Insert Chassis Albuquerque: May 2018

Chapter 8 - The Short Skirt: "Gretta Garbo With Two `T's"

My phone rang again.
Ronald Ford was heading over to GARBAGE later tonight, a small club where a lot of counterculture types tended to hang out (before moving on to whatever was the next newest, most popular counterculture club whenever GARBAGE died). GARBAGE provided a platform for poets, writers and singers. Every few nights famous singers and actors would drop in to check out the acts. It was a careful, delicate symbiosis between the counterculture types and the famous, who wanted to be seen to be a part of of whatever was going on and try tap into the momentum of the movement - one would influence the other’s success.
Ronald wanted me to meet his date, Gretta Garbo, an up-and-coming film actress.
Obviously not the famous Swedish actress, Greta Garbo, a fact this Garbo had sought to clarify with me almost immediately.
“It’s Gretta, with two T’s,” she corrected me when we met.

Chapter 7 - The Short Skirt: "Sackball's New Apartment"

I was still going to have words with Ethel Sackball.
I'm not blaming her, but I’m definitely holding her responsible for this mess - from just minutes earlier when I was getting rid of Sharnay to fucking her over the kitchen sink by the dish-rack.
I was in deep.
Sharnay wasn’t the kind of girl you could leave, just take a look at her sap husband. He knew all about her and her “affairs” and still wouldn’t divorce her.
So, if she wouldn’t leave, I’d have to.
While Sharnay was grabbing a snack from the fridge, I said I was gonna take a shower and escaped down the fire escape instead. I could hear her shouting all kinds of profanity at me from the window just as I reached the bottom of the fire escape. Wisely, I’d thought to lock the communal bathroom door. Sharnay would have no choice but to leave because she refused to use any ablutionary facilities that were communal.

Chapter 6 - The Short Skirt: "Sharnay Serizay"

My phone rang.
This was maybe the fifteenth time.
Judging by the persistence of the caller, I thought I knew who it was: Sharnay Serizay.
I was walking up the sidewalk to the entrance of my building. Bobbi-Jean was talking to that idiot building superintendent, Ethel Sackball. Bobbi-Jean was wearing another short skirt showing off her legs; they really were beautiful, long and tanned, a nice caramel color.
With legs like that I bet she’d crushed a lot of hearts.
Between them.
The two of them were talking and laughing, sharing some joke.
As soon as they saw me they stopped laughing - obviously I was the joke.

Chapter 5 - The Short Skirt: "First Day" I learnt the Boss didn't play piano or even own one.
But he sure had good shoes and drove a nice car.
Very old-school, he was big on a man’s shoes.
“Shoes,” the Boss said, “shoes are a way to judge a man - you know why, Broadway? So you at least you have an idea of what kind of shit a man’s already stood in.”
But why judge a man at all?
Because it's just something people (mostly women, wives and girlfriends) like to do.

Chapter 4 - The Short Skirt: "New Job"“Where you heading?” the taxi driver said when I jumped in the cab.
“The Big Piano Warehouse Discount Store - you know it?”
“Sure do - you in the market for a piano?” he said as we pulled off.
He sounded skeptical.
I shook my head.
“Say, you in some kind trouble…?” he asked suspiciously, looking in the rear-view mirror at me.
“Just quit my job back there at Beaumont’s,” I said, hoiking my thumb over my shoulder back that way and into the past.
“You’re unemployed…?” the cab driver practically screamed. He was alarmed and immediately swung the car over to the curb and hit the brakes. “Get the fuck out - move it…!” he yelled, reaching back and opening my door; we hadn’t even skidded to a complete stop.
“Hey, man…” I said but he wouldn’t hear it.
I got out and he sped away into the traffic.