Hobos of the World, Unite


sable_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title Hoboes of the World, Unite
Synopsis Tasha and Sable discuss their different outlooks of the world while working at Gun Hill.
Date May 28, 2010

Gun Hill

It's not hard to tell where Sable is at any given moment, at least not most of the time. She takes to manual labor with a dash of her newly acquired ferocious good cheer. She gravitates towards those jobs that require the liberal use of sledge hammer and safety glasses, tearing out rotting plaster and smashing in floors that are too soaked and damaged to be saved. And even for those jobs that don't create a cacophony of blows, she tends to crank her music up very high indeed, causing the wild and strange sounds of King Crimson to echo up and down nearby halls.

But at one point during the day, not long before lunch, there's neither the sound of ruin nor yowls about a 21st Century Schizoid Man. Maybe she went out on a coffee run? Ah, but no, no, this is merely a ruse, a simple distraction. Sable is still in the building, ladies and gentleman, and though her hair is wild and her sweat marks streaks through the dirt and powdered plaster that marks her face, shoulders and arms, her hands are clean and she's carrying her (blessedly silent) CD player in one and some slightly crumpled sheets of paper in the other. She ascends the stairs and scoots along now relatively quiet hallways, trying to find the room she was told about, the apartment she's looking for. She checks number after number, until… bingo!

"Howdy howdy!" Sable calls, leaning through the door and looking for where the bathroom ought to be, as far as she can tell from the floor plan of this place. Announcing herself before she really steps in.

The bathroom is a small one — commode, shower, sink all in condensed real estate, so this is a solo job. Tasha has her head phones on, listening to The Ramones, but it's quiet enough she hears the yell, and pulls the buds from her ears just as Sable appears in the doorway.

The surge of temperatures into the positive teens and even 20s today has Tasha in cargo pants and an old gray NYPD t-shirt that has a few paint splashes of various hues, and clearly not just the interior decorating palette of ecru, eggshell, taupe, and "linen" — whatever color that is. This is the shirt she paints in for her own projects as well, and so it is splattered and dotted here and there in colors like lime green and violet along with the fresher smudges of linen. The pants are likewise bedecked with paint drizzle here and there.

Turning to the figure in the doorway, Tasha pauses in her painting. She's about halfway done with the first coat, on top of the primer she painted the night before. "Hey, Sable," she says with a smile, turning to roll her paint roller in the tray of creamy paint. "What's up?"

"Nearly lunch, sweetheart," Sable says, stepping into the main room and making a b-line for the bathroom. She sets her CD player down, just outside the door, and leans in the doorframe, arms crossing over her chest, the papers hanging loosely in her right hand. "Take an early break with me?" She tilts her head in the direction of the main room. "Comon', out here where the fuckin' fumes won't have you seein' shit."

"Well, that explains the elephants wearing tutus and Ozzy Osbourne in a g-string prancing by," Tasha quips, finishing the horizontal strip of wall with a long, sure stroke of the roller brush before lying the brush on the tray and moving to the sink to wash her hands of wet paint. She dries them quickly on a rag left on the counter for clean-up of paint spills, and moves on her bare feet across the tarp laid down to protect the tile.

Sable visible winces, "Guess it can't all be newspaper taxis and tangerine trees," she says, easing out of the doorway to let Tasha pass. Sable falls into a crouch, setting the papers down next to the CD player, which she pops the top of, extracting the King Crimson and sliding it into a CD case she's been carting around in one of her pants' larger pockets. She pulls out another CD and sets it into the device, closing it and pressing 'play', quickly and deftly dialing the volume down to something sane.

During this operation, a keen eye may perceive just what those sheets of paper are. They are certainly the worse for wear, but are without doubt the drawings Tasha was laboring on when Sable made her vicious personal call. Kept with her out of guilt and shame, they have been hidden carefully until this day, when Sable has chosen to bring them back to light, and back to their maker.

This is the story of Victoria Lee,/She started off on Percodan and ended up with me.

