Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sisters (Part 1)

     Jane was at home in Encinitas by seven p.m. Friday, much to our joy.  The flight from Oakland to San Diego was easy, as was the cab ride up to Encinitas....  Almost.  "White cab drivers are starting to piss me off," she grumbled into her bottle of Anchor Steam.
     "Please, unpack that statement," said Bekka.
     "Ugh!  I call for a cab in Berkeley, or flag one down in the City, and if the driver is a Middle Eastern dude, I get in, give him the destination, and away we go.  If the driver is white, he'll be all, 'You have the fare, right?'  Duh, if I didn't have the fare, I wouldn't be getting in the cab, stupid.  I've had some of them demand to hand over cash before they'll move!  The fucking white cab drivers assume that a punk rocker is gonna ditch them on the fare.  The Arabs and Afghanis and Egyptians don't give the mohawk a second thought.

Sisters (Part 2)

     The police sideshow started in.  Ambulances had arrived, gingerly arranged the injured onto back boards, then gurneys, and split, lights flashing.  Del Mar doesn't have its own police department, law enforcement is provided by the sheriff's department on contract.  Four patrol cars arrived, the occupants getting out and behaving exactly how I expected them to: they immediately began antagonizing witnesses by treating them like criminals.  And I knew, at the end of their shift, they'd sit around in the locker room and bitch about how uncooperative the public is.

Sisters (Part 3)

     Ring, ring, ring....  "God bless, this is World magazine, how may I direct your call?"
     "To your legal department," I replied.  "My name is Leonard Schneider."
     "One moment."
     Hold music, a couple clicks, then "Wilcox, legal.  Hello?"
     "Good morning, Mr. Wilcox," I greeted him.  "My name is Leonard, or Lenny, Schneider.  Do you recognize the name?  Any clue as to who I am?"
     First silence, then a quick gasp for air.  Another couple moments while he collected his wits.  Then, "I believe so.  May I help you?"

Sisters (Part 4)

     Jane had a routine down.  No matter what classes she had in the morning, she would be at Haas for her undergrad classes every day.  Her classes started at 1:30, and she was invariably out of her last morning class at just after noon.  She'd hit one of the small restaurants on Oxford Ave. for a bite to eat, get a large coffee, then walk to the business school, where she'd park on the small grassy area just outside the business library.  She would sip coffee, smoke Newports, double-check any work she needed for her class that day, then thumb through her reading material.  She read Barron's, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal.  The only time she broke this routine was when she would head straight home to meet either Kristen or Nadir for a quick nooner.

Sisters (Part 5)

     "Oh, I tell ya, this thing is a hoot," said Gladys Krebsbach from behind the wheel.  We were rolling down San Vicente Blvd. towards Fourth St. in Santa Monica.  "The man I bought it from had it set for storage.  Wheels off, fluids and gasoline drained, tarped, and sitting in his garage."  She laughed.  "Heck, he was asking so little for it because he'd stored it correctly, but figured anyone interested wouldn't want the bother of getting it running again.  I wrote him a check then and there, then Fang and I took a good long look at it, then went to Pep Boys and bought a new battery, oil, Dextron, coolant, and a big gas can.  We got everything filled, hooked up the battery, and the darn thing fired up like it had just come off the assembly line!  We got the wheels on and rolled out.  I tell ya, I think that man was mighty disappointed to see this thing leave his garage under its own power."

Sisters (Part 6)

     We were in Santa Monica again.  This time, we were at a union hall waiting for music to start.  There was a punk rock show happening that night, three bands.  The Dwarves headlining, BadTown Boys second, and Gash opening.  This would be their first show in front of an audience, quite a feat to pull off.  They'd passed out a ton of demo tapes, and one fell into the right hands.

Sisters (Part 7)

     I got a chance to talk to Bam-Bam about his father between sets.  Bam-Bam's (real name: Benjamin) dad was a long-time nemesis of mine, Detective Richard Donner of the San Diego Sheriff's Department.  Donner had been looking for a way to bust me for years, ever since Bekka had been stabbed.  Donner decided I was the culprit, and refused to do any real investigation.  It took the efforts of me and a mafia enforcer named Paul to crack the case, delivering Bekka's assailant to Donner on a platter, complete with a recorded confession.

