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It was time to find something different and what Jack found was an idea for a non-profit; an organization committed to saving the clouds; The Adopt a Cloud Foundation.

“Already got some money lined-up.., and I won’t have to pay taxes.”

Then he gets another great idea,

“Hey I just got another great idea.,”

He offers me a job doing graphics and video for a web site and on-line ads. He further suggests I could maintain the ITZME page and Tweeker account and I don’t want to; it’s not what I do. An anti-social disorder feeding social media - sounds like a stupid idea but it’s a paying gig and I need the money so agree to meet with him.


Another week got away from me and I’m giving Rose a ride to work as my dated Monte Carlo, with plates beyond a State extension, had been rejected by the smog-test-only dude who had an upside-down mortgage to feed so I needed to borrow Rose’s 65’ yellow Mustang convertible with fresh wax and bad tires to meet with Jack.

After dropping Rose off at the club and as I drive down Western – thinking about all the bullshit that is my life, feeling stuck in a sad story – boring tragedy - and can’t get out - about to blow for real; I see this girl hitchhiking and immediately know she’s not real. I can see from her long legs she’s not real.

I had learned from a legendary re-tread I played gin rummy with while in a county rehab facility about looking beyond looking – to see. And although it was clear; playing pinnacle to my rummy; that Bob had lost too many brain cells to the indelible effects of Angel Dust to be taken seriously cause nobody takes you seriously when you’re high except as seriously high but this too often is a mistake as a serious mistake can reveal deeper truth; alternate should not be confused with adulterated considering matter and anti-matter and that good creates bad then wrong creates right – finding truth in what’s wrong because nobody’s always right, that kind of commitment can get you committed; right and wrong riding on the back of self-importance and perhaps it was I who was playing rummy to his pinnacle – it’s not as if we had any cards. So catching a glimpse from a different angle - finding what’s lost in the peripheral; hiding in plain sight - I knew what he said to be true.

So I practiced which did no good then experimented and slowly – step by step - and through varying degrees gained sight - I could see – even beyond the level of intrusive TSA screening capabilities. And when you can see you see real people are not seen as people only non-people are seen as people. When you see real people you can see beyond the plastic build-up façade to something like an energy bundle or bundle of energy. Sally was someone’s manifestation so she just looked like she was imagined to look even in what you see; obviously conjured by a brujo hampered by the need to understand the particle and wave cause you can’t create what you can’t imagine - except by mistake.

There was this paraplegic Wiccan just moved into the neighborhood that aroused suspicion; a 2nd level initiate of the 2nd Street Sadies; figure Sally must be a Castaneda concept of hers, a way for her to get around; so since Sally was not real I decide it would be cool to pick her up – give her a ride.

She gets in the car and says,

“Hi, my name is Jennifer.”

Just like Sally’s not real neither is her name.

Sally really didn’t have anywhere to be; so I decide to take her with me to see Jack.
I was scheduled to meet up with Jack at the Slam Drunk East; a failing sports bar on Figueroa. I was early but Jack was already there watching whatever game he had money on, which was whatever game was on; cause every story needs a gambling addict, cause broken-down is cool – so fucking endearing - please gamble responsibly. Sally and I slide into a booth in the back and I have to yell over some jukebox top-forty flashback to get Jack’s attention then send him back for drinks. Sally’s having a shot of whiskey; I gave up drinking so I’m just having a beer..,

“Something dark and imported if you’re buying.”

“Ooh, just like I like my men.”

“Dark and imported?”

“No, bought.” Said Jack cause every story needs gay stereotypes and old jokes.

When Jack came back we just bullshitted around talking about the weather and the strike and after a few rounds Sally introduced herself to Jack. I hadn’t because, you know, she’s not real and figured Jack couldn’t see her, most can’t, one needs to be able to not just look but see - the sight of the sightless. So when Sally excused herself to go to the restroom.,

“What the fuck Steve? You fucking around on my sister? What’s up with Jennifer?”

“Man, cool it Jack. Her real name is not Jennifer it’s Sally and Sally isn’t real.”