The song has a country sound, but it's a far cry from both the treacherous Garth Brooks and the sainted Hank Williams Sr. Sable sets her back against the wall and slides down into a sit, rubbing her brow with the back of her hand, smearing as much dirt and plaster as she clears away. "Aw, hell. I should have brought up drinks or somethin'. Hands were full, is all." She motions towards the drawings with her chin. "Figure we both got reason to recognize those, huh?"

Eyes glancing between Sable, the drawings and the CD player uncertainly, Tasha finally chooses to sit, crossing her legs Indian-style. Bare feet are also splattered here and there with paint, and the navy-blue pedicure is ruined by a dot of ivory on one big toe. She nods to the pictures. "You can keep them. I have the rough sketch still in my other sketchbook, before I decided to color those," she says, her voice neutral. Her eyes drop to the ground between them, long lashes veiling her dark eyes.

"I will," Sable says, with a nod, her own eyes set firmly on Tasha, "But I ain't satisfied. I want more." Her legs stick straight out in front of her, her sneakers so battered and worn it's hard to tell what damage is fresh and what's been there for months or more. Unconsciously her feet swing together, apart, together, apart, in time with the downbeat of the music. "If I wanted album art, somethin' for every page, every song, wouldja be able to do it?" The unasked question is 'would you be willing?'.

Tasha's hand moves to her knee to scratch at a dried speck of paint as she considers Sable's words. "If you're asking only because you feel bad about what happened, you don't have to, you know," she says quietly, cautiously, carefully choosing her words. "I know my style might not be your style or what you envision. I was just bored and had the idea and figured I'd get it on paper. But if you want me to, sure. I'd be happy to. You can either tell me what you think you want, or just a copy of the songs and I'll see what comes to mind."

Sable squints at Tasha, like the other girl is somehow out of focus. "Arright, I need t' ask you this cuz I actually consider it sorta fuckin' important," she says. She points at Tasha, "Do you think that I," she points at herself now, "Am the sort t' make remorse or whatever speak over my artistic fuckin' vision? I'm not just askin' to fuck with you, hon. We none of us know our minds too fuckin' well. I mean this. When you," point, "See me," point, "D'you see someone who'd do that?"

The point at Tasha makes her blink, and she shrugs. "Probably not," Tasha concedes. "But I don't know to what lengths you would go to in order to … I don't know, try to make amends or whatever, either. It's not a bad thing if you were asking me because you were trying to do that, it's just not something I would want, either, you know?" She chews her lower lip a moment. "Because I wouldn't want someone to let my artistic vision speak for them, if it was only because they felt bad about something, either. So … now that we're all agreed and we have our artistic integrity intact and aren't bowing to any sort of pressure…" she pauses, and glances up again. "Sure, if you'd want me to, I can."

"Hon," Sable says, arching a brow, "I got on hand and fuckin' knee. There's a goddamn limit to how bad I'll feel 'bout pullin' your hair 'n' givin' you a small lickin'…" There is a pause in which Sable has time to consider her word choice a little more carefully. Her smile is slanted. No revision necessary, apparently. "Unnerstand, I need t' have your confidence," Sable resumes, smoothly enough, "Knowin' that we're both folks of a certain common, like, principle, y' dig? The question was fair, which is why I treated it serious-like. 'n' so allow me to turn it around on you. Whyzit you drew those in the first place, eh? What were y'r artistic or personal fuckin' reasons?"

Tasha lets out a small huff of a laugh at Sable's words, though she bites her lips rather than to get into an argument on semantics. The hair pulling hurt the least of what happened at the Lighthouse between Sable and Tasha, but she's not going to admit that aloud. She shakes her head at the question. "There was no ulterior motive. You told me you had a band. I said I could possibly do some artwork for you and I didn't have any of my portfolio to show you, so I figured I'd just sketch up something new. Why not? You like music — do you always have to have a reason to play? If I knew without a doubt that I'd never earn a penny for my art, I'd still draw or paint or whatever for the joy of it because I like it. Because it's who I am. I don't need to have a reason."

