Monday, February 8, 2016

Stereo SF Symphony Visual Sounds; Ethan and Neal Cassady: Alcohol Letters of Guild Rust Upon Steiner Terrace

We'll you know, Ethan was kind of like Mortuary, but try explaining that one to Reese.

Remember Daher in his intro though, Daher—looking like he had just finished up a valet gig in Pac Heights—lights up cigarette on the incline near a garage door on the peak of Octavia and Jackson, puts his unskated Stereo board down with the perfect, unscathed edges, which makes it seem like a giant piece of candy, rolls down towards downtown like he's eventually going to reach California and Drum, California and Davis—Brown Marble ledges, but instead edit cuts to his first line he does on Noe and Henry—an intersection that looks like it could be off Haight, but it's more south, next to Duboce Triangle—he ends that line with ollieing a wooden bench after almost running into a pedestrian. In next cut, he finally makes it out to Brown Marble though, with the line with nollie nose grind in it, then Union Square line at night goes in the dark path lined with hedgerow, camera light the only illumination—probably, during or if not maybe actually a little after peak Union Square, another Raul Wallenburgh school line on Masonic, another backside ollie on a bump that looks like it's in Golden Gate Park Polo Field, but it's not, it's somewhere else, and so on. 

But could you imagine trying to convey such sentiment at the Skatemental, like say, in needless peer earnestness with Reese—Jay, like actually trying to share a glimpse of that secret supernatural thing which made Stereo Stereo—but in such imaginary situation, Reese really never gets it, let alone even deserves access to such information. Reese is barely listening, also staring off in the distance, instead concentrating on the seduction of the Renzo Piano rip off architecture of the office or focusing on a hill through the window off in the distance—Reese's leased office space, which doesn't deserve the wholly unrealized crack pot output of the Skatemental. Reese, who fancies himself as someone who thinks and acts in  "broad strokes", gets "the big picture"—even though the details inside such proprietary acts are beyond generic to say the very least—his ideas, which would be the type of thing your average John Q. lame-streamer would first blurt out in focus group—like, that Lil' B Mardi Gras decking series, case and point to what goes. And Reese just never has any emotional space left in him when you're talking to him, like enough to titter him away from that superficial, practically self-anointed "figurehead" mental positioning, which he more than so eagerly bestowed upon himself, since he acquired the turn-key transaction of the mental. Jay's explaining it and yeah, Reese punctuates it with vacant "Uh-huhs" which only resonate Reese really doesn' have a clue, couldn't even have his head around what Jay is actually saying, nor probably wants to mentally inconvenient himself to consider or accept such lofty truths. And then Reese could very well of course shoot back with something random, not even related to the subject, as to contradict Jay's message in what ultimately descends into needless pissing contest—a function of Reees's grand ego maniac avec inferiority complex, the not so hidden psychological engine which made Skatemental what it really was—the not-so thinly veiled trash brand.

Sure, Reese thought he was on some next shit, but you know he really wasn't. Though his imperial instincts were confirmed once he got Jay under his payroll, and then he of course feels like he owned Jay while also simultaneously feeling threatened by him, even though Skatemental produced way more stunt wood than Stereo ever did—Stereo, a sort of coup de foundre against an industry that at one time may have deserved better brands.

People still believed Stereo was just mostly some calculation, though—a template everyone could now understand and co-opt into their own version of skate narrative. But if Stereo was so easy to figure out though, then why were there no brands even coming close to penetrating the depths through which Stereo reflected cosmopolitan splendor, an illusion of limitless reward run-off from gilded age of west tamed land? If it was all so simple, then why was this something even Jay himself now wasn't capable of continuing on with—how could this even escape the very person who made such discovery? Twenty-seven years from now, a seven year old girl on a computer's screen in pink leotard and tu-tu will have more sentimental narrative based cache overshadowing any of Visual Sound's promise—a co-opting, some democratization, an unfair and clumsy cultural imperialism avalanche in which collective football mom's opinion of skate content will have more of a voice than Hickey's ever would. 

But too, like all souls, Hickey will soon vanish.

Stereo just happened, was bound to happen—and if it wasn't Jay to discover it, someone else surely probably, maybe would have. Stereo wasn't like Blind, Stereo wasn't SMA. Stereo was more like, closer to Grateful Dead —like the Dead also, but also, not quite.

Ethan driving drunk, runs lights, in the middle of the day, accelerates down Haight, then across Market into Mission. Ethan, like some crackup beat shaman, rides order on top of cloud of complete chaos algorithm—the safety of order there, which would not last forever or for too long (like any classic success typified by California), but would inevitably descent into just complete chaos and destroy everything closely involved around it (which was Ethan mostly). Old Pony Boy Ethan, Caufield Ethan, hop headed jazz age kouros, chaos wrapped inside the all American looks projecting a Hoosier innocence (he was from Iowa). Stray erratic movements which only really announce how erratic Ethan really was on the inside—were all clues which made no lies, were never too greatly concealed—the random audacious jerky movements or laying in the middle of the street in the middle of the day or sitting on the old couch on the sidewalk in the Mission holding a record sleeve with cigarette in the other hand—it all only told you how dangerously freewheeling Ethan really was, but his good looks wrapped in Catholic sweater urged you to believe more, urged you to believe he was capable of more than redeeming himself in the near future, so anything he did now was quite alright—the kind of paper moon dust bowl transplant from Walker Evans photo transported to the Mission quality Ethan possessed—he, an embodiment of some particular kind of quaint, a late afternoon Mission quaintness, a quaintness which sits in the stark silence within 1930's shot gun Victorian architecture, surrounded by all the infinitely captivating neighborhood shops, the dark cosy red candle bars, the unpretentious restaurants in the neighborhood, all which in some abstract way, said "welcome"—all this existing in the bat-shit crazy bay city of kiss proof sanitary toilet seats, plastic bubble fizz water, hop head of amphetamine night time jazz and Stereo.

