Chapter One – What Makes A ‘Mang’

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***As promised I’ve highlighted changes in red for those who wish to follow the refining process without having to read the entire chapter over and over again. There been changes made all over the document, however, so who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t cover the whole thing. 😉

I watch the sex act performed about thirty eight times every day, sometimes more.   I know that some of y’all are probably thinkin’ that’s a lot.  Y’all are probably also askin’ yourselves if I actually went and called it the sex act.

Well, mang, ‘sex act’ is just something I heard some whitecoat say on a show I watched on the Learning Channel.  The show in question was about the science behind sex.   What I find so funny about it, I guess,  is that when you come from a black neighborhood like mine and everyone talks street, it’s a little weird to hear fucking bein’ referred to anything but that – fucking.  Thing is I couldn’t stop cracking up when I’d hear the narrator saying ‘sex act’ in a constipated British tone.  Just to be different I guess I’ll just go and call it rutting while I talk about it, which is a word’ you won’t hear around my hood either, but it’s got a nice nasty ring about it.  I like nasty.  Anyhow, y’all are probably wondering why it is that I watch horny broads gettin’ rutted on so much, aren’t ya mang?

This is one of my jobs, or at least it’s one of two personal gigs, neither of them I’m getting’ paid to do.  Y’all probably think that I’m pretty lucky.  Lucky don’t even begin to cover it.  The enterprises I created deal in porn and hip-hop, and I just so happen to have me an occupation that gives me the chance to try and build a business in both of those industries.  See what I mean about luck?  I consider myself blessed for finding myself in such a situation, especially after coming so close to losing it once. How does it work, y’all are wondering? How does a lucky fella like me get to operate on company time?  It’s called fallin’ through the corporate cracks, and it sure worked out in my favour when it happened to me.  Some people do all they can to get noticed their whole careers.  Me, I have nightmares about the day they start takin’ notice of my existence.  Shit, I don’t even ask for raises.  Ain’t worth it, really.  What’s four hundred bones a year gonna do for me if I actually gotta go and work for it?  Fuck that, mang.

I work for one of the biggest fast food supply conglomerates out there, and like a fat bitch at the buffet, this company just keeps on gettin’ bigger all the time.  I been here for about four years now and I can say I’m proud that all of five people out of the two hundred or so workin’ the two floors I operate on know my name.  About as many people even know I’m around.  When I first started working for this operation I was put in the archive department and got partnered up with Earl, this quiet old white dude who’d been around for like fifteen years.  I had no idea during the interview that I was goin’ to be in for one of the sweetest deals.  I thought I was just goin’ to be workin’ another shit job that would last a few months before I lost my head.

For the first two years, Earl and me just did our thing and spent good parts of the day reading, or in my case, screwin’ about on the internet.  It was in that time that I laid down the foundations for my present operations.  I was getting’ paid to school myself, mang, and I did a pretty good job of it.  It’s not like human resources went and spent any time in archives.  They only knew the department was given a budget for two bodies and since we were given the additional duty of keeping the office supply room for the twelfth floor stocked and organized, the chore looked even more intense, so it never got questioned.

Truth be that me and Earl had all of about one hour a week tops of work to do in the supply room.  Most folks would just head over and help themselves if they needed a notepad, staples or that kinda shit and that cut down on our work even more.  We’d just spend about two or three hours a day sortin’ the archives, a little bit more if an afternoon delivery arrived, but with no one around to supervise us, the average workday saw us billing the man for days of reading, netsurfing and pinching off loafs.  Hell, I even been teachin’ myself chess on the computer and I’m gettin’ up to that maverick level.

Then one day a partner bought into the company.  They insisted on their practice of having an independent third party handle archives off-premises, and I thought my dream job was about to come to an end.  I never had reason to love a low-payin’ gig before, but after tasting this, I couldn’t let go of it, especially after I had busted my ass building up my enterprises.  What they did do was offer Earl a comfy retirement and I got reassigned to being a full-time stock room attendant.  What was already a sweet deal became the score of a lifetime.  These days I have me thirty nine out of forty each week of paid time, free to do what I wish.  I started bringing in my laptop every day and by the time most peeps are taking their first sip of coffee and cursing through the workload that was left for them the night before, I’m watching some skank getting cornholed by some dude with a ten-inch dick.

