short story 2
Money was not the problem with Sam. He had plenty of money, and plenty of shit. He turned on his laptop with surround sound hooked up to it. The problem, Really, and this he knew in his heart of hearts, was he just gave too much of a shit; so he had to act like nothing phased him or he'd ball his eyes out. He cracked a carona and made a line from the bowl of coke he had. He went to lime wire and click on NIN "march of the pig" and closed his eyes to visions on nothingness.
Sam came from the seashore. A town with faded purple houses and a high unemployment rate. His faster was a mean alcoholic. His mother had shot her self in the head with a shotgun when Sam was too small to remember. Sam remembered when his father would sit him down at 12am when he got home from the bar. Sam a little tike of 7 or 8 with wide innocent eyes--his father would tell him the fairytales about his mother. How Sam's father told the story with gore and blood. He left no detail out. Sam would sit and listen till his father's head would slowly drift down towards the table. Till he was asleep and then Sam would sit in the couch and look at an old picture of his mother his father kept on the mantle.
"Sammy don't ever believe them when they tell you I did it."
Sam's father would tell him. And they did tell him. Sam never thought much of his father but he knew that the old man did not have the guts to take a life or he would of taken his own life. His Father died when he was about 18. S%AM WAS NOT SAD> A ridiculous amount of people showed up at the funeral, which was a surprise, it was also strange that the old man had left Sam a considerable amount of money, some how.
Sam went west, because he heard that other people did that and the ocean was blocking him the other way.
In Montreal he found it easy to work in sales. Having not many friends made it easy for him to not care about the people on the other end of the phone. In the years since he'd gone he'd not been back home. When he got the urge he drank to dull the supreme urge to go home…
Frank knew it was a mistake to call [Gwen but for some reason after a couple of glasses poured from a colt 45 in the attempt to be classy he had the hope that Gwen would want to talk TO HIM. Maybe be proud of him for finding work. The conversation was brief.
"Frank what do you want?"
… The line went dead…
Frank looked at his backpack and decided to pour it out on the floor. This was his life. This is what he's kept from the days with Gwen. Everything hurt him to look at. He put it all in his bag again. It was just a couple of note and scetch books he kept out. He looked at a couple of nudes that Gwen had posed for him in. Then he threw the books in the bag too and walks out slamming the door to his room.
He walked with the bag on his back. It was a nice evening. Unlike the humid summer. The breeze walking down to St. cats was more then welcome. It was cleansing, cathartic, sureal and integral to the mission at hand. He dropped the bag in the garbage and kept walking and did not look back.
On St. Catherine he looked around for electronic stores And FOUND One. He bought a ghetto blaster and some CDs and went back to his hotel room. He put in radio head and it was true and that was uplifting and poignant.
Sam and Frank got into the office about the same time. 'comebacks' was written on the black board. The boss, a portly man, not quite obese waddled around smiling an oddly charming smile. He looked as though he was about to break the sweat stained seams of his power suited his tie was loosened around his jowls. His balding head was gleaming under the reaming hair he had gelled and combed over.
"Okay!" The boss yelled in a voice that made Frank and even Sam, although he was use to it, jump out of their nice dress shoes. "Listen up. Some of you, a lot of you are new so you have to know how it works. Sammy boy tell the room what you got last week for sales…"
Sam smiled "15 sair."
"And the week before?"
"3" Sam coughed a tiny shy cough.
"3? Now what we can call that is a come back right? Now what's that about? One week 15 and the other week, the next fucking week 3? I'll tell you what it's about!" The boss started to shout his voice turning from smug to evil. He pointed a Sam accusingly. "People are rely on fucking comebacks! You're not a fucking rock star!" The boss turns to the black board and breaking the chalk as he writes, "fuck!" in front of "comebacks."
He turns from the Black board back to a sick looking Sam. "What that say?"
"It says fuck comebacks"
"Right." The boss looked like he felt bad about picking on Sam but as with all people with bad tempers he's justified the out burst to him self. "Just try to stay consistent is all." The boss walks back into his office. His employees are stunned for a moment and then they all slink back to their desk and the place lights on fire with sales pitches in the annoying voices that people use while telemarketing. One guy talks like scar face. One guy like an English foreign delegate.
"You understand that this is in your best interest miss Jeffers?"
"NO do NOT hang up! What do you mean you don't trust me?"
"Okay well put your glasses on and read me the bottom of your check from left to right."
"Mrs. Degael that's not an account that the 1800 number to the customer service department."