On the way to Sal's, Jay thought of the suicide which came up—figured Guy was maybe probably actually associated, but then again crack was probably involved and it was skid row after all. Guy had at one point been on Stereo for about three or four months, like when it first started, but now since so much time has elapsed, may have very well been for seconds.

Paulo was too busy smoking crack in the hotel on Leavenworth, the only one time he came to visit SF, so he didn't never get any SF Stereo pro clips. Paulo was even more talented than Ethan, the second coming of Gonz, but more tech, more Gonzy than Gonz ever was—even on Adidas with his own shoe before Gonz, but you know he didn't have so much as one solitary clip playing bongos in Visual Sound—just like the way how dysfunctional West Coast jazz groups sometimes work.

And Jay knew now, but couldn't see it them, that how going inside Wallenburgh, back up the hill, behind the school black top, with the tiny long brick wall and the tall bent plastic picnic tables which served no other purpose than for noselslides—going inside Wallenburgh, like say, after school on a week day, being in the hallway, getting a drink of water from a short fountain or using the restroom, would seem as if penetrating behind the scenes of the video, behind the curtain of Visual Sound or of all those other early 411's.

No matter how far into the video you would try to pierce through, there was always some unseen yet predictable emptiness hidden in the wings all by itself, waiting for you, telling you that the universe doesn't have any end—if you've ever tried to escape a dream from running out of what you though was the dream's margins—you try to run but you can't, you try to yell but you can't, you try to skate but it never works—as if these things were possible in the dreamscape, such would cause the dream world to collapse upon itself, cease to exist—just as if nervous tension didn't exist, neither would our world, and our plane of existence would fold upon itself and disappear—neither you, nor me, nor SF, or Stereo, even existence, would exist. But if existence never existed—would it never have existed forever, or always not existed, and if this was so, then what would there be?

There would be no Heather, there would be no Sigourney either, no Rooney Mara flapper Egyptian retro futuro footage at Sutro Baths on a cliff at eight in the morning, shot in black and white or even not so much as reels of Rooney Mara at night after the rain at Coit tower—but this time shot in color, which picks up the celluloid saturated greens and dizzying blues of the light precipitation mist in timelessly futuristic lime light, in the next Stereo video.

Unfortunately, there would be no other Stereo video—no more sounds culled from streets of over developed settlement. No more spools of reels of Daher and Greg with the classic affable American sheep dog in front of classic, Frisco Victorian stoop near Hayes, no enabled drinking team with jazz problem and not to mention—with Deluxe flitting the bill for it all. But worse than New York Dolls, was Stereo—the disfunction began both before and right when the band started. And it just didn't matter how responsible of a roommate Greg was or wasn't, how much brunt of responsibility for the team he had bared, he knew it before it was over. 

And it seems so unlikely, peculiar really, Jay and Greg were even once roommates after all. Greg had that same Caufield vibe Ethan had, perhaps more so, Pencey Prep or maybe he was more like Stratler after all. Greg's tidy dresser top, Baptist cologne fumes on chiffonier. The furnished rental apartment off Steiner, which even by '91's standards would seem like an unlikely lavish bachelor pad overlooking the shadowed in daytime spires and towers of Pacific Heights, the rust balcony that was the promise runoff of things like 1950's Tropicana Room tiki-bar grandeur of the great swinging post atomic age key parties, Jay and Greg the proverbial (and provincial) odd couple—all that rent on Klimt's tab, though such certainly wouldn't last forever. Although technically, Jay was not yet alcoholic when they moved in, he was already well on his way. There weren't too many dark times at the old apartment on Steiner really though, any drunken misstep could still be seen innocent and quaint in such posh surroundings (Jay spilling wine on the carpet, Jay leaving the burner of the stove on over night), excusable shenanigans especially from such young and clean cut gents, independent contractors for a boutique consumer sport/lifestyle brand at that, whom most would also categorize as responsible young lads padded—as they were living in San Francisco's equivalent of the upper east side. As Greg was duly responsible for paying the Pacific Bell bill in an electronic shop all the way in China Town, near California street, so he well took to task. Greg, also direct contact for instance, if there were any issues with the team concerning prod, which the unreliable warehouse people at DLX factory may or may not have sent or had all but gotten all wrong (most of the time it seemed they mostly shipped out whatever the hell they wanted, as if never receiving any of the team request letters—punishing the team for being sponsored). If there was travel arrangement or itinerary unclear, Greg was the go-to, any meet ups either in the city or in LA or Europe, Greg the connect. Greg wold remain in the back always, in the rear with the gear, never first to feast on footage during scavenger hunts. Greg's function in Stereo was like that of Robert Duval in Godfather II. He was like the responsible one protecting his brothers and sisters when their parents were absent or permanently gone—Greg the type who bared the weight of responsibility of the family on his shoulders, like Patrick Swaze in The Outsiders or like Wendy in Peter Pan, but Greg always kept it to himself and there was a sense it's weight upon him he attempted to keep mostly hidden away. But where his face maybe looked a bit sinister, he was practically saintly as the responsible reasonable one—though because of the devil brow on his face (which wasn't his fault), the team may or may not have treated him as well as his actions may have commanded. He didn't have the same face which allowed for enabling like Jay and Ethan had. Greg wasn't even the best skater on the team, but he had the best part, because practically the entire team, including Jay at the time, you know, could have been a bit lazy after all. Greg skating in frugally economized stray clips in 411 was his pragmatic action of coping with disfunction and memories of past—it also got the young 411 kids to segue into watching and accepting the Visual Sound gig—Greg's 411 clips, an under appreciated and thankless job no doubt—as Greg was the symbol of brand continuity; he was the video audience bridge of those deceptively basic yet, only time will further reveal, iconic and hard earned clips downtown. Sure Paulo had his more than fair share of crazy 411 clips, which blew the doors off anyone else and especially Greg: Paulo always seemed more like a free agent though, too wild of a card to depend on for anything, a wild apache—and besides, he barely could be bothered to even rep the brand most of the time anyways, Paulo was not the ambassador that which Stereo so deserved. Paulo, insane, checked out all the time, and that Greg should have had the hammer in the vid which he spent days fighting for (nose slide Bart Station on Powell and Market) and not Paulo, only reveals his pretty much thankless job (he did actually get props for his Visual Sound part). Anytime someone mentioned how hard working Mexican's presumably were, Greg automatically thought about Paulo, kept his thoughts to himself, lips pursed. Greg getting good, was from being arrow shooting distance proximity from Jay's archery, though. Greg's skating was what you see is what you get, no promise of anything else greater, but was still fascinating to watch because it's stringent economy of pragmatism, like, when he ollied the small sideways handrail off Kerny and Market or how the shuv in the line in front of the Toyota Cressida made a certain street poetry type of sense—that maneuver magically juxtaposed against the Toyota again illustrated such the economy and pragmatism of Greg—just like the shot of Greg sitting in the giant sculpture chair off Market, that sculpture near that one art supplies store down the street from DLX, when Greg could easily be confused as accomplished creative ad agency exec, some mastered programmer who offices somewhere SOMA. Greg was Stereo.

