Lunch with Cocaine Stain–2

 ”We’re glad you could make it, honey” my mother said while cooling herself with a handmade fan she bought from a boutique in Hong Kong. It was made of rice paper and adorned with an intricately designed picture of a fiery red dragon coiling its way through wispy trees and bamboo shoots. The fan fluttered in front of my mother moving softly from side to side, back and forth. The dragon flew on the fan. The Oriental themes were too solid and hurt my head. I needed Zen serenity.

      A memory snapped me out of my funk. I recalled the glossy pages of some big name magazine, G.Q. or something, which had proclaimed that the Far East was all the rage. But I was so fucking over it. In fact, I was sick to death of those tour buses taking over the city, turning cultural monuments into cheap pin-up whores; I was fed up with all of those flashing, popping cameras shooting at everything and nothing; and I was pissed off at those goddamned smiles; those wide, too toothy Asian smiles. “Dah-ling,” my mom interrupted my mental rant, “why don’t you be a dear and take off your sunglasses?”

      Cursing my bad luck, I snapped off my Blue Blockers and fumbled them into the inside pocket of my corduroy blazer, worried that my cover was blown. How the hell could I forget to take off my sunglasses? I must be in worse shape than I believed. The Fear grabbed me by the nuts. I whipped the menu up in order to shield my face, hoping to hide the grizzly truth: I was wasted; too fucked up to be anywhere near polite conversation. I slid down into my seat and darted my eyes suspiciously around the table hoping to christ that they were not blazing red and swimming in goo like laboratory fetuses in a pickling jar. No one seemed to notice. Satisfied, I lowered my eyes and returned my mind to my number one concern: the reason as to why we were here.

      Slowly, ever so slowly, I lowered my menu and peeked my eyes over the top. My heart thudded as I scanned the table and noticed that no one brought gifts. No cards either. I tried to think of ways to broach the topic when my father asked about work.

      ”Listen up: Did you get that message I sent you?”

      ”Yeah, that e-mail about nature or something? It was kinda weird.”

      ”No, no email,” he said sipping his Perrier, “a text.”

      ”Oh yeah, that message,” I said taking out my cell phone and noticing that my father’s message for the first time. There were thirteen other unanswered messages. Without reading my father’s text I pressed “Delete All” and then sighed deeply as I felt the carbonated fizz-pop release of stress bubbles bursting and floating away. Ahh….

      ”So what do you think?”

     “Uh…I say…go for it.”

      ”Really. How do you think the board will take it? You know how that shark, Faber, is.”

      ”Yeah, don’t worry,” I said. “I am on it,” but the only thing that I could think of that I was on was a bad diet of pills, powder, and Pernod.

      ”Well then, push it through first thing in the morning.”

      ”I –”

      ”–already took care of it,” Frank said, re-seating himself. “The format is perfect now and I’m just waiting for the final word to come through. I finished it last night and sent it along. Don’t worry I cleaned up the mess.” He let this last word hiss in space as if a whole had been blown in the side of our safe little family space shuttle. Yup. We were a regular Jetson’s space-aged family.

      ”Good job, Frank” my father said.

      I decided to play along, smiling and nodding to lord knows what but agreeing with ardent vigor nonetheless. With this new turn of events the cruise control function in my mind decided to take over and this allowed me to think back through season six of The Discovery Channel’s “Snake Charmers Series.” A list of the various ways that were suggested to kill snakes appeared. Frank was a snake and in this situation I liked my chances with the “Texas Boot Heel.” That was the best method for large poisonous bastards.

      ”I just figured we would take it to’em early,” Frank said. “This way we can break for the back nine just after lunch. Beat the crowd.” He said this with a wink. Can you believe it? A wink.

      ”You sly little codger….” my father said raising his glass of Taittinger in salute.

       “And listen to this,” Frank said leaning forward into the table, his voice low and his eyebrows high. “The network loves the commercial pitch and is going to push it through. Cheevers was pleased. Just one thing though, Paul was late and got short with the director. Story is he was high on something and throwing stuff around. I heard he was on the cocaine.“

2 Responses to “Lunch with Cocaine Stain–2”

  1. FWIW, I have a few thoughts. Here’s what you wrote:

    It was made of rice paper and adorned with an intricate design of a fiery red dragon coiling its way through wispy trees and bamboo shoots. I stared at it mezmorized by the illusion the softly moving fan created of a dragon snapping its wings. The dragon’s motion blurred my vision and concentration. Just beyond the flying dragon I discerned my mother’s red on black Michael Korrs with the gold Yin Yang necklace.

    Personally, I would tighten this up a bit. Perhaps “adorned with a fiery red dragon intricately coiling…” would be more compact. Also, mesmerized is spelled wrong, and for reasons I can’t fathom, the dumbest reader in the world will assume you can’t write if you misspell one word wrong out of ten thousand. Makes no sense, but there it is- also, in the real world, an editor would fix that shit. So, no worries on that count. The next to last sentence seems to be stuck in as an afterthought of sorts, and I think needs to be weaved in more seamlessly or erased entirely. Finally, I think that “discerned” is too exacting a word for a guy who is so fucking wasted- could he “discern” anything in his state?

    It seems like you got into your rhythm after that, and I couldn’t find anything to nit-pick. You seem to have an ear for the way humans actually talk, and the conversation was quite natural. Also, the line “I slid down into my seat and darted my eyes suspiciously around the table hoping to christ that they were not blazing red and swimming in goo like laboratory fetuses in a pickling jar.” is just plain brilliant. Anybody who could craft that line has a future as a writer.

    In the same vein, please feel free to rip apart my writings- they certainly need it. At this point in my career I feel like I’m giving birth to retarded offspring more than I would like- feel free to point out their flaws, so I can pop out some healthy ones later. I promise, no hard feelings.

  2. Sniction–awesome feedback. Spot on accurate. I’m going to dig in and get at that paragraph, fix’er up.

    I’ll be over and check out your stuff as soon as I can. (I’m at work now so give me a day or two).

    Wellum Hulder

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