“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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