muffin in front of the computer, right next to the cash register, on camera, as I write this here now to you. It looks like I’ll still be covering that Saturday shift. A real bummer. I told Musette about it. She tried to tell me that I couldn’t do it, but I ended up winning that argument. It’s amazing how well I can stand up to somebody when I’m defending doing something that I don’t want to do for somebody else. It’s not about the money. I’ve just said ‘no’ to my boss so many times… One more ‘yes’ should buy me enough ‘no’s to get me through the rest of my time here.
I haven’t told him yet that the eighteenth is my last day. Soon enough. Probably today, if he calls. He’ll probably call… He’s going to want to know what I did for him to support Bernie Sanders yesterday. I did exactly what I told Hank that I was going to do. I half-assed it. I did just enough for me to lie without succumbing to guilt. That’s how you pass a lie detector test, by using as much truth as you can. Ammunition. I’m stocking up, preparing for a rise in intensity. We’re almost out the door. The energy waves are becoming more drastic. I’m holding tighter to the iron rod, a rodeo clown. It’s tough stuff. You’ve got to take as much control as you can. This is shamanism 101.
Making a sale an hour here. Writing helps to highlight the oppressiveness of time. Don’t get me wrong, I know that things could be much worse. But this isn’t exactly pleasure central. Even though I’ve got my own music streaming all around me, it’s the cameras, the surveilling nature of my boss, that really weighs on me. I know that I’ve talked about this before, but it’s what i’m thinking about at the moment, so deal with it. I don’t have to justify my actions here. It’s got to be the pressure of the presses that’s making me do it, trying to make me feel like I’ve got to be creative all the time, at the top of my game every moment. Sometimes I just need to take a freedom break, a breath to figure things out, to go back over some of my obsessions and touch a smoothing over into them.
I’m just like you, really. Trying to get by. I’m pushing orgasms out here and there, but a lot of that process involves a continuous mental stroking. It’s not all masturbation. Turning this voyeuristic act into intercourse is more fulfilling. I can be a real Casanova. It takes consent on both of our parts. Don’t let anybody try to convince you otherwise. You’ve got to cum to me for me to cum in you. Seeing your face light up is the real reward. Getting by is fine but when I see your face light up, that makes all the difference. Your brain fumes with life, and It makes me happy.
It’s a game that we play. The trick is to lure you in and make you love me. I don’t know if it’s your brain, your spirit, or your flesh, but something tingles. Something resonates. You smile. I smile. We’re smiling together. There’s chemistry between us. Babies can be made from this. New creations. Influence. What is that anyways but a substance that enters into us and goes into what then comes next?
The phone is ringing. It’s my boss. I answer and tell him that I was just going to call him. It’s the truth. I was actually in the middle of sending him a text message asking if he still wants me to work tomorrow. It’s the first thing that he asks me. Can I come in? It’s fine, honestly. I can do it. Just so long as he doesn’t come in also. If I’m able to write, and sing and dance, then it’s not all that bad. I can’t masturbate. That’s one thing. I guess that I could go into the bathroom, lock the door, put a back in five minutes sign up – but I’m probably not going to do that. It would be difficult without inspiration. I don’t want to drop my phone in the toilet.
My boss asks if I made any posts yesterday.
I tell him that I did.
That’s weird, he says, because I didn’t see any.
I start listing off the subjects of the articles that came out yesterday.
Oh, he says.
He hadn’t done much work on any of those articles.
Look, I say. I did what I could. My computer is slow. It’s not as fast as the computer here. You’re better than I am at all of this internet activism stuff. Most of my work takes place within a Google Document. Once I start navigating into advertisement laden websites, my computer crashes. The Chromebook knows what I need. I’m not meant to do your work. I’ve got my own fish to fry.
The snow is completely gone. Only a few customers have come in.
By the way, I say, my last day is the eighteenth.
My boss sends me a frowny face.
I’m feeling so sad, nervous, scared, weird.
It’s okay, says the holy ghost. You’ve got to keep moving. North. Even if it’s West. You’ve got to keep moving.
I’ve got to keep moving, I tell my boss.
Yeah you do, he says. You’ve been sitting at that desk a lot recently. I’ve seen it on the cameras. What are you working on?
Just Bernie Sanders stuff. Employee manuals for my replacement. Social media. Everything good. I have not been writing about you. Hank says that’s not such a good idea. I mean, he’s on board with the project, but he had mentioned something about you not taking things like that so lightly. So, let’s just keep that between us, okay?
I know that he’s talked, not necessarily about me. But about others. And everything goes out the window once I’m gone. That’s how the world works. There’s not much you can do about it. It’s human nature. We love to gossip. Talking behind each others’ backs is our preferred way of talking about each other.
C’est la vie. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when it comes to the craft.
Speaking of which, my next goal is to get into the dark wizard society. It’s going to take soul, passion, and proof that I’m the real deal. Clubs like this require you to pay your way in with the blood of your bladed days, and boy do I have enough. I’ve been at Maudlin House, Moloko House, The Talking Book. And that’s only within the last month. I’ve got miles of words. I could cross the country on my pages. I’m very prolific. Everybody tells me so. It’s a word that sounds better than it is. People can have a ton of words, but all the words can be crap.
Anyways, we’ll see if my words are enough for them. Hopefully I don’t make them sick. You’ve just gotta keep working. Keep heading North. Build that resume. Build yourself. I’m somewhere around 275 followers on Twitter. Quite a bit less than I had on ello, but this is a whole different ball game. You’ve got to keep moving North. Keep advancing. Change things up. Make what’s next.