After a while of fraudulent telemarketing this is the symphony of life cascading in and out of your jaded ears and out of your sarcastic mouth. Hardening your heart and killing your soul.
Frank was having as some good weeks going into November at the scamway sales company. He'd recently gotten in touch with his parents, which he'd been afraid of doing. Money helped his confidence and once it was know to his parents in help their view of their son.
By this time Frank had moved from the core of down town to the plateau. In Montreal the plateau is known as a chic area where studio apartments are found and cozy bakery's and coffee shops are plentiful. He had a two bedroom and a courtyard. His landlord kept a garden in the courtyard. Not tha6t Frank cared that much for flowers and plant, but it sure made him feel rich. So did his DVDs computer and IPOD and flat screen TV. He felt like a 50's Virginia slims add, but a man and a joint in his mouth instead of a cigarette.
He decided that at the end of this particular week he go out for a beer with one of the girls from the office. Stephanie sat next to him at the office. He liked the way she dressed. She wore mini skirts and tank tops. She wore a studded dog collar and had a laugh that made him smile. She was infectious, but in a good way. She was evil to the client on the phone. She taunted them with this polished snob bitch voice that Frank was afraid was her real voice the first day.
Anyway they went to a bar near concordia that Frank remembered he liked from the days he had gone out with Gwen. The clash was on the sound system when the got in. They stay on the back patio both being smokers. It was getting cold for patios but the proprietors of this establishment had strategically placed heat lamps around the patio.
"So what about that speech the boss gave a couple weeks back?
“ Said Stephanie in regards to the;'comebacks' RANT.
"Man he was pissed. I feel bad for Sam he's done a lot for me."
"Yeah how you know him?" She said with a smile that could be described as crooked.
"We were friends in school." Frank said uneasily.
"That's funny…." And Stephanie was interrupted by a man siting at the next table.
"Excuse me beautiful? Oh you too were talking I am sorry." The drunk said. He had one of those mesh back hats that bums seem to love wearing for some reason. Dress pants that were soiled with some non identified brown substance and a toothless smile that would have been yellow if there were any teeth to be seen. There was an unpleasant smell emanating from the man as well.
Stephanie smiled. "It's okay/ What's your name?" Stephanie loved being nice to perverted old men. Being nice to those types, oddly enough, was the only way to get them to act decent Stephanie had found.
"Harold. Just got out of jail, sorry miss, um, just I've seen girls like you on TV, um, in there and I just wanted to see what ya were like, pretty!" He smiled. Frank could see that the old man was now trying to be sincere and decent. Then when Stephanie turned her head away from Harold stuck his tong out and flittered and fluttered it around.
"Very nice." Frank said with a laugh. Then lighting as smoke Frank asked. "Why were you in jail for Harold?"
"Did you do it Harold?" Stephanie said. It seemed bizarre to frank that they were speaking to him, this drunken ex-con. They addressed him with mock respect that Harold took as genuine.
"yup I did it."
"What do you want Harold?" Asked Stephanie now cold and indifferent and annoyed at the old ex-con drunk.
"Nothing madam, I'll leave you two alone." Then he got up and walked off with a cane. Ste3phani moved her chair closer to Franks.
"Lets make sure no one else tries and talks to us." She said. Frank kisses Stephanie on the patio surrounded by heat lamps and smokes dangling from their nic stained fingers as an old ex-con drunk hobbles away with his cane and hurt feelings.
Stephanie sits in a hammock chair cross-legged. There is some incense burning on the desk beside her. Iggy Pop and stooges Passenger is playing. Circling around to her back her drawing in pencil Harold siting on a bench. In her mind she thinks about sitting on a park bench with Frank and looking at the trees faintly blowing in the wind. The share a 40 and throw rocks at the water. Some street punks a little ways down the park pond are playing some hard core and one of them is yelling in the face of a passed out one.
Stephanie gets up and walks to the fridge. "Bored!" She shouts and opens the fridge door and takes out a 40 and pours a glass out of it. She shoves her free hand down her pants and sits in the hammock chair and sips the beer as fingering herself under her pants. "come on franky boy!" She moans--fade to black. Frank wakes up in the hotel and walks to the bathroom and for his erection to fall so he can take a leak.
Sam sits in the hotel room that’s now getting filled with beer bottles and random plastic bags from various deps around the hotel. Flush faced at the mirror--he's got a red coke nostril nose. Hair is long and unkept in a wifebeater he has a 20 rolled up in his hand. Snorts a line that he's made on the sink.
