I'll come up with something in a minute.

I can smell fear, and it smells like Drakkar Noir

Once upon a time, I knew some rich people. Not 1% rich, but 5% maybe 10% rich. Trophy wife and private school rich. Yacht and second house bigger than most people’s first house rich. So rich, but not mega rich. Rich enough that they’ve become terrified about their relative postions.

I was 15/16 and a friend of a friend introduced me to a friend and I was informally adopted for a couple of weeks during a couple of summers when someone was home from school. The details are unimportant and hazy, and I’m not interested in talking about that right now anyway.

The story I want to tell is when I was chosen as an escort to some… thing or other. Someone was getting an award and there was going to be a dinner afterward and I wasn’t told I would be in a room full of suits until we were on our way or I might have not worn purple sweatpants. However, I did, and I’m not ashamed of that fact because I’m not ashamed of much at all.

Shame doesn’t get you very far in life kids.

So I’m sat at a table, while the girl who in retrospect had a crush on me the size of Mt. Rushmore and was aching for me to make a move, went off with her mother to talk about something. I’m not entirely sure what they were talking about, but she wasn’t getting in trouble for bringing me because I think her mother was hoping to pick up a bit on the side when she was done with me. Also, she would have mentioned if her mother had been annoyed because she was reveling in annoying her mother that year. I do believe, I was part of that, but that’s not important right now.

As a result of her being called off, I was sat at a table with seven other guys. Five of them were employed by the company that was giving someone an award, one was their boss and the last one was a college kid who was interning with the company, but because of college he didn’t have the full suit but only a shirt and tie. The boss was one of those silvering haired jackasses that likes to be an executive, and likes to tell people he’s an executive and has been an executive so long he has truly forgotten people like me exist.

So we’re sitting there, and it’s a no-booze do because of all the college kids and people like me. So the executive orders a Slice with “lots of ice” requesting the waitress to “fill the glass” and I can see a couple of the guys sort of squirm. They hate Slice, but they’re going to drink it because Bossman drinks it. I’m not joking, as she goes around the table it’s “Slice, lots of ice.” “Slice, lots of ice.” “Same for me.” and my heart is filled with contempt for these people. I can tell damn well that one wants a Pepsi, that one wants some root beer and that one wants a needle filled with heroin and a line of cocaine to chase it with.

It’s about this time that I start to notice that unlike most places I’ve been, the colognes of the men aren’t mingling into a strange mixed scent. It’s only Drakkar Noir at table five, no other scents prevail, perhaps mine. But my scent was a faint hint of shampoo and not much else because I hadn’t even shaved. It’s about this time that I realize the thing that separates me from everyone else.

I’m the only person at this table who isn’t terrified.

Everyone else, even the bossman, is afraid. They’re afraid of not being on the right track. Sure, they all drive Fords, but are they driving the right Ford? Does a winner drive an Explorer? Surely, only a looser drives and Escort. What about a Mustang, or a Thunderbird? Can a winner really be seen driving those? Remember this is the early 90s, when neither car had any balls to speak of. Is this the right shirt? Should I have an oxford collar? What if only a loose uses a Windsor knot? High School is merciful, compared to the management track. There is as much information to understand as there is in the geekworld, it’s just the rules aren’t written down and you have to be smart in a different way. More about that in my next post.

And then there was me…

I don’t care how these people view me, I don’t care if they like me or not, I’m not thinking about anything they can do to me or for me. They can’t do anything to or for me. Even if they could, I don’t much care. I’m not worried about it, I know what I need and I know what they need and I get things done. I am, in a few words, the man without fear. I have never been concerned with the stupid little things that need to be done, should be done, ought to be done. I have no respect for social levels, or how much someone makes, or if I’ve impressed so and so. Ask Syd how easy that makes me to live with sometime. Weddings are a chore because “fuck wearing a tie, I don’t give a shit about those people” and so on. The thing is, the lack of fear mixed with the not giving a good god damn, makes other people want to sit next to me.

A lack of fear might be a sign of psychosis, but it is also perceived as a sign of being big dog on top.

When the waitress came to me, I decided to buck trends and stick to my guns and stay the course and not actually think about it and just order like I always do. “Coke no ice.” Oh how easily the words tumbled from my lips. Nothing major, not for me, but conversation at the table stopped. Someone put on a record, just so they could do that sound of yanking the needle and making a record scratch sound.

“Really?” one of the scared dogs men at the table asked. I looked at him for about two seconds longer than I needed to before smiling and saying “Yeah, I don’t like my pop watered down.” He looked at me, and I looked at him and he broke eye contact first and nodded, which caused the Bossman to laugh. He actually threw his head back and laughed. One single solid “HA!” and that was it. Now, I’m not sure my dears, my darlings, what I said that was so funny. All I can figure is that I’d stared down a guy who had perceived himself as a sergeant at arms and given him an answer that couldn’t be balked in a polite setting. I’d worked out a way around him and no one could do anything about it. His only real reaction was one of fear and bluster, and I have no fear to react with so he broke first.

As a result of this, the bossman started talking to me. Instead of talking about my plans, what school I was going to, where I would work, and what road I would eventually take to get from here to there, I spoke about what interested me. I told him about a documentary I’d recently seen about the evolution of mankind and how we pertained to apes. By refusing to talk about what he wanted to know about, and only talking about what I wanted to talk about, I managed two things. One, avoiding boredom. Two, and this would have been important if I’d had any use for it, which I didn’t, I established for the table which of us was the bigger dog. I was on top of the conversation, I was leading the bossman around the room with my fresh knowledge about human behavior being like that of chimps, and I was holding the table.

You could see it in their eyes, I was clearly a bigger, more important dog than their boss. Their boss was the biggest, most important dog they knew, and I was dominating him. I could see a couple of guys, particularly the one who wanted a root beer, thinking that maybe turning their loyalties toward the kid in the flannel shirt was the way to go. So much so that when the waitress came back to freshen drinks, the root beer kid did the bravest thing he’d ever done in his life. He ordered another Slice, but this time without ice! I wanted to berate him, I wanted to bang the table and demand he order the root beer he wanted, but I couldn’t. That would have been pack behavior, that would have been showing concern for another member of the group, and I don’t have pack behavior. I’m not a group member, not of any group, but I am pretty and fuzzy and will let the right people pet me while biting everyone else.

I’m not a dog, I’m a cat.

That’s what they didn’t understand, that’s what almost no one ever understands. I’m not looking to be the top dog in the hierarchy, I’m looking to be the most honest cat who just doesn’t give a shit and will tree a bear if provoked. My wants and needs are so far different from everyone else’s that while they might try and act like they get what I’m saying when I say this, their actions prove that they haven’t the first notion what I mean.

I can’t honestly suggest this to you as a career path, because it doesn’t work for al people. You have to be smart enough, strong enough, interesting enough, and pretty enough all at once to pull it all off together. Also, you have to understand the difference between tough and mean, between clever and cruel, and most of all between honesty and douche baggery. Hang on a second, that needs to be a bigger point, it’s far more important.

You have to understand the difference between tough and mean, between clever and cruel, and most of all between honesty and douche baggery.

Also, don’t use Drakkar Noir, because it smells like fear.

August 5, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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