Banjo sat shotgun ,unintentionally miming a human passenger while
Jay's station wagon reluctantly puttered late into the Skatemental Distribution warehouse lot.
It was almost early afternoon and there were more shadows on the pavement than in the morning and the California breeze danced- whispering silhouettes of fauna onto the caramelized black top.
The table of Jason's mind was that of a delicate scale, a scale easily swayed by random thought, making Jay even more susceptible to misinterpret the slightest comment from his co workers.
The coke in the back of Jason's nose, deposited itself down the back of his throat with the cadence of an IV. Jason's thoughts shot out like feedback from a cheap amplifier- his emotions could irrationally jump and desperately latch onto whatever stimuli he was exposed to. His mood projected some sort of false intensity that was hollow and steadily waning. If Jay would not have been so fried out, an otherwise tranquil Californian day would not have been perceived as being so menacing.
Jason knew his conviction could be anchored by a prop- that's why he bought Banjo along, but Jay he also needed to get into character- he needed to get into the/his role.
If it was actually possible for him to beat the odds (which in this case it wasn't), the only way he could do it would be with a little help from his old friend the Coach.
Jason grabbed the white tipped match stick from out the center consule and held it between the tips of his pointer and forefinger, as he looked at himself in the rear view mirror.
Jason put the match stick in his mouth and moved it left to right with his puckered lips.
Jason took the match stick out his mouth and was motioning it like a tiny batton:
"They're not onto you, boy. They don't know a thing, You're gonna go in there and get done what needs to get done one way or nother because you are after all super cool."
After finishing his acting exercise, Jason automatically thought about that traveling Byzantium painting of St. Demitri he saw at the MOCA with Heather three summers ago. St. Demitri had a hallo over his head and an invisible angle hovering over him while he got stabbed to death by long spears from the delusional throng of his peers.
Jason grabbed the dog leash from the floor board of the backseat and then buckled it to Banjo's collar as Banjo sat tranquil, panting slowly- his eyes slightly squinted.
"Lets go Banjo!"
Jason walked in through the back door of the office with a gait that was trying to be both casual, but commanding- trying to project himself as happy go lucky, yet austere and no one even seemed to notice.
Some of the sales team were standing in front of the conference room chit chatting with their coffees- some pretending not to notice him walk in. Jay knew when people were pretending not to not be aware of him- he got good at sensing this when he showed up to all those demos. With Jay's flailing sales ranking within the team , this steadfast refusal of acknowledging his presence began to noticeably happened more often and it forced Jay to get good again at remastering the deciphering of such clues. Women did this when they almost subconsciously flapped their hair into the air, men did it by talking out too loud in their conversations.
The office felt like an art opening, as if Jason's application for admittance as office citizen was being reappraised by management only to be with held and temporarily pending.
Banjo could probably read people even better than Jason, and it was nice having him along so they could share consciousness and have Jason's office thoughts better validated.
There was obviously a little time to kill and Jason didn't want to linger around awkward and high so he decided to trot Banjo over to his corner cubicle and to hit a superfluous bump before the emergency noon mental meeting commenced.
Jason crashed back into his seat and fingered his Blazer pocket for the vial. He dug out a droplet with the spoon that was attatched to the bottom of the screw top.
Jason huffed and snorted loud enough to be heard throughout the entire cubicle village.
Jason immediately broke out into a sweat and felt the extra bump was just enough to teeter him over the brink. He instantly felt inclined to lay down, but then he shook it off as soon as the quick rush activated him back.
Jason grabbed Banjo's leash and walked back towards the conference room in a stirred fever.
Meagan benevolently announced the meeting was begging, with clipboard against her chest. Meagan noticed Jay and put the clip board in front of the entrance as to block Jason trailing last.
Meagan scrutinizing Jason through her glare," God-you look like shit and oh! No! No no no! Banjo is not coming into the conference room!!" said Meg as she had her eyes concentrated on Jason's collar and paused to sniff, "Jesus, Jason- you smell like a mosquito repellent factory-"
"Cut it, Meg! I'm here aren't I?! Isn't that good enough?!" said Jason squelching through his teeth in a loud whisper. "You know this meeting is bullshit- why couldn't I just have taken my sick day!"
"You need to be here- " said Megan grimly, with a tone that seemed to justify such urgency.