There's snow falling when he leaves the hotel with an over coat and a scarf thrown around his neck. He sneezes and wipes the snot up with his leather-gloved hand. "Fucking late…" he whispers with a shutter. He pushes open the large air pressured door to the metro. The wall of white noise comes to his ears. He makes his way to the pay phones and drops his quarter in the slot.
"SW enterprises" says the perky voice of the hot secretary.
"Hey it's Sam. No gonna make it in today."
"Yeah." Sam closes his eyes like a person on the phone with an unreasonable fool.
"Okay I'll let them know."
Sales were down. Sam was too strung out to go into work. Sam got a percentage of every sale that a rep he brought in got. He bought a 40 and started to walk around the ice covered dead world of winter Montreal. The smell of bagels was coming from a bakery and the there was a laundry matt next to that, which blew hot air out of vents. Sam had seen homeless street gang punks hanging around there and saw that there was a couple of the kids there now so he went up.
"What do you want." Shouted a young man with a purple vibrant Mohawk.
"You want a job?"
"It's freezing out side don't you think that making a bit of money would be a good idea. You can be against the world As Much as you like but don't you think that it would be wise to care enough about life to take care of your girlfriend?” The young mans girl friend was asleep in behind him with a small puppy-dog that curled up with he.
The you punks eyes glinted with human meaning, existence, with every bit of understanding and Sam thought he had gotten through to the guy. The punk smiled and then punched Sam in the face. The next thing Sam remembers is the dog barking and a girl yelling "facist fascist!" as Sam got booted. He got up and started to limp away.
"Sam's acting like a physco." Said Oleg. Oleg's face was hard and he had two different colour eyes one blue and one was brown.
"I see where you get that oleg…" Frank said. Frank had been avoiding Sam for weeks now. One night Stephanie had gone out to the bar with Sam and Sam had acted out of control. Saying rude and uncalled for shit about stephani, shamelessly hitting on her infront of Frank. "Why you talking to me about this?"
Leg smiled. "Because you are gonna pull him out of this."
Frank did not know what to say. He said nothing. He'd try. It was the least he could do for Sam. Sam had gotten him the job. Now frank was doing good had a nice place a girl. Life was good--it was sad and ironic that now Sam was the one that was going under.
Frank slides across the street. Starbucks is across the street. He stood in line listening to thedigitally remastered Bob Dylan that was play and being sold at the counter. Something seemed wrong about that, but Frank had more important things on his mind. Frank was not looking forward to the heart to heart with Sam. But he felt he owed Sam.
"fucker!" Frank was kicked from behind. He turned to see sephani with her heavenly smile. . She was such a bad ass. Frank could not help but beam over the fact that this gorgeous girl was, what?, trying to physically attack him.
"hey sexy what's up?" Frank said with his most confident voice he could put on. She had on a mini skirt some fish nets a red leather jacket. Her hair was red and yellow stranded.
"Boy?" she said "you avoiding me?"
"what's up then?" She actually sound as though she really was afraid that Frank was a voiding he r which was not the case.
"I have to talk to Sam."
"Can I come?"
"Sure if you want." They got their coffee and left Starbucks.
"Sad about Dylan eh?"
"Yeah I know…"they said as they left…..
rush hour on the metro. In the winter puke inducing. Frank and Stephanie seemed to glow in light of each other, like movie stars among laymen bitchs'.
"What do you really think about what we do?" Stephanie said in surprise weariness.
"Cock sucker es-tee" said a dirty man with a shit covered bible. Literally it had feces on it.
Straight faced Frank said "me I need the money."
"It's not honest."
"Praise the lord. The lord shall forgive!" Said the bible man.
"There always seems to be a crazy old man…" Says Stephanie.
Frank smiled. They sat in self-conscience highschool silence.
Sam's room door was slightly open when Stephanie and Franks got to the hotel. The velvet underground was playing lightly in the back ground from one of the other rooms. Sam was on his bed. Blood was all over the place. He had slit his wrist. Frank and Stephanie closed the door behind then. Frank put his hand on Stephanie's shoulder.
"At least this saves me an awkward conversation."
"Is he dead?" Stephanie said with a sad zeal.
"I hope so." Frank said. "Hope so."
Frank and Stephanie fall into an embrace in the room scattered with beer bottles and coke Baggies. There is a note on the bedside table. They stand leaning against each other for a time. Sam is dead. Life goes on.