Snake Oil and Pit Days: Random Scene #4

architecture-279225_1920Did you know, the ocean’s made of jello and the sky’s a blue whipped cream. And us, we’re just standing on some green mold that grew in-between the two. A sweet sandwich with a sick little center. Such a dessert was often seen at Hobert’s cafe, a truly horrible little place born from urban blight, malaise, and more pedestrian strains of disease. That’s where I was, one simple little Wednesday.

Now, for someone that knew the place was a rat’s ass in the stew away from being condemned once and for all, I could never get myself to stop going there. There’s something a little bit addicting about suffering, I guess it helps your days feel like they have pits and peaks. Real food tastes better after eating sludge, after all. This day, though, was a surefire pit. I had just been told I had about as much chance making in the music industry as the moon eating a bad souffle and killing us all in a food-poisoning induced supernova- and that the person thought that might just be the better option.

While I was sitting on my no-longer-cushioned barstool, just sulking in my own self-pity, I was approached by a real sleazeball.

“Niles, man, what’s got you in such a funk?”

I turned around. Taking a seat right next to me was Hank, a born con man that sold the kind of stuff that made snake oil look good. ‘Course, I didn’t really need to look, I knew it was him when his cologne burned my nose hairs off.

“Hank, what brings you here, besides a full wallet and an empty heart?”

“Talk about a sourpuss. I worked my ass off today, and what did you do, besides sulk around here?”

I shrugged. “Nothing at all, but what’s it to you?” Continue reading “Snake Oil and Pit Days: Random Scene #4”

Bus Talker : Random Scene # 2

Foreword: Feel free to skip this part, or read it after. This story is a bit of an odd duck, doesn’t quite feel like a whole story to me. It feels like it needs context. Sure, it’s only one scene, but I’ve got even shorter stories that feel like they’re complete, resolved. Thing is, how do you create context for what is essentially an act of emotional tourism? What would his personal life matter, if this just live entertainment for him? Maybe that guy really had an arc earlier or later in his life, but I struggle to see how this could be a part of it. It isn’t important enough for him.

OK, so I’m sitting by this guy on the bus right? He goes:

“There ain’t nothing in this world more important than yourself.”

This wasn’t the first time somebody sitting by me decided to start up a lecture, with me as the sole audience. I feel like you can’t call yourself a bus rider until you’ve had someone give you an uncalled-for diatribe. Sometimes the “lesson” is so poorly given and ineffectual that it’s fun to listen to, I mean, that’s the sadist in me speaking, but the sadist in me at least knows how to have a good time.

Anyway, like all diatribes, this one was obviously meant more for himself than it was for me. I could be a mannequin, and the guy’d get the same sort of ego-boosting-satisfaction. Or extreme regret, I had no idea, these people would always leave my life within the hour. People with their minds all chewed up with thoughts so powerful that they have to talk to total strangers gives away at least some degree of desperation, so I always listened politely. I’d hope for the same if I was in their mental state.

“Seriously, nothing at all.”

I tilted my head slightly, feigning a look of honest reflection.

Continue reading “Bus Talker : Random Scene # 2”