Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When Was the Last Time You Felt Something?


Jason's head cocks back because there is no support from the chair and he accidentally jerks himself awake. The meeting room was empty and Jay wasn't sure how long he had dozed off or how much time had elapsed since the emergency noon mental meeting had ended, but he figured it hadn't been long. Nobody bothered to wake him up out of his disco nap, though Jason didn't much care.

Jason tried to uncross his right leg ,but barely moving it shot out a wave of pain- a paralyzing tingle that made it almost impossible for him to move. He had to wait in the chair and try to circulate blood somehow before he could get out of the back row.

Banjo was gone. Jason wasn't high anymore, but he wasn't exactly sober either. He licked the inside of his top front teeth and they felt lined with powder, not like cocaine powder but, like his teeth had been corroded down, lined with some kind of antique dust.

Antique was a good word for Jason, he would have liked that one as it was preferable to what else in his current state, he could also be described as. Jason not exactly a spring chicken, always thought of the end of Ferris Bueller's Day off, where Matthew Broderick is talking to the audience saying how life moves pretty fast and how if one let it, it would quickly pass them by. Jay wondered exactly at what point it had all gone wrong- even though he still knew his decline had been gradual. Jason had well lost the nerve, that shit that it took to stay on top of the game and the Action Sports Retailer Association had more than helped him reach the point where he no longer knew how anything worked anymore. Now, sitting there in the empty meeting room, not being able to get up out of his chair seemed to confirm any last doubts about himself J had once had.

The final details of the meeting, before he passed out, Jay barely remembered. He did though remember Brandon Turner demanding Skatemental pay to support him in print and video media so that he could actualize himself by revealing his true sexual identity. In Lil B's head, the public knowing he was flaming would somehow equate to B being able to execute more soulful switch hard flips, which consumers would supposedly be more than willing to empathize with. In reality, kid's would take it worse than all those stuck folkies' reaction at the Newport Festival when Dylan plugged in. Jay knew it was a given that out of fear or cluelessness or ample amounts of both, Skatemental would most likely satisfy the terms Lil B had laid out. Lil B would continue to be coddled at the expense of the Skatemental, the expense of the kids who were once genuinely psyched on Brandon and the expense of the dwindling cultural cache that which skateboarding still desperately clung to.

We would all be paying for Brandon's sins, somehow or another, just like we paid for Gator's sins, like how we all payed dearly for Christian Hosoi's sins too.

Jason for instance,knew Gino Ianucci was gay, but never had to come out of the closet to skate better or feel better about himself, but that was clearly the difference between Gino and others.

Jason stumbled out of the meeting room, turning left to the small hallway that the sales cubicles formed and limped painfully to his isolated space in the back corner where his desk was, where Banjo was laying comfortably on the ground sleeping.

The workday was barely half done and Jason honestly didn't know what he would do or what was now expected of him or where to even start, even though it had probably been his 150th Friday working at Skatemental. First things first though, was maintenance, a small boost, a little hair of the biter and somehow maybe then it would miraculously give his exhausted body and tired mind the energy to start punching away at his strained phone list of shops and distributors. Maybe he would get a second wind to at least try to meet his monthly quota which, he still had no idea how close he was because he had been keeping less than accurate sales records as of late.

Even if he was able to peddle those Reese decks, those rubber Skatemental riser pads that looked like fake vomit, all those unremarkable logo tees- the generic fleece pullovers which looked like they could be found at an Old Navy or flea market, the Swiss army knife/skate tools which looked like something out of the catalog of Amway, the videos with unauthorized musical soundtracks, all those stupid pieces of urethane- what much did it matter? Jason would make enough money to pay for a tiny apartment in Venice, but not much else. In his bank account he was a hundredaire and reaching the poverty line in his thirties was the only thing that working for Skatemental afforded him.

Maybe today, this Friday, Jason would just coast by again. Maybe no one would notice what he was doing or not doing and he could sleep walk through the rest of the day.

Meagan walks into his cubicle, persona non grata :"Got that sales report?" She asked futily, even though she knew Jason didn't, she was just more interested in his reaction to her loaded question.

"What? Fuck. Yeah." said Jason lamely as he opened the right file drawer of his desk.

"Noticed you dozing there, thought might as well let you sleep through it...." she said with casual contempt sitting down in the wire chair in front of the desk.

"Miss anything?", Jason pulling out a slender ceramic Tiki mug, then a flask of gin and then a Tupperware container of red simple syrup, which surprisingly didn't attract ants into his drawer.

"Gimme some of your ice." Jason interrupted before Meagan could answer, pointed out to the fountain drink cup Meagan was holding.

"What do you care?" Meagan handing him her cup.

Jason snatching it out of her hand "Well, that's the thing, I don't."

"Yeah- we would have never have guessed that one."

"What? " said Jason looking down at the glass.

"Oh,Nothing" replied Meagan with a tone in her voice like she had given up.

Jason took off the top of the fountain drink, pulled the straw and spooned most of the ice cubes, that were shapped like pieces of dog food, into the ceramic Tiki glass. He opened up the Tupperwear container, spooned a good portion of the simple syrup onto the ice and then poured about four fingers of gin on top, as neither of them said anything in semi uncomfortable silence.

"Reese is pissed." continued Meagan, "You know so pissed, you should hear some of the stuff he was saying to Balma about you after the meeting."

"..yeah, Reese. Thats Reese. Right? Well, um there's other things he should be more concerned with, ya know?- I'm just in Sales. Should be more concerned about Larry --more concerned about Lil B." said Jason concentrating stirring the ice around so that the red syrup could dissolve into the mix.

Taking out a bottle of Crystal Geyser and pouring the water into the concoction, Jay continued to stir with Meagan's straw, with a mild sense urgency.

Pulling the Tiki mug up to his lips, taking a sip- the gin drink tasted good- seemed to show him some kind of promise- though he still felt absolutely fried. Jay sat the mug back on his desk looked up and asked: "Can I ask you something, Meg?"

"What!" said Meagan annoyed.

"Do you ever think about me when you masturbate?" Jason asked incredulously, he now wanted to know, needed to feel some kind of kick, some kind of information to spark him unnumb - even if it was at the expense of their casual work relationship.

Jason resting back in his chair, searching through his blazer pocket for the silver vial.

" You know,you have really lost it! I knew you've been mixed lately, but maybe even I could have overestimated your capacity."

The cocaine logged to his synapses made Jason suddenly feel acutely sad, everything immediately looked so hopeless - even the mug on J's desk that was holding all his pens and pencils symbolically took on a feeling of quiet desperation.

"NO, really Meg. I'm serious. When was the last time you felt something?" said Jason , now upset-a shrill tone in his voice.

"What's wrong with you?" Meagan snatching up her cup back from the desk. "You know you're really creeping me out, I came here to check on you and you're quickly confirming my worst suspicions."

"Cut it, Meg- not now!. Please. You know, it's just, you just go around genuinely using your best thinking, but- in the end It's like being blind- it's all like being blind, no- you know what? It's worse than being blind because at least when you're blind, you know you're at a dis advantage and can have enough mind to work around that. No, I know. My eyes are wide open, but I'm just stumbling around - I might as well be Blind."


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