Sable pinches the bridge of her nose, eyes closing for a moment. "Jesus, hon. I ain't tryin' to put you on trial here. There somethin' I'm sayin' without knowin' I'm sayin' it? Or mebbe somethin' you should be tellin' me?" Her hand drops and her eyes find Tasha again, "I didn't mean like… whatever kind of hidden fuckin' agenda. Hon, I'm pretty sure every bit of you what's properly fuckin' treacherous is buried so deep, there'd be no point askin' you 'bout it. It'd move and you'd never fuckin' know. More's the shame too. Bet you'd weave a fine ol' scheme if you put yer mind to it," she flashes Tasha a smile when she says this, "Don't tell me you draw without some fuckin' inspiration. Sure, I play just t' play, but when I /write/ music, hon, it's cuz there's somethin' inside of me that needs lettin' out. What made you make what you made, is all I'm askin'. Were you moved by what I told you 'bout my project? Was it just you bein' nice? This ain't a… I dunno… tribunal or nothin'. I'm tryin' to get a handle on your… like… y'know?" The word Sable is looking for here is 'process'.

Realizing she's exasperating Sable, Tasha sighs, frustrated herself at the difficulty and awkwardness between the two. She runs a hand through her choppy hair and then shifts so her knees are against her chest, arms looped around them, one hand locked around the wrist of the other, as if to hold herself in place.

"When you told me about the project, yeah, I got … whatever, a vision or something, of what it would look like on paper, sure. What I would do, if it were me, but it's not, of course. And then I tweaked the idea, you know, made it less literal? Instead of a man with a literal atomic heart on the cover, made it the tattoo to make it more metaphorical or something like that," she explains, brows quirking together as she watches Sable, hoping this answer is more satisfactory to the rocker. "I've had assignments that are just exercises… and I was a design major, I was going to have to do work I didn't necessarily care bout, sure, but that's something that just clicked. It wasn't 'work,' you know? For what that's worth."

Sable listens to Tasha's explanation with slightly narrowed eyes, a sign that she's paying critical attention, maybe listening for specific things Tasha might say, ideas she might express. Apparently what she hears satisfies her, because she nods. "Cool," she says, "Very cool. Yeah, yeah, I figured. You had to have sorta meant this, I thought, f'r it to come out like it did," she gestures at the drawings, "I dunno a lot about this sorta art, I'll be honest. But I'm hearin' things that make sense t' me."

The musician's legs tug up and she leans forward, scootching nearer to Tasha, "So yeah, yeah, I'd definitely like more. But that means we're gonna have t' work together some," her brow lifts, "Think that's gonna work out okay? Cuz I keep gettin' these vibes off you, hon. And while there are God alone knows how many perfectly unnerstandable reasons for 'em, that ain't somethin' that usually leads to a productive fuckin' relationship. So mebbe we should both know where we stand before we get each other's hopes up, eh?"

"I wouldn't say I'd do it if I didn't want to or didn't think I could," Tasha says quietly. The toes of one foot cover the toes of the other. It's a little chilly in the main room without the furnace on, since Tasha was warm enough under the bright lights of the tiny bathroom. Now having a t-shirt and no socks on is starting to take its toll, even if it's no longer polar bear weather.

"As far as where I stand … you're Ferry. I've got your back, as long as I'm able, you know? Are we friends? I think we can be. It'll just take some time to know each other until the good stuff is bigger than the things we want to forget, right?"

"That's an awful nice sentiment," Sable says, her tone not so much one of skepticism but of reluctantly assumed doubt - what Tasha says are things that maybe she'd /like/ to believe, "But you'll forgive me if mebbe I don't know that smilin' and waitin' for bygones to get themselves by-gone is for sure gonna work out." She tilts her head, chin coming to rest on a lifted hand, which in turn rests on her knee, "I don't change too quick nor too easy. Stubbornness is in my nature, 'n' my whole fuckin' life has been about makin' the world what I want it, 'nstead of the other way around. So if there's somethin' about how I go about shit, somethin' that you find makes you grit those lovely pearly whites you've got, you better fuckin' tell me right off, so maybe I can cool it a little. Elsewise, yer not gonna see much fuckin' improvement."

With another little huff of a laugh, Tasha shakes her head. "You don't need to improve on anything, Sable. Just be yourself, you know? I don't expect anything else from you. The truth is, we would probably be friends already if not for … the way things are." Colette. The Aaron emo-bomb. "Or at least, I would have tried. I don't know if it would have been reciprocated, you know, me being all 'bourgie' and all, but I thought you were fun and cool and I would have hung out with you."

