Friday, June 7, 2013

This week's LOST SOCIETY Episode... (Episode 002: Lost Change)

Here's another episode of "The Lost Society" which I wrote some 10-12 years ago... enjoy everyone! 

Lost Change (#002)

            Another day, another dollar.

            It was another Friday afternoon in the middle of June for the denizens of the central coast.  Once again Hewitt relaxed in his easy chair in his humble apartment, joined by his good friends Thompson and Jenkins.
            Most of these guys had the day off, so naturally they sat around with Hewitt and did nothing.  Jenkins and Thomson were quite comfortable.  The window was open and the cool ocean breeze permeated the apartment.  This wasn’t to say that the apartment had an ocean view, but in Santa Barbara, the whole town was within walking distance of the beach.
            Meanwhile, Hewitt picked up the phone and attempted to order a pizza.  He went through the motions, trying to make sure that the guys at the pizza place got all the ingredients right.

 [story continued after the jump]

            “Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Sausage, Bacon, Olives, Pepperoni, and Onions,” he recited.  “How much was that?”
            A pause
            “Okay, sounds good…yes, thank you.”
            Hewitt hung up the phone.  He spotted Jenkins and Thomson lounging on the couch.
            “That was pretty good, right?”  he asked.
            “Yeah, it’s all right.”  Jenkins concurred.
            “Hey, I’m going to go and get some soda.  Be right back, okay?” Thomson said.
            “I got some right here,” Hewitt replied.
            “No, no, we gotta make sure we have enough for all of us.”
            “Okay, go ahead.”

            Thomson left the apartment.  Not more than a moment or so later, Martinez, yes that same guy with the messed-up hair and the jeans jacket, walks inside.
            “Don’t you think you should ring the doorbell first?” Hewitt asked to Martinez
            “Ooops… sorry man.”
            “Hey, we’re going to have a pizza right now,” Hewitt said.  “Each of us is going to pay for part of it.”
            “Sounds good.”
            “I’m gonna need five bucks from you to help pay for it.” Hewitt said.
            “Five bucks?!” remarked Martinez, “but the whole pizza costs only ten or so!”
            “Yeah, and you eat most of it.  Give me the five bucks.” Hewitt retorted.
            Moments later, the remaining three fellows were slumped in their chairs around the round wooden table with a few crumbs and some discarded pizza crusts remaining in the open pizza box that lay right on top of it.
            All of these guys were fat to the brink, and they felt it.
            “Yum” was the only word Martinez could muster after being obviously overwhelmed by a pizza that included enough meat and vegetables to nourish an entire third world country.
            A pause.
“Good pizza,” uttered Hewitt.  Obviously, he agreed with him.
            Another pause.  The fattened fellas were still melted onto their chairs, this close to breaking them apart.
“Boy, Thomson would have loved this pizza, wow,” Jenkins added.
             Hewitt quickly rose up and pushed his two palms up onto the table.
            “THOMSON?!” he exclaimed.  “Oh no!  We forgot to save some pizza for him.”
            “Dude, you’re right,” said Martinez.  “How could we have been so selfish?”
            “We?!” asked Hewitt.
            “You ate it too!!” retorted Martinez, “Don’t blame me for eating!  We all eat.”
            “Some more than others,” quipped Hewitt. “Okay, okay.  Well we can’t do anything about the pizza.  Wow, I completely forgot.”
            “I think we all have to take some for this one.” Jenkins concurred, adding, “but guys, he still hasn’t come back.”
            “Yeah, where’d he go?” Hewitt inquired aloud, with a whiny tone of voice.
            “This is nuts,” said Martinez.
            “My goodness, it wouldn’t take this long to go out and get some soda,” Jenkins observed.
            “Yeah, and I had enough soda for us anyway,” Hewitt said. “See, I knew this wasn’t a good idea.”
            “I guess he doesn’t like Pepsi,” Martinez said.
            “Wha?!” remarked Hewitt, “Forget it.  The man’s probably in trouble, or maybe he just forgot about us.”
            “How could he forget about us?” Jenkins asked. “We’re nice people.”
            “Whatever,” Hewitt said. “We’d better go look for him, make sure he’s all right.  Look, let’s split up.  I’ll go down the coast, you two take on State Street.”
            “How come we don’t get to go to the coast?” asked Martinez.
            “Do I have to explain everything?!  Just get going you donut heads!”  Hewitt exclaimed. “Leave your cell phone on, Jenkins so we can contact each other should either of us find him.”
            “Got it, let’s go.” added Jenkins.
            “Hold it!” cried Martinez. “Why don’t we just call Thomson on his cell phone?”
            “He doesn’t have one Marty,” Hewitt said.  “Good idea though.”
            “Let’s go,” Martinez said.
            So they got up, headed for the door and were on the way out, but first…
            “Hold, hold, hold!” Hewitt said as he stopped the others from leaving, “I gotta do this.”
            Smiling, Hewitt sauntered to the still open window of his apartment.  Then he put his head out the window.
            “Hey you there!!  Yeah, you!  You suck!” He shouted with delight, spotting the man down the street.
            “Same to you!” the man replied.  Jenkins and Martinez could hear him faintly.
            Hewitt closed the window, snickering, and then off they went.


