Friends and Fish. #happybirthdayjason #nightlife @jasonjtapia @somecallmejordy @djadeluca @classicmegz (at California Academy of Sciences)
I can only assume all these pimples I’m getting are from a second puberty. Soon I’ll be 6’ 2’’, my voice will deepen, and I’ll grow a full beard. Wishful thinking.
Maybe my diet of candy, cola, coffee, and cigarettes is catching up to me.
I might actually be cursed. While talking about nightly facial cleansing regimens at work, I opened my big mouth to share. “I just wash my face in the morning, and that’s about it.” That was the stupidest thing I’ve could have said because it always elicits the response, “You have beautiful skin!”
The gods who had once granted me “beautiful skin” only have one stipulation to this gift: there can be no talking about it.
Almost as soon as the phrase was uttered, a huge face friend (I named him Bob) came to visit my face. Since Bob was uninvited, I tried to forcefully evict him, leaving a crime scene on cheek. Not knowing what to do, I placed a small bandage over the mark to hide the evidence.
Naturally, when one has a Band-Aid on their face, people will ask, “What happened?” Not wanting to anger the gods, I invented a few excuses. A cat scratched me. Knife fight. Walked into a door. Tired of the snarky responses I finally fessed up to a friend. “Well I had this pimple…”
“A pimple? But you have such beautiful skin!”
So another “friend” moved onto the other side of my face, because unlike clusters of stars, pimples need no rhyme or reason.
Two Band-Aids elicit the question, “Dude, what’s going on with your face.”
“I don’t know. Pimples. I just hope they go away.”
“Well don’t worry. You have beautiful skin.”
This invited another onto my forehead.
I’ve changed my pillow cases and switched hair products, but maybe now that I’m turning 30 I’ll have to take care of myself. I’m still holding out for a second puberty.
During my supervisor’s evaluation of my quality performance, she addressed a crucial aspect of my selling technique that I was lacking.
“You’re initially engaging and polite enough, but you need to start asking ‘exploring questions’. This will allow you to improve your quality, but also will create a connection to the client, making you more memorable and boosting your sales.”
I do have a rapport with my clients, although outside of the initial inquiry or transaction, I feel that I do need to initiate conversation and not rely on the technical aspects to get me through the interaction. Clients will let you know when they want to engage. I need to identify that to create a relationship.
Several hours later, after an early dinner and some night time grocery shopping, I headed to the train stop on Church and Market to make my way home. I waited alongside an adorable fellow that I managed to discreetly check out a few times before boarding the train.
As I entered the car, scanning my pass for “proof of payment”, the electronic signal gave an angry beep and flashed red. Insufficient funds. I grimaced and made a yelp, embarrassed, but also terrified of a $100 ticket so close to rent being due. I looked up to see my adorable fellow smiling and laughing.
“What?” I asked, my smile matching his.
“No, no, it’s nothing,” he replied, assuring me that it was the situation, or more my reaction, that he was responding to.
“I don’t want to get a ticket.”
“Don’t worry. You won’t,” he said. Then we shared a laugh.
My groceries and I took a seat across from the fellow, and for the short ride home we sat in silence. At my station we exchanged smiles again as I exited the train, although I was too shy to watch him depart.
If I took a page from my employee handbook I could have engaged him in conversation. “My name is Jason…how is you’re night going…how are you so sure I’m not going to get a ticket?” Instead I performed my function (making him laugh) and finished the transaction. Next time I’ll make sure to close the sale.
My English instructor, Mr. Dulman, passed away on Friday.
I would like to thank him for his feedback. I genuinely think that Mr. Dulman had enjoyed my work, being the silver lining on a semester which has been difficult and disheartening.
He was a quirky fellow, who published his first book in 2012 at 61 years old, and will surely be missed by those who have known him for much longer then I have.
Put it on a piece of paper,
and throw it away…
With tales to be told in one city, and sex to be had in the other city, it’s just too exhausting…
I left my heart in San Francisco…
And my wallet somewhere in Queens.