Jason pushed Meg aside -half an excuse to touch her clavicle, and also so he and Banjo could get into the meeting room.
Reese was going on as usual. Reese thinking out loud to the office workers, securing his gaudy red Italian track bike to a chain to hoist up so that it could dangle from the vaulted ceiling.
Jason thought about how Reese had the natural ability of taking something kinda cool, latching onto it, appropriating it as his own and aptly bastardizing it's significance. Leave it to Reese to take his cue from the biking in Golden Gate intro to Jason's video part in Visual Sound. Every one knew that Jason was the first to fashionably rep a bike and make it work within in a skate context. Leave it to Reese to pick the wrong bike, put it in the wrong place, use it at the wrong time and have more people see it than anyone.
Noticeably reveling in being the group's alpha male and acting like he didn't notice Jason walking in the back- Reese attempted to take preemptive control over the small crowd.
"Oh, Hey Jason!The sound agent actually decided to show up for work today!! To what do we owe this fair pleasure, Sir!? He's looking a little more like Charlie Parker than a professional skateboarder at this point I must say. But, I guess by now were gonna take what we can get. You all right there chief?" said Reese
"Fuck you, Reese." said Jason under his breath, just loud enough for the people seated in front of him to hear.
Jason instantly noticed Larry Balma with some other middle aged woman sitting in the Herman Miller Aeron chairs right next to the marker board. Larry and the woman were both wearing Skatemental t-shirts - t-shirts that they had obviously been given minutes ago.
"All right, is everyone here guys? Can we get started now?" said Reese while he was pulling his bike towards the rafter. Reese pulling with the demeanor one would reserve for something important like hoisting up a sail during emergency winds. Reese pulling the chain with an air that he was doing something abstractly noble for the greater good of the group."
Reese waited to begin talking until the Bike had successfully reached the ceiling.
"- okay well. First off this meeting was been called for two reasons, guys. Well, really three, but well get to that one later right Meg?"
"Right" said Meg defending herself from Reese's question as if it was a volley ball being played with during a couples tournament at the Hot Tuna invitational.
"Guys, we have two special guests here with us today, my good friends Larry and Janet Balma." Reese motioned to them while still staring blankly in front of himself.
"Guys. hey, I was wondering if you could introduce yourselves to the team here- I mean for some of the ones here who may not be familiar with you."
Larry and Janet seemed hard pressed to speak. Reese motioned again to Larry, "How about you first Lair, tells us a little about yourself!"
Larry stood up like he was an informal speaker at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
"Sure Reese. What would you like for me to say?" said Larry awkwardly
"Just tell them what you'd want them to know about you! Who are you? What do you do? Do you have any hobbies? What are your goals? Who's your favorite band? That kinda stuff" said Reese encouragingly.
"Well my name is Larry Balma and I own Transworld Publishing and all it's subsidiaries and I'm also co editor of Transworld Business Journal. What else did you say, Reese? What are my hobbies? oh, yes I like to surf, skate, and longboard. Oh, I also like to do some boggie boarding and snowboarding when I can find the time. And I also like to spend time with my wife Janet, on our ranch in Simi Valley. And I think thats about it."
"Your goals, Lair! Don't you have any goals!? You did'nt tell the team your goals! Oh,yeah and also whats your favorite band."
"Oh right. My goals right now are to double circulation of a couple of my magazines within the next few quarters or so. Also and I don't want to sound arrogant but I want to have an active part in helping shaping skateboarding and taking it to the next level. "
"Larry rest assured, you will never have to apologize for being too ambitious around here. At Skatemental, we aim for the stars. Nothin wrong with that in my eyes, chief. Nothin wrong with that, brother." said Reese, nodding with his hand holding his chin.
"Next Level?!" said Jason out loud and condescendingly.
"Yeah next level, Jase. You know that one thing you haven't done in over a decade?" blurted Reese.
"What Larry was saying Jason, is that Larry wants to do for Skatemental what Brad Dorfman did for Vision in the eighties." Interjected Janet as if her unlikely answer illustrated how much she actually knew (or thought she knew) about skateboarding.
Jason sitting in the back row with his legs crossed "Oh, you mean oversaturate the market, overproduce product that can't sell, help drive a team rider into irreversible self destruction while also isolating the company's best skater so that he stars a more successful Coup d'état rival company!?? Is that what you mean, Janet?"