Tuesday, March 20, 2012

R.I.P., D.G.I.

The first time I met him on his turf--within the guarded and locked confines of the upstairs of the club--he threw his arms out and exclaimed, "My son!" as he charged toward me, other employees and dancers flanking him, filling the hallway, all bearing witness and helping to immediately and nonverbally impress upon me just who and what Jim was to the club. This was his world and they (and now me too) were merely his loyal subjects: at his mercy, subject to his every whim, mood swing, or paranoid fantasy. 

I recoiled involuntarily. I choked and laughed at the same time as he quickly withdrew his arms and the smile fell from his face. His eyes seemed to become a darker, flatter black. Vince flinched, then caught himself and managed a dry giggle and a comical shrug to Jim, patting me on the shoulder, then hunching and quickly lighting his cigarette with one of those shitty clear plastic corner store lighters.

"What?" I meekly asked, all of us just standing there in the illustrated hallway outside what would soon be my office.

And in that moment Jim and I locked eyes and I could see that he had made up his mind just who and what I was. And, by extension, the limitations of what exactly I'd ever be to him. What value, if any, I might have for him to use. And it was hard not to feel like that valuation had just gone down substantially by not going along with his Vince impersonation. 

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