Never Imagined I’d Live to Say It…
What I mean by that is – my alter-ego [the breadwinner] hath just returned from an arduous job that took him [me] to Dallas – a city devoid of identity (save its ubiquitous place in pop-culture history as ‘home’ to the first [American] prime-time soap-opera) – which was, as predicted; muggy, too hot, spread out, and lacking much redemption outside the sublimely surreal Magic Time Machine (watch yer back, Casa Bonita!) and the Book Depository Kennedy Museum; and then onto the sickeningly-too-real Tampa Bay (populated, seemingly, by only pensioner/geriatrics, sleeveless rednecks, and adequate populations of Minorities needed to scrub, serve, and maintain illusions for the Spring Break crowd).
Whereas a person might demand exorbitant renumeration to work in such appalling conditions of anti-culture [I do] – sometimes merely the phenomenological rewards far outweigh even the most plutonium-weight paychecks.
The final night; after all the field videotaping/interviews were
done – we contractors and the big-wheel clients somehow felt compelled
to meet for a ‘drink’ to wrap up, et al… and found ourselves in one
of the most depressing ‘chain-but-not-really’ watering holes; located
in an ensconced but obnoxious location – an insta-mega-mall.. not just
adjacent to, but connected to, the abject terror of faux ‘luxury’ hotel; Courtyard by Marriott.
Skip ahead a bit, brother – to the moment I decide to linger on
after my employer and the Client shuffle off; to have a final cocktail
and cigarette. It is in *this* moment that my whole life stands on its
sad little nugget [head, to the unimaginative] for a tick.
see – I was *just* about to order the Road Sauce (s’okay… I was
walking. Obviously) – when the barman, an unremarkable but
adequately-Florida-’hunk’ – gets an earnest look in his eye and asks:
"Have you ever had someone – a famous person – that you really admire and respect; and then got to meet them in person?"
Thinking of my misguided-but-passionate Younger Days [I was 20, I
believe - a time before any of you were born; check it out on wikipedia
(1990)] and my run-in with Perry Farrell, I responded "Actually, yes."
"Well," he nearly sighed, "it happened to me tonight."
- all Uncle Sid wants, in this energy-vortex, is some booze. But, ever
the (opportunist/manipulator) gentleman, I ask [despite being able to
fathom an instant in which I imagined that I had a dream that I
considered, for a split-second, the notion of having a nightmare in
which I speculated, in idle masochistic fantasy, that there was an
alternate universe in which I gave a shit, even for pretends) "Who was
At this moment, another employee has rushed up and
whispered into wistful ear of the Barkeep; and he plants his hands on
the bar, handsprings over it [a la (personal fave) John Dillinger at a
midwest bank heist], and rushes outside.
The Pink One is still without a cocktail. Imagining the Whisperer could help, I remained calm. But no.
Yet, a few seconds later, the Meatmeister returns, takes my order,
and seems lost in a beaming world – forcing me to follow up:
"So – who was it?" I query; just *wanting* to know exactly what kind
of vaulted, admirable, unique, rare human would dare walk into this
I wait out his smirk, the far-away look that tells me
he’s already re-living this moment wherein he’s met one of his
most-respected heroes of all time.
As he hands me my Liquid Tolerance, he gives the darting-chin-up "hey, bro" conspiratorial look and confesses:
"My favorite porn star."
Inexplicably, despite all indicators, I am still surprised in a
nauseating way. Not because I am anti-porn, or prude, or judgmental -
- merely because this poor sucker-egg of a man has just experienced a
‘defining moment’ in his life; and this was it. A porn actress sat on
a stool in the place where he works. And his universe has come
Poor America – you created this, and then cry ‘foul’.
I choked half of my drink and half-heartedly pulled at my last
smoke. I had not only been sideswiped by disillusion, disgust,
depression and decadent depravity; I had been temporarily ruined.
Other than that, a delightful time.