But here, Jay now on his way to baby sit SLB store—Sal had called early, tactfully didn't mention the other night at the bar, now saying Mortimer couldn't come in and he asked if Jay could "work" the shop for a few stray bones (as Sal put it, "for extra beer money"), on the fly.

There was blood on the streets where Jay drove, 

There was blood in the streets in the town of New Haven 

Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice 
Blood in my love in the terrible summer 

Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A. 

Jay parked in the unlikely bucolic, for being in the middle of the city back lot of the store, and quickly found the key underneath the dumpster, but then it took Jay awhile to get the back door un-locked, partly because he was still kind of stoned and also a bit jittery, but eventually with a simple quick turn jerk of the key, which actually Sal may have mentioned, the back door opens almost too easily and Jay goes in.

Jay looks out at the empty store with the expression pro deckers, or in this case ex pro deckers feel entitled to wear, when they stare out at the solitary retail space—of course perfected and grown stubborn in the last thirty years since Engblom and his dog eared cartel, Zephyr, terrorized neighboring, beautiful, slummy Santa Monica.

Working at a hard goods supply store, in southern California, in the mid to late nineties was a pretty chill affair in general. For instance, when Sal called Jay, it's not like he gave him any opening instruction, beyond telling him where they hid the key outside. The credit card machine at SLB was only batched out like once a month, so Jay didn't have to worry about that. Also, it was doubtful he would have to be responsible for receiving prod or shipments that day, because again Sal probably might have maybe mentioned it. Jay eventually found the light switches for the floor and for the behind the counter area, dragged the custom hand lettered olde timey marquee outside on the sidewalk, flipped around the Santa Cruz sponsored business sign which informed the public the shoppe was open; Jay turned on the Stereo—for the rest of the day pretty much poured through magazines, previous year's catalogs, sifted through videos, smoked a cigarette outside behind the shop, written a note and taped it to the front window, made a quick run to the store down the street.

Jay walks up to the non-attached sliver rack standing by itself, scrolls Sal's pant selection, files through four or five pairs of pristine, dark, blue, blue Stussy jeans, which all but looked starched, still with mint condition brown tags, cardboard pocket flaps, which complemented the color of the orange stitching—the jeans, that with which Jay actually showed some interest, but the sizes were random, a few 29 waists, 38 etc., to the point of being nearly un-sale-able, which made Jay think maybe they had been acquired by Sal under surreptitious means.

When Jay met Heather, well over a decade ago, at the middle school night time assembly dance, Heather may have also had a Stussy shirt on—which Jay, at this point, had never heard of Stussy before—he, yet to be as versed in action sports apparel attire brands as he would later become—and so, that night, in the gym, which seductively smelled of old laminated court flooring in the most sentimental sense, on Heather's boyishly skinny frame, was actually the first time Jay had even seen a Stussy anything. But now, Jay standing alone at the shop by himself, concentrated at the crouch of the jeans he was now holding—and yeah, they may have been guy's jeans, but he still in a flash thinks of the area of the hypothetical fold from the top of Heather's thigh, the area where her thigh meets her pussy—thinks how he's never seen it, and how other men have, and he now feels like a proverbial drug addict in some bad movie, maybe played by someone like James Woods—the LA noir druggie gets started doing drugs at first with and because of some charismatic demon lover woman, but now he was left all by himself, alone, without the woman—the woman, now replaced by implacable drug habit—but in Jay's case here, what remained was a yet to be filled emptiness, that, and an insatiable appetite for boutique brand couture soft goods, which he now clutched onto perhaps a bit too much by his fingers, which still smelled of cigarette smoke. Predictable ennui comes over him still, may or may not be linked to the notion of Jay's finite mortality—the absence of Heather may have always been some allusion to death though, but not to mention, it was always such a total bummer that she wasn't around anyways, and so why couldn't he just like, you know, just get over it?

Indians scattered on Dawn's highway bleeding 

Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind 

Mort came in right before close—walks in immediately making a yucky face, slightly disarming, that which Jay immediately didn't know how to interpret. Mort went behind the counter with an air of annoyed audaciousness, kinda alluding to Jay that Jay was now in Mort's domain, it was Mort's zone. Mortimer was looking for his insurance card to see when it had expired, or if it was expired, said he had nearly blacked out the previous nite, got into a wreck on the freeway, but because his car was too conspicuously fucked up to drive without attracting further attention towards getting pulled over, his only option was to pull to the nearest parking lot off the freeway and evacuate his car, drunkenly flee the scene, which may or may not be a felony in Los Angeles County.

