It was about 7 pm

We were sitting in my office.  It was, as I remember about 7 pm.  The office, if you called it that, was originally a washroom reserved for handicaps.  That was a time when handicaps were considered and cared for as a segment of society.  Here, now, in this place society was a segment.  And the society that came in here, came here because they couldn't find themselves a place inside society.

In fact, business stank.  The girls we were attracting were better off at the city pound.  I was drinking more scotch than we sold.  The kitchen served more rancid grease than fries and my budget bounced between payroll and cocaine for the strippers.

And then there was Olius.  The bright new fresh faced dimply lad fresh out of school with the wide eyes and the new red tie.  Red was an action colour.

"But, Mister!", exclaimed Olius flipping and pointing and bottom lining and "ramping up" and "rolling out" and "striking hot irons" while delving and synergyzing wad of pie charts and pictograms, "statistics show...."

And Olius meticulously described his laborious plan to revive the club through comment cards and market surveys and performance reviews for the "ladies".  Team building, it seems, is the reason Asia's got us by the short ones.

"Olius", I said, "You're a dreamer, kid, you got a dreamer name, and I Iike you"

Out of respect for the kid I waited until he looked down at his paper work before spitting out my tobacco,

"Mister!", announced Olius, pulling a fresh pen from his crisp brown fedora, "you might not see it, but it's about Jack!"

I looked at him long and hard.  A handsome chap, to be sure, intelligent enough and keen as an Oklahoma farmer in the Spring.  His collar was starched and he was cleanly shaven.

"Jack? ", I asked, my own eyes staring through Olius in overwhelming disbelief, "the DJ?"

"Have you heard that man ryhme? ", piped Olius, his enthusiasm rising to an unbalanced crescendo, " There's our foundation.  Right there.  We build an image.  An illusion! We put speakers outside so that passersby can hear his, how can I put it?, to hear his hypnotic calling - the man's a virtual snake charmer!"

"Olius, let me put this into a language you can understand.  Foundation?  Take a walk past centre stage.  That creaking under your feet is the foundation.  There is no foundation.  Nothing to build on.  No money to spend.  No girls worth ogling unless you have a fetish for cold sores.  There is no passion here.  I stripped this place of passion when the new bylaws came in."

"But", said the graduate, pointing a rolled up demographic projections at me for effect, "it's about Jack's ryhme"

"It's not Jack, dude, it's acid.  Tomorrow he'll tell you he's a fire hydrant"

There was a long silence, awkward I'm sure to Olius.  Then, he bowed his head, shook my hand firmly while delivering eye contact full of disappointment and rejection.

"Nothing personal, Olius, I'm just a straight shooter, call'em as I see'em.  Never understood metaphors.", I said as I walked him out the door and patted him on the back, "You'll get your chance to shine, just not here"

And the last thing I heard from Olius as he kicked a napkin off the curb was under his breath.


The End

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