Salesman

Sitting at a desk with all my pens in order and all my various office supplies in their propers, I’ve wiped the desk clean a few times and I’m certain there isn’t a crumb or spec of dust on it. I’ve even leaned down for verification, eyeing the desk like a soldier sights a gun.

I nod with approval and look out onto Van Nuys Blvd.

I’m all set to sell Audis.

And some super thing, some beast that lives a bigger life than me seems to be slipping and slithering all over the showroom.

I’ve considered going to Gold Diggers on Santa Monica Boulevard where I can write the complete report.

Perhaps I’d see what D. saw before he went crazy (or uncrazy) and brought his metal typewriter in there and banged out poems. What I wouldn’t pay to know what he wrote on the edge of the stage. What I wouldn’t give to read those poems. A manic storm of humanity and skin and Kafka poured into his veins for him to bleed out. A man alone with his typewriter under his arms on a long walk from Koreatown with the world sticking itself to him and he splashes it back, in ink. In the first draft. Always just one draft, because there’s only one pass. One chance. Searching for a place to finally belong. Surely this place of lost souls must be such a place. A grimy strip joint in Hollywood where he dared to walk in and drop his metal down, order drinks and begin pages of prose. But even he was chased out and beaten inside and out where the strippers looked at him with confusion and sadness.

Then I wonder if maybe I’m not ready for Gold Diggers. I wonder if I would have the guts to walk in. I put the thought aside and consider writing papers for the boss: outline a new internet process. Perhaps suggest some areas of improvement for the CRM application. But they’ll say they’re working on it, like they always do.

So I stare at my computer at a tab called “employee dashboard.” You would expect such a tab to contain HR materials but this is a sales area, where the leads are stored. Clearly this is an application geared towards a corporate auto dealer. An industry whose management likes to monitor and report. One where the salesman is an employee. He’s not a super thing. He’s not a unique animal of mankind. He’s not a thing renting a room someplace. He’s not capable of gutting someone in an alley fight. He’s not even aware of Latin. The salesman needs something inside of him. Some boom inside. Something to grab onto and suck off for life. Something he can carve into his arms. Clarior hinc honos carus bestia.

Everyday on my way I to work, I wish I had a typer and could plop down and document all of Los Angeles – every block and street, for a living. But such a thing doesn’t pay the bills, so I must pass on the urges to pull over. I must keep going before I’m late and get written up.

Sometimes I sit in my chair making calls and emailing out quotes, and I think about sticking my head out the window on the next test drive like a child would. I don’t want to end up with a leathery face standing on some lot talking about what I used to do. So I wiggle in my chair and write prose for a few minutes between leads. Before someone comes looking for me, this super thing spinning and wiggling slithers up my leg like a worm pulled from fresh dirt and squeezes itself en mass around my middle, causing my chest to make terrific leaps up and down to breathe. It puts itself out in my mouth and I must gasp for new air to live on.

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