Salesman Recharge Station

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 by Dave

Saturday night, I’m sitting across from the GM and desk manager. My backpack is strapped to my back. My mind is racing to think of any sort of dealer that may be different than the one I’m sitting in. Is there another place for me? Perhaps I should request a transfer to the Porter station, buy an 80’s retro boom box, listen to music all day and wash cars like they’ve never been washed before.

Maybe even start a side business in the Porter station and call it a Salesman Recharge Station. I would offer seats, ice cold beverages, cigars, poke holes in an old hose and have misting tubes running around the station to cool salesman. Maybe play inspirational clips from Boiler Room and Glengarry Glen Ross. Build a small library of books to ensure salesman are nailed down properly and stuff this library with Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, and even Albert Camus. Since we’re in Los Angeles, perhaps I should add some extra fortification of John Fante and Charles Bukowski.

Some wild new species of salesman would emerge and sprout inside such a recharge station. Old-school salesman wouldn’t dare walk near it.  They wouldn’t feel right stepping near it. And in the sun, near the grimy and oily porter station, the misters would create one large rainbow sizzling off the water. Inside, you would see shadows sitting like newly appointed kings, hear a new sort of laughter, a new sort of salesman rumbling around in there. Discussions and disagreements would break out not over sales vouchers and who stole another man’s customer, but rather how Henry Miller said, “peace comes through being, not having.” Yes indeed, a new breed. The most horrific type imaginable to a General Manager would emerge in this Salesman Recharge Station.

And I would be the mechanic to the misters station. Making consistent adjustments to water levels, inspecting tubes, and keeping things organized.

General Managers wouldn’t know what to say to this crew during Friday sales meetings. They wouldn’t even feel right addressing them. Some GMs would tear down mister stations. Some would fire the whole lot of them. They would set these animals loose on the streets where they might build base camps on Brand Blvd. Where they would wage war. Where the GMs of VW, Subaru, Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan give elaborate speeches and issue firm warnings to any of their salespeople caught in Base Camp. They would use their influence to pressure city officials to dismantle them due to code violations.

Some may wonder how I managed to end up sitting here on Saturday night.

My last customer threw his chair at me because of what my managers told me to say to him. I tried to tell the managers it wasn’t such a good idea to suddenly tell him his payment was $42 higher for no good reason. I tried to plea with my manager, but I couldn’t find his eyes. They had no color, no white parts, just pitch black buttons evenly stuck above their cheek bones in a very exact fashion. His hair was flawless. His suit had no wrinkles. His pocket stuffed with a massive roll of bonus cash.

He then said to me, “You know, it seems to me like you have sympathy for the customer.” As if he had had uncovered me. Had yanked the blanked off me and tried to inform the town I was indeed not a sufficient sort of man.

He then sat back feeling satisfied with his accusation. His head held up high. His mouth looking like he was chewing on cud. Nodding to himself. Pointing his nod at all corners of the room where massive marker boards displayed monthly sales, daily appointments, and daily sales giving him all the guts in the world.

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Binghamton City Limits

Posted in Fiction with tags on August 19, 2010 by Dave

Sitting inside to mouth of a whale. Watching him open up, and swallow more people while letting as few escape as possible. The driver seemed to give me a dirty look from his big mirror. I could feel his foot push the accelerator to the floor. The son of a bitch was trying to get away with his load, firing all the cylinders down Chenango St.

I’d save us over and over again from being taken away and over the cliff of the world. I knew what he was up to and the world for me ended up near the train depot. I had yet, at this age, to know where Binghamton ended.

Prizefighter

Posted in Fiction on August 15, 2010 by Dave

Creeping out
of a small hole and
weighing in
at about
one
whole stick of butter

Poking at the traps
laid out in front of him
then
slapping all 4’s down
with purpose
to
run and slide
on the marble
making music with compact-sized
taps

Until he comes
across a spot
where the moonlight
shone all the way down
to the floor
and for a few moments
he stops
and looks
wiggles off a flea or two
and
when least expected
he
squeaks
in it.

