Cakes don’t change. Plastic wrappers. “Real” cream filling. BEING. His television, milk and pastries. Adolescent twenty-seven. Soda, smoke, snacks. Like ten years gone had never been.
Passive, floating, shuffled by Time. Sixteen. New body shapes new clothing. Tunes. His room. Door locked. Illicit herb burned in a dirty-water bong. Loitering at the Mall, buying, driving, posing. Movies, pizza, boon companions.
“Won’t last forever,” Guidance Counselor warned.
Aptitude test discovered aptitude.
College: “Media studies.”
Four-year extension of childhood that was campus life. New friends, scenery, same old television box of noise and diatribe, sports and speeches.
Cream-filled cakes. Time away from Mother. Grade point average “C” for confusion.
Graduation. Masterful display of stealth and cunning; black gowns so they can sneak up from behind when the Gates of Knowledge opened and Alma Mater tossed him out. Gates slammed shut.
Classified Ad hook-up with Music. Apartment in The City. Young men asserting to The Nation. The Nation asserted back. Work paid well. Not constant.
“Caterer and Facilitator to The Stars.”
Building a career watching television, eating cream-filled cakes. Smoke and video construct. Locked cabinet in Time they called “The Day.”
Things change, BEING remains. Cream-filled cakes. Celebrities, Stars.
(Young men, not kids. Time is Now. Look differently on BEING. Remember my own ambitious work-toward-an-end. The end. I understand inertia knuckle-twist to spine, BEING. Now, now. I forgive, I understand.)
Voices from Home. Father, past seventy, fought the war of his generation, made himself millions. Work, cunning, investment. Called to ask, “What work? what job? Television? What kind? Writer, actor. . .?”
“Production assistant. Celebrities. Stars. Work is slow. I have to build. Whenever there’s shooting in The City, they recommend me,” said BEING. “My name.”
Father sent money. His only son. No choice but to believe. Faith in BEING. Still young, a kid. Plenty of time to make of himself. Something.
Mother fretted about her son’s ability to yield.
“Your sister goes to The Graduate School. Why not you? Young. Become a lawyer.”
“I want entertainment. To be in entertainment.”
“As what, a waiter, serving wealthy people fancy drinks?”
“I’m a production assistant. Lots of things. Catering. I build sets, help with equipment.”
“BEING. . . BEING. . .”
“Leave me alone I’m doing fine.”
Dirty old bong. Crinkle-crush of wrapper. Comforting, cream-filled cakes.