Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Wilderness Year's - Don't Call Me Whitey

Let us press rewind for a moment and go back, back to the whorehouse and all it's charm, an island of fucked-up misfit toys, a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a place with a never ending stream of maniacs and pretty girls, in short heaven... it was on to job four, having already been a sandwich maker, a warehouse grunt, a shiller of cheap t-shirts, i found nothing to agree with me, so like any doped up American boy i quit, of course i needed a job, what with no home and no college to return to i needed money for some sort of living accommodations when the season was over and all the cheap labor shuffled off to school or found full time accommodations in Ocean Shitty and went on the dole for the winter, but it was nary June and i was having a rather swell time along this coastline of the white trash, you see anyone with real money went to Florida, the rest of the midwest came here and so it was that the Engineer set me up at the 7-11.

Cake walk, he said, all the money you can steal, you being an enterprising young man should do nicely just make sure you get in good with shift supervisor and run the register as much as you can... so what the hell, i took it, graveyard shift, a fucking nightmare for the original rock and roll animal but the manager needed a body and would do what he could to accommodate me, basically weekends off and in Ocean City that was practically unheard of, so it was settled 11pm to 7am sunday thru thursday, hence my paving the way for my beautiful journey with Audrey but not before putting up some little surfers girlfriend...

A word of advice to any young man who finds himself in the quandary of having to find living quarters for his girlfriend due to a developing rift between his roommates and said love of his life, move out or break up, Tiny Surfer figured it would be a good idea for his fair haired, blue-eyed maiden to move in with a 6'4 inch beast with a two hose hookah in his room, the logic being i worked nights and wouldn't be there when she slept, of course it never dawned on him that when i got home in the morning i might be tired and crawl into bed and let me clarify that i at least attempted to be chivalrous but she apparently was quite smitten with my charm and me with her blue-eyes and large, round breasts, blue eyes and large breasts being damn near as tasty as chocolate and peanut butter and before you know it she broached a way for her to pay the rent, it involved a certain amount of nakedness and dope smoking and more nakedness but i was amenable to her terms, of course this arrangement didn't last more than two weeks but i really wasn't in it for the long haul and we parted on lovely terms when she found a new place, though Tiny Surfer always looked a bit confused by it all, what he couldn't figure out i don't know...

The one problem i soon noticed with my current employment was the hours and usually the whorehouse was hopping every night around the time i was leaving with Skinhead Will, My Attorney, Golden Boy, the good Zen Doctor, the Hassler all getting off work and getting liquored up and zooted up and what not and me waking from the oven of my room and shotgunning beers and doing copious amount of bong hits all so i could ride 50 some odd blocks down coastal highway at peak travel time for morons in minivans and flowered shirts to be weaving their way back to their condo's, of course this little excursion was dangerous enough sober but i was much the idiot, soon i added jet fuel to my repertoire before a few of my nightly rides and for the lay person out there jet fuel being eastern shore slang for angel dust...

Oh yes kids, if one truly aspires to be a fuck-up you shouldn't half-ass it, hence all the amateurs who turn up on the news jumping out of windows, there was a brief period at the shore where jet fuel was the party favor of choice for a few of us dubbed the Professionals and let me say if you've never been in a Werner Herzog movie you wouldn't understand, basically it was take brain, scramble, add booze, smoke more jet fuel, repeat, not for the meek or anyone at all with an ounce of common sense but for those of us living in the part of town lovingly called the Zoo it somehow made perfect sense, of course riding a bike 50 some blocks on any or all of the above, at night, with tons of headlights zipping by while my brain was seeing dinosaurs, zombies, giant laughing babies, Pipi Longstocking seemed to make perfect sense as well, i soon dubbed the journey Space Flight and was often asked what time the Shuttle was leaving while i prepared the thrusters for take off...

