I Wish It Were Federal Friday
Robert W. Stanford
With nothing more than a glance across an empty desk I can see what intricate games she may be in the mood for, seemingly guided by the phases of the moon, they are only random to me when I don’t look up into the night sky to keep track of the astronomically astrological force that guides the ocean’s waves.
Familiarity breeds habits of escape. Especially at a time such as this, as my glace reveals who her real friends are. Me.
We use to sit closer, without the empty desk between us. She didn’t want me to go, nor did I as much care to, yet by the same worry and fret that had caused me to lose track of the paths of the moon, so too did I need to position myself for a secluded power base in the midst of Bad Moon irony.
Trading names like bubble gum cards, ours was the language of twins. Others that listened could not quite understand as we exchanged names, like machine gun fire – the ammunition jacketed in the details of a payment history, telephone record and residency report. Perfectly, we complimented each name by providing the date the other lacked. We had momentum. Ah, that’ synchronicity.
What better job could one have, then be able to work n a environment that is all too easily transformed into a Soho café?
With the chatter of nail paint and quaint experiences wrapped within moments of brief silence, only to be bundled among moments of what to others seemed like some esoteric wordplay – as though two detectives had been working the same case and began to compare notes from memory.
So hedonistic I had become while entrapped in the arrogant elegance that Soho café had offer. And then of course there was that girl. Suddenly she and he were gone. Leaving nothing more than myself and my twin.
We had lost our audience that had never once thought of walking out.
As though an era had ended somehow, it seemed, looking across the aisle, out of habit expecting a glance, or two, yet nothing. There was no one there. So discomforting, and it’s not even Federal Friday yet.
“You’re goin’ down Stanford!!! You’re goin’ down!” he said, his carefully fixed gaze of the board meeting mine. “I’m gonna crush you Stanford.”
Then pushing back a bit into his seat, he lifted his Herculean arms and said, “You’re white man.”
And then a bit louder, “Hey! Dumbass! It’s your move!”
Slowly I relaxed the dramatically acted squint in my eyes, “What?”
“It’s you’re move! C’mon maaan.” Rising his hand half way to his forehead as though he thought he was about to suddenly experience a migraine.
“Oh, ahem. OK. Here we go…” and it was King’s Pawn to King Pawn’s three. All within the motion of moving my piece, his palm began to be rubbed on his leg and become the tell that I was successful in my attempt to at least create an immediate distraction for him. Knowing that he would insist on wanting my attention on the game at least close to what his was. We both wanted a better game and we knew how to get it from each other if for no other reason than it was our one thousandth game.
Such a charming piece in my life it was. Another natural environment that I shall, for all my days, liken to a remote resort. Yet forever haunting me would be the inevitable public perception that I see to this day, is all too real. That rather than fancying myself having vividly inspirational and deep conversation with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it would be more likened to H.G. Wells playing chess with Jack the Ripper, in grand revolutionarily debatable conversation of the siege of the New World Order – for us, as we are increasingly oppressed today by the same Police State as foretold by the most brilliant individuals throughout Americas history, today, the 4th Reich of the United States of America. Nothing more, than a forever burning red, white and blue flag, dipped in chocolate sauce.
And now that Federal Friday has come and gone, no longer do I bear the yoke of that despair. That anticipation of what others may think.
What others think of me is power that they believe they have over me, as well as others. Something to hang over one’s head as it were. Wisdom from the very sandboxes of kindergarten. If you do not believe as they wish, then they will subtly demonstrate the lack of their faith in your moral turpitudes. Birds of a feather and all that, you know.
But I am not so sure that applies to me. No. Not me. I am on the teeter-totter. It is nowhere near the sandbox.
My ride is much wilder.
So I try not play with them and just like unwashed hair, my image begins to look rather “rogue”. Which is OK, since many ultra-conservatives have assured me that they believe in me enough to wait and see if they believe in my cause. There is a God after all, I suppose.
Through the desperation of moments that test the very definition of my courage – many differences of opinion between myself and members of the community quickly dissolve like water into wine. Like darkness into light. The discovery of what is most important, without being so judgmental as to mock God himself.
It all started one morning in the Vietnamese Refugee Camp disguised a remodeled Winchell’s Donut franchise – Ho Chi Minh.
Since I last wrote about the camp, many confused my reference to our Den Mother, as MA – the top of the Vietnamese food chain gang, borne of the necessity of years of genocidal warfare. The survival of refugees and lard. Having spent time in prison, coming away with a tattoo so crafted from generations upon generations of Vietnamese tattoo artists. So inked that it is disguised as a birth mark, just under her left eye.
A tattoo one gets for killing another in a Vietnamese gulag.
Or so, I delighted in teasing her.
“Oh, Pollo!” she starts out, gathering the other regular’s attention, “Yeah! I take a shiv. I stab him with a shiv, man!”
It’s the same joke told in a different way every day. This day could be heard Spanish translation of what we just said. And then more laughter. As each of the patrons throws out his or her try for a quick line to carry on the joke. Accept for the new customer of course, having not been in there at the 7AM rush, and if they be bold enough to still be there with us, they are nervously clenching their teeth, yet not laughing.
They inevitably do not understand our humor. It belongs to us, after all – They don’t live in the Airport District. It has been steeping for 7 years. The same joke – every day – like so many unfinished crossword puzzles.
The laughter from the half dozen Mexicans lulls the unsuspecting new customers into accepting the reality that this actually is, a remodeled Winchell’s donut franchise and not a Vietnamese refugee camp.
And then the next day everyone read the newspaper or had it read to them.
By a glance across the count, I could tell that Federal Friday had finally come. Chin wasn’t going to play the Vietnamese gulag killing joke today.
It’s just not funny anymore.