Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Contractor - Chapter 1b - by nova

My life has been a series of accidents that I have managed to show up for. Nothing really out of the ordinary, the usual right place, wrong time. I ended up in the business because I was setup, and I will probably exit it through one.

I can't say I liked the man I became but I tried to do what I thought was best as long as it didn't inconvenience me too much. I would like to say that what I write here is my apology, that the scales have dropped from my eyes, that it hurt following off the horse, but you know what? I would be lying, and I promised myself I would tell the truth here. I have seen the world through all the rose colored glasses offered by each of the major players and when you take them off you see that the messed up, tired, and getting worse shit hadn't gotten any rosier.

I was one of the first people to consistently show up when the OWS movement first started. Not because I was ready to protest the evil injustices that the bankers had inflicted upon the innocent borrowers of America. Hell, I had a job, of sorts. I didn't have much of a life but who did back then? What I also didn't have was a woman and OWS attracted them. I was working a temp job a couple blocks from McPherson Square in Washington, DC where they liked to lurk. I went there because it was an amusing way to kill time and when I started going there were attractive women buzzing around.

There were a few DC women, mostly drawn to check it out because they worked nearby. I didn't bother with them though they would have been a lot more convenient over the long term. Why? I couldn't afford them. To into the career, money, and status all of which I was sorely lacking in.

I tried working the summer tourist women but that was a no go for the most part until I learned the secret. It was easy once I figured it out. I just needed to look like a protester, talk like a protester, but stay well groomed and casually mention I had a place of my own. On the weekends I brought my guitar, stayed on the edges, and strummed. That was a killer once I had the pitch perfected. If it seemed appropriate, and with the European tourists it always was, I would also ask towards the end if they liked to get high?

The women of OWS? They were interesting, but at the time I found them lacking. I hadn't really thought it out but somewhere in the back of my head I had realized that if you want to hunt the same waterhole on a daily basis hooking up with one of the local sheep would mean no more variety in my meals.

I was young, white, and in shape from my time in the Navy and because I didn't eat a lot. I worked the fact that I was a "vet" in at the top as part of my casual give them the data they want to hear so I could get some pitch. It wasn't as one way as it sounds. I mean they got to experience the passionate young rebel for a night or two and I got laid. It evolved into the same pitch I used without much change over the next few years with pretty decent success.


  1. Awesome. This has the immediate pulpy feel to it that I've always enjoyed in your other stories, Nova.

    BTW - I'm in my late 30s and although I support OWS (just as I support the Tea Party), my thinking is that if I was in my late teens / early 20s, and OWS was happening, it would be great place to pick up girls (something that "The Contractor" seems attuned to also).

    The protesters are pretty direct about how they dont want it to be a drug scene at OWS, but I also think that if OWS was happening when I was growing up, I'd want to work some drug use into the protest...but perhaps that is just me. :)

    Either way, I look at OWS as a real adventure that young people can get in on in 2011. Sure, that is not OWS's intention, but younger folks need something besides reality TV, video games, and the internet. OWS offers a tangible experience where you can bathe in the chaotic optimism of being a young American.

    You cant really ride the rails anymore. The 60s are over. People no longer really "go to sea" in order to have adventure. There is no more Grateful Dead tour.

    What is a (college-aged) kid in America supposed to do today that can give them a real sense of adventure? Get into debt? That adventure sucks!

  2. Rottenclam, they could start by not blaming other people for their problems and learn a trade. It is amazing what working with your hands can do for a person. Learn to make something beautiful from a piece of wood. I don't think people need adventure as much as they need to feel some pride or sense of accomplishment. Having everything given to you only breeds resentment when the handouts stop.

    Nova, loving this POV. I really like how you show different viewpoints.

  3. Rottenclam,

    True. If I was 16-22 I would be there. Hell, sleeping on the ground was no big deal then.

  4. Leper,

    Thanks. It would be to easy to turn this into a formula which would bore me no end.

  5. Leper, I can appreciate your comments (in fact, I tend to agree with you to some extent). However, I did not mean to imply that 'having an adventure' was the great dividend of OWS, nor did I mean to imply that 'having an adventure' was any kind of solution to the dissatisfaction that the participants of OWS are having with the American experience.

    "Having an adventure" is simply a nice bonus to add onto the whole OWS experience for a young person.

    When you get right down to brass-tacks, as it pertains to OWS; there are probably a bunch of spoiled brats down there that probably need a boot in their ass. How different is that from a bunch of rush limbaugh / glen beck clones at a Tea Party gathering though?

    When it comes to politics and activism, I treasure independent and critical thought over everything else.

    Anyway, I hear you on younger folks learning to take pride in a trade, and actually accomplishing something with their hands.

    Somehow in the last 40 years, having a non-white collar trade became uncool with young people. This is a shame. Now everybody wants to go to 'college'. Now almost all kids (no matter how dumb or how poor they are) are 'supposed' to go to college. This is a crime.

    Culturally speaking, I think we're very slowly drifting back to people taking great pride in using their hands to make a living...but again, I think this movement is very very slow.

    In time, I hope more Americans get back to farming, crafting things with their hands (as opposed to just importing cheap chinese crap), and start to take pride in the trades again. It will be a more interesting American when we're like that, IMHO.