Saturday, February 26, 2011

In A Bum's Rapture: Life Past The 29-Day Rule


 
Woke around noon as motel owner Mr. Kim and co-manager Don were throwing Earl's stuff out into the dumpster and Earl out into the street. Papers---General Relief promises to help you someday---won't save your shelter here. Here cash is king.

Time for the Arco shuffle. Grabbed a menthol so I could huff and puff on the way over there. Sunny day for a change (California sarcasm). The brightness blinded me. Started picking up speed on the sidewalk as my heart settled onto the idea that we, my heart and I, were up . . . up and heading for coffee.

Brushed up against a new streetwalker at the narrow part of the sidewalk where the last surviving shock of shrubbery from the vacant lot leans out across the sidewalk like a beggar in bum's rapture to scratch passersby.

Brushed up against the 14/15 year old blond streetwalker wearing blue-stripped pajama shorts with a shapeless pink KMart blouse. Brushed up accidentally against the lost teenager, looked into her eyes a city second and saw . . . what? What did I see there?

A flash of something. In her eyes. A mixture of questioning and fear. It traveled across her face only a split second but I saw the whole drama as if I were reading a book. The parade of questions dancing around in her brainpan, just underneath the skin line behind her upraised eyebrows:

Customer? Fat man okay? Safe? Got money? Cop? Enough to buy my drugs? Safe? You wanna date? Questions never asked me verbally, but I saw them. My dead eyes gave her no hint and we brushed past silently.

A new foreigner clerk was behind the Arco counter today. Fiftyish. Just off the boat look. So I asked him, "Does rate park for the alternating hours here?" Raised my eyebrows. Waited for an answer.

"Sorry?" he asked.

"Be rate parking on the alternating hours?" I repeated.

It was Finklish, a language I belligerently use on newcomers. Fuckin' L.A. management in its finite wisdom keeps insisting on putting non English speaking people behind service counters so that we all have to speak bastardized pig English to buy anything in this town, so I speak Finklish until the bastard manager has to be called over. They bug me. I bug them. Lately, though, the managers don't speak English either and I am thwarted.

Kimmie made me a fresh pot of Arconian coffee while I talked on my cell phone to Kim in Queens, New York about the tax return I had just completed for her late, late last night . . . after I had returned from driving callgirl Danette to her outcall appointment at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills . . . after I had left the three outcall hookers at the Pacific Coast Escort Agency where I gypsy cab (they were standing in a circle in the middle of the office with their panties down around their knees trying to decide who had the prettiest genitals when I got disgusted and left) . . . . . but before I had brushed the dazed teenaged hooker . . . and before I had shamefully screwed with a working man's attempt to do his job. After the sport and debauchery and farrago of cries, THAT'S when I do taxes. After.

Kimmie made me a fresh pot of coffee and offered me $25 to do her (slight pause here) taxes. I sense some sexy innuendo here.

Shuffled back to my motel room where I found an angry Monty (co-manager / maintenance man--Motel Marquis crack motel).

Monty lives in a perpetual state of road rage . . . on foot.

This time he's mad about Earl getting the boot. Mad that the owner, Mr. Kim, prefers to rent to drug dealers, hookers and pimps who have the cash to pay top dollar to do their nasty businesses out of the rooms.

Mr. Kim is not to hot on working people. Guess that's why he's let me stay here past the 29 Day Rule. I don't work, obviously, but I always have the cash for the daily/weekly rental. I'm his kinda guy.


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