Jobs – Part II

Sun always seems to be coming up on those buildings across the street. I wonder if the bricks, and I’m talking abut deep inside the bricks – if those molecules that are holding everything together are warmed by the sunrise. Today’s reminds of that day in San Francisco that I’m trying to tell you all about. It’s a little unclear because it’s all in retrospect – which is okay with me. The story will just go like that I suppose.

Late into the night or very early into the morning, whichever way you want to look at the world, that’s the time I existed in when I went back to meet Vince at the Musee de macanique to ask for a job. I knew he got there early, but had no idea what that meant, so I stayed up and watched the world come alive over the ocean.

Just after one of the waves smashed below me, Vince appeared holding a construction worker’s lunchbox and a jacket with his collar turned up. The bay area still had people who dressed like that because they had to, not because they were looking to duplicate some iconic image.

“We don’t open for a few hours yet,” he said, turning the key without effort. “Let me take care of these machines before you start exploring again.”

“I’m not looking to explore – I’m looking for a job. I need to learn something with my hands. Everybody is moving towards screens and digital creations. I need to hold on to something.”

He hadn’t turned the nob of the door yet. Looked me deep in my eyes. Scanned inside of me like he was looking at the gears inside on of his machines to make sure I would hold up under multiple uses. The world around me was – wait. I can show it here without talking to it. I should move the eye back to campus after this scene with Vince and explain it then. Just have to keep it in mind.

Vince turned the nob on the door and opened it up to me. There was no music playing until he gave the okay to do so. The silence was intensified by the sound of our shoes across the floor. Everyone was frozen inside their machines. The light from outside was shut off when the door closed behind us. He flipped the air conditioning on.

“Rule number one is that it’s best if it’s cold,” he said. “Don’t let any of them burn or they won’t do what you ask of them. Make no mistake, you’re going to have to ask many things of them if you want to entertain people. That’s why you want to work here, no?”

“I just want to work with something I can feel,” I said.

“I can pay you a commission out of what we bring in from the machines, but that’s off the record. It’s be a different amount each week. Anyone finds out I’m out of a job, but let’s hope by then it’s either time for me to die or you know what you’re doing enough to take over.”

He smiled. Now in most stories like this the guy would be a grumpy old man who lost everything and only hung with machines because they didn’t talk or something like that, but Vince was here by choice and new that he was creating a legacy. Perhaps it was me who was becoming that character and the story arc was running in reverse. That’s what happens when you try to escape from the modern world.

We worked out the days I’d be able to come it – I still wanted to keep the Loehman’s job as well – money coming in is always good – but this would be the career I could build.  I followed him down the row of machines and learned how to turn each one on. Getting inside would have to come later.


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