Romancing San Francisco [Chapters 9 & 10: Paranoia]

By | November 17, 2017

I was getting excited about the Christmas Party, and so the folks in my department at work assigned me to make the greeting handout, and so I drew a picture of a drunken fat man with his hair standing up; –everyone liked it. In the mean time, Dan was having a number of parties at his house. One evening, a few days before the Christmas Party, I was in his apartment, he and his brother were smoking some pot, some stuff from Mexico. I got too high too quickly off the pot I think; I had a few beers before hand also. I had not really smoked pot much before, other than maybe a drag here or there, but nothing like this. I mean I took some heavy drags, smoking a whole joint with Dan. I hadn’t done that before.

I sat back then, in a sofa chair and tried to get my senses back. Dan knew I was struggling a bit.

“You all right Chick?” He asked.

“Not sure, boy I feel something…not sure if I like it either,” Dan kind of chuckled, and sat back, lit another joint up, –his brother then came in, seen me, said hello, I gave him a smiling-smirk, and he joined his brother to help finish off the joint he was smoking.

Said Jack to Dan, his brother, “Chick keeps staring…matter of fact, he’s staring at me right now, look?”

Said Dan,

“Pay no attention, I think he’s going into a bad trip, leave him alone, he’ll come back to us.”

“F*ck no, he’s staring at me,” said Jack. I was staring, but not for reasons he was thinking, that is to fight or provoke, I was paranoid. He was then talking to Dan saying he was going to punch me, I moved my head a little looked at Dan and Jack, I seemed almost frozen, and told myself, if he did, I’m not sure what I could do, but I’d have to jump quick, even though I was under some kind of panic I didn’t understand. Jack stood up from sitting by Dan on the floor, moved over by me thinking he was going to do something, but didn’t get too close. Dan knew I’d defend myself if I had to, and it wouldn’t be pretty, yet neither one knew how frozen I was in this limbo state. Could I move out of the way quickly enough? And was Jack getting paranoid also. Dan jumped up, grabbed Jack, “Back off Jack, I don’t want any trouble. If you want to talk to him after he comes out of if fine, but not like this.”

Jack stepped back, he seen me follow each of his movements, I felt I’d try to do what I had to do, but if not, I was playing poker, and Dan knew it would never end here, and I’d have to put Dan down also, and I would.

Two hours passed, I came about, and out of this trance like stage.

“You ok, Chick,” Dan said.

“Yaw, I’m fine, how about your brother?” Dan knew now it was time to sort things out.

“Listen,” he commented, as his brother sat on the floor smoking another joint, “He didn’t understand how you were, he’s young, you know.

Jack jumped up, “I’m not afraid of him.”

“Jack,” I said, “I’m not subdued anymore, the best you can do is sit back down and let your brother talk, or go out side with me, and I’ll kick your ass down, you’re no match for me, not now anyway.”

“Chick, if you take him on you got to take me also,” Dan said, adding, “I know he did wrong, but I stopped him, and I apologize for him.”

“Dan,” I calmly said, “I’ll walk away, but if he gets in my way, if I have to put you both down, I’ll do it.”

“He’s not going to get in your way, nor am I, we’re all friends here, both of you shake hands.” Jack hesitated, didn’t want to, but for some reason didn’t want to walk around wondering I suppose if and when I’d get drunk some night, and out of control, in short, then go looking for him.

“Ok, maybe I was a little pushy, I like Chick, I just didn’t like the staring. Ok, let’s shake,” and he extended his hand, and that was that.

The Party

Well finally the party day was here. I quickly washed up at work, and joined everyone in the backroom at Lilli Ann’s; Adolph Shuman was present himself, along with Mr. Green, Dan, Mr. Rosenberg the Manager, my boss the London designer, Dan’s Spanish girlfriend, and the fifty other folks. I guess when he first started the company; they said he gave out money, and expensive gifts. I guess it was a long road for him, he first started selling dresses in the windows on consignment in downtown San Francisco, stores, then one thing lead to another, and he became rich. Not sure how that all worked out. He must have had a head on his shoulders, and public relation skills. Nobody gets far without that in this world.

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He started handing out bottles of expensive Scotch, “Here,” he said to me, handing it to me personally. As if he forgot who I was–again. He had gotten so mad at me one day he told the Manager to fire me after he almost stuttered trying to tell me “DDDDDdoooontt drop the materialsssssss…” he lost it I think for a moment that day. I said “No problem sir…” and he shook his head hollering, “Get rid of him, fire him.” Oh well, I don’t blame him for getting mad, I suppose he spent a life time trying to build up a business, and its name, I was not what you might call the best “Bundle Boy,” trying to see where else I could fit into his company; actually everyone but me was trying to advance it seemed I thought, but never acted on promotion. Actually I was doing a little bit of everything, cutting material, and this and that; –and in-between, doing what they called “Bundle Boy,” things.

The party went on for awhile, food was all about, and the punch was spiked with some kind of liquor everyone liked. The two Spanish gals that liked me up in Mr. Green’s working area were eyeing me up again, but I paid little attention, I didn’t want any problems with married people, but they were cute. Dan and I got a ride home from Colleen, and when we got back into our room, Colleen told me she had moved into the small room. Great I told her, not sure why it was kept a secret, but so be it. Dan traded me for the bottle of Scotch, I didn’t drink hard liquor, and he and his brother liked it.

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