Three days upstate and I feel like I’m ready to go again. That’s a big key of things. Stayed in a little cabin in a place called High Falls. There were Lamas there. I didn’t even think about the story, but am ramped up to dive back in again. Though there were crickets and grass and all of that type of stuff, not sure if I could live up there. A place to go and put it all down, yes, that is going to happen at some point, but the stuff I need to put inside of the needle and then inject is in the city. So, let’s go again.
The jobs appearing in the newspaper started to blur. They were no longer the call center gigs or other such manual labor jobs. I had done nothing to get into the newspaper game, and therefore could not really get a ground floor job. Those were all taken by interns and people who had run school papers and eaten Ramen in order to have a chance. They were people who died for their craft. I was dying for – for that? I don’t know what my drive was back then. I guess it was to fit in somewhere and be part of a movement, but in San Francisco, it was difficult because everyone was very intrenched into their own things. Intrenched. There were echoes of so many past movements in my ear it was difficult to move anywhere. Ghosts of people who wanted to be legends floated around in the fog. Was I one of them.
One morning, it was early, I laid in bed with Josephine next to me. She slept with her mouth wide open and looked like a horrible fish, so I switched my position until she appeared beautiful. I could never be peaceful with her in bed. Always awake. Maybe it was the residuals of the speed. Could have been. It was the morning for of the city that hung over me. The phone rang – it was Mike telling me that everything was closed down at the dispatchers shop. He’s need to find work and quick. Did I know of anyone who could get it for him. Everybody I knew was always looking for a job, but work to do with your hands was fading away. Like I said, even I had been looking through the want adds and found nothing. There were these new jobs. He kept talking to me about these new jobs that he didn’t quite understand. In the warehouses south of Market Street, all of these young kids were set up with computers. They were hiring but nobody knew what the jobs did. I couldn’t think straight. Told me to go without me – even though I was pretty sure that I myself needed a new gig. After all, who could go on putting back women’s clothes for a living.
I peeked under the blanket and as I did, Florence walked in with a giant cup of coffee and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“You should have let her take the job,” she said. “Then, you could just sit there and write. I figure she’d be making 300 a night with that tight little body.”
“She’s getting out of here and I’ll be following,” I told her, covering up both of us as much as I could. “Besides, I wouldn’t want her to get hooked like you two. She needs someone to look out for her.”
Florence laughed and looked out the window into the same fog I was lost in.
“Kind of nice,” she said. “Not being able to see anything. You should try it sometime.”
“I don’t need advice from someone who steals my socks,” I told her. “Now just get going and let us be. Things are going to change soon enough.”
“Things change regardless of it you try or not. Even in these jobs you’re going after – I’ve heard things from some of my clients. Tons of investment going on in those places. Computers. People are through communicating through human touch. I’m kind of that last bit of the old guard. You’ve got to believe that somewhere, someone is always going to need people like me.”
“I was thinking more of the pleasure I provide. The escape. What are you providing out there? You better be careful of making your mission in life to help people who don’t want it. She’s using you. Believe that.”
“Why should I believe anything you say?”
“Because my friend, you’ve known me longer and I’m not fucking you.”
She finished her coffee and left. Josephine woke up in a jump, then realized where she was and struggled to fully open her eyes.
Across town on the Bike messengers wall, Mike was more alone. They had been laying messengers off each week and were running at the most minimum of staffs. 12 hour days just to keep it open and everyone that was left knew it would be ending anyhow. Thing was that most of the folks that were getting laid off were transitioning into these new gigs in back of a computer. They money was unreal. BMWs were lining up outside trying to be a part of it. Now, I know you’re going to have to change that eventually to the people inside the BMWs that were lining up outside to change everything, but for now I’ll keep it at the cars because the people matched their cars like owners started to match their dogs.
Mike delivered a package – some blueprints, to one of the new offices down there. Sitting in the room typing in furiously in front of computers were a few of the bike messengers that he had been riding and drinking with just a few weeks before. Thing is they were dressed the same – had the same tats and abnormalities that drove them to be messengers in the first place. They hung their heads when Mike walked in with the shoulder strap over his back and his head hung down not from shame but from the weight of work. Handing off the tubes to the young owner who was had holding a check in his hand just signed by the man who looked like his car, Mike looked around at the walls holding everything together and didn’t feel right about his future ending up there.