Posts tagged ‘character’

August 17th, 2010

Ken and the Barbie Ryans

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I gotta tell ya about Kyle. I’ve mentioned bits about him, but he’s been kinda central to shit that’s happened over the last little while. Before I do, there’s somethin’ about me I should let you in on.

I usually shine pretty bright. Then there’s times when I go off like a signal flare in an elevator car. Then it gets real dark, and the world drapes down pretty cold. My therapist said I’m like a firefly and people feed off me. Ever since she said that, I’ve had dreams about moths that corner me in a garden somewhere. They beat up against me all violent and muffled. I’m like a flame or a porch light to them, and they look so wicked evil, but they’re soft and the patterns of their wings are perfect and complex so that I want them there. But then there gets to be too many of them and they go feral and you just have to go widit. Their snouts uncurl and lash at me, snuffin out my light. They take it all and I’ve got nuthin. Then I usually wake up sobbing. That’s when I phone Carole. Not just after the dreams, but when I incandess and I’ve got nothin left. When I shine my light, people feed off me and then they move on and I have to recharge. Doesn’t happen often, ’cause I usually shine pretty bright.

Anyway, this last one was bad and Carole suggested I retell the happenings that got me there. At first I was amped up about it, but I’ll tell ya, it’s been a bit tough since San Diego. I don’t apologize for nuthin, but I feel bad that I’ve left y’all hanging. So, here goes…

About Kyle: like I mentioned, I met him at the agency¹ when Spiro was floggin ad real estate on the boy’s flanks. Spiro’s got an angle on the next Olympics and is backing a bid for Capoeira being a demonstration sport. Turns out Kyle got dialed into a local club and is pretty good. He’s the furthest thing from a Brazilian. He’s just raw surfer, all abs and shoulders. When I met him he was just standing in the reception area, sporting a budgie smuggler (‘cuz he was demoing the ad tats), looking around, kinda bewildered. When I cut out of there, I had no expectation of ever seeing him again – even though he suggested hanging out sometime. But we did run into each other later that night.

I started out by meeting some of my sisbros after work (a couple of them have normal jobs) in some cigar bar downtown. We’d gathered a bunch of droolers, brokers and sales hacks mostly, and they kept the rounds coming. Who knows how many cosmopops had been slung when Kyle loomed up at the end of the bar. I didn’t catch him at first, but my bud Carolina picked up on him. Well, anyway, we ran into each other under a lamp by the coat check and I lay one on him to see if I’d like it. I guess it was okay ‘cuz he rolled us out to a samba club, a short taxi hop away. I remember there were too many of us piled in and the driver was railing on us, but he ended up going with it. I think maybe we split the difference and shed a hanger-on.

So, the club was wild, loud and sweaty. I kept it rolling on the dance floor, slipping from one kool jag to the next. I lost Kyle for a while, but he showed again when I had some spunky jovem doin’ my leg in the back bar. By that time I was swimming pretty deep and he got us out of there. The cool air hit me like a bale of iced cotton, and there’s not much more I remember until we woke up at my place the next AM.

I say, woke up, but wasn’t really waking and I certainly wasn’t getting up. We rolled a bit, but I can’t say I did him justice. He was talking, but I wasn’t caring. I glimpsed him snapping back into his banana hammock, scratching himself in the sunlight which just made my brain over expose, and he was gone.

We started hooking up a few times later. Still, I wasn’t sure quite how we fit together – which is ok, ‘cuz he’s got his thing and I’ve got mine. Pussy (Fractal) seems to like him. He fronts a band called Ken and the Barbie Ryans that gigs around town. They’re kinda cool, sorta poppie edgey, and the scene gets pretty raucous. Not the kinda thing I would’ve sought out if he weren’t in it but, hey, gotta keep your horizons open. Anyway, that was how we started. Things got complicated after that.


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August 4th, 2010

Greezy Palms

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spiro pantakis

K, about Spiro. He’s big in my world. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Don’t know why I’m feeling this after what he put me through these past couple of weeks, but I get this way from time to time – and knowing more about him might help somehow.

I can’t remember how we met; that is, I don’t remember meeting. He came on the scene that night after we were three bars deep. I was out with a pack of hangarounds, and people were drifting in and out; so, I don’t know what drink he drifted in on, but I only remember him as a shadow in the back of a van and as a strobe frame with some goons in a club in Railtown. Somehow (I wasn’t going to ask) he had my phone for three days before I tracked him down.