“Jennifer is Sally and Sally’s not real just our perspective being manipulated.”


“If Sally were real her name would not be Jennifer and she wouldn’t be in the bathroom.”

“I don’t understand. Why wouldn’t she be in the bathroom if she were real? Real girls go to the bathroom.”

“Because if she were real; she wouldn’t even be here.”

“But because she's not, she is?”

“Right. Now you’re getting it. Actually she’s a paraplegic Wiccan that lives off Western.., I think. Man I’m surprised you can see her at all. She’s not even supposed to be in this story."

Jack was getting loopy..,

"How long you been here?”

“Only couple hours."

"You seem a bit more, discombobulated, than normal..,"

"Discombobulated.., what the fuck. I don't know.., maybe it’s my allergy medicine.”

“What do you take?”

“A DIY recommended anti-freeze based inhalant.”

“Yeah, maybe. I didn’t know you had allergies.”

“I don’t.”

Sally came back and Jack got another round of drinks then started to ask Sally about herself,

“So Jennifer where’re you from?”

“If there were a San Lobos, New Mexico, that’s where I’d be from.”

“What? You can’t be from some conditional place.”

“Every place is a conditional place.”

“Yeah but every place doesn’t start with ‘if there were’.”

“Haven’t you heard what happened?”

“What if I had., with what?”

“San Lobos, New Mexico.”

“What about San Lobos, New Mexico?”

“It doesn’t exist.”

Jack gave me a look like are you kidding me.

“I need another drink. Is anything real?”

“Yeah, bad cheese – but it’s a moving target.

“Here, let me get it.”

As I make my way to the bar I’m knocked nearly off my feet by deja-vu as I think I’d heard something I’d already seen before my phone rings and as I answer it I realize it wasn’t deja-vu really but a dream – it was San Lobos, New Mexico.

After being hung-up on, I make my way back from the bar with drinks in hand and walk into..,

"Have you heard about the dog that can drive?"

"A dog that can drive?" Jack was a skeptic.

"Yeah, they call him Driver."

"Driver? Give me a break..,"

"No, really.., Driver."

"Driver, the incredible driving dog.., Whatever..," Cynic Jack fronting with disregard.

"He was an inspiration to millions."

"Sure he was - he probably..,"

"Well he just died."

"Died.., What you mean.., Seriously.., Driver died?" Now fighting back the tears; "Fucking inspiration.., gone. How could this happen?"

"Went to scratch behind his ear - lost control - crashed into a wall. Car blew up and everything..., Had to be identified through dental records."


I had to interrupt and interject..,

“Come on, gotta drink these up. Need to pick-up Rose.”


“Yeah she just called, wants out her shift early, says some guy’s creeping her out.., and we/I need to be there like now.”

Jack said “That doesn’t sound like Rose.” and

I said, “Whatever.”

But wondered as we walked to the car if this had anything to do with her new career goal of waxing and bleaching assholes. Then Jack stopped me before I got into the car, as if in confidence, whispering about Sally going with us to pick up Rose. I whispered back, as if in confidence,

“Like I said she’s not real so it doesn’t matter; and I can’t just leave her. She’s a paraplegic for god’s sake.”


I pull up in front of the club where Rose is already outside waiting. She drops into the front as Sally and Jack were in back. As I’m pulling out she checks her reflection in the vanity mirror glued to the back-side of the sun visor she’s about to tear off; then punches the radio for a free spin cause she hates that song – I ain’t saying shit - She was pissed.

“I got to get out of this place. There’s got to be a better way. I’m calling those people.”

“What people?” Jack asked.

While trying to puff-up some positive pride; “I’m going to be a cosmetologist.”
“You’re going into outer space?” Jack all excited.

“Not that kind of cosmetologist!” Rose sarcastically snapped back then softened.
She told Jack about her vision. Jack was not a believer but thought that waxed and bleached assholes were cool.

“Bleached and waxed., or; I don’t know I’m so confused.” Sobbed Rose.

“Waxed and bleached.” I said reassuringly as I patted her thigh. “Waxed and bleached.”