            State Street was a lively, busy stretch of stores, restaurants, and businesses.  This was easily the most populated section of the Central Coast.  Tourists, denizens, odd-ball types, and good looking people went up and down its large sidewalks.  Scenic oak trees lined the street like lampposts.  Speaking of lamp posts, they also lined the street.  The lamp posts were a bit old-fashioned; they are marvelous Corinthian poles that branch out into a T.  On the tips of the T were two lamps, each one with a transparent spherical glass cover with a light inside.
            Anything that you want, it is here.  All the big names are found here, it is as if the street were one gigantic, expansive mall, with cars running up and down the middle of it.  Sometimes parades were held here.  It was all so festive, so cohesively designed.  To Central Coasters, this was their Times Square.  It was Santa Barbara’s version of the Sunset Strip, it was the closest thing to the Magnificent mile one could find from Oxnard to Monterey.
            …and here were a couple of nobodies right in the middle of it.
            “Wow, how are we going to find Thomson HERE?” Martinez quipped.
            Jenkins looked around.  He was at a corner observing the crowds collecting at the turn signal, waiting for their turn to walk across the street.  Street lights all around the intersection, a fancy restaurant at each corner, and not far from here, there was a Macy’s department store.
            “Good God!  All he wanted to do was get some soda,” Jenkins cried.
            “Why did that nut send us here in the first place?” Martinez asked.
            “Should we go out and check the Vons?”  Jenkins asked.
            “It’s probably too late for that, nobody spends that long at a boring ol’ supermarket.” Martinez observed.
            Martinez continued his self-observations, “Well, let’s see… He could be at one of these stores, or perhaps he got something for himself to eat.  Again, he forgot about us, so perhaps he’s at the Sam Goody’s down the way, or at some other store like that.  Then you have to think about the possible other places he might have gone.  What places would have gotten his attention today?  Now there might have been…”
            By this time, Jenkins was directly across the street, east of Martinez’ location.  He was by a restaurant, peering in to see what was inside.
            “Hey Martinez!  Check out the stuff they have here at Fresh Choice!”  Jenkins shouted across the street as cars rolled by.
            “What are you doing over there?!” Martinez said.
            “C’mon, they’ve got some great specials on salads here.” Jenkins said.
            Martinez waited for the walk signal to turn on before crossing to meet Jenkins.
            “-but all they sell is salad.”  Martinez quipped.
            “-but it’s good salad.”  Jenkins said.
            “What difference does it make?  Salads have three basic components,” Martinez explained.  “They have lettuce, other vegetables, and dressing. C’mon, they’re charging seven bucks for a salad?!  We just had a pizza an hour ago, how could you still be hungry.”
            “I still say we get the salad special.”
            “ ‘Special’ salad?” Martinez asked.
            “Yeah, see they’ve got this offer where… Wait a minute!” Jenkins said.  “We’re supposed to go find Thomson… he might be getting mugged at a Donut shop somewhere, or even worse, forced to watch films about wheat and carrots.”
            Martinez could only roll his eyes.
            “That’s why we’re supposed to go and FIND him!!” he shouted as he pulled Jenkins arm and led him away from the restaurant.
            A few minutes later, Jenkins lumbered down the other side of the street, with Martinez not so far behind.  Then they spotted a bench and plopped their bums onto it.
            “Wow, we looked everywhere!” Jenkins said, huffing and puffing.
            “You bet,” Martinez sighed.  “We checked every store back and forth.”
            “I’m tired,” said Jenkins. “See I told you we should have gotten the salad.”
            “Salad?  Who cares about the salad?” Martinez asked
            “I’m still hungry,” Jenkins said. “I guess we should look around in other places around town.”
            “Do we have to?” asked Martinez.
            “Yeah..” Jenkins replied. “It sucks, but we’d better do it, we don’t want to see him rolled up into a hot dog and burned in some cheap 7-Eleven grill.”
            “Wha?!” Martinez replied. “Oh all right, let’s go somewhere else.”
            “Yeah, it will be good exercise.” Jenkins replied
            “Blah blah, good exercise,” Martinez grumbled.  “What could Hewitt be doing about now?”

