grows with click
It was early in 1979 when I left my job as night custodian at my old Junior High. I didn't really want to leave that job, but I kept hearing, from my girlfriend, and others, "You're too smart to be wasting your time doing this kind of work." I didn't think so, but I put in an application with the Gas Company, just to shut them up. I figured that a utility would be such a huge bureaucracy, that they'd forget about the app, I could tell everyone, "Hey. I tried", and the whole business would be forgotten.
The bastards hired me. I got a job in field service, and hated it from day one. I applied for other positions in the company, but never heard a peep. One day in the spring of '81 I was, as always, up to my elbows in rancid grease and cockroaches, and I just said, "Screw it." I drove back to the yard, parked the truck, and headed straight for the office. I had my speech for the boss prepared. I opened my mouth, and before I got the first syllable out, He said, "How would you like a transfer to the Hollywood office?" I took it. Within the week, my brother, who lived about three miles from that office, moved to New York, and I got his apartment on Melrose Avenue.
Out of the grease pit, and into the pressure cooker. I had always sworn, as genuine, bona fide, surf rat hippie individualist rebel type that I would never end up in some office job chained to a desk. I spent my days answering billing complaints, and doodled to pass the time while I sat there, tethered by the earpiece to my cubicle. People would pass by the cubicle, see the psychedelic stuff I was making, and ask if they could have it for their wall. One of the women in the office brought in a copy of Celtic Art, the Methods of Construction by George Bain. I just went nuts.
But I didn't last a year in the office. This time I didn't say screw it. I yelled,"Go straight to fucking hell, and take your goddamn gas bill with you, and you can shove your fucking meter up your ass!" I really needed to go surfing. Suddenly I had plenty of time to do it. But I wouldn't find the Celtic Art book for another ten years.