i’ve been swindled a bunch of times, and when did i learn? maybe never… don’t get me wrong though; i’d always love to help out when i could. did blood donations, signed up for cancer foundations, volunteered for various civic organizations, and helped others when they needed it. but not in all cases.
a guy in his mid 40’s, one of my people, introduced himself as the brother of a casino owner. he was asking me for 20 bucks, bullshitted his way out on why he ran out of money, and even offered to give his contact info. i was pumping gas somewhere around west portal, my last year as a teen, and decided to help a hapless little fellow with money that may go a long way. i never saw his face again and the damn number turned out to be bogus. from that time on, i tell freeloaders to back the fudge up everytime they ask me for money… even for a nickel. it was laissez faire between me and mendicants.
noticing a figure pass through a cluster of lit desk lamps, a young asian dude came up to me while i was trying to rest my eyes from reading. he was asking for a donation to a minority-affiliated cause in southern california that i now couldn’t remember, and even showed me literature about how legit the shit was. i was in the middle of absorbing a couple chapters at doe library, and all i wanted from that moment was peace and rest. now how can someone solicit at the wrong place, and apparently at the wrong time? being polite, i asked the guy that i could probably give him money when i ran into him again. the shove off was learned after noticing a former-volunteer grill and turn down a bunch of petitioners for honest and practical answers. after all, it made perfect sense that even a puny charity shouldn’t end up in the wrong cause. i bumped into the same dude in the restroom half an hour later and i started bullshitting my way out of the conversation of money.
a year ago from this entire season, i was in xangan hiatus. i somehow got tired of chronicling my everyday experiences online. from the raw day-to-day encounters, i eventually changed my style of writing to vague, ‘wrong-grammared,’ and lucid observations, and then realized that i was still coming full-circle with the same material. like everyone else taking a break from routine, i decided to gain more perspective from the outside world without converting those senses into personal xangan input. one time during last year’s daily toil i was doing a cold call to this 750k-a-year business owner in kentucky, asking if he was interested in the foreign exchange market. without delay, the fucker just cussed the bejeezus out of me. i hung the phone up, flipped through a bunch of rich people’s contact numbers with the unexpected adrenaline rush, and thought of calling the loser again to tell him that someone’s doing his wife right at this very moment. that didn’t happen though. certain business and individual licenses could have been revoked, but the demons inside of me were still crying out for blood. from that point on, i wouldn’t be surprised if perfect strangers, who had disposable 10k’s as initial investment, considered my tactics swindling.
after dismissing an annoying volunteer fire department knucklehead over tv dinner, i heard loud knocks from my door couple days later. 2 asian highschool fellas were asking if i could donate dry goods to their church. it happened last saturday morning, the moment when i just came back home from errands. i was in the middle of deciding whether to start playing john mayer’s ‘daughters’ on guitar or the ab workout, and thought the kids’ faces looked desperate for some reason. i guess i could have said ‘no’ straight-up, but i thought about the demographic representation of these folks. it suddenly occured to me that if i were in their shoes age-wise, it would have taken a lot of prepping with myself to get that courage. but here i am, still in my quarter-life, with a bunch of reject experiences under my belt, and a few more whole nine yards to learn. i ended up giving them a couple pinapple chunk cans and a pack of noodles. scam or not, i thought they might need more hope and confidence in their future solicitation.
swindler or ‘swindlee’, you may still find my name on the swindler’s list.