             As it turns out, Hewitt was walking down the pier at Santa Barbara’s lush coast.  Actually he had not apparent reason to do so, he simply wanted to go for his leisure.
            Hewitt was supposed to look for Thomson, but he checked the nearby restaurants and t-shirt stores, and no luck.  If you’re at the beach, might as well…
            “Ahh, this is nice.” Hewitt said, overlooking the ocean, “I don’t have those jittery bums running around me.”
            “Hee hee,” he remarked. “I ought to try harder to look for Thomson.”
            He gave the idea some thought while he looked at people rolling by him on skates and scooters.
            “But I won’t!” he replied to himself.
            It was late afternoon now all along the beach.  By this time, Hewitt left the pier and went into the sandy shores.  He couldn’t help but have some fun spotting scantily clad girls.  He even found a few wearing thongs.  There was this one girl on skates who was rolling down a nearby sidewalk wearing a thong.  Hewitt knew it was stupid, but he couldn’t help but slap her ass as she was rolling along.  What could she do about it?
            In addition to that trick, he saw some hot shot rolling down the sidewalk on a scooter with all sorts of protective gear on.  Hewitt took out some rocks he collected earlier and spread them onto the sidewalk as this kid and a few others were rolling down the sidewalk.  Obviously, everyone tripped on the rocks and went careening off the sidewalk, as Hewitt laughed hysterically. 

            Now it was about 6 o’clock with the sun almost ready to set into the horizon.  Martinez and Jenkins were once again on State Street, up and down the sidewalk.
            “Wow, what a day!” Martinez cried.  “I’ve never walked this much in my whole life!”
            “We must have walked… two miles!” Jenkins replied.  “How can anyone survive all this torture?”
            By this time, Jenkins realized that he was right by a movie theatre.  It was a nice, old-town theatre, with five auditoriums and first-run movies.  The box office also happened to be well kept.
            “Hey, Martinez.  Let’s go see a movie.” Jenkins said.
            “You’ve got to be kidding!” Martinez said. “We’re supposed to be finding Thomson!  If we don’t hurry, he’s going to be spending the night at a run down rat’s nest and eating bad T.V. dinners.”
            “I like T.V. dinners.” Jenkins said.
            “That’s not the point.  All you think about is food anyway.” Martinez said.
            “Well look who’s talking!” Jenkins said. “Weren’t you ‘I-don’t-want-to-pay-five-bucks-for-a-pizza’ man?  You think I think about food??”
            “Well all right, that’s true,” admitted Martinez. “but c’mon!  What an incredible waste of our time.  We go out to find Thomson.”
            “We haven’t found him yet.” Jenkins said.
            “No of course not!” Martinez answered.  “Dude, we gotta go get him, or at least go home sometime.”
            You can go home if you want to,” Jenkins replied. “I’m going to stay right here and watch a movie.”
            Martinez paused for a moment.  He had to think about his options.
            “What’s playing?” he asked.
            Jenkins looked at the marquee.  He saw a couple of films, and all of them were good.
            “How about this one?” he said as he pointed to a film title on the marquee.
            “Oh yeah!  I remember the commercial for it,” Martinez replied. “That’s gonna be pretty wild, man.”
            “Okay, let’s watch that one,” Jenkins declared.  With that, they proceeded towards the box office.  As they went on, Jenkins couldn’t help but feel a little guilty about doing nothing while Hewitt was worriedly searching for their buddy Thomson.

            Well, they’d never get to know, but it turns out that Hewitt was still at the beach, this time sitting on a towel laid atop the sandy sands.  Next to him were two lovely ladies in bikinis, and he was helping them put on suntan lotion.  Why he decided to help put on suntan lotion while the sun was setting the world will never know.