Though sure too, like anyone else, Jay also lives to be dumbfounded like any magician (or pro bono lawyer), only with a passion which extends backwards and frontwards—so listening to Mort's distress was not too much of a burden. But in general, it's hard to gainsay solon, and in such instance, Jay strongly felt upon listening to Mort's disclosure, he should maintain to himself Mort had not erred

"I have no idea where my car is, but it's probably gone . . ."

"Probably . . ."

"What happens next?"

"The car most likely got towed, sucked into city impound. Once they figure out who it's registered to, the police department will contact you and you have to come in and answer some questions before they relinquish your car, when which they try to squeeze as much info out of you as possible and then stick you with a ticket or find a way to further press charges and trust me, that's probably what they'll try to do—they weren't there, and they're gonna act like they were. And they may be real warm at first too, but once you get lured into their office: it's showtime basically—a police office is the lying zone and they are well aware of this. They will scare you into confession—and weather or not it's actually true, hardly seems to matter most of the time. They're bored at work, they live for this stuff and they have experience in such pressing matters. "

"What do I say?"

"As little as possible."

Jay rifles through his jacket, pauses and lights up a cigarette in the shop, which doesn't really seem like too much of a big deal, since SLB is officially now closed and it would have seemed inappropriate for Jay to interrupt Mort, in order to go talk outside.

 Jay charismatically exhaled through his nose,"Keep your story simple, don't veer from it. If they ask you something that by answering confirms crimination just say 'I can't recall'. . ."

" . . . Where you drinking before the accident? You say 'No'."

"They're gonna ask me why I fled the scene."

"You say you don't remember—you can't recall. You were confused and it was a blur and you walked home traumatized."

"But they'll ask why I didn't stick around."

"The most valuable legal advice is to say 'I can't recall''—there's no way they can tell what's inside your head and that's the beauty of it! You left the scene of an accident where you were intoxicated, which is the best thing you could have done— "

". . . my car just got majorly fucked up and whatever I hit just kept going—I really don't know what happened. . ."

" . . . I've never been so afraid in my life."

"The worst has passed—now it's just dealing with the fallout. Don't lie about alibi—keep your story stripped down and simple and if they ask something dodgy, you say 'I can't recall . . . '"

"I can't recall."

"You can't recall."

After Jay stole Ethan from the kind of dumb company Ed was doing with Valley, Television—Temp  reacts, adapts by really learning how to muse on about the consumer driven art doctrine of western capitalism to such a sudden, unexpected and astonishing degree, to where he was able to practically trick himself into the art world, then concluding with Tempster abruptly leaving the skate game altogether. Within the last year or so for instance, Jay read Temp's 500 Words article blurb in Artforum, written about some Jasper Johns painting—rows of stenciled alphabet letters sequentially ordered to fit and cross paths with other sequential rows—Templeton's statement on how the beeswax painting was a larger comment on the general limitation and constraints of phonetic language, which was all but illustrated by the only word incidentally generated in the grid painting being "no"— Templeton said "Grey Alphabets" also forty years later speaks of the futility and failure of the painting picture plain in general, in what is now mostly a post minimalist, post conceptual global art practice. Temp in some strange way was both praising and vilifying Johns, to where where it was hard to tell exactly where he stod on Johns, and Jay had a feeling that this general attitude posture in some weird and strange way was now Temp's allure in what was catching on like fire as he was now being considered enigmatic by the art crowd. 

And here Jay was now, not pro, unemployable, just let go from a paltry, unfulfilling rep job that supported him enough to just barely get by in some winsomely impractical, elegantly disheveled way, that sometimes actually kind of made him a spectacle like Sarah Bartlet. And it all cumulatively now added even more so great insult to injury, of Jay not ever even ending up with Heather anyways— and as much as Jay is controlled, and reserved, it was still such a kick in the face—reminding him he was not just some soulless apparition construction, unaffected by the loss of irreplaceable love, love which the real outside world seemed so gladly to withhold. What puzzled Jay was, conditions of the environment, fate and how it all met up with his mistakes and strengthens and how it should all play out in real time on the dimension plane. What should be adjusted? Should there be Corrections? What should be left alone? How much could he think about it before it was made even more into calamity?

It wasn't that being pro even mattered now, it was just an opportunity in the past which provided a means to unleash the possibility of experiencing a more fascinating and complex world out there, also a means of experiencing the treasure, some of the hidden fortunes of the world (this of course included the top tier women upon the land to graze upon). Some false future promise of Heather actually inspired Jay to go as hard with Stereo and his roller decking, to where he was able to further hurdle himself into the possibility that all came with popularity, with American success. But now, he must create a new reality for himself, devoid of Heather and just move forward—that would have been great and all too, and you know, it's not like Jay hasn't ever made attempts in the past to do such. 

The thing is though, after Stereo imploded, the consolation prize women whom Jay deceived himself into pretending were a viable substitute for Heather, only now too rejected him—as if they knew subconsciously that he didn't really want them. There was no place for Jay to lay, and this certainly seemed true in every sense. At least at Skatemental, Jay could still pay the rent in his small rent controlled apartment, plot his next move—some move not necessarily attached to skating.

