My morning client had asked for a copy of the zine, so he'll be the first to see the March issue, but it'll be defective. 

I walked to Kinko's and ran just four copies — one for the client, one for Factsheet Five 'cuz their deadline is near, one for me to do corrections of the typos (galley proofs, essentially), and one for just in case. 

Kinko's screwed up, though, ran the copies one-sided, and more annoying, the punk chick at the register somehow managed to smear her lipstick onto several pages on my master copy. It was all comped for their mistake, but it still sucks. I'll have to re-type the pages she — what did she do to them, anyway?

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I walked to the address the client gave me, which was only a few blocks from my apartment, and it's a big and busy house full of people. I asked for Bill, and someone showed me to his room, but he shouted through the door that he wasn't dressed yet. I got to know one of the cats while my maybe-boss put his britches on, and several guys I assume are his flatmates walked down the hall. 

He's not an ordinary fellow. First thing he said to me was, "Hi, I'm Bill, and my hobby is sex." I laughed, and he said, "No, I'm serious," and I laughed again. It wasn't an ordinary job interview. 

The job was not what I'd expected, either. I'd misunderstood his voice-mail message — he'd said he runs Black Books, which I assumed was a bookstore, but it's not. It's a tiny-scale publishing concern. They print books, and a sex-oriented zine called Black Sheets. I traded my zine for his, and his hardened me an hour later at home.

And how did Bill know that I publish a zine? He told me that a friend of his had read my zine and seen my flyers in the neighborhood, and when Bill said, "I could use some help in the office," his friend had suggested calling me. Whoever that friend is, reckon I owe him an ice cold generic cola.

Bill told me a lot about himself, and wanted to know lots about me. Asking me about me tends to seal me up, but I decided I liked him and answered. Usually it takes 6-8 weeks before I feel comfortable around anyone, but after just a few minutes I heard myself rambling on irrelevantly, like I do here in the zine.

I was saying something about how facial tattoos make me queasy, when it occurred to me that I'd forgotten my glasses and he was across the room, so hell, he might have a triple-pierced nose and my eyes wouldn't have been focused enough to tell. Up closer, his nose seemed virginal so no offense was taken, and I'll start working for him on Monday — a few days a week, data entry mostly, to input a backlog of paperwork and help with mailings and such. 

We shook hands, and as I was leaving a naked, gray-haired man came dancing down the stairs wearing a shirt and tie but no pants, with his dick bouncing at right about my eye-height. Another flatmate, I presume. 

I've done office work for Macy's, a pharmacy, a car dealership, and several other boring businesses, but this gig might be more interesting.

From Pathetic Life #11
Friday, April 7, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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  1. Perhaps you address this in future entries, but if not, how did he know you were the guy with the PL zine?

    1. Damn -- that's a great question. Guess I didn't explain that, even when this was first printed in the 1990s.

      A friend of Bill's saw my zine, and nudged him into calling me. I'll add an explanation to the text above.

    2. I figured it was something like that, friend of a friend stuff. But good to have it clarified in print. Thanks.


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