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Dog Days

 

Eeny

 

The heat adds a layer, a weight that has no number.

Tired becomes a more accepted excuse for everything.

So when someone asks an on-the-nose question in a meeting and I have to take more than three seconds to compile a multi-pronged answer, it just wonít do.

There are some things I need to know right now, and some things I can definitely afford to forget.

Rearrange your thinking cap, flip everything on its head - Ďobtaining time, this might take some dataí - is the quick Ďdone by five if thatís your measureí that can be repackaged through the markets as a meme-growth-stock and I can be backshorting it by the time Iíve landed on the Spanish coast.

Checking my phone as Iím holding onto the railing with one hand, even though two is technically required on this automated section that is taking me through browning burbs and flashing red city centres.

Despite the speed I pay a premium to keep my connection firm and robust, so there is growing anger inside of me and my investments as I am repeatedly told that the network is down, down, all the way down.

This will not do.

You get to a certain point and you see that everything is at risk of going down like a line of dominos and making sure that doesnít happen is why youíre hereÖand why you deserve the big bucks, no matter what kind of rabble argument will be made.

Even when I arrive at the jet port itís spurting download rates and bleeding out battery power.

Hardware in the heat.

Always in these supposedly perfect storms of course.

Could do it the old fashioned way, skip the Arranger.

Call around, hop in a car and yell out the window as we go past the downer-hoods.

You got psychological space, right? You arenít using it for anything worthwhile? Are you really going to need all your childhood memories this weekend?

I would be sweating buckets every time I roll down the window because goddamns itís hot.

But that must be the way. Some things just canít be done as well inside, even in one of the biomes that can be just like the great outdoors but set to a much more reasonable temp.

Because my dog can definitely tell the difference.

I donít like being further than a two minute walk from manís best friend, and through the right connections I can technically classify as support animal dependent.

My wife and I raise purebred sheepdogs out of the city, but we arenít too discerning, thereís two or three wonderful mutts we have up there, too.

My favourite right now is the six year old lab retriever by my side as I dial up the guy who is going to help me get through the meeting that will determine just what grade of steak Iíll be eating through the winter (and which bones my furry associate can gnaw on).

He can get me the finest containers in the Sprawl, the sort that wonít get their brains blown out during the three days I need their craniums to stay in one piece. Doesnít even lock Ďem up either, letís them free range around their neighbourhood, I can follow around the tag on the app.

A link that is more than just skin, bone, and brain tissue, because he or she knows what I might not want to share with any loved one or co-worker. Good luck trying to unload that onto a competitor or suspicious spouse, though. The Arranger keeps a close eye and can pop a key vein remotely at any time it looks like their employees are going rogue. And of course they donít know whatís been downloaded into the containerís head.

But it wonít even be our little secret into the long red sunset, because after the work is done and the proper data is returned to sender, the only ones who will know everything is myself and the canine at my feet who is panting amicably half listening to my convo.

Still have to keep that little bit of skin five cents behind the ear completely clear to tap the pad, which always gives me a psychosomatic jolt.

Being drained like a pool at the end of the season. Hours and days briefly disappearing, just the knowledge you did it on your ID.

Always a risk, but I want that lobster bisque.

Iím ready.

 

 

Meeny

 

When a whale calls you best pick up.

I donít even bother with names when they show up on the phone, itís just a big fish on the line.

(Yeah, I know whales ainít fish)

Most newbies talk about this like theyíre trying to kill a guy, which I mean, if thatís theyíre goal, wrong number, goodbye, thatís a mess of different trouble, Iím hanging up and hacking into my own phone to scrub that call from ever coming through.

(I got a guy who taught it to me as favour for something)

Now doing this kind of storage transfer isnít illegal in the way the people that paid attention in school would say it is, but itís red tape that can really kick you in the performance review and bonus qualification rounds.

Like drugs in sports, you just canít be obviously stupid or stupidly obvious about it.

You donít have the time or the capacity to remember everything you want, but you do have the time and capacity to farm out a solution if medical technology safely permits (and Ďsafelyí in the sense there are obvious risks, just like an investment that can also strike it hot).

I got competitors who take that meditative, harmonious approach, where you play up Ďclearing your headí like itís a trip to the spa. I donít mind catering to the Type-A business crowd. A lot more high strung teeth grinders, but at least they pay quickly and reliably.

Their temporary co-workers, though, the guys I got on my books, is a whole other sob story. One poor, need money-so-fucking-bad-even-sex-work-canít-cover-quick-enough sap is as good as another, right? Whatís the difference?

Heh.

It makes all the difference in the world.

If it was as easy as the big spenders wanted it to be, Iíd be out of a job.

They donít got the time for that, they donít got the time for a lot of things. I work for a lot of pricks who treat their horses better than their spouses or subordinates.

But Iím not like that.

I got a list. Sure everyone who does any sort of business has a list, but I treat my contacts like family. I break bread with them regularly so they can give me names and numbers of those needing to bankroll a found weekend or feeling the squeeze at the end of the month. A real sunburning month.

Get in my car in my garage, get out of in the car in the buildingís underground parking garage.

I canít remember the last time Iíve been outside, and seeing people sweat in the street and practically throw themselves into any sliver of shade, I got no rush to experience it firsthand this summer.