Sure, Patras co-opted the subway rain drum beating of plastic bucket by poor city-son as Stereo's affirmative action and inclusivity take—though, which if you think about it, basically helped make Jay's celebration of white supremacist utopia of segregation architecture grandeur, Betty Page swastikas upon garter, swastika switchblade, Jensen Interceptor, BMW motorbikes and cars and genes of German engineering that the more bearable—Jay's intro in Visual Sound, basically a poster of Hitler youth idealism—like, the riding a bike in Golden Gate Park, reflecting the same white supremacy which founded (or rather taken over) San Francisco—and if you would upon casual remark, take such assertion skeptically, then you mustn't know much about America, really. Think of white man's burden logic: they can keep the Spanish name, while we rule the settlement as conciliation prize—a clever trick no doubt. Pastras was an almost unconscious bi-product of this logic by the brand —not that Stereo was being consciously racist or even aware of such marginalization they were subconsciously reflecting (Stereo wasn't racist at all)—it was just still affixed in the country's subconscious nevertheless, and as well, incidentally, inevitably permeated into Stereo brand's dna as white narrative rules the narrative of the world (and cosmos). Give the Jew first part, give Ethan curtains. What does that say? In actuality, it really doesn't say anything though, but is still interesting to think about—remember though,  Ethan still on a lark filmed the superior part, it's not like Paulo even bothered to knock out a full part in only the weeks Ethan had. And Daher was Daher after all—a human wrecking ball—a more than perfect fit for first part, anyways.

But then again . . .

 . . . Shippy with backwards Notre Dame hat, his Blair Witch Project intro and outro, imagine torn oxford bespoke, or English racing heritage. Shippy, he—a certain type of cultural import himself, and quite some exemplary agent at that, he like some embassy ambassador, maybe even like a younger version of Jay—but with a sort of college basketball vibe; he, still with the more teched out Etnies, still had louche push upon blacktop behind that Raul Wallenburgh school. The jazzy bombast of the music in his part (best part of song—switch back one eighty the downhill bump on Pine and Kerny, k-flip the gap at DNV) said that with Shippy's frame, his steely good looks, his general approach to problem solving resolve of panache by which he confronted, dealt with the street situations he so willingly put himself into (and by which, for that matter, not to mention, the scores of video watching kids who were even more than eager to track down the rare video tape cartridge documentation of such situations to behold) all but excused any drunken night time escapades, boozy shenanigans at say, the apartment off Steiner, or at say the Kilowatt, or anywhere else the city nite would seemingly, randomly dictate.

Jay's Visual Sound skating in SF had regressed a bit, to a certain point of refinement when he moved there though—if you don't know how one must adapt to such unforgiving city terrain, then you don't know Stereo, really. Frisco wasn't like LA—things just didn't come all too easy and when Jay first moved to the city, his natural response was to adapt by focusing on maximizing, trying to push out his baseline as far out as possible. This, in a way that focused on the small details of tiny maneuvers, which would have to be mastered, brick and mortar in order to climb to some type of city virtuosity. The thing being was how it was all so tough—and how you negotiated that, well that was your brand. It was so that which Jay's focus of increasing his lowest common skill tasks, made him never quite get around to the virtuosity standardized like say by some Plan-B riders in Frisco, the vertiginous virtuosity which he should be ostensibly working towards. Ethan still was a virtuoso though, but he didn't spend two years working on his part (so by this logic he did still retain a bit of slacker methodology)—Paulo for sure could have knocked it all out of the park and then some (but didn't) and besides since Paulo was in LA, it seemed like he was never really down with, nor was interested enough in Stereo's practice of progressive dignified regression—Paulo just kind of didn't get it.  His failure in having his own section may not have attracted the nihilist virtuosity seeking kids who favored that above all else, which maybe would have expanded the brand, but that didn't even seem to matter now much in hindsight.

Still though, Jay maybe should have pushed it a bit harder, not slowed down or ever stopped. True, his responsibilities and role of running Stereo brand grew from that of him just being independent contractor pro, who previously only had to garner media in the easy schools of LA to then becoming full brand director and producer now, plus envelope pressing pro in a city where the terrain was hard, and the women ever so harder. There were never no kicky back tails Brown Marble. No nose bunts on any of the numerous marble benches lining Market Street (a trick Jay never really learned, even though Guy at one point in time was more than happy to show them to him). What about trying to k-flip the Wallenburg three, tre flip Fort Miley? No Video Days feebles carried off to maritime town. It was just more bottles of wines at the editing studios though, more celebratory whiskey shot rounds for the team at the Kilowatt of course, not going to MOMA perhaps as much as he should have, but spending blissful night hours in the darkroom developing all the still photography for VS at Art Institute for free—as there, he knew a kid, Eric, who ran the lab, who kinda used to skate, who was still remarkably in tune with current skate stuff and was all but down to let Jay have access to such hip, state of the art facilities.

If this was It's A Wonderful Life, this would have been the part where, instead of staying in Bedford Falls with the Credit Union and Mary, George travels to all the exotic places he talked about, becomes captain of industry, sees the world and perhaps this would also be where he would pay the piper with his wedding ring. Mary though, damn sure as hell wasn't going to wait around while pie eyed George lassoed the moon. Not that this was how it was between Jay and Heather (because really, Jay had probably if you think about it, never really actually had a real chance with Heather), but this was still a narrative in his head he conveniently liked to keep in regards to her—some delusion, this at the edge in Jay's mind where logic stopped, where Jay and the universe ended (as the universe didn't have just one end, but infinite edges everywhere—both conceptual and actual).

Girls like Mary, or Heather or Sigourney or Mildred or Rooney never just wait around. Because girls never wait around, and although you may think you are the co-star in the movie adaptation to the movie of the woman of your heart's desire's life, you aren't so much an extra, especially when you're in another town, especially when you never talk on the telephone, especially when it concerns women of this magnitude. And if you think their celibacy is a common goal, then that also just goes to show how little you know.

Ninties Frisco  . . .

 Cured vulc half-cab nihilist Airwalk - 

construct seductive material.  

 in the middle of a work day at downtown spot, 

when you should only say to yourself: "If this isn't nice, then what is? 