There are two things about Spiro that make him stand out for me. He can never remember names, so he uses word associations. One day, a couple weeks after we “met”, he started calling me “Twigs” for close to a week. I honestly think he forgot my name – or he couldn’t be bothered to think. If I ever told him that, I know what he’d say: “Yeah, yur right; sometimes thinking slows the brain down and you start fuckin’ things up.”

Spiro’s an animal. Sometimes he’s like a pet or a guard dog, but you have to always remember he’s a beast, and beasts have a funky natural code that doesn’t give a shit about what you’d rather do. You have to either suck up, shut up or man up if you wanna deal.

He doesn’t care who he does it to either – the name thing. He just barks out whatever is lingering on the margins of his subconscious. One day he met my therapist (yeah, there’s somebody I talk to sometimes, and she wanted to meet him). She’s got a lot of visible piercings. We were all sitting in a diner and he says, “Hey, Tacklebox, pass the HP wouldja?” Things like that. He thinks filters will stunt his performance. Sometimes the names he gives don’t make sense, but they do to him, and they start bending your understanding to fit the name – not the other way round – like when he called the mayor “Boneyard”. Just being there at that function Spiro altered the dynamic in the room (he’s good at that), but when he called out, “So, Boneyard, when’s yur gang gonna annex the intermodal land?”, he owned the room. None of the suck-ups knew how to pick up the ball, let alone carry it. I didn’t even know what he was talking about, and we blew out of there shortly after, but that’s a taste of the Furball’s social graces.

The other thing was when he told me that the best handjob he ever got was from a one-armed woman in the washroom of the Cleveland airport. He and I were with one of my sisbros, Janine. We were dangling from the arm rail in a crowded subway car at the time. His theory went like this: “You know when you lose one of your senses – like seeing or hearing – they say the others get stronger? Same thing when you lose an arm. She was phkn awesum.” I remember just listening to the clack-clackety-clunk; clack-clackety-clunk, and watching the ad frames flash on the tunnel wall.

Getting back to our meeting, when I followed the trail of my phone (my buds and I were all on myCrumbs back then), it led to a greasy spoon called Bryan’s where Spiro holds court over breakfast most mornings. When I walked in he looked me up and down like a used car, grinned, scratched himself, reached in his vest, pulled out my phone and said, “I can use a girl like you.”

I said something lame like, “This girlz not 4 using.” And he said, “Zactly. Sit down.”

Truth was I needed cash so much I could smell it, and Spiro’s cheap cologne smelled a lot like cash. I sat and he started dialing me in.

Spiro’s always running deals. He’s hooked into promotions, insider mineral plays, off-shore merch trading. As I recall, that morning it was all about a tanker load of denim seconds bobbing in int’l H2O. He didn’t spill all his beans – he never does, and the ones he does aren’t usually the main crop – but he dropped me a hun up front to do some promotions for him. I had to wear a sex invaders croc-o-thong and a plastic sword in a convention booth for some shitty game that he was managing. It blew, but the hun and the one that followed at the end worked for me. I’ve been under his management and employ ever since. Like I say, when it works…


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July 21st, 2010

Up for Air

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Okay, this is all messed up. I’ve managed to skip Spiro’s traces for the last few days. That’s never a good thing, except we didn’t actually have any specific plan together. Still, he’ll come down on me like a load of wet felt – especially when he finds out I was hanging with his boy Kyle. That’s a whole other story that I’ll get to. Still sifting the murk. But Spiro’s gonna twist it that us going AWOL was my fault. I don’t see it that way, and he’s gonna have a screamer on his hands when he tries it, but I’m feelin a bit delicate this morning, and I’ve got other things to deal with.

I’ve stopped off at my place for a shower and a fresh kit. Even Fractal seems on edge, poor dear. Well, I can’t help you this morning, Dude. Spiro’s been pinging me like a psycho, and I’ve been trying to track down Minder to get him to feed me some review material on that GPS tracker. Minder’s last text said he’d do it, but experience tells me I’ll have to soften his technobab with some human connection. Spiro won’t know the diff, but he’ll howl when the piece kicks back from the editor. So, as always, I cover mine by covering his. Ain’t that the way of bidneh?

This is all spinning too fast. I need some Marie time to pull this together. Ooop, there’s a ping from my sysbro, Cheree. Maybe she’s got clues as to my whereabouts over the past few nights. I shipped Kyle off as distraction flak for Spiro. Meatball promised to ping me if Furball has me staked out. K, gotta run to Minder. Gawd, my head.


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