            Some hours later…
            The sky was now pitch black all along the Central Coast.  There was nothing in the sky now but a crust of the moon and a few stars.  State Street was lit up like a string of candles.  All of the establishments up and down the street glowed the way a firefly has his butt illuminate in the dark.
            Back at the five-plex, Jenkins exited the lobby and went out onto the sidewalk.  Martinez followed him, carrying a partially full jumbo tub of popcorn.  Martinez was still eating the popcorn as he went out to join Jenkins.
            “Good movie!” he cried.
            “Yes it was.” Martinez agreed.
            “I liked how they articulated every detail with the dialogue and the scenery,” Jenkins said. “It was terrific work.”
            “Yeah, those bombs and explosions articulated pretty good.” Martinez said.
            “Want some more popcorn?” Martinez asked of Jenkins.
            Jenkins took the popcorn tub, held it out on his one palm, and pointed at the tub with a stern look.
            “You are not worthy!” Jenkins declared to the tub.  Then he gave the tub back to a smiling Martinez.  Martinez put some more popcorn in its mouth.
            While he was still crunching the kernels, Martinez said, “Wow, I guess we’d better go find Thomson now, huh?”
            “Yeah,” Martinez said as the two of them were walking away. “Hey, that movie was so good, I give it six stars.”
            “Six stars?” Jenkins said, “but you can only use up to four stars.”
            “Okay, the other two are for extra credit,” Martinez said.
            Now a car pulled over on the side of the road.  It was a cheap Nissan Sentra circa 1995 or so.  It was a small car, but it was good enough to fit a family of four or five.
            A man got out of the car and it was Hewitt, Jenkins accomplice and Martinez’ excuse to go to another apartment.
            “Hey you guys,” Hewitt said to the others.  “Did you get any luck finding Thomson?”
            Martinez saw Hewitt come up and meet both him and Jenkins.  Martinez looked at Jenkins.
            “Bummer,” he said to Jenkins.
            “No,” Jenkins replied to Hewitt, “We didn’t find him.  We’re good, but not that good.”
            “It’s no use!”  Martinez added. “We’ll never get to tell him about the pizza.”
            Hewitt quickly put his hand over Martinez’ mouth.
            “Shhh!” he muttered, “You don’t want him to hear you, do you?”
            “Okay, okay, I’ll be quiet.” Martinez agreed.
            “Well, we might as well go away and do something else.” Hewitt said.
            “Yeah!  Good idea!” Jenkins said. “Let’s go see another movie.”
            Another movie??” Hewitt asked.
            “Doh!  You fool!” Martinez cried.
            Meanwhile, Jenkins got into a crouch and slapped himself in the face.
            “Doh!” Jenkins said. “Uhh, I meant another movie that we’ll get to see this year.. uhh, another uh.. uhhh…”
            “Forget it, J.” Hewitt said.  “Why don’t we get into this nightclub over here?”
            Jenkins agreed, and so did Martinez.  Without hesitation, they made their way into the bouncing, booming nightclub, full of neon lights.  The club was down the street and at the corner.
            The jammin’, flamin’ nightclub down at State Street was, among other nightclubs, a raucous, loud, arena for music and dancing.  Inside, it was a little beat up, but no one would notice.  This had to be the most crowded nightclub that one would ever see.  There were wall-to-wall people, neon lights were all over the place, smoke permeated the room, and in a corner they managed to fit a D.J. and his large rig.
            On this creaky, dusty floor of the nightclub, Martinez found a woman with a sparkly blue dress on to dance with.  Meanwhile, in another corner of the floor, Hewitt was bouncing along with not one, but two young ladies, one blonde, one black-haired.  Jenkins had a little more trouble finding anyone to dance with.
            First of all, it was a miracle that the other two guys found anyone for a date.  After all, don’t people go to dance halls with their own dates already?  How could Jenkins find a woman who was free, let alone one who cared to be near him.  Jenkins decided that he might as well make a fool of himself and just dance around and hopefully some girl will just pick him up and dance with him.  Otherwise, he can attract a crowd and they could form a circle around him.
            Jenkins started to go with the groove of the music.  He bounced up and down, as well as a jittery movie buff could bounce up and down in his first visit to a nightclub.  Jenkins got pretty wild, rippling himself like a wave across the dance floor.  Pretty soon, he was rubbing his body against another person.  Unfortunately, Jenkins had no idea what he was doing (it was dark in there) and little would he realize that he was rubbing his tummy against a man!  Jenkins kept on jiggling it up, until he looked up at his face.  Once he saw who it was, he could not be more embarrassed.  Jenkins face flushed with redness.  Not only was he accidentally bouncing along with a man, but it turns out, he was right against his friend, Thomson.
            Both Thomson and Jenkins looked at each other in disbelief, then they sheepishly shied away from each other for a second.  Then, Jenkins called out Thomson and shook his hand in slight disbelief.
“Thomson!!  Whoooooa!  Is that you?”  Jenkins cried.
            “Yeah, man!” Thomson said to him. “Whassup, whassup?!”
            “This is awesome, I thought you were dead somewhere!” Jenkins proclaimed.
            “C’mon, don’t get crazy,” Thomson replied, “I was just around town, chillin’.”
            “Why did you forget about us?”  Jenkins said, “We were looking around for you all day!”
            “Oh man, I’m sorry,” Thomson said. “I forgots about you guys, man.”
            “That must have been some soda you were looking for,” Jenkins said.
            Thomson could only laugh aloud.  Hewitt and Martinez spotted these two conversing and went over to join them.
            “Hey Thomson!  You’re back!” Hewitt said.
            “Nice to see you again, dude,” Jenkins added.
            “Yeah, y’all!” Thomson said.  “Gosh, I didn’t mean to get away for so long, I should have told you or something.”
            “Forget about it, T.” Hewitt said.  “Look I’m gonna go home now.  See you guys later.”
            “I’d better go, too.”  Jenkins said.  “I’m getting tired.”
            “Bye now,” Thomson said.  “I’m gonna stay here and bounce.  You going too, Martinez?”
            “God, I got all these chicks here!”  Martinez said, now dancing along with three lovely ladies.  “I’m never going to leave!”
            Thomson just smiled and carried on.

 * The End *

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