He called himself an independant contractor, but he was actually a sole-propriatorship. His D.C. office was located on Massachusetts Avenue. It was an ideal location, rent free, and no overhead. He didn't have a boss nor did he have any employees. He was a one man show and kept one-hundred percent of the profits - tax-free cash. On a good day he could bring in over five-hundred dollars. He averaged $290. He usually made 90k a year.
He worked nine to five at least five days a week, and sometimes six. During the winter months, he worked out of his southern branch office in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was always a gulf-coast snow bird, prefering the age diversity of the area. Old folks weren't good for business. They were too busy buying crafts or hurrying to the 4-5pm blue-plate specials of their favorite restaurants. The middle-aged and younger were his primary demographic. If you were searching for a bleeding heart you'd find it with them.
In Florida he wore dreads, shorts, a dirty hemp poncho and sneakers. He used a ukelele as a prop and
serenaded the tourists with songs they would gladly pay him to stop playing. He didn't work as hard in Florida.
The winter months were more like vacation.
In D.C. he used a wheelchair and called himself a vet. Bomber jacket, beret, and enough insignia to
fool the novice. When approached by a real vet he would feign brain damage. "Hey brother, I was in the 101st
out of Danang. What unit were you with?" He would lean his head back and say, "Man, I was in the **** man.
We were in it. I was blown up and outta that ****, man. My friends, man, we was, we was..." And then the tears
would come and the brothers-in-arms would console him and drop a ten or twenty in his bucket and be off to the next memorial or to the cherry blossoms. Business was good in D.C.
At five-o'clock he would roll over to the Indigent Services building two doors down from The Irish Times
Pub, drop off the wheelchair and pay Arthur the "unofficial" rental fee of five dollars.
"Good day?" Arthur would ask while pocketing the fin.
"Oh, yeah." he would say. "Every day is a good day here in Chocolate City." Arthur would chuckle and shout,
"You better get your white **** outta here, boy! It gett'n dark!"
He took the MARC train from Union Station all the way up to Germantown, Maryland. He exited the train,
walked to his brand new Saturn Aura XR with Moroccan Leather, Sunroof and heated seats, hooked up his IPOD and jammed out to the Allman Brothers Live at the Filmore East. He backed out of his spot, headed for the parking lot exit, and was going to drive home to his condo off of Germantown Road, but four black Ford Explorers with special antennas blocked his way. His life would never be the same.