Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Falling in with Bad Companions


Jason looked back at Banjo staring at him:"Not now Banjo! I'm a withering wreck- I don't have time to take you for a walk!"

From the physicality of the thought projected from his unbrushed mouth onto the walls Jason heard it bounce back at himself and he instantly realized he had said the wrong thing.

Jason gave out an over fraught cocaine shie: "I'm sorry Jo, of course I can take you for a walk!"

Jason pawing Banjo with relief, paused to himself -there was a blank white thought bubble forming above his head, like a cumulous cloud: "Hey -that gives me an idea......" said Jason to himself.

It was a good thing Jason had changed before meeting Mont last night, because he only had time to scoop the remaining scraps of dust back into the silver vial, take a hearty swig from the mouth wash (which he would later spit out when he reached the lawn), grab his blazer and head out the door.

After witnessing such a tumultuous wake up call, of course Banjo wouldn't be selfish enough to demand Jason take him out for a full walk. Jason realized this when Banjo relieved himself out of Jason's sight and then trotted back as to express he was ready.

Jason walked out to the station wagon and opened the passenger door up from the curb- so that Banjo could jump in.

Jason turned the key of the ignition and turned on the Heaterz to 70 degrees , as to brush off the window's condensation.

Jason took out the vial and put a drop of white onto the area of his hand between his pointer and thumb: "Just enough to get through Lunch- look away, JO!"

Jason huffed the white droplet and it dissapeared from his hand- looking like it had been stop animated away.

"No fuckin respect Banjo! Son of a B! I swear to God, these people give me no respect, Banj!" said J,checking his nose in the rearview while fluctuating snorts.

Although Jason was well aware that what he said earlier to Meg about the skateboarding industry teaching him how to do cocaine sounded ridiculous , he still knew he was right.

Jason remembered his first tour, his inaugural induction into his path from innocence. Jason felt like Pinocchio, falling in with bad companions.

He was sixteen and Video Blaze had just dropped and accidentally caused about two million teenage boys to experience a collective identity crisis. The cast did a brutal promotional follow up tour to support the Blaze , on a self proclaimed "shoestring" budget which spanned throughout the midwest, to New York, and all throughout Europe-just in time for the summer contest circuit.

While some kids would take their mother to the skateshop to convince her to buy overpriced hard to find hard goods- this indy boy was on the road and forced to raise himself up real fast.

Although Blind was at the pinnacle of its productivity- even then, Jason constantly wondered how checks got written out. Mark always acted like World didn't have money, but that demeanor quickly switched when Mark would spontaneously blow diem on luggage, unesesary and quick to be obsloete electronics, over bulk amounts of obscure designer drugs he randomly came across, bottles of Kristal, the shopping binges at Structure, Yaga, STUSSY, Benneton and the Gap,the frivolous and inconvenient car rentals to demos,the high end Prostitutes, the sensless gambling, the Base Bongs, the team Bailouts.

Immediately when the tour began, Jason felt the distance, a strange uneasyness spread throughout the entire team- an uneasyness that in no way his unseasoned mind would have been able to logically predict, seeing that the distribution company that he was working for was making the most successful skateboard videos ever produced.

From the minute they picked Jason up from his parents' house in Costamesa, Mark was already acting really shady. Jason was actually suprised his mother let him even step foot in that white rented Chevy van. Jason could see from her motherly gaze, that she could automatically assume the tour was Kosher- the van full of kids falsey confirming that other parents had been naturally okay with the "business trip". Little did Jason's mom know, that almost all these kids Mark had actually found living on the streets and were groomed into Mark's micro industry to be built and destroyed as skateboard icons. A New Children's Crusade.

The further into that Blind '91 tour it got,the more skaters suddeny dropped out, gone home, quit or were fired. The tour originally began with the full Video Blaze line up. It was: Freddy Gall, Paublo, Jason, Shannon May,Brannagh-nigga, Wyndham, Baby Bertino, Tae, Ibaseda, Schmitty- and Darren "Cookiehead"** Jenkins serving as the teams token vert pro.

Mark Pitted teammates against each other and was always assessing character by constatly putting kids through rigorous and morally questionable tests.

Jason not wanting Mark's sharp carisma focused negativly upon him- not wanting to be the brunt of Marks harsh jokes and cruel observations did everything in his power to try to pacify Mark. Jason loosing his virginity to that prostitute in Arizona to appease Mark took more than it gave. At the time though,Jason not mentally prepared to have sex was easily outwieghed by the yearning for his bosses respect.

For Mark,being one of the best skateboarders in the world made almost no difference in his personal assesments and attitudes towards his team riders. In Marks mind, these kids were a dime a dozen- a pack of easily disposable chattel. Mark was the King Maker, but what he didn't realize is that kids like Pablo and Rick were once in a life time kind of kids- ones who would never be properly replaced.

The end of the tour took a turn for the worse, when it was whittled down to Mark, Jason and Freddy holed up in Manchester- sharing the same one room. Jason had wandered about to find a calling card to try and call home, but returned back to the room without the card only to find Gall and Mark sprawled out and the hotel room reeking of base.

Mark was being secretive the whole tour, but him paring up with Freddy and thrusting his crack addiction upon Jason- letting the cat out of the bag that way- let Jason clearly know there would be trouble.

Jason got his first taste of base from being coerced by Gall to let him blow the smoke in his face.

Jason ended up pulling the withering smoke himself, and held it in his lungs for a dangerous long time.

It doesn't take a Tommy Penny to figure out that crashed down, stuck in a damp hotel room in a foreign country, trapped without a calling card or shower- Jason having no idea even which direction California was, could have easily have been the loneliest he had felt up to that point in his life.

The company that teenage Jason rode for was slowly and quickly self destructing, the industry was thrusting industry bad habits upon him, and the kids that he influenced would later do their best to take Jason's spot on Blind.

There was very little time and too much to consider. Hard lessons best not dealt with at all. Now,Jason would have an entirely new set of problems- problems that would make his past seem innocent and quaint- problems that would make his new life seem tragically hipster.

**"Cookiehead" was a nick name given to Darren by Mark, when Mark noticed an ant crawl out of one of his dead locks- from there on, "CookieHead" always stuck.

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