The past tense sounds so past and Tasha gives a small shrug. "I do forgive you for what happened and I know now at least maybe why it happened, but…" she looks away, long lashes down again to veil eyes that glimmer for a moment. "But I also think that some small part of you meant what you said. You wouldn't have said it in your right mind, sure, but it's still there, and yeah, it's hard to think of you as someone I'm gonna be best buddies with, if you think I'm a spoiled brat." She lets out a shaky breath. "And I'm sorry that I can't shake that off. I forgive you for it, but I'm still hurt."

Sable looks somewhat nonplussed. Of the various potential sins Sable has committed against Tasha, holding her accountable for her heritage is actually one of them Sable has thought about least. This is a simple matter of perspective. Sable feels no shame about her upbringing (or lack thereof), and while she may consider Tasha's to some degree /worthy/ of shame, she cannot imagine a feeling /of/ shame, not in herself, and thus not in Tasha either.

Sable initially frowns. Her gut instinct is to point out that this very 'hurt' Tasha describes is symptomatic of spoiled bratness. Not the words she would use, but the idea she would convey. But that would be a defensive move, a response to the hurt Sable feels at being reminded that she hurt Tasha. And the cycle would continue.

And so the frown is quickly replaced by a smile, "Oh, Jesus, hon," she says, "You shouldn't think I've the first fuckin' thing against bourgieness personally. Fact is," the yellow eyed girl moves forward, leaning towards Tasha, her hands pressed against the floor as she brings her face up close, "Somethin' 'bout a gal of good breedin' just /calls/ t' someone like myself," her teeth gleam as she grins, "Somethin' that makes me wanna see what yer like when you ain't so polite, and ain't so well spoken. Makes we wanna do terrible things t' a gal like you, hon. But nothin' you wouldn't enjoy. I swear."

Sable lingers too close for another moment, then pushes herself back into a sit, hand gripping her crossed ankles, watching Tasha with a watchful, feline expression. A rather different tactic, this one.

"Well … spoken?" The nearness of Sable has Tasha not quite leaning back but she sits a little straighter, lifting her chin a little so their faces aren't so close together. Her head tilts and her brows lift in surprise at the words and the posturing, but she manages not to retreat entirely.

"I'm hardly all proper and prim and polite. I think you've got me confused for someone else, to be honest, or you've invented some story about what my upbringing was like that doesn't at all match with the one I had. I may not have sad sob stories but I was a latch-key kid, more or less, and I went to public school and I peed in the YMCA pool along with the best of them, you know? I'm not like some kid from Sacred Heart Prep School for Debutantes, Sable."

Sable gives a giggle, but it's not a particularly girlish sound. Just a more friendly version of her usual snicker. "Naw, see, sweetheart, you jus' gotta listen to y'rself for a second there. Hold on, hold on," she sits up straight as well, adopts a mild expression, "I'm hardly a member of the upper crust," she begins, elocuting with great care, dotting all her verbal 'i's, "When I went to college, you know, I had a /scholarship/, but I still had to work part time to pay for tuition. When I was in high school, I was almost got expelled for smoking marijuana. I mean weed. I /still/ smoke weed sometimes, I'll have you know." Her posture loosens, and her face breaks into a smile, "Th' fact, hon, that you think /that/ sort of shit qualifies you for some fuckin' fellow feelin'… that's the /heart/ of your bourgieness. But, I'll let you in on a little secret," she looks around, theatrically checking to make sure they aren't overheard, "Believin' that, really /believin'/ it, like you do…"

Hand cupped to mouth, Sable stage whispers: "It's also what's so fuckin' adorable 'bout gals like you."

