Monday, April 27, 2015

To Live and Die In LA

  Monday morning ushered in the car horns and sunshine. The Van Man opened his eyes and found himself on a couch. It was not his couch. He lived in a van. Mr. Funny had stumbled into the room. Van Man did not feel too hungover, just a slight headache and a really dry mouth. Mr. Funny looked groggy and tried to form words into a sentence. It was a question about Van Man's van. He informed Mr. Funny that he was parked in a spot good until eight. It was seven forty. Mr. Funny and The Van Man chatted for a few about the events from the night before and came to the conclusion that Ted Danson should have balled Grace Jones instead of Whoopi.  Grace was a fucking animal. Van Man said his goodbye and left the Westside. He headed back to The Valley.
  Van Man needed coffee as he drove up Sepulveda. But he needed to shit and shower even more. As he reached The Valley, he stopped off at the gym and found good parking. With ease. A parking space was as good as gold in Sherman Oaks. Van Man grabbed his bag and walked in. There were very few gym rats and the locker room was quiet. He nearly had it to himself. Van Man undressed and locked up his bag in a locker. He went into the bathroom. It was glorious. Van Man was in awe of how clean and fresh the bathroom seemed. Mornings were where it was at. He entered a stall and was so relieved not to find the normal scene displayed: wild animal crap splattered all over the bowl with soiled toilet paper wadded on the floor. Van Man spread toilet paper on the seat and sat down. It was clean, but he was not an idiot. "Let's Get It Started" played over the speakers. Van Man remembered how the album version was called "Let's Get Retarded". He wished that version played. He sat and held his towel and raw honey. It's a good day, he thought to himself.
  With his shit and shower finished, Van Man was ready to get his coffee. He had to make one brief stop for ice at the store where everything was a dollar. He arrived and found more parking spots. It was, indeed, a good day. Van Man stood in line. He noticed the man in front of him looked like a Creepy Fred Savage. Or maybe a Normal John Pankow. The man fumbled with his cash as he talked strangely to the check-out woman.
"That's pretty.", said Creepy Fred Savage.
"Huh?", replied Check-Out Woman.
"Your name.", said Creepy Fred as he gestured to her name tag.
Van Man looked at her name tag. Stephanie.
"Oh, thanks."
"That's pretty one."
Van Man noticed that Creepy Fred forgot to use the article "a" in his comment to Stephanie. Van Man knew then that something was not quite right with Creepy Fred Savage. He continued to mutter things to Stephanie as she handed him his change. Van Man put two and two together. Creepy Fred Savage was a retarded person. And he liked Stephanie the Check-Out Woman. Unfortunately, Creepy Fred was so enamored with her that he would not take his groceries and it was Van Man's turn.
"Two bags of ice.", said Van Man.
"Two ice.", replied Stephanie.
"Thanks."
"That's two eighteen."
Van Man looked over at the card swipe machine where Creepy Fred stood and fumbled with something invisible. He walked over and stood at the card swiper.
"Oh, I'll get out of your way.", lied Creepy Fred as he just stood next to the card swiper.
Van Man was unsure if Creepy Fred would remember his four digit PIN if he watched.
"I won't look. Don't worry, I won't look.", Creepy Fred assured him.
Van Man rolled the dice and swiped the debit card. He entered his PIN into the swiper and the ice was his. Creepy Fred stood and looked at Stephanie. Van Man declined the receipt, walked around Creepy Fred and grabbed his ice from the freezer. As he exited, Van Man noticed Creepy Fred Savage had not moved an inch and continued his stare at Stephanie as she rung up another customer.
  Van Man drove off in search of coffee. He thought about the adoration Creepy Fred Savage had for Stephanie the Check-Out Woman. Innocent and pure. Stephanie must have hated her job. April was close to its end and May was near. The Valley was bright and hot. The Van Man had a good day and he had not even had his coffee yet.

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