I Hate Drunk Monkeys:
Copyright © 2013 by Tidy Eye
All Rights Reserved
Rip Gets An Assignment
The angry blam blam on the motel door had dislodged all the loose shards of its remaining peely paint by the time the racket woke me. I finally got stirred into this stale-tasting world of noise at about midday. These snowballing elements fast gave rise to another nauseating sensation not dissimilar to having my crew-cut nut walloped repeatedly with a 2LB hammer, plus the need to vomit.
As I sailed across the darkened room like an escaped lunatic on crack I felt another indecipherable sting. Attacked by eye-withering sunlight, panic set in as my thoughts gradually focused.
Yes, I am desperate for an assignment. Yes, I spent most of the cash I did have on a glorious bender before last night's booze and hookers took the rest. So, yes this noisy knocker must be the bearer of an employer's request because I only celebrate to the point of memory loss when there's a big pay check due and therefore a sub. This is my logic.
Therefore my greeting this irritated visitor against all the odds was paramount no matter how I got there, covered in puke or not.
Then a dawning realisation: having overreacted to the pummelling I'd leapt out of bed right onto a broken beer bottle resulting in the liquid contents of my right foot now oozing onto what the owners must have mistaken for carpet.
Putting cash before personal safety I moved to answer the door to this small, persistent Mexican man, Alberto, who chain-smoked cigarillos because his brother-in-law owned the local store and he got them for free. When he'd eventually got enough of my attention to motivate me back on a path to the source of the pounding and rattling, I merely pictured a pay check, removed and disposed the glass shard and hurriedly squelched to the door.
I yanked it open as politely as I could manage, considering my state, letting both the searing heat and trash can stink in. His pounding had left a slight imprint in the already half rotten door and when I turned to look down at him he handed me a note.
I tried to say "Thank you" but because my mind was three steps ahead of my body, as it generally is, my tongue just wasn't having it and adamantly stuck and lagged in various places, bound by remnants of last night's Chilli, Beer, vomit, brown, nuggety phlegm and the tarry residue of too many cigarettes, cigars, and hash pipes. Thus the words came out like I'd just had major dental work and still had the Dentist's hand in my mouth.
I had a quick squint around. A mistake. The night before a cool breeze caressed the parking lot and desert beyond. Soft light from a low full moon had seemed almost tranquil under the influence of the Grass and Beer.
I marvelled at the way it was illuminated from other varied sources of light ranging from car head and tail lights, to street lamps to neon signs and in contrast this glaring picture now presented to me was alarmingly bald, rude, way overexposed, in my face plus the stench from the garbage cans made a b-Line for my highly sensitive and easily offended nose and made me wretch.
Through good natured but savvy watery brown eyes Alberto, who exuded a kind of monkish calmness, observed my condition, lowered his gaze to my dripping foot and gave a sympathetic smile as he whispered the word 'sangre', bid me a good day in Spanish and scuttled back to reception, a blaze of white.
I smiled without showing my teeth and darted back inside, praying my emergency bottle of Tequila was still hidden under the bed, thus relieving me of the inconvenience of stumbling across the avenue in the one hundred degree heat to the tiny store for another one I wasn't sure I even had the cash to pay for.
Upon closing the door and discovering that the air-conditioning unit below the front window did in fact work if it was plugged in, I hobbled over to the bathroom to inspect my foot and read the note along the way. All it said was: Been trying to get a hold of you for three days. Call Brad and turn your fucking cell phone on why don't you?
That was great. It could mean I had an assignment but how they'd gotten the number of this shit hole I'll never know. No matter, bottom line was Brad had hopefully come through with a job just like he said he would.
Brad was an old School friend and Photo agency Chief who occasionally threw me a bone, work wise.
I'd called him a week ago with a message: "Hey, man! I'm in town. Call me when you've got somethin'."
I switched on the shower and doused my now throbbing foot. The white tiled bathroom was the cleanest and brightest part of the whole place, courtesy of the overhead fluorescent light, but even it had cracked walls and more peely paint. So what was I doing here? Good question. Work was the reason, as usual.
I'm one of those guys celebrities loathe, once they get celebrity, one of those guys they at first welcome and then try to shun; a paparazzi, although I prefer the term 'Press photographer.' I shoot on HD now. Digital makes my work way easier than it once was.
I can have a picture in front of a newspaper editor in moments, but then again so can my competition. So what I do is get there first, follow obscure leads courtesy of my tipsters and other sources.
I was out here covering a story for Brad's agency and had to trail a pack of movie stars and assorted celebs and hangers-on to a desert wedding and the huge estate they were all spirited away to. Unfortunately for them the Limo company they used is home to a regular tipster of mine. All I had to do was get with my man Larry and part with a few hundred bucks. Money well spent.
So, I climbed in my SUV, cracked open a bottle of Amberbuck, hit the gas and the play button. I arrived three hours later, hid the Truck and got the exclusive. I shot the couple no one had seen together before and there was definitely no other fucker around to steal my bounty. This conjured up the magic words: worldwide syndication. How did I get it?
I put on a borrowed, UPS uniform, wrote out a phony receipt and buzzed the gate. The receptionist let me in and I just hung around after delivering the fake package.
When the cars pulled up I was right there to nab a few hundred shots. Nothing conspicuous.
Next stop was my laptop before uploading the files straight to the picture desk's own server and voila! They took the stills they wanted and wired the money, or rather, not. They fucked that up royally and now I'm short. And just when I wanted to party too. Wouldn't you fuckin' know it?
So there was I all smug and stylin', post upload, being escorted off the grounds by security. Out of nowhere we were accosted by a motor-mouth of a woman with the message that due to an oversight a wedding photographer had not been appointed and so if I would be kind enough to wait for a week I would be granted exclusive rights to the shots so long as I kept my own loose lips sealed and sign a gagging agreement to that effect.
Until then my accommodation and expenses were to be met and I was advised that the remuneration generated from the pictures would more than make up for any inconvenience experienced in this undertaking. This I knew. I could use what I'd taken now but no mention of location was to be made until after the event. Damn. OK, how could I refuse?
The old sow even handed me the faxed agreement right there. No problem. I can keep my mouth shut if I'm getting a check. What can I say, everyone has a price, right?
By this time I'm at the gate and was seen out. She bade me a fond farewell, snatched her pen back and handed me a few hundred bucks cash up front. This I rapidly drank and snorted.
So that's what I'm doing here, waiting for the call from Brad because I got stiffed on the original gig, and still hadn't been told when to turn up back at Sierra Palms, the name of the Desert Resort. Maybe I could get another cash advance? But fuck asking dragon lady.