Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Papa Papa New Guinea

  The Van Man had a callback for Heineken. He had been on "strong avail", which was industry speak for "You're the white guy and we have a black dude, an Asian dude and an Hispanic dude we are considering." The ones in charge decided to go in a different direction and wanted Van Man to play drunk. If he booked, Van Man would make some good bread and the commercial would air for a year in Papa New Guinea. He knew he should have been excited, but it did not mean much to him. Callbacks were a dime a dozen and booking seemed a million miles away. But maybe...
  Maybe Van Man would book the Heineken commercial and he would then take the money and travel to Papa New Guinea. They ain't got much there, he thought to himself. He imagined himself as he arrived. He wore a white three-piece suit and wide-brimmed hat. A gold chain dangled from his vest pocket. He walked down the dirt roads of Papa New Guinea. The tribespeople looked at him and stared. They watched The Van Man as he coolly strolled down their main road. The kids no longer played in the field as he passed by. They stared and whispered and ran off to get their parents. Van Man walked into the Papa New Guinea General Store. Up and down the aisles he went. The Tribespeople stared in awe. Van Man walked up to the register with his item and handed over a ten dollar bill to the clerk. "Keep the change", said Van Man. He walked outside into the sun and greeted the gathered crowd. He smiled big and wide. Van Man popped the top to his cold Heineken and guzzled the refreshment. High above Van Man, on top of the Papa New Guinea General Store, was the town's only billboard. On it, Van Man smiled and held a bottle of Heineken. He finished his beer and smiled at the crowd. They went crazy with joy. The Van Man would be a god in Papa New Guinea.
  But he would have to book first. And there were a million miles between the callback and the booking. There was not much to think about. Heineken was big and he was small. But being a god in Papa New Guinea, that excited The Van Man.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Plan To Score

  Too much cat. Too much really fucked up The Van Man. Not pussy, but cat. Cat hair. Cat odor. Cat dandruff. Whatever it was about them was death for Van Man. He had suffered the affects of his run-in with the felines for two days and was done. He hated to feel like he did. Sinuses stopped up and breathing reduced to wheezes. But he had made a few bucks acting and that made it all worth it. It was only a six-hour shoot. Inside a stuffy room of a house overrun by cats. He did his job and got the hell out of there.
  Days passed. He was scheduled to work a two-day construction gig and found himself quite busy with acting. He had accepted roles in two plays that would rehearse simultaneously and had a short film shoot on the horizon. Being busy was a treasure he gladly accepted. He should have been happy, but he was not. Something was not quite right. The van ran smooth and money was in the bank. He was not hungry and his tan was golden. He had started his new year off right and was an acting maniac. Yet...all was not complete. And then it hit him. Van Man needed two tickets to a rock concert in the fall. They had gone on sale, but he had no computer to purchase them. They were sold out and he was left sitting in his van with the proverbial dick in his hand.
  Van Man knew not to worry. He had been there before. He would hit his resources and scour the city all Summer, if it took that long. September. Dodger Stadium. AC/DC. The vision pulsated in his head as it cleared up his sinuses. The Van Man would score primo seats for the concert and become a hero of Summer. It would be a return to simpler times.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Valentine's Day Story