Of course as we know i made it to work and after two nights i was christened Register Boy by Linda Waddles aka my boss. Linda was a large woman akin to a Weeble-wobble, with stringy dirt brown hair and black horn rimmed glasses, she grew up in one of the crossroads leading into Ocean City and absolutely hated people, she had worked at the Sleven for nine years and i can now admit i know why she hated people, especially working the night shift, it was if the 7-11 was the giant light that every drunk asshole within a 20 block radius was drawn too, she liked me cuz i took absolutely no shit from the parade of morons coming through the door, if you pissed me off i swiped your shit off the counter and told you to fuck off, most of the time the drunks would look gobsmacked and say something like "c'mon dude i was just kidding" or "what's the deal man" and i'd say the deal is you're an asshole and i reserve the right to tell you to get lost, Linda wholeheartedly approved of my treatment of customers and if they were cool i usually smiled and joked and shot the shit, of course the other things the Sleven attracts are cops, most of whom eyed me suspiciously and one of which even told me where i lived though i had never seen him before, he said with a big Cheshire cat grin, "you live on 6th st. dontcha, the old whorehouse", yes i replied most congenially, "we know" i guess we being him and the rest of the kiddie kops all doing their summer internship, "we'll getcha" he said smiling and i smiled back and said, "with all due respect officer, you won't" and his grin faded a bit "we don't have a stereo capable of a noise violation and keep our shit wired tight, noise violation is all you guys got and you won't get us", have a nice night dickhead, the cops mainly stood around talking like cops and drinking coffee and perusing the old porn, in a nutshell, cops...

The game each night was to swindle as much cash as i could to pad the bankroll and give me some breathing room, the rules were easy, learn the prices and don't ring the shit in, punch up the numbers so the schmuck on the other side of the counter thinks it's being rung in but never hit ye olde sale key, simple really, The Engineer had done all the scouting and the security cameras were for show and the owner didn't care much about accuracy as long as you were with a ten spot either way. To this day i can tell you, cigarettes $3.91 a pack, condoms 2 bucks a pack, hot dogs a buck each, large fountain drink 99cents, easy money, cigarettes being the easiest thing to cash in on and though i worked the night shift my take each night was usually between 60 and 120 bucks, averaging around 80, of a buck twenty was a shit day for the Engineer but he worked 3-11 and that was prime time, my gig usually tapered off around 4ish...

By that time the drugs and booze had usually began to wear off and i'd start drinking shit coffee or popping the legal speed the Sleven sold, then it would be into the toilet with some porn for a well earned wank before returning to my post, of course it was also around this time that the horrible freezing air and fluorescent lights began to take their toll on my sanity and if i thought the ride here was tough it was the darkest hours of the night that pushed me closer to the edge, my mind scanning the horizon for the first crack of red or orange to let me know it was almost time to bolt and count my money at the Mickey D's while the Indian kid behind counter stared in wonder while i pulled out wadded up bills and then one night around 4am...

I was standing behind the counter dreaming of Audrey who'd be coming down in two days and thinking about rubbing one out, i stuffed some cartons of cigarettes into my back pack, another way to boost the bank roll by selling cut rate cigs to everyone not considered a friend at weekend parties, (friends got free cartons) when in walked Clubber Lang, except he didn't have a mohawk, he was just a solidly built black dude in gym shorts and a t-shirt, Clubber spent the next 15 minutes or so perusing the aisles as if he had just stepped off a space ship and never seen fucking Twinkies before, he examined chips and looked at candy while the tall, mangy white boy with the dreading hair stood behind the counter watching him like he was the biggest fucking idiot he had ever seen, of course i often wore the 7-11 shirts they had, the ones no one wore, i wore a size to small because i was a fucking hipster before the hipster's ever coined the word, channeling my inner Spicoli is how i referred to it, there i was in my army cut-off shorts with my green and black Sleven shirt that zipped all the way up the front and this moron in his gym shorts and wife-beater is taking his good ole fucking time, i figured he must be stoned out of his gourd, he finally makes his selection and walks up to the counter and lays down his donut and carton of milk, it cost $1.61, he fumbles around, grins and says "left the wallet in the car", fuuuuuck this dude is stoned and he walks out to his car...