I watch this shit most of the morning, then write about it on my website, and let’s just say the public is startin’ to take notice.  I get just enough extra green from online ruttin’ to fund a healthy portion of my hip-hop label, Wax Sabre, named for my respect for the Samurai.  Another reason I cherish this gig is because it covers just about all of the label’s overhead.  The challenges of pushing music in the internet age is rough, mang, and these perks make it more possible.  Whether it’s flyers for shows, postage for mailin’ out the merch, color photo copies of covers for the albums or burning advance copies of new beats for the media, I depend on these free resources.  Wax Sabre ain’t profitable yet, but with the amount of time I can spend on it, it shouldn’t be too long.  Hell, if this stockroom were any less supervised I could just set-up a studio up in this bitch and record my artists right here.

In the meantime, I got me a multi-level plan to stay off radar to protect my position.  Another show I watched on the Learning Channel got me wise to the five senses.  Weird though ‘cuz they were referring to the sense of smell as ‘the old factory sense’ on the show.  Well, I don’t know what old factories have to do with detecting the smell of food, but I picked up one important fact – humans tie memory with smell and if I start eatin’ delicious grub around the peeps in the office, they just might start taking notice of me and that’s attention I don’t want to be havin’.  So no matter what’s going on mang, I always eat out of the office and it works, which is good because I really don’t want to.

Another reason I gotta keep this gig is for ego.  When I meet new sweeties down at the clubs and tell ‘em I work over at my own office, eyebrows rise and body language gets looser.  Trouble is I can’t back it up by asking them to drop by for a visit.  What I can do is leave mail sent to my job with the company address on it layin’ all over my crib. Sure feels nice havin’ honeys seein’ mail addressed to Terrance Copeland, C.E.O.  Jerry, the supervisor of the mailroom, gets free Wax Sabre products for the trouble of interceptin’ any mail for the label and droppin’ it my way.  The boy sees to it that his eyes and my eyes are the only ones that see it.

That feeling I felt a couple of years ago, about being close to losing this arrangement, it’s coming back again, mang.  I’ve been sensing something in the air lately and I call help but feel odd about it.  There’s always change goin’ in this company, but Seth Pullman, a COO or somethin’ like that has been in some kind of a funk over the past few weeks.  They been shipping his ass out to Japan and somethin’ about it has been gnawin’ him.  He’s up and down, one day to the next and when bold men start losin’ their handle on things, it’s reason to start worrying.

Personally, I always liked the guy, even if he’s everything my mom warned about – a white man with lots of money.  I guess you could say one reason I looked past that shit is because Seth not only knew my name, but he would sometimes stop into my ‘office’ and start up conversations.  And we’re not talkin’ about small talk here.  He would tell me all about how he came from a family that was workin’ class.  He actually grew up close by to where my dad did.  This goes to say that with Seth bein’ where he’s at now, he is one of them self-made men, just like what I’m tryin’ to be.  You wouldn’t ordinarily figure a man of his stature chillin’ with a guy like me, but I figure it’s the fact that since he knows about my label and my porn site, he respects what I’m about.  Unlike Jerry, he doesn’t know I’m running these gigs out of the stockroom.  I got a feelin’ the cat might not like that very much.

The guy’s a good influence on me.  When he’d talk about all the different countries his job took him to, it would make me want to succeed even more.  He’s touched every continent and said he’s officially crossed over two hundred borders.  Damn, mang.   I get visions of Oktoberfest getting’ sponsored by Wax Sabre Records and the itch to have my label’s roster perform in Dubai.  It’s all about the largeness, mang.

When y’all look at it, I got one up on Seth.  I got something he never had – a sponsored source of free time and no overhead for my business supplies.  He spent his early days bagging groceries on weekday nights, and bussing tables on weekend nights and making extra amounts of his own spaghetti sauce when cooking for himself and sellin’ it to other students so he could put himself through one of the choicest universities in the country.  If only my momma was wise to that shit.

So then what’s this vibe I’m picking up off of Seth?  The guy is filled with something and I figure it’s the fear.  Whatever the case is, I can’t be wallowing too much on it.  If something is goin’ down I need to concentrate on the new act I just signed and get a marketing plan in together, should my last days be comin’ up.


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