Speaking of change, I’m almost out. I broke a hundred earlier. I wish I hadn’t. I’ve got a register full of big bills. There are a few ones here, but they’re going fast. Someone’s coming in to do an exchange of something that I just sold him. He’s wanting the less expensive model of the product that he got. It’s the battle of The Crafty vs The Mighty. If you’re in the industry, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m going to ask him for change. This is my shop. I’m the one who’s here. I’m the one in control of the register. I’ve got The Crafty, you’ve got The Mighty. Let’s see just how crafty I can be. What I can get away with. That’s the question. I just want some smaller bills.
The guy delivers. He comes through with a few. But they are quickly sucked back up and out of the register by a woman paying for a one hitter with a twenty. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t get ahead in this world. You’ve got to do what you can. You’ve got to give it your best shot. Sometimes you get lucky. Like that time I found a twenty in the subway. I’d thought that it might have fallen out of my wallet. The way that I swiped it up was so nonchalant. It couldn’t have gone any better. I had to count my wallet three times to make sure that I wasn’t the one who dropped it.
Earlier in that same night my coworker, Nikoli, had given me ten dollars because he had been very late to relieve me – over a half an hour. My boss was there. We knew that Nikoli was going to be late, but we didn’t know he was going to be this late. Anyways, I took the ten dollars. I had no other choice. I tried telling him that I’d already paid myself for the extra time that I’d stayed, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He had to show face in front of my boss.
It was two fives. Add that to the five that I’d paid myself plus this twenty that I just found, and I’m over eighty dollars. At my age, eighty dollars is the minimum that I should be making for a day’s work. At least it’s not taxed. It’s cold hard cash. Plucked from the register at the end of every shift. This job definitely has its benefits. But Nikoli is becoming a problem. He set up a camera behind the register. It’s a really shoddy rigging that he did. Wires strung over the rolling papers. A dangling router. The camera points right at the computer. No more writing on the clock. I have to constantly be working now. The camera rotates. It can see me no matter where I am. It follows me. And it can hear us. It has audio recording capabilities. It even talks to us.
What were you doing behind the water pipe case, it asks.
It’s me, Urlic. What were you doing behind the water pipe case?
I was tidying.
He likes that. It’s what he wants me to be doing.
He’s not mad, which means that he hadn’t caught me writing.
Elektra’s not going to be happy. She’s the one who had warned me about these cameras. It’s her who is replacing me today. I’ve got to warn her. I can’t do it in here. This place is dirty, filthy, full of bugs. I’m going to get her outside. It’s cleaner out there than it is in here. She’s a smoker. That’s my in. I’ll ask her for a cigarette. It’s worth it. These are patriot games.
She’s late. I’m getting impatient. I put my coat on and grab my books. I figure I’ll meet her outside. She’s stepping out of a taxi as I’m stepping out of the shop. She looks good. There was a point there where she didn’t. I don’t know what was going on with her at that point in her life.
She mouths that she’s sorry.
I tell her that it’s fine.
I need to warn you about something, I say.
I tell her about the camera.
He can hear everything we say. He follows you with the lense. There’s no escaping him. He has mirrors set up all around the shop. If I hadn’t already put my two weeks in, I’d do it now. I only wish it was expiring sooner. This is torture. No more singing. No more dancing. He wants to put a cut out of his face over it. Cut a hole in the eye. He wants to talk to customers. He wants to be in the store at all times without having to actually be there. He wants to watch us deal with his problems and then ‘pipe’ in about how we could be doing it better.
She pulls a cigarette out of her bag.
I resist asking her for one. I’ve got my e-cigarette. The Schmiggy, as you may know it. It’s all I need. It keeps my wife happy. She wouldn’t be happy smelling cigarettes on my breath, me telling her that I’d smoked them with my hot coworker who wants to do drugs with me, suck my dick, ride my cock, take my sperm, have my babies before Musette can, produce a little thing that looks like I did when I was a baby just like how my sister just did, making her jealous, threatening her chances of achieving that dream of hers, just like how The Lord seems to be keeping me from achieving mine, just like how my father had kept himself from achieving his.
The Schmiggy… I guess I’m coming back to names. They’re good for holding onto. Not so good for the presses, but I shouldn’t concern myself so much with the presses right now. The Google Doc, the blog: this is good for me. I’ll keep submitting, but I’ll keep more focus here. Which reminds me, consider this a notice. I’m putting up a paywall. It’s going to come into effect on the first of next month. April Fools Day. It’s no joke. This will be the front gate. It will link to my Patreon. I’m thinking three dollars. It’s a monthly thing. You get access to all of my work. I’ll be posting here, on this site that you’re reading from right now, at the more frequent rate that some of you are used to. I mean, probably not crazy frequent, but I’m thinking definitely more than once a week or month or whatever it has been. You’ll be able to read free stuff through the presses. I’ll put links up on the welcome page. Twitter will be a good place to follow me. I’ll probably put a condensed feed linking to the publication pieces if you want to follow that. But I’ll be going through and adding chapters to my old works here. As well as the live writing feature. You can talk with me, chat, watch me write, whatever. I’ve put a lot of work into this site. A lot of myself, a lot of my soul. It’s hard to think without it, but I’m going to open it up even further, beyond the paywall.
I know this might upset some of you. I mean, I know that’s a possibility. I don’t expect many of you to follow me beyond the wall, but being concerned so much with followers shouldn’t be the determining factor. There’s the aspect of making a living doing what you love. One cheeseburger a month for the cost of what you can buy from many authors for quite a bit more. I’ll think of other deals as well, they’ll go on the Patreon. Hardcopies for members, a record if it comes out. I don’t know. I’ll think of stuff as things progress. You could consider this a source for the super fan. There’s a lot here.
Sunday is proving quite a bit cleared up. I can see the street through the snow and the blue of the sky. My wife took the dog out this morning. While she was out, she helped a Jewish couple transport some luggage. They gave her a ten dollar tip…
Continued at Moloko House