My housemate had some appointments this afternoon, so I had a rare stretch of time free from the television blaring and other distractions. Not that I did much. Last night the baby was up until four in a very bad mood, so today I'm getting by in a semi-catatonic state. Someday I'll have a place of my own again, far from the maddening loud. I applied at the video store down the street yesterday for part time help, though I suspect it's a mafia front. There are never any customers and it's a pretty big store. The girl behind the counter who took my resume was short, blonde and had a new nose piercing that looked red and sore. She didn't seem very thrilled about how her day was going, and I noticed that there were no chairs behind the counter for the employees. I can't see myself working there, or anywhere else for that matter. Too far gone, that's what they say about me. He got lost somewhere in deep blogland. We sent men after him, but they never returned.
It's all insane, really. Who are they to judge? I'm still working towards the same goals, but they no longer approve of my methods. As if they could do any better. Yes, I shop at Wal Mart--but only for action figures, and only because they are cheaper there than anywhere else. And I always make sure to mis-shelf a few items on my way out, just to throw them off. Canned zoodles in with the Tupperware? Plush toys with gardening supplies? Get used to it. I've never shoplifted in my life--well, once in high school, but I didn't enjoy that ice cream bar very much. A guy I knew became a store detective for Wal Mart. I met him one day on the big, sloping treadmill they call a "people mover". He told me I was going the wrong direction, that the ramp was for getting between levels and not for my personal exercise regime. I said, "Drake, don't you recognize me?" It took him a moment. We hadn't seen each other in a couple years, since the night we got booed off the open stage at a local biker bar for impersonating an art rock band. We spent the next ten minutes wandering through the aisles of appliances and beach towels, catching up. There actually wasn't too much to catch up on, since we're both a couple of slackers. "Still collecting?" I asked him. "You've got the perfect job for it: close to The Source" (read, "the stock room"). "Nah. I'm done with that stuff." Turns out he'd sold his complete collection of vintage Star Wars figures and bought a condo downtown. Had a girlfriend and stereo system--the works. I was impressed and left the store thinking I was in the wrong line of work. Maybe I should just give up the whole dream scavenger thing and go straight. Works for a couple of days, but then I hear the call: the discard bins, the rummage sales, the undocumented bootlegs--and I'm back on the street looking for a fix. They'll never track me down, and they'll never make me stop. Not until the unclaimed pop-cultural heritage of the western world is safely secured in my secret underground museum bunker.