WAS CALLED IN TO BE TOLD THAT I WILL NO LONGER BE NEEDED. Reason being: I had been dishonest about my past employment history. That and my online presence was not a fit with the company’s image and reputation, particularly the part of my being a porn shop clerk, strip club manager and documenting it publically online for curious and surely perverted minds, some literary others simply perverted.
So there was very little I could say to that. I didn’t deny anything. He produced a copy of my resume. I looked at it. I pointed out that I did put down those places on my resume but I just didn’t go into particular detail as to what types of products and services I was involved with or who the 30 or so independent contractors were that I was supervising. Yes, they were strippers; yes, I specialized in the maximization of profit in selling plastic dicks and rubber vaginas; you know, typical retail stuff. Oh, you mean these aren’t skills that are relevant with your Japanese-style photo booth retail shop geared to young girls and families? You don’t say!
Someone at work had tipped him off to how much of a scumbag I apparently was. They had sent him links to my stuff on redfez.net and my Facebook. Nothing crazy, which I have been known to post on a regular basis, such as blowing up government buildings ...
Nonetheless, I begged for my job.
I was scared, broke. I had $14.60 in my bank account. My court fees and credit card debt were piling up. Living without a stable income had put me thousands of dollars in debt, each swipe of my credit card sending me into a panic thinking about how the hell I was going to afford paying it off, and how long it was going to take (years, plural, more than one; with or without a job the bill came every month).
But the boss wasn’t having it. Someone at work had tipped him off to how much of a scumbag I apparently was. They had sent him links to my stuff on redfez.net and my Facebook. Nothing crazy, which I have been known to post on a regular basis, such as blowing up government buildings, praising incorrectly-labeled “terrorist groups” like the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia
, fanning the flames of an insurrectionary Marxist movement, etc. Nothing like that. No, instead, I said something about once working at a porn shop and now managing the photo booth shop at the mall.
What a trip, random, something unexpected, this was my underlying point.
Hell, before that, I was a tutor. And none of the parents reported me to the authorities. (And I’m pleased to say all the kids were safe and sound before, during and after my sessions with them, maybe slightly politicized or even radicalized.) But whatever the reason, my fellow coworker or coworkers decided I wasn’t fit enough to work at the shop.
In moments like these, when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan, I get desperate and more and more things in the universe rally against me. I am not a pessimist. In fact, I consider myself an optimist, thinking that it’s really only a matter of time before something good happens. But I’m not blind, or lobotomized. When shit happens, I won’t deny the rancid odor.
After dropping off my girlfriend for work the next morning, the very next morning after being fired, the hood of my car started emitting a huge plume of white billowing smoke. “As it should be,” I said to the imaginary things that controls and ultimately rains shit upon me in shitty situations. I pulled over and inspected the engine. Not oil. Not transmission fluid. But water. This is not as bad, I thought. The radiator looked intact. A simple hose repair, I thought. I drove it over to her place and decided to get back in bed and sleep for an hour.
After waking up I checked it out. Sure enough a hose had busted. In a few hours I fixed it. Then the price of gas went up to nearly $5. I decide on using my bike more regularly.
I biked up on Vermont Avenue toward Los Angeles City College. I started thinking about my debt, my family—specifically my unemployed father, my struggling mother (the only one working in the household), a younger brother’s budding experimentation with drugs and alcohol, the economy, the fact that for the most part I have been unemployed or underemployed since March 2011 (over a year).
We don’t need wars to rally against. We don’t need tyrannical world dictators. We don’t need disappearing family members. We don’t need union organizers or community activists hanging from tree branches or murdered and stuffed down in dried-up wells. We have enough developed, industrialized misery to break any human being. We have enough poverty, crime and profound unfairness to crush any man or women through the daily and weekly routine of full-time, joyless employment. We have enough developed, industrialized and internalized oppression that has made its home in every waking, breathing, struggling and existentially beaten-down human being in this country to be sufficiently terrorized for a lifetime.
The Last Days of Los Angeles # 9 continues...