Saturday, 18 April 2009

Diary Of A Working Boy, Cont., Cont. - Encounter With Jim Jarmusch


I only made it at the ultra cool Topshop in the Topman department for three days. The highlight of those three days came when I tried to help Jim Jarmusch find a polka dotted shirt that he was looking for, and got to meet him and his charming significant other. I spotted him (he's hard to miss if you have even the vaguest idea of what he looks like) waiting in the long line for the dressing rooms. Then I saw that he and his significant other were walking away from the line without having gone into the dressing room. This I couldn't take as I loved the movie Ghost Dog and would like to be able to train with Sifu Shi Yan Ming who made an appearance in the movie. I also loved the fishing with John and Jim thing that was on the IFC channel sometime back, which basically consisted of some guy named John (I can't remember who he is right now - maybe John Leary?)and Jim Jarmusch fishing out in Hudson bay in a rowboat drinking beer. Well, Jim wasn't really fishing. From what I remember Jim didn't really seem to be a totally willing participant to the whole thing. He seemed to've been halfheartedly drug to a rowboat, then halfheartedly dragged out into the bay, then he kind of bitched and moaned about what the hell they were doing out in the middle of the Hudson bay in a small rowboat in the middle of shipping lanes while they drank beer and talked about filmaking, and that guy John fished and caught, like boots and tires and tin cans and things. I could have the whole thing wrong, but that's what I remember. And I liked it. I thought it was great. And I didn't want Jim Jarmusch not to be able to try on a shirt that he wanted in the establishment that I was working in. So when Jim couldn't get into the Topshop dressing rooms I took it upon myself to move myself up the food chain of command and rectify the situation. And as he and his significant other came walking towards me I asked him if he needed any help, stepping way above my $7 an hr pay ranking. He said that he just wanted to try a shirt on but that he didn't want to wait in the half hour dressing room line. I told him that I understood, and I said that I could help, which was a bit of an exaggeration. I'd heard of a VIP dressing room and mentioned that he could change there, but I also had no idea where it was. So then I suggested an area where the employees could access the back halls of the place, the other floors, the break rooms, offices and the stock room and that he could change there. There was an elevator waiting area just before the doors to the back corridors and said that he could try the shirt on there - he was a totally amenable guy and accepted. And while he tried on the shirt next to the elevators I went to ask one of the kids where the VIP dressing room was: opposite side of the floor. When I went back to check on Jim he asked if we had the same shirt in a bigger size. I told him I'd look. I was really steppin' over pay scale then. I couldn't find the size he wanted in the stock room, but a guy down there told me where I might be able to find one on opposite of the floor of Topman from where the original shirt had been found near the elevators. When I got back up to the elevator waiting area I told Jim the mixed news and we went to search for the shirt on the other side of the Topman floor as his significant other asked me if I was a student. I told her that I didn't know what I was. "Still searchin'" she said. I guess so. It looks like it. And as we looked for the other shirt - only to find a different color in the size that he wanted, then tried on in the elevator lobby again (I tried the VIP room, but it was full) we somehow got talking about South America and they told me how they'd gone to a Che Guevara museum in the slums of Buenos Aires that only had a tobacco pouch that Che had reportedly once touched, and a few photographs. They weren't blown away. And they told me how one in four Argentinians were in therapy. And I told them that it would be my luck to try and 'get away' to Buenos Aires, as I'd talked to Marie about doing if we sold our books and live for a few years and write some more, only to end up in therapy. They thought that was rich. Me too. And in the end I couldn't procure the shirt that he was looking for, but we had a good little talk and it was the highlight of my New York City experience up to that point. We shook hands and parted ways. And I only lasted another day at the Topshop, then went to work with Marie on a job. But that's a whole nother' story. Fuckin' work.


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