Though there would always be consolation prize girls trolling about at Kilowatt hour and they were all too easy to come across, especially when the bar knew you were on a team—they would rarely (if ever) be of the same imperial magnitude of what Jay needed and that's what really still hurt—a hurt that must somehow, be cast outward onto immediate environment, perhaps maybe attempted to be reconciled somehow by successions of mindless successful deck tasks, fireball shots.

Jay and Mort locked up, retired down the street to pseudo surf rock bar, Wahoos, because after such a cataclysmic event of blacking out and putting one self and others in un-nesessary danger, there was really nothing else to do but drink—there was nothing else for a chap to do but race to the bar, like getting drunk during a breakup—three shots, two beers and one felt okay—anesthetic. Heartbreak was real similar to coke, and worse—but nonetheless in such situation, alcohol was at it's most useful.

Wahoos was kind of like a younger, more upwardly mobile clueless, basic crowd. Though because skaters went there a lot, mostly out of location convenience—it kind of became known as a skater bar, even though it was mostly jeep guy. It's not like they played Buzzcocks at Wahoos—mostly it was Marcy Playground.

Tonite they were having some kind of magazine launch party, for a magazine that had yet to be printed—but they did though, print up tiny card stock flyers,which announced that the zine was coming out next month, scattered all over the bar and floors—like anyone would actually give a shit enough to put that on their calendar. It was amateur hour with the DJ also, as they played Spiderman is eating me Tonite not once, but twice that night—no doubt a rookie move—and oh, what such half assed event, on half assed night, like all so much in Los Angeles and California.

Mort knew a few people there, as it was obvious when they first stepped in. Some generically hot, but still super desirable girl (mostly because of her youth and skinny legs) who it seemed like Mort kind of knew, walks by—she pretty much the complete epitomization of the opposite of hip, but her generically hot looks easily over rode any hipness requirement by all the yahoos and everyone else in LA, who all but lined up in her life and went so far out of their ways to enthusiastically encourage all  generic lifestyle decisions.

Mort said out loud wackly to himself he wanted to "fuck her", while another ghastly tune filled the room, and there was no way she could hear Mort—Mort all seemingly a bit unaware of how unoriginal such a statement sounded out loud—that yeah, that's nice and all you want to fuck her Mort—good for you! But Mort said it with a certain automatic naive audaciousness, which at first Jay thought was kinda clueless, but then the more he thought about it, the more he reckoned Mort was actually probably in his own way most likely to pull wool in such mind state.

Mort went to talk to some kids for a while, while Jay just chilled at the bar—as at the skate shop or anywhere else skate related, Jay was probably given too much attention—now the last thing he would want to do is awkwardly stand next to Mort, or trying to cut his way into some conversation or just stand there with a certain neediness—in LA sometimes it really didn't matter who you were (especially among younger clueless crowd)—now Jay was content with just drinking beer and reading the television.



He could still taste a bit of resign that flew into his mouth, landed on his front tooth from smoking a crumb of chronic out of a Coke can that morning before he Jay went to Sal's. You would think being an everyday pot smoker for the last twenty years plus, Jay would have ammassed some paraphenalia, but Jay still just out of laziness, out of some dumb habit, still used the damn Coke can. Jay imagines resign clinging to the back nub of the broken molar in the back of his mouth and it was disgusting, but he had gotten so used to it and over the last couple of months kinda obsessed over it.

Jay had thought about Heather again. The universe was still a busy busy place. Proximity played a role in everything most of the time. But the reality was that although maybe some stuff about them may have been nice in his eyes, there were also a few things that just weren't right—the basics had been fouled up, there was too much water under the bridge to ever get her back. There was a momentum between them that had become so blackened, that no current conduct could turn things around and about. Yeah, and there was also the business of him having had told her to leave him alone, but that was all kind of a bluff—he said it for affect, just to get a point across, but at the same time, part of him was really hurt and he may have felt the need to say it to protect himself. Heather sure as hell didn't miss a beat though, was able to over compensate to his request, didn't hesitate to cut bait not one bit. 

It was all a buyer's market after all anyways—they always had more than enough options to be distracted by, always more than enough around everywhere and always, like most gravitate towards the closest pop tart sharing shlub to cater to their lazy, undisciplined thinking. Most girls weren't looking for a counter part—they were far too competitive—some had to be the good looking one, some couldn't be the one out shined. And the hotter they were, the worse it tended to get.

A little later people leave and Mort comes over, sits with Jay at the bar, ordering another.

"Wanna do a bump?" Asks Mort, it now obvious why he was hanging out with such unlikely companions—they united by illicit narcotic.

"Naw—shit man, I'm cool on that."

"Well, I got some here, if you change your mind," Mort says a little overly enthusiastically, confirming he had already indulged.

Jay had only had three beers and for once, he actually didn't feel like getting totally sloshed, as if entertained enough by his' and Morts convo there—then also buzzedly figuring it was best tonite to maybe go back to the office and clear his stuff out, while no one was there.

Talking to wired Mort made Jay feel wired also, but they were still having excellent convo with such prattling on.

"The industry will bro you into bankruptcy . . ."

"Pro deckn' is the biggest scam ever . . . "

"Minor is career killer . . . "

Jay left Mort at the bar, found his way back to the Volvo parked behind SLB, pulled out onto the broken boulevard and headed northeast, towards the Skatemental offices off Katella. There was blood on the streets in Los Angeles, blood on the tracks everywhere. Not much on the land was all too fair, and despite sometimes even having the facts right in front to discern, people were still constantly confused—this, the fog of war, the fog of LA. Women could make a hundred pennys to the man's dollar—but it was very doubtful they would ever compensate by ever forfeiting any biological advantage they possessed—you know, to level the playing field in all areas. Like say, if there was a village of a thousand men, with twenty women—you could be certain your friends would have slept with your wife many times over and you should then be damn thankful for anything you got—by female logic: you should be so lucky to be cuckholded. Well, that was LA now basically, but worse. Beautiful women gravitated to the city and would climb as high on the human shit pile ponzi pyramid as they could—a rigged sexual economy. And look at how none of these young hot newbies even knew now what Stereo ever was for instance—how Stereo was at one time actually the hippest Paul's boutique brand ever. There were no top tier women exactly falling over Jay right now. They were all but too busy listening to Gin Blossoms.

