SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 44: One Liners and Well Delivered Meds.


Curtis, pharmacist and emerging entertainer.

A typical Saturday in Radstoneland: I give you the beats.

• Teach Spinning, announce next weeks Halloween costume ride. What will I wear (you’ll just have to wait for the report)?
• Best Buy for more iPad stuff. I’m telling you, “the thing is a drug addiction.”
• Purchase new care tires. “So much for any more iPad fix money. It’s all gone now!”
• Visit camera store. Look at other things I cannot afford. My method of aversion therapy. “I have to come down from my iPad accessory high.”
• To park with the kids. “Ah, release from life.”
• Bother other families at park to be in 365. Daughter now hooked on 365, she forces me to bug people. “Alright, I submit.”
• Accept rejection from said park families. “I know, felt like the creepy dude stalking parents at the park, but I have to respect my kids starry eyes.”
• Leave park to heal wounds of shame for bugging families.
• See photo opportunity on street corner, redirect path to intercept target.
• Get yelled at by violent preacher dude on targeted street corner. My bad, “thought he’d want to tell all of my readers to repent.”
• Stagger back to car, happy I’m still intact! “don’t worry, kids are safely hanging inside locked car and in my field of view.”
• Set path for home: dinner time and a serious re-think of 365.
• Wife tells me, “go find someone to photograph, I’ve got the kids.”
• Wander aimlessly in new treaded car.
• Drive past coin operated car wash on Saticoy.
• Begin to experience, “holly *#*#, it’s 8pm and I’m clueless as to if I’m shooting 365 tonight.”
• Small voice in head tells me to turn around and go to other coin opp wash near where preacher dude was earlier today? “OK?”
• 8:15sh, arrive at prompted coin opp. “I can at least wash my car.”
• Fight with change machine, damn thing wont take my wrinkled bills. “doesn’t everyone shove wadded money in pockets?”
• Win fight, walk away from opponent, hand filled with quarters.
• Get hosed: $5.oo for 8 minutes of paid water.
• Pull out of slip, “I refuse to pay $2.50 more to rinse a touch of soap off car.”
• Pit stop at vacuum station for decompression of timed wash experience.
• Observe expert car washer in stall beside me. “How come his car looks so much cleaner than mine?”
• Question my car detailing ability?
• Submit to my failure.
• Strike up chat with car expert, “perhaps I’ll get pointers on where I went wrong. Should I have sprayed the degreaser first? Maybe I was too long with the soap brush? Help!?”
• He’s a cool dude. Throw 365 invite, he accepts.

My car washing buddy for the evening is Curtis, his trained profession to date: Pharmacist. A recent Los Angeles transplant from Kentucky, he began his West coast pharmaceutical career 4 yeas ago. As we talk I quickly realize that there is more to Curtis than simply preparing medication. He talks the importance of patient experience, saying with smile on his face, It’s really about making people comfortable, many of my customers don’t feel well when they come to my pharmacy. I do my best to let them know that I care.”

The man has great compassion for his fellow-beings, something that inspires him in his greatest dream, “I want to be an entertainer.”

An emerging comic and singer, Curtis expresses his reasoning for pursuing a path into such a difficult and competitive profession. He has the right perspective. “It’s about giving myself and sharing my talents.”

After 30 years as a director and photographer, this is a comment that I very much appreciate. There are so many talented people who seem to burn out from to great of a self-absorbed point-of-view. Curtis’ interest in “giving and sharing” is about as healthy as it gets. I wish him well!

We talk of creative mindset, linking it with the importance of being true to personal perspective and what it takes to both develop and hold on to artistic point-of-view. Another topic very close to me.

Curtis give us this wisdom, “whatever way life takes you, follow your inside, your persona, how you feel about your presence on Earth, and somehow let it be the guide in interfering with your choices.”

I meet a man who cares about people, and in time, I hope he finds his voice in the world of entertainment. We need guys like him on stage.

In the end, I understand why I am at this particular car wash, at this particular time and on this particular evening.

“And I’ve learned again, 365 just happens.”

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