“640K ought to be enough for anybody. In China, when you’re one in a million, there are 1300 people just like you. The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information about what’s going on so they can do a lot more than they’ve done in the past.”

–Bill Gates

Chapter 2. We’ll get to the official purposes of my morning…

We’ll get to the offi­cial pur­poses of my morn­ing rou­tine later, but let me walk you through the basics. Are you record­ing this? Come on peo­ple. Let’s get our story straight. Will some­body please shuf­fle me a freak­ing elec­tronic device that will please on some non-sadistic level work some magic fuck job on our Green­wich Vil­lage Green aspi­rant pro­gram. And in the mean­time snap to the sig­nal we gave you when you took this job before the whole freak­ing tech­nol­ogy sec­tor ren­ders the planet and us obso­lete. Find me some White Boy Chuck Taylor’s and buy them by the foot, will ya? Good show flow, Joseph, but we need a spam free pos­i­tive inte­ger revival peo­ple to give us enough spunk to change the direc­tion of our unity folks, can I say it any plainer? Some reli­gious sub­mis­sives, tire­lessly pogo, sick inside com­pos­ite spools of insub­or­di­nate mag­nif­i­cence, no more the casual observer to these atroc­i­ties of our time than those hun­kered down in the Change Room hear­ing major stock exchanges falling off the shelves even now, tweak their ora­tory to fit the glove they wear to spare them­selves the virus they bought on the black mar­ket last sea­son, and it’s all back in fash­ion again. Back in the regional office. odd man up peace talks seize the day, and FBI agent Tug­wells Boli­var con­firms with his vested host of arrest war­rants that yes, in kin­dred admin­is­tra­tive times like these, con­tra­band gui­tars do gen­tly but most care­lessly weep…

Yes, Joseph (the Kenyan) is not a bad fel­low. He really doesn’t like to work when a splen­did oppor­tu­nity to loaf along the back shelves presents itself. Like his shop bud­dies, he needs the extra bread though. Works a sec­ond job at a national chain sweep­ing up, famil­iar with a sense of duty, arrang­ing can­dies and hair dye boxes every time I pop in to see him when I need some film or shav­ing cream, although he tells me with the same bold temer­ity he uses on Nawanha that he’s the assis­tant man­ager. Frankly, I would think he’d pull down more cashier work, if that was the case, of he being man­ager, but hey Joe, that’s what the whole stinkin’ joie de vivre thing is all about, eh? Right Cor­rec­to­mundo. Lais­sez faire. That’s what I say. Live and let live. Believ­ing every lie ever told, just as long as the truth wins out when it’s most needed. But even that is just a ran­dom phrase on a page. Who’s to say? We all live a lie. Espe­cially the poor. Joseph, what a skeezer, shift­shap­ing like he does. Can’t work this one, can’t work that one. All because he has this sec­ond job. Yep, with this Kenyan, the fix is always in, so the other kids share the song from shaft in hav­ing to muster op for all “on call” slack. He’s a skinny fel­low, and loves to jack the ter­mi­nal to news check the the Kenyan National. His father is some big wig, edu­cated in Lon­don, now hold­ing down VIP duties in some undis­closed niche in Nairobi. Nawanha, who’s from Nige­ria, a prob­a­bly five years younger than Joseph (30) thinks Joseph’s story is bogus, noth­ing but the young but dubi­ous man’s imag­i­na­tion. Strange, these two young immi­grants from Africa don’t quite get along with each other, but else­where in this shop, there’s one White Boy, sev­eral his­pan­ics, includ­ing a Fil­ipino named Ezekial, and a very tall, pre­vail­ing, quite hand­some Lebanese artist of fluid move­ments named Gus Hus­sein. We all speak dome pretty fas­ci­nat­ing good Eng­lish. No unpre­pared wet­backs here. This is one imag­ing shop that takes its cus­tomer ser­vice seri­ously. In this bliss­ful neigh­bor­hood, where celebri­ties and rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies live, a shop owner has to keep it sharp, shiny, and safe. The sun’s peek­ing out again, and it’s pack­ing heat. Solar power, you gotta love it. First time in days any rays have pierced the thick cloud cover that has under­mined thou­sands in the cor­ri­dors of power in their quest for plug­ging up the end of The Tun­nel. That storm push­ing up from New Orleans has drenched the local lands, and there’s been some flood­ing. But noth­ing like they met up in New Eng­land. Water every­where. Worst waters in a hun­dred years in Ver­mont. Can’t say I didn’t warn them. But a man just has one voice. But this time, even the TV folks got it right. Water every­where. Power out­ages. I remem­ber the first time I saw this much water rush­ing in the streets jocked with small row­boats and var­i­ous other water fowl. The dark heav­ens cracked apart in ’69, seed­ing a del­uge. A full 22″ in one twenty-four hour period fell on Fer­nan­d­ina Beach that fall day, a record that still stands today. I was just a kid. My daddy packed us all into the sta­tion wagon, and we drove the ninety miles to Jack­sonville to see the swamp first hand. Actu­ally, we saw all that water as a side show to the Ice Capades. My momma had been hold­ing onto those Ice Capades tick­ets for months. As far as I could rec­ol­lect this was the very first fam­ily out­ing in my whole career as a kid. I guess enthralled might be the very word I need to describe that kid dur­ing this entire event. At thir­teen, I had a sense that being seen by strangers watch­ing the Ice Cap­cades from the nose­bleed seats wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was just a month ago I had wanted to come with friends to see Three Dog Night at this very same Jax Col­i­seum, but my choice, a long­shot, had of course been nixed. There was no money for such fool­ish­ness, and now I am in firm agree­ment with those par­ents, circa 1968. Since that age, I have min­gled among when I wasn’t stum­bling into many rock shows, rid­ing the rook & rhythm from every prox­im­ity known to punks like me and every point of view. It’s all shaker sand now, but to have sifted every grain, ripped from the gal­lows, those yel­low years of rock and urine I fell in com­bat, I fell to its mor­tal call. But I have only expe­ri­enced one Ice Capades in the flesh, the pageantry, the social perks, and for that bit of nelly con gusto I am grate­ful to my mother, who finally had her way that time. The entire fam­ily trav­el­ing in fun. What a wind­fall rain­fall! She’d always imag­ined us a troupe of dilly dancers, and some of the younger ones had the tap lessons on their per­ma­nent records to vouch for it.

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