Sisters (Part 8)

     So, our series had changed around a bit.  "Pulse of Night" was dropped, and nobody minded.  Viewers didn't care (and didn't buy), the reviews had been flat, performers considered appearing in it (there was no set cast) tedium, and none of us three writers could figure out a way to keep things lively from episode to episode.  Some of the episodes were great....  And the next episode would have totally different characters, no way of continuing the good karma.

Sisters (Part 9)

     ".... So you see how this could be a very beneficial arrangement," said Ian Hollis of the pay cable channel Cinemax.  "So, are you on board?  I can fax you contracts to sign in five minutes."
     I laughed into the phone.  "You're kidding, right?  A major deal like you're talking about, and you'd have contracts ready in five minutes?  Do you have any idea how many details we've gotta cover?  Don't expect my signature on anything for at least a couple weeks....  And it won't be just my signature you're after.  There's no way in hell I'd even start an agreement like this without talking to Angel, the owner."

Sisters (Part 10)

     We sipped our drinks and considered each other across the table.  I know Terry and I always subconsciously asked the same question when meeting new people: can I drop this person?  I had absolutely no worries about Ian Hollis.  There was no doubt in my mind that he would sneeringly insist that physical violence was the tool of the simpleminded and vulgar, someone who was unable to defend an intellectual position.  Ambrosia also had the look of a Los Angeles native: I didn't need to see her eyes to know they were communicating to the world how bored she was at the moment, especially with the present company.  Ohmigawd, a punk rocker and a biker chick.  Eww.  The sort of people they have in hellholes like Upland and Fontana and Lake Elsinore, complete white trash.

Sisters (Part 11)

     On December fifth, what amounted to Inana Productions' brain trust got on a charter flight at McClellan-Palomar airport in Carlsbad and flew into the Yuba County Airport, located in a burg called Olivehurst.  A Hertz office sat at the end of the driveway, where we picked up the Cadillac Brougham we'd reserved.  In theory, we were seven hours early for our engagement at the Oregon House community center, but Steve and I wanted to show off locations to Bekka and Angel.

Sisters (Part 12)

     Jane sat on the grass outside the Haas business library, her customary place at the customary time.  She was feeling perky from a few hits off the glass pipe in the women's room, and was scanning through the Wall Street Journal for anything tech-related.  She took a drag off her Newport and sipped some Mountain Dew.  Another twenty minutes until class, then the weekend would start.  She had a busy evening ahead: bring Nadir back to her place and fuck him, shower, then meet Riley, Hunchback, and Harpo from Oakland HA at Blake's for a beer or five.  From there, the Angels would head back to the clubhouse and Jane would take a cab to 924 Gilman.  If Nadir didn't take care of her itch, she'd try to lasso a punk rock boy into the sack, get a room at one of the shitty motels on San Pablo Ave. and exploit the poor kid until daybreak.

Sisters (Part 13)

     It was a hell of a crowd that descended on Angel's trattoria.  There was just no way we would be on the patio, we'd be inside using banquet seating.  Those present were Erica, Fang, Jill, Mallory, Glee, Feather, Bekka, Gladys, and two new friends of Gladys': Betty and Norma.  They were both lesbians about Gladys' age, and had been introduced by a waitress at Girl Bar, who knew them from some activist work she'd done.  The three had met at Girl Bar that afternoon and got along like a house on fire.  I'd offered to take the whole  crew out to dinner, if Gladys and the two other women were amenable.  Gladys called me from the bar and said she'd love to have dinner with these women.  I gave her instructions to the trattoria and told her to be there around 6:30.

Sisters (Part 14)

     "Delta Epsilon Theta house?" Kaitlyn repeated.  "What did you want to know about them?  Why do you care?"
     "Purely curiosity," Jane said to her roommate in a dismissive tone.  "There's a couple of them who are also Haas students.  Juniors.  We were talking a bit."