But I do worry about what the climate is doing to my employees.

I donít even call Ďem Ďcontainersí, thatís so cheap and I donít do cheap.

I try to keep Ďem separate, based on certain gigs.

These are contract negotiation guys.

These are the medical school exam guys.

These are the lines of crypto-code guys.

These are the backup lines of crypto-guys, 15% discount, you know how it is and if you donít know how it is then I canít help you.

There is always a bit of hype that can flip the rates at the last minute.

And the real pros and know it and prepare accordingly.

You can put a price on anything, until you canít, and then you can again.

I got a trick knee to know when to gather up the rest of the best.

Iíve got a reputation to maintain.

Nothing is one hundred percent but no need for unnecessary risks, either.

Safety is up there among my top priorities.

Havenít had a seizure or aneurysm since weíve switch to the double lattice silicone.

No one bleeds out who stays calm and comes in clean.

Iíll turn away people who are clearly fucked up from feet to forehead, even if they were my best guys two weeks ago.

You donít come to the office if you canít go green for the spit and swab.

Themís the breaks.

And Iím looking for a break in the heat wave because since thatís when the whales want to take a load off their minds in more ways than one, and I need fully functioning guys who wonít go down with sunstroke.

My conversation with the client is quick and to the point but I can sniff the desperation hidden behind every curt word, even as they pet their fucking dog in the middle of it. A round of applesauce for keeping it together, itís gotten you this far, clearly.

Being in transit makes it hard, and they almost apologize for it, saying that they Ďacknowledge the challenges and appreciate me going the extra mile and a half.í

All I heard was that I could charge more for Ďconsulting feesí and Ďadditional maintenance servicesí.

Made three calls at the same time and the job goes to the first guy that picks up. Nice luck, itís a face I kinda recognize and doesnít look that doped up at all.

I give him a two sentence rundown and a chance to line up his receiver with the side of his head before asking everyoneís favourite question:

Ready?

 

Miney

 

Look at me.

Look at meeeeeeeeee.

I donít need you to remember youíre not even supposed to remember yeah yeah but at least look once all right?

Treat me more than a still selfieÖ

He called but I was busy because itís busy sometimes, sometimes all the time, and I was pushing my way out of the line because I was only in it for somebody else who will owe me big in a good big way two sunsets from now.

But getting this gig is bigger than the guy who would owe me big if I stayed in line, so now come on answer, come on notice the call, come on look at me.

I wish my ring wasnít whatever tone he made it on his phone, I wish it was me talking to him already, me talking about myself, about what I can do.

I can get it done.

I have a schedule.

You have that schedule.

Four days to be ready get it done, three days to get fucked. And day one back from fucked is a half throw away, but thatís gotta be that way. You almost hope you donít get a call on that first day back but if you do you donít say no, you gotta take it, you gotta be that fucking guy for the fucking guy no matter how shit youíre still feeling.

And Iím feeling it now.

Was real good stuff, was on my back in seconds watching the ceiling ripple and my muscles didnít know nothiní but love-cum-love. In the early years the hours lasted for days but now itís like fucking minutes before the shit - even the good shit - wears off.

And once it does I bail on the room, no point paying an extra hour for these pods if Iím not a flying orgasm like I should be.

Instead Iím a walking headache and itís half past ballsweat out.

And five minutes out from that Iím standing in the coupon line for me and Meech, because nothing ever changes.

Until everything must go, and I seen it go right out their fucking eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Rivers of blood like that biblical shit.

They say it doesnít happen, that it has everything to do with whatever the fuck the Ďcontainerí was doing in their free and personal time, but thatís bullshit.

Thatís when the phone rings because of course when start I railing against it all, it all wants something from me.

I bail on the line and donít feel bad about Meech, he was always going to be the friend that would have your back until he got that face and then it was countdown to when he was going to go through your pockets when you were changing pants.

Last week I swore he was even following me, sniffing around for any hint of the coupons the last time I stood for the humble pie handout.

Everyone gripes the coupon lines but everyone helped fuck the digital distribution over by hacking it mercilessly.

From up on penthouse high it was fucking Ďtoldjaí on all the news clips.

They think youíve always been like this.

That youíve never tried eating grass fed beef or reclining a soft shape recliner.

Well Iíve seen the other side of the shining mountain and itís covered in turds.

Theyíre just as scummy as addicted as everyone else.

They have the same excuse as me and Meech and Jane and Gluck and every other stupid world face:

It always gets broken and it was never my fault.

But here we are, picking up and smiling to my occasional boss and agreeing to fucked up things about brain transfer.

For good goddamn money.

You can tell some people just became dumps for the same whales.

But not me, not yet.

Lock into the visor. Hold onto every single symbol dancing across the glass.

The Ďprove your a humaní test is about the alphabet.

Great, drive the nails in.

Sometimes a ghost of a human.

Sometimes itís easier that way.

And because of the fucking heat the powerís browniní and the connection rate is dipping like my vitals.

I donít need this.

Fuck it.

I want this.

Fuck Ďem.

But yeah.

Iím ready.

 

Moe

Woof.

 

 

END.

The hand of fate is caught in the car door of destiny.