  He was tired. Dog tired. The Van Man was tired as hell. He had not slept in three days. He blinked in clustered flurries. Three days. Three days of running. No sleep. Terror. But he had escaped them. The children. He wondered how long he would elude their chase. Their hunt. They were a pack of children, all on horseback. And he was not. He was just a Van Man without a van. The van had been destroyed in the chaos of the past three days.
  Van Man gasped for breathe and slumped against the tree. A thought flashed through his mind like a blown bulb. They're close. Van Man looked out over the Valley. He was atop Mulholland and looked down onto the blackness that was. No lights, no sounds, no nothing. Just death. Millions dead. But not him. He was The Van Man. LA had been turned into a crypt and he was the keeper. But he was not alone. The Pack was made up of close to twenty children and each rode their own stallion of doom. Van Man closed his eyes and his body slumped to the ground.
  He remembered. It had been the eleventh of February. The day he escaped. He was doing laundry at the Laundr-O-Mat. There was a sweet-faced child seated next to her grandmother. Van Man took his clothes out of the dryer. The Child stared at him. He did not think much of it and folded his clothes. Explosions. Hundreds of explosions happened in an instant. The Van Man was too shocked to be surprised and just looked outside. The Grandmother screamed. The Child screamed. Van Man looked to them and saw the gruesome scene. The Child laughed and wielded a knife. She carved in and out of her Grandmother's throat. The Child jumped off the chair and ran towards Van Man. The lifeless body of The Grandmother fell to the ground and he was surprised. He backed into the dryers and grabbed The Child's wrist as she lunged at him with the blade. They struggled. She clawed and bit. Van Man opened the dryer and forced her head into the opening. He slammed the dryer door over and over again. She clawed and wailed as her face became smashed and teeth scattered on the tiled floor. Over and over, he slammed the door. Then her body went limp and collapsed in a heap. He stared at the red and pink clumps of mush that had once been a sweet, cherub face. Van Man gasped. He vomited onto the pink and red chunky mess. He looked at the colors as they mixed. He wanted to cry. But he would not. The Van Man did not do that sort of thing. He picked up the knife and ran out into the chaos.
  Van Man opened his eyes. Happy fucking Valentine's Day. Something had caught his eye and he looked down into the Valley. There it was. A light. Not from the moon, but from a lamp. It slowly moved in his direction. The light travelled on one of the boulevards. Van Man was not sure, but he would swear it was Van Nuys Boulevard. It was them. He was sure of that. They had found his scent.
  Van Man gathered himself and ran. He would find a way out of the nightmare. They would not win this time. He would stay on Mulholland. Then to Sunset. To the PCH. Up the coast. Oregon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tears In the Park

  January had made way for February and Valentine's Day neared. The Van Man exercised at the park, in the gaze of The Sun. He stripped off his shirt and began his work-out ritual of recited Shakespeare between each set. A young, Asian lady approached the bench close to him. She sniffled and shuddered and Van Man knew she was in pain. He knew Young Asian Lady was heartbroken. And she just wanted a spot to be alone.
  Van Man considered checking on her. To see if she was alright. He decided against it. Whatever caused her apparent devastation was not his concern. If life in a van had taught him anything, it was to mind your own business. Also, Van Man had worn a pair of shorts that were very tight and rather inappropriate. He liked to get his tan as close to his junk as possible and he wore them short, as well. The last thing she needed was a vulgar man from a van telling her it would all be okay. Van Man continued on with his work-out.
  Young Asian Lady sobbed and wailed. Van Man recognized them as cries not of the family-member-or-close-friend-had-died variety, but of the love-has-been-vanquished kind. When a significant other had decided the other was not significant any more. Happy Valentine's Day, thought Van Man.
  After five or ten minutes had passed, an old black man arrived. Van Man had seen him there many times before and was quite familiar with him. The Old Black Man liked to exercise at the park and the bench was his favorite rest spot. The Old Man spoke to Young Lady. Van Man could tell he had offered kind words to her. Fuckin' cocksman, Van Man thought to himself. The Old Man began the running portion of his work-out. The Young Lady cried.
  Van Man had finished the Queen Mab speech as Young Lady's new ex-boyfriend arrived. Not much was spoken between the two. A scream here and there from Young Asian Lady. Then New Ex-Boyfriend gave up and left. He seemed exhausted. The Young Lady walked off, as she called a friend to pick her up. Van Man finished the work-out.
  Van Man was all too aware that nothing lasts forever. Love certainly existed, but it was a fleeting moment. Like every other moment. It was important to enjoy it when you have it and to understand when it ends. Love, according to The Van Man, was chaotic by nature. It could only stabilize itself for a very brief amount of time. And then it would end. Just like van life. Just like winter in LA.