Jay rolled into the parking lot (or the rape lot, as it was sometimes referred to by Meagan and some of the other roller staff) and already missed, actually kind of longed for his old job back, but also, at the same time, you know, he was well just so fucking over it. There were sometimes, maybe, actually some nice parts to the mental though—for instance, like Daniel in the warehouse. Daniel, who, always brought with him an austere blue collar Chicano Angelino calming reassurance—like, for instance, no matter how low on the social rung Castillo (Daniel) may have been, he was never the type to get too bummed or ever dwell on anything too much, like how he was just always so super chill about it all. Say, the calmness he would radiate when he would walk to the warehouse door opening, pull out a bent cigarette in comfortable weariness and just have a cigarette in the middle of the day, all in chill resignation, as if in some grown up detention—and not to mention how he was always never not just always super entertaining to talk to or just shoot the breeze with—Daniel, never at all too terribly impressed by anything in the skate realm, as so he had been witness first hand to too much of it's wackness—for instance, Daniel knew Koston was the biggest douche bobble head in the industry—and it was hilarious how Matt in the warehouse would always challenge Daniel by showing him Koston's latest coverage and how Daniel just never gave a fuck about itDaniel would always just be like "Ah, I'm cool on that . . ."

 But it was like Jay's bad habit of always staring at Meagan's married jeaned ass way too much at the office also—in a way, all this was kinda like a really tech flip trick unto itself, a flurry of small gimmicks of convenience, all along to kinda justify Jay to himself to remain at the Skatemental, a place that really all along, well under valued him after all, sabotaged whatever he did or didn't do and then they should just eventually all even let him go like they did, all cut him from the squad, just like that, out of their own audacious ignorance, mental's misguided hubris and Reese was a fucking idiot. 

Jay opened the back door, ran in, punched the pad on the wall not too far away, which was re-assuring they didn't change the code, because it would have been such a hassle and not to mention a total major bummer after all, if say, the cops came and then he would be kinda further mildly humiliated, when the only reason he decided to get his things in the middle of the night, in the first place, was to avoid any more damn second hand, first hand embarrassment, which would have naturally come with actually coming in during mental office hours—like, while the rest of the staff was there and all.

But they just didn't get it, would never get it, Jay thought, as he walked through the daytime torture chamber that was now innocently darkened office. Jay could hear the ice cubes drop in the freezer in the break room fridge, as if the ice maker was fulfilling the most removed periphery duty in the after hours margins of the mental's economy cog.

 It was like the Captain Kangaroo hat Jay had in his cubicle for instance, which he randomly found at the thirft store, which he had been specifically thinking about collecting, since thinking about getting his things tonite—and Meagan just looked at him that time, like he was a fucking idiot for bringing it to the office that one day, the—hiscaptain put-put skateboarding roller hat. But you know if say, for instance, Meagan's stupid husband, Donnel, would have worn it, if he had had it, you know Meagan would have practically been in hysterics.

Right when Jay got to his cubicle, he realizes he needs to find a box to put his skate knick knacks and  turns around to go back towards the copy room and then the phone on his desk ominously rings. Jay decides best not to answer.

Jay returns and decides to take the things he wanted and the rest of the stuff, to hell with it—let them clean up his mess. The phone inconveniently rings again. Jay listlessly stares down at the blinking plastic square from the incoming line, then at the last moment after what he thought was the last ring, finally picks up the receiver, part out of curiosity but mostly as a way to tell himself he tried to answer it, while the other part of him was fully aware that he deliberately picked it up when he thought it was too late.


"Ay—you normally keep such odd office hours?"


"I said, I was surprised I caught you, because it's late . . ."

"Who's this."

No response on the line, signaled frustration on the other end. Jay actually really realized who it was, but even though he knew this—he also felt necessary to feign not acknowledging it was Temp, part because of anxiousness, another, maybe because of some lost familiarity, and also maybe in Jay's mind, it would make Jay seem less pathetic, even though in actuality—in reality, it really didn't matter. But it was Templeton who had divorced himself from the whole scene, drifted away, was off to better things, after all. And what, he thought he could just audaciously waltz back with a phone call in the middle of the night? There was a heaviness about the larger than lifeless about Temp also, which was too much of a burden to take sometimes. Ed knew this though, but it still sucked that Jay pretended he didn't know it was Temp, he immediately felt real lame for it.


"Temp. That you . . . "

"But, whom else?"

" . . .  wrong number, dudemiester?"

"What you want Temp?"

"I heard you got um . . . I heard about, what should we call it . . . um, your predicament."

"Ah yeah, well, fuck it. "

"Honestly, I don't even care by now, man," Jay pauses to look for his cigarettes, "It's all kind peculiar actually . . ."

"  . . . it's real funny . . . anyways . . ." 

"How you find out  . ." Jay cracking his knuckles, continues apprehensively.

"Brad . . . "

"Yeah, man. Fuck . . . ," Jay, productively scanning for items on his desk to take with him, then gives up, just sits down and grabs his grip tape wheel roller to fuss with.

"Yeah, this order got botched up somehow.  I don't care about it anymore. . . "

" Well, I might be able to help you out . . ."

"Help me out with what?"


"Oh, well, like I said, I seriously couldn't care less by this point. Let them rot in the warehouse for all I care by now ha ha ha . . . "

"Larry's been spending time with Tinterow, yes. You see, Met's trying to expand with what little they have along the lines of contemporary work . . .  They've been real adamant about just showing like, you know, mostly modern and everything, and like anything before that, but because with current trends with other museums in NY pushing for contemporary, they're kinda now forced to reluctantly follow their new lead."