Airfare

Posted in Fiction on August 15, 2010 by Dave

Above the boulevards, naked
creatures, hundreds of them,
shaking the air around them and
making small jumps, peeking from
every angle, watching nothing like
we watch

A society of brown
feathers, little eyes, fast
uncatchable movements, enjoying
the grass spots, grab in their
beaks whatever they want and
bring it back someplace.

What a wonderful mission.
She reminds me of them.

Internet Manager Reviews his own Dealership

Posted in Dealer with tags on August 15, 2010 by Dave
I give my owners 3-stars for overall performance. They came in yesterday looking like they’ve never smiled, like senior ranking prisoner of war camp officials, they didn’t even walk in, they seemed to have simply emerged, to have somehow sprung up from underneath Van Nuys Blvd. 

They examined the showroom, pulling on car door handles, looking for smudge marks, messy desks, improperly placed phones, unorganized brochures, and then one found a piece of paper inside a car, the type of paper put in by the porters who wash cars. He yanked it out of there as if he were saving a kitten from certain death and shook it at the GM, as if the paper was official evidence he had lost control of the entire operation. That somehow a tangible amount of sales could be deducted from the dealership due to that piece of paper.

The GM put his hands up in defense but there was little he could do. Then they asked him why two of the cars on the showroom were locked. He had no answer. He spun around in his business shoes and told the receptionist to call someone to have the doors unlocked.

Then they went away as quickly as they came in.

This was the 2nd such inspection I’ve seen. I wonder if they will ever say hello.

Car Salesman

Posted in Fiction on July 26, 2010 by Dave

Your skin and clothes have become the same color as concrete, and people don’t even notice you anymore.

It started like a whisper inside. Harmless enough at first. Like a mouse living in your apartment. As soon as you forget about him you see the little fatty scrambling and wobbling along the wall. Sooner or later, the little mouse grows into a raccoon that occasionally sits on your chest while you sleep.

I hope, dear sir, that such a thing isn’t rumbling around you now.

I wished this morning that I didn’t see the blonde girl sitting in the window of the hotel La Mirage with her hand tucked under her chin watching the rain fall on Hollywood. My work shoes weren’t holding up very well in the puddles, and every few minutes I would find myself in battles to maintain possession of my umbrella against the wind on the narrow sidewalk, and as far as I could tell I was the only pedestrian around.

I kept thinking about her, and imagined that her veins carried not only blood, but novels, and paragraphs, and sentences, and little men were marching up and down them with their typewriters, and official-looking black suits with hats, and they could be mistaken for FBI men but they are writers dressed to type a motherfucker out and give birth to some master prose. Something that seems to tell all of time that we were here and we were made of more than organs, and machines, and that we looked for everything.

Inside and outside.

A full investigation was made

Nothing considered scrap, nothing re-written or revised or buried or burned.

And I wanted to let her know all of this, and toss my umbrella away and make a sign in the cold rain to tell her all of this, and at the very least let her know that I saw her, and I had hope for her

but I’d surely appear crazy making any such attempt

but then again maybe it would have saved both of us.

and then perhaps she would run out the hotel door and sprint across the street in her bare feet, stop a few steps short of me, catch her breath and look right at me, and swallow me whole, never to let me out alive again.

and I’d be a writer employed by her

working on her veins

and fully documenting her

on official business.

But I must remind myself I am a mere internet car salesman. And I do apologize.

104 in San Fernando Valley

Posted in Fiction on July 15, 2010 by Dave

Last night I rode home on my scooter through a horizontal cut through the San Fernando Valley between Van Nuys and North Hollywood listening to New Order. The night was exceptionally hot and no piece of the valley is cooler than any other piece. Nothing salvaged. Every 7’11 parking lot was hot and the walls still cooked from the 104 degree day. You hoped that when the sun finally sets you would have some relief but there is none. It’s like like jumping in the ocean only to find its warm like bath water so I  rode my scooter as fast as I could down Magnolia hoping to get as much air in me as possible. Up my sleeves, through my button shirt, inside my helmet, on my face, up my pants legs. It was all hot but I felt alive as everyone should.