Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Listen to me, I'm on Stereo! -J Lee's Wonderful, Horrible Life pt. 1


It is 9:05 am on a Wednesday morning in Santa Monica and Jays standing out on his terrace looking out into the Pacific ocean, his back facing the conquered territory that which spans all the way to the East Coast. Jay has one of the easiest jobs in the world and today hes dreading going to the office.

Jays wearing a Western Edition t-shirt that was given to him on a recent trip north out to Frisco. You may have seen it,the Haynes cotton T has a sentimental graphic of a line drawing of some nondescript jazz musician. When Brad Johnson presented it to Jay in gesture, it was with an unsaid nod to all the Stereo adventures Jay had given Brad almost two decades ago. Jay's wearing it this morning and I can barely remember the last time he's done laundry.

Pants are the next thing on Jay's horizon. It's between some blue permanent press Dickies-esque slacks or some surprisingly un-trendy charcoal Fresh Jive prototypes that look as if they were fashioned after Donna Karen. Jay decides to wear the Dickies, because today he thinks he might spend a little time out in the warehouse sampling product.

Jays Volvo station wagon, with ancient plates is parked on the street as per usual. It's the only car on the block that has condensation on the windshield and windows. This means that Jay will have time to pick out this morning's musical selection while he runs the heater to defrost. Jay flips down the visor and peruses his collection for his stereo. Jay has: the recent Raymond Mollinar musical side project demo, Ethan Fowler's musical side project demo, Paulo Diaz's old musical side project demo from when he was playing with the "Blues Delta" during that Las Nueve Vida de Paco era, the Bad Shit ep, Ron Allen's musical side project demo, Danny Garcia's musical side project demo and Coltrane's "Last Train". For some unexplainable reason Jay opts for Coltrane.

Driving. Driving. Driving. Jay pulls into the parking lot of Girl and sees an empty space right next to the back entrance door. Instead of parking there, Jay decides to pull over to the edge of the lot, wedging inconspicuously between two parked cars. One Jay turns off the ignition he slowly pulls his glass pipe out of an grey Oakley Glasses micro bag and loads the pipe up with chronic. Jay decides not to half ass it and consciously puts in enough effort for a good hit. After a few seconds Jay release the carb, pull the pipe away from my lips, let the excess smoke in my mouth dangle out in a thick small plume right in front of my face, hanging in the still air as if it was a ghost of the stoner gods (also like the photo of Stevie Williams in that one old F.I.T. ad) and Jay sucks it back into his mouth, in dramatic fashion.

When Jay gets high before work (which is only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) Jay likes to chill in the wagon for a minute and let himself get adjusted. Theres nothing worse than walking into the office and getting bamboozled by a co worker asking about something tediously insignificant:

"Jason, did we ship out all the abec 11's already?!! I'm on the phone with Eastern- they want to know!"


"Jason, we need your reports by before the end of the day. We need to know what we have left to sell and what we need to order!"

Believe it or not,there was a time when Jay never had to wait when he got high. People used to have to actually plan their buisiness around his smoking schedule. Jay remembers sitting around the table at Deluxe with Dune, Jim, and Tommy. Jay coughing profusely, while they were all waiting with baited breath for him to finally answer if I even wanted to work on the next creative venture with them. No one at the time seemed to have a problem with this. But alas that was a different era, before people like Johnny Schillereff turned team managers into probation officers. Rocco never drug tested anyone at Blind, but of course that was the difference between them and some.

Reese seems to think differently,though. But what does he know? He thinks the success of his company has to do in part with conforming to the whims of what the public thinks they want. Back in Jay's day, they printed exactly whatever they wanted and never had a problem moving product. The only difference then, was that there were 75% less skateboarders on the planet than there are now. Blind under World Industries sold out of everything they had and made less money, whereas Skatemental has bulk surplus of almost all their product but they make more per quarter than Blind eveer did at the height their original lineup.

One thing Jay knows that Reese hates more than stoned sk8 riders, is a stoned sales team- hence Jay only smoking before work on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.Jay trys to get some more hit points in before Reese shows up, but then he sees Reese in his emerald green Jaguar,coasting into the parking lot through his rear view and pulling into that open spot right next to the back door. Now Reese will walk in beforeJay and may discover him not at his desk so late in the morning until Jay reluctantly walk into the office blazed and what he will be left with is a bummer high.


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Houston, Texas
Be kind, because everyone you'll ever meet is fighting a hard battle.