pssst, pssst, Kono Kono, is all i hear coming from somewhere and i look and see Linda Waddles hiding behing the chip rack, "how tall is he" she says, what? "how tall is he" Shit Linda i don't know, "6'1 you think" Yeah i'd say so, maybe Six, what the fuck Linda? "he looks just like a composite sketch of an armed robber who might be in the area" Say What? and with this she runs back to the coolers and locks herself in, now this was before every Tom, Dick and Armed Robber had a cell phone and i looked through the big plate glass window to see Clubber bending into his car and picking something up off the floor, the whole time his eyes locked and mine and i'm just standing there not knowing if i should piss myself or take the money out to him and save him the trouble or run, though where to i have know idea, it was a long 5 seconds or so as we stood there staring at each other and i'm hoping he doesn't have an itchy trigger finger or hate whitey or got fired from a 7-11 or any number of things that could of pissed him off today cuz if he's about to stick a Glock in my face i'd really like him to be in a good mood and then...

A beat up old Datsun comes flying into the lot and Clubber puts whatever was in his hand back on the floor of his car and coolly walks in and pulls a wad from his waistband and pays, hits the door and is gone in the blink of an eye, i sat there thanking any number of dieties, known and unknown and counting my fingers and wiggling my toes and in general just feeling all the tension run out of my body as i exhaled a long and groaning fuuuuuuccckkk me. It turns out my unsuspecting heroes are a bunch of hippie kids who just got their friend out of jail after he was busted for possession, Linda is running past me to the phone and i look at the hippie kids and smile and say it's all fucking free for you and they say wha? and i say that black dude who just left was gonna stick a pistol in my face and he stopped when you pulled in and i don't really care if they fire cuz i'm quitting at the end of my shift anyway, so take anything you want, want beer take it, cigarettes here, porno, donuts, cheese puffs it's all fucking yours cuz you may have just saved my life... of course Linda's yelling "you can't do that" and i'm yelling fuck that fire me i don't care and she's back on the line with cops and i tell the hippie kids to hurry up before she's done and they end up taking off with three bags of food, a twelve pack of beer and a carton of cigarettes each. I had tendered my resignation. Before my shift was over they had picked up Clubber Lang. It was him. He had a Glock 9mm and a wad of cash. As the sun cracked red over the cesspool that is the Eastern shore the salt air never smelled so good, the dawn never so beautiful.

7 comments:

daisyfae said...

i love these tales... and damn, i am going to do everything i can to keep the kiddies from ever working graveyard shift at a convenience store.... shit....

nursemyra said...

ah.... a brush with death.... I wonder how many people have had one and never knew it....

Seraphine said...

but but but... aspirations aside, you can't steal money at 7-11 because they have cameras everywhere, and you'll get caught. but if you turn your back to the cameras the right way, you might be able to score a bag of nuts.
funny story, though.

Ginny said...

Ho. Lee. Shit.

Yay hippie kids.

Kono said...

Daisy - that's what happens when you're down and out in Ocean City, Linda Waddles had only been robbed once in 9 years by a drunk guy on his wedding night, lucky me.

Nursie - i can count four more off the top of my head, one involved a car crash, one surfing, one a Port Authority bus and one with crack.

Seraphine - the cameras didn't work, hence why they were for show, we did our homework, we were good criminals, funny how i'm not much different than the guy with the gun except i don't have a gun.

Ginny - glad you enjoyed it. and sometimes them hippie kids ain't to bad.

JMH said...

Wow. I'm intimidated, but I gotta say that that's a slice of life that I will never live and great storytelling to boot. Keep on.

Keepin' on.

What an empty phrase.

nursemyra said...

Merry xmas Kono xx