Tasha shakes her head, brows furrowed in confusion. She raises a hand in the 'hold it right there' position. "Wait. I don't know what you think it is I believe. What do you think I think qualifies me for … what, exactly? I don't get what you're saying, and I don't think I qualify for anything…"

"What I'm sayin' hon," Sable says, "Is that what yer sayin' /I/ think you are, which is what, like, some sorta private school princess or whatever. A… a… Vanderburg or whatever, someone real rich, livin' in a big mansion or a fancy penthouse or somethin' else. That, what you think I think, that /ain't/ what I think. I think you got through high school and mebbe got pretty good grades or somethin', and you went to college and then I guess you dropped out for whatever damned reason. And what /I'm/ sayin' is that /you/ thinkin' that /I/ think you're all rich or whatever is /exactly what makes you bourgie/, hon. Yer literally richer and better off than you know, hon, because you /don't/ know how rich or well off you are."

Sable lifts a finger, preemptively halting any potential and likely justified protest, "I'm also sayin' that that ain't such a bad thing, cuz at least you don't think you /deserve/ t' be as well off as you are. Folks as rich as you think I think you are, I figure they likely think they deserve it. Or that is just how shit is, nothin' to be done. But unnerstand, hon, it's /about/ sob stories or how, like, /hard/ shit is. It's way deeper than that. It's how your whole fuckin' world is built. Whether you're lookin' up, or lookin' down. And I think, hon, that you look down. And by no fault of your own, either."

Tasha listens, her face in a bit of a scowl, though most of it is concentration trying to follow Sable's reasoning and words. She sighs, unwrapping her arms from her legs and getting to her feet. "If you mean I look down at people, I don't. At least not for being less privileged or whatever else than me, because you're right about that just being a matter of luck and nothing I had to work for," she says, pulling a bandana from her pocket to wrap like a headband around her hair to keep it out of her eyes. "If you mean I don't look at the world like it can only get better, like the world's my oyster," the implication is Sable does, "it's because I don't think it is getting better, and I don't see myself in lights, but I don't need to, either."

Right now, with Sable sitting and Tasha standing, the form an unfortunately illustrative tableaux of just what Sable said. Tasha looks down at Sable, and Sable looks up at Tasha. Sable doesn't seem to have a problem with this, and her smile provides counterpoint to Tasha's scowl. "Naw, see, this is the fuckin' problem, darlin'," she says, relentlessly cheerful, like this is all just too funny, "You say 'luck' hon. Like you won some sorta lottery, like you fell into it. I'm not sayin' that. It's /what you are/, Tash. What you've spent y'r whole life bein', and sayin' it ain't so don't change it. Mebbe at some point you figured it out, looked in the mirror and realized 'oh shit, look at all this stuff I've got'. But that's just what you /have/. It's not what you're lookin' at, hon. It's /how yer lookin'/. It ain't what you're thinkin' but /how yer thinkin' it/. I can't explain it much better."

Sable clambers to her feet, setting her hands on her hips, "Hon, what's so lovely 'bout bein' around you," she flashes a grin, "Besides the obvious, 'f course," back to business, "Is that mebbe just someone like me might trick herself into believin' you. That there's nothin' really between us, no real difference. It's a siren's fuckin' song, that. And it'll lure unfortunates and orphans and wayward souls into your kind 'n' understandin' arms. And y'know, why not? What does it hurt? But it don't change things. And there's nothin' I can say, not really. If you /do/ change, if you end up lookin' up one day, you'll /know/ what I mean. 'til then…"

Sable lifts her arms, palms up, an invitation to an embrace, "I'd surely like t' be another 'f yer vagabonds."

"I don't like labels," Tasha says, with a shake of her head. "Maybe because you've spent your time feeling like an outsider to the 'bourgie' world or whatever, you see us all the same, but it's not like that. If you picked ten people from say my high school, all roughly the same demographic and whatever, you'd get ten different ways of thinking, because we're individuals and I'm certainly not any sort of indicator of a norm, that much is for sure. In the words of the illustrious Depeche Mode, people are people, Sable. We all have the same needs, and right now, I'm pretty freakin' dirt poor and a few people would argue I'm a wayward soul myself," Tasha says with a shake of her head at the other's dichotomizing of the world.

She still doesn't know what Sable means by looking up, but she lets that issue drop, knowing the answer is probably nothing she'd find flattering to herself, much like the label "bourgie" is starting to irritate her. The opening of arms arches her brows in surprise, but Tasha steps into it, and offers her own hug to Sable. "Hobos of the world, unite, right?"

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