It was all over his brand new white shirt. Roe's Dad got him this white shirt for job interviews. And there've been a lot of those. Not white shirts. Job interviews.
These days they all blamed it on recession.
"So do I get a raise?"
"You know... salary hike."
"What?!?!?! They are paying you a salary????"
The boss rang a bell. That's weird. Because these days no one has that kind of clerical bell. That's such an 80's government office phenomenon. Anyways.
"Accounts? This boy here says he's getting a salary."
Roe just stood there. "Bastard! Didn't even offer me a seat," he thought.
"So waddyamean it's peanuts. There's a goddamn recession on, and I am not entertaining any salary."
He put down the phone. Now, wait. Didn't he ring the 80's government office bell? Anyways.
"Ha! Salary it seems!"
The boss eyed Roe with mock disgust. On second thought, the mockery was either very subtle, or non-existent even. It was pure disgust.
"Some people think they are still working centuries ago with such medieval notions like salary." he kept mumbling.
He looked up again at Roe.
"What are ya lookin' at?!!!? Go on. You are fired!"
"Well, so much for a raise. Now I am in gutters." With that thought, he'd started his journey. For a new job. In a recession-plagued society.
And this happens.
Roe's Dad's intentions were good. You know. Anyone would want their kid to have a new shirt and a new pen for interviews. Especially when they are in the gutters. Shows that someone's there in this world for them. But the mistake was. Ink pen.
Roe hadn't used an ink pen since he was obsessed (and then irrevocably dis-obsessed after a few months) with the Hero pen. Oh yeah! The sleek hero pen with its shiny golden cap and microscopic golden nib. Its ink sucking mechanism was almost space age.
But this one wasn't anything like that. It was black and bulky. Like what you'd see in British actors from the 70's. And it never worked when you wanted it to. Like British actors from the 70's.
So what does one do? Not to the British actors! To the pen.
Shake it like you are trying to bring a dead rabbit from its grave.
And what do you get?
Ink splatters all over your sunshine white shirt.
Roe didn't see any point in going for the interview now. He was more of a pessimist, you see. And the recession is a bad time for pessimist. It's like too good a home for the pessimist. And you wouldn't put up with much struggle in your home, would you? Roe was like that. He wasn't gonna put too much effort during the recession.
So he went back. Not to his home. Not to his parents. Not even to his neighbouring Midnight Booze Bar. He went to Dango's place.
Dango isn't his real name. It's Elango something. One cannot remember much at Dango's, let alone Dango's real full name. That place is just kinda abusive. So Roe went to Dango's.
He opened the door. Dango's doors are never closed. There's not much in there to steal anyways. But I am sure the cops would have a truckload of stuff to take away if they ever got a sniff of Dango's. For starters, he had an aquarium that didn't have any fish. Or water. He grew some plants in that. Plants of a 'banned' variety. So Dango was never really scared of the cops. He was an optimist. A little bit too much of an optimist. And Roe wanted an optimistic trip. That's why he was at Dango's.
"Heyyyy.... dude....," said Dango in his trademark drawl. He always drawled. Even when he wasn't stoned. But Dango was always stoned. So you wouldn't know if he ever talked straight.
Roe sat down in this flamboyant pink carpet with the picture of Shiva on it. Usually people wouldn't sit on such carpets. But Dango wasn't very religious. Neither was Roe.
"Don't ask man. This recession. It just kills me."
"Ah... aspirations from life. I tell you...," he paused, trying to scan Roe's name from his smoky little brain.
"Roe... the whole existence is pointless. Job is a 20th century invention. All you have to do is breathe. Let your soul loose. Let it wander the world. See the beauty of the Spirit's creations. The mountains, blue lakes, green hills. Hold on."
Dango got up and walked to his laptop. He played some song. Actually, you cannot really call it a 'song'. There was a woman wailing, a wolf howling, sirens screeching, monkeys playing guitars, hamsters snipping off a chimpanzee's hair, and an owl playing the piano; all at the same time. No. You couldn't really call it a song.
"Well, where was I...," Dango fell down on to the carpet. "Ah... yes... spirituality, man. That's everything. You should know... there's the Spirit... and nothing more. You'll detach yourself from the world's sufferings."
Roe never really believed in all this crap. Being a pessimist and all. But today he wanted it. He took a deep drag from the joint.
The stuff slowly started hitting him. Dango said it was Afghan. It didn't really matter to Roe.
Roe took another deep drag. The grey cloud enveloped his vision as the stuff clouded his awareness. He took another look at the ink splatters on his sunshine white shirt his Dad bought him for job interviews.
Blots of blue ink transformed into majestic oceans. Blending slowly into each other. Separated by white sands. Bright white sands. It shimmered under the bright sun. Almost blinding Roe. The water started sparkling, reflecting a clear blue sky above it. Majestic waves slowly started forming. It crashed into the white beach leaving a small, frothy trail. He took five steps backward. Like those old toy cars. Couple of inch backwards. And he hit the blue ocean like a kid who's found freedom from school.
And Roe wasn't pessimistic anymore.