The Flower Fancier and I worked under the guidance of the first Marx Brother I ever met. I'd gotten the job as a favour between friends. My mother, his brother, he her unrequited lover. Our boss at the luminescent truckstop was in that generation of bosses whose management strategy was that they be your friend. Except Bill Marx worked too hard and discovered it was more interesting to be my friend than to be my boss. Looking back on it now, it only occurrs to me he might have been chastising me and warning me for working too hard. He was a jovial sort, with wine or port taking me down to the Bot, trying to talk me into the sense of settling down or just decorative charming a woman. Everyone wished my comics well. Here Andrew theres work to be done, but I don't mind if you talk to a few friends in the shop. Just dont turn it into a social club. Theres a time and a place. Oh lord please tell me theres a time and a place.
He rented me a cheap house and bought St John a puddlejumper. I'm sure somebody in that car was aware Kevin Smith had done similar things in Clerks a few years earlier but I only find this in the hindsight of coincidence with suspects. The Bruce Lee and Jim Lee fans I met, we all locked up one night shift and went out for a ride. or played football on the forecourt another time. St John tried to convert me to Cat Stevens but I was such an ass we usually ended up debating which was the best Smiths album. It seemed we improvised sound effects to go along with those. It was all Smiths on the tape deck and classic R.E.M. One anonymous poster to my livejournal would frequently land me into trouble, extrovert slacker stopping the night and getting caught. He would murmur Juh Garache but when the night shift ended I would walk down the main street in the sunlight in my big beaming brim wide cowboy hat. Really luv, I would wonder if I had ever played with a Mott the Hoople in the back garden of my childhood.
There are so many other stories to tell. About the defeat of the demon-christians and the rise given by the human-christian-humans. Debby, my fathers best friends daughter, who while there dated her best friend and had some kids of her own. Together theyre building a multi-communications network somewhere which was further than any of us could reach just mucking about with the tanoy. About the blue eyed brunette who 'took no shit' and though it was clear she gave some, I'd stand by her. Someone had to man the till though and she needed her time off. Thats the thing about adopting a position in the matriarchal highway. You need your time off, otherwise its all self deficient. The truckstops open 24 hours and you can come by whenever. I left some company jotters lying around with cartoons in them, or some really dodgy poetry. At the end of the 11pm-8am nightshift, those signs out front may have to be changed. The big glowing ones. I been up all night listening to Talking Heads and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. I get to sleep through the street engineers. Sure I'll take a lift home and some physical contact. A cup of tea or a smile to a good friend handing over the reigns of hardship to another. Its only shift work after all. Theres a time and a place.