"Really don't feel like hearing about Larry right now, Temp . . ." Jay, concentrating too much on rolling the roller on the surface of what used to be his credenza.

"Just listen, this is actually kinda interesting, it could be very um . . . um, very, cool!"

"Yeah, well, so anyways, he's surprisingly has gotten close with the purse with which controls Trustee Acquisition Comittes's cash flow . . . "

"Like, what they use to, you know, to purchase works for the museum et. all . . . " Ed Continues.

"Anyways Larry, was able to slide in as some liaison, using his influence to coordinate a lot of works from private collector homies of his, to like, loan out to the Met au gratis. They'll have their name on the wall and get a lovely tax break. So, this frees up more funds for Tinterow to use, and since Larry was the, um, pimpsta in getting all this free prod for the museum, such funds should naturally, um, go towards acquiring other works suggested vis a vis Gagosian cadre."

"And . . ."

"And nothing. Basically, I agreed with Brad to purchase that pallet of your, um . . . self promotional tools shall we say? And then I'm going to place them in the gallery a la Yan Vo or something, even though Vo's kinda totally wack, or I don't know like Stienback? Um,  like Stienback kinda, but you know, like, hipper."

"Why my decks? I mean, not to argue with me being inside a museum, but this?"

"I don't know, it's kinda hip, no?"

Ed continues after pausing, "I just want to have all my bases covered, that's all . . ." 

" . . . and don't you think it's kinda a funny project, a funny idea?" Continues Tempster.

"I thought you were recording ghosts at Stanford or something . . . "

"That's all done babes! I want to do something looser now, fun, a return to something, I really don't know, it all kinda comes full circle with the deck readymades though in a way. Don't you think? Plus the story behind it could be . . . I don't know, for lack of a better term, interesting?"

"Well, that's great and all Temp. I mean, I'm happy your career is going so smashingly, but I currently have a little cash problem. My accountant says my accounts lack some kind of liquid-ness, it's all stopped up there, something is apparently not flowing."

"  . . . and my career just committed suicide. . . " Jay says finally.

"Naturally we should pay you a modest commission, a finders fee so to speak . . . or hell you're a consultant here! These are going to be in the collection briefly, and then hopefully go on tour, then deff try to get them sold at auction for some exorbitantly inflated price. The museum, me, Larry come out on top of course, and you will be compensated generously. I can give you, I don't know, twenty clams?"

Jay pauses putting everything together Temp just said.

 " Oh, dang . . . that actually sounds kinda cool  . . . "

"Hellziahsss! "  

"Man, sounds like such a racket, but . . . " 

"Sounds cool!" 

"No, it's totally a racket, totally cool!" .

"It's like a rigged economy, ya know!" Ed, reinforces."No, yeah, totally rigged!"

"Ez money!"

"The best kind!"

"No, now that I think about it, I actually think this will be really tight, man! This windfall could also give me some chill time, plot out my next move, ya know . . ."

"No, totally! That's what I'm saying! Also you're in a museum now! Well, it's technically my work though. I mean, don't you think that's kinda cool though?!"

"No, no yeah, totally . . . that does actually sound really cool, actually . . ."

"May piss some people off hopefully?"

"Shit's just been so messed up for a minute, ya know? I mean with me." 

"No, I know dude . . ."

"I mean I was just hanging on for survival for a whiles—doing the worst work, just to live. I mean this isn't me, ya know? With all the wackness I assisted in, kinda cancels out anything tight I ever did with Stereo, if you think about it."

"Life happens. Unfortunately, you can't be cool forever, dudemiester! You kinda don't get to decide how cool you are anyways, it's up to your environment to bestow it upon you, in a way. Besides, you can always be cool again—maybe now even cooler now!"

"Woah. Sounds like it. I don't know what to say Temp. I mean shit, man . . ."

"Well, I know we haven't been too terribly close over the last few years, but I been mad busy, yo. I had to do my thing, ya know? Kinda had to divorce myself from the whole shit and just do this . . ."

"No, I understand . . ."

"How's Deanna?" Asks Jay, finally, because it had been on his mind.

"Deanna? Well, Deannas still, let's say, Deanna is still Deanna . . . " Temp, tentatively.

"Yeah . . . "

"So what, how you going to purchase the decks? Maybe Reese will get suspicious of something cooler than him and then not relinquish. . . "

"Oh, no worries, I went through Brad. Brads handling it all."

"Oh. . ."

"Anyways, before I wire you cream, and before I actually have the decks in my possession, just keep this close to your chest for now. Keep it on the down low . . ."

"Deff "

Jay hung up the phone in what was the last deal he negotiated at Skatemental. But you couldn't even really call it a deal, nor did he even have to negotiate. It was now more than just some transaction of commerce type colab. It was also more than just an old friend hooking another up. It was a lot to try to attempt to wrap his head around, and the world again now seemed to open up and say "yes". Jay might never wrap his brain around such mystery, and may remain superstitious. Jay also feared if he knew the mystery it might unravel the very thread of existence. Temp did kind of have a point when he said, one's environment determines how hip someone is, though. As long as Jay had been waiting and waiting for something to break on through, now that it was finally happening he felt nervous, but it was a good nervous. Jay wondered if he would be required to pay taxes on the rough trade deck dough. This is what the game is like, thought Jay to himself.

Jay walks down the hall to get to the parking lot to go home, spots Brad in the hallway.


"Brad! What up man!"

"Brad, I just talked to Temp!"

Brad walks up to Jay, pie-eyed, Jay couldn't tell if it was really Brad or just an act.

Brad says nothing, says "Atascosita," continues walking down the hall like a lost ghost.


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