2009-11-11: Traveler's Guide To A Young Male's Mind



Date: November 11, 2009


Jade and Tiago meet up, only to discuss travel and the aim of life.

"Traveler's Guide To A Young Male's Mind"

Downtown, NYC - Pawn Shop

Just another afternoon at your friendly neighborhood pawn sh- I mean Electronics and General Merchandise Store. It was debateable how much business actually got done when Jade was left alone in charge of the store, as the girl had zero interest in helping customers with their problems, and barely rustled up the willpower to ring them up on the register when they were ready for purchase. It's almost certain that if her paycheck didn't depend on the store earning something that the girl would have just locked the front door and taken a nap in the back room.

The girl sat on the front of the counter, her hands behind her, propping her up, her legs swinging casually in front of her back and forth, back and forth, as she kept an eye on the two people roaming about the shop digging for priceless heirlooms or something. One of the potential customers began to approach her, holding a faux-antique jewelry box, looking like he had some kind of question about it. The dark-haired teenager's response was to draw her legs up, spin around, and pointedly face the other direction, forestalling any inquiries that may have been forth-coming by yawning hugely and refusing to look at the guy.

Just another typical day of business.
The happy jingling that follows the front door opening up serves as an ironic sort of omen, for the young man who drags himself inside the establishment looks anything but happy. In fact, Tiago looks downright grim and just a little paranoid, casting wary glances over his shoulder before he forces himself deeper into the establishment, as if trying to make sure he isn't being followed. Once this is ensured, only then does he toss a cursory look around at the pawn shop. For a little while he ambles about, checking the mismatched merchandise for value and the like until his explorations finally bring him to the front counter, and as a result, Jade.

"Yo. So, you guys like, sell shit, right? Like…firearms and shit. I heard from a buddy o' mine this is a good place ta - Jesus Christ!" Needless to say, he's just recognized the female. "You're that…that…Asian chick." Beat. "No, that's not right - whatever. But I know you, don't I! I saw ya before! Man, it's a pretty small world, huh?" Nothing like meeting a well-liked acquaintance to cheer the Brazilian up it seems, seeing as his grin is broad and quite boyish.
"Guns have a waiting period and a background check."

The reply is automatic and monotonous, as if the answer were being given by the dark-haired girl for the umpteenth time that day. She at least manages to cast a spare glance over her shoulder at the person she was talking to, her brain connecting the face to That Night at the club. She half-turns on rump, propping one leg up on the counter, the other hanging off as Tiago begins the laborous process of recognizing her.

"Yeah, I'm 'that asian chick'. Where's your girlfriend?" She looks around for a moment, before not spotting anyone else who was seemingly with the Brazilian. "Don't tell me she dumped you after the way you were acting that night? All I know is, I don't think I'll ever forget you screeching about 'gummi bears' all the way out of the club and down the street."

She pauses for a moment, finally sliding off of the counter and onto the floor behind it, leaning forward on her forearms as she brushes her hair aside. "Then again, I guess everyone got a little wild that night. Shithole club was probably spraying the air with nox or something."
"At home. At least, she's supposed ta be. I dunno where she is now, I never know." This admission is drawn from Tiago almost carelessly, as as his lips curl in that frown, he slumps forward to lean on the counter with some frustration. After all, now that he knows he cannot get the weapons he so requires over here, the best move to make is to never bring it up again, ever. "And I don't know what you're talkin' about, gummi bears. You've got me mixed up with some other loser. But if I /did/ know, then I'd say hell no she didn't dump me. No one dumps me, okay. I mean shit, if I remember correctly and stuff you were gettin' all touchy feelin' yourself. Not that I blame ya or anythin'!"

Promoting himself with that arrogant grin is put to the side when Jade continues on however, and a thoughtful expression crosses Tiago's features. "Well…yeah. A little wild and crazy and shit. But it was fun, right? Y'gotta admit it was fun, and kinda hilarious ta think back on. I dunno it if was the club, either. I mean, I've been 'round - it's kinda a tame-ass club. But it might've been. I dunno. Say! What's your name again, sorry?"
At the mention of her own antics at the club, Jade quirks an eyebrow, leaning back slightly as she adopts an aura of disbelief, even going so far as to scoff at the very notion. She waves it away with a careless shrug and a tilt of her head. "I did quite a few things I regret that night. Touching your slimey skin was only one of them."

The dark-haired teenager stifles a yawn with one hand, giving a dramatic sigh as the previous customer comes back with the aforementioned jewelry box and a few trinkets to put in it. Taking the items, she stares at the tags a moment before punching in the buttons on the register, pressing each one harder than necessary, as if irritated that she had to do some actual work. "Fun? Getting herpes is also fun. Living the rest of your life with them isn't." As she rings up the total, she looks up as she holds her hand out for the money, to see the shocked expression on the middle-aged male's face. "…What?" Total tallied and collected, Jade hands him his change, doesn't offer him a bag, and shoos the guy on his way.

She leans an arm across the register. "Rampant drug abuse and being sexually abused by virtual strangers aren't the highlights of my life anymore. I quit being fourteen a while ago. And you can just call me 'that asian chick'. …Didn't you come in here to buy something?"
Tiago goes out of his way to grimace theatrically, taking in a hiss of breath as he feigns pain. "Slimy? Really? Well fuck, why don't you jus' knee me in the balls while you're at it. Hey, if you ended up with a bad lay that night it aint my fault, so bein' a bitch ta me wont make anythin' better." Altogether, her callous words don't seem to have much of an effect on the young adult - in fact, he even appears chipper and bright at the exchange. Clearly, the lad has been on his own for much too long if this is what he has started to consider as pleasant.

With a snort, Tiago arches his brows at her lazily. "Oh yeah, huh? You graduated from that shit? Got better things ta do, huh…like workin' in this dump of a place, I guess. Well, that's cool. I'll make up asian names for ya then, Chung-Li." His expression turns to one of express confusion, before he manages to place his features under control once again. "What? Oh - ah, nah, mostly ta browse…" Suddenly in search of a distraction, he glances down to his baggy clothing and starts fishing things out of his pocket. "I got some shit ta sell, though. This is a pawn shop, right? So I can do that, yeah?"
"I wouldn't call it a /bad/ lay… Anyway, yeah, I graduated from 'that shit'. Place might be a dump, you should see my apartment, but it pays the bills and will keep me fed through the winter. Then it'll be summer and I can probably start giving surf lessons again, and maybe save up enough to get to Europe."

It's said rather matter-of-factly, as if being a professional drifter were just another day at the office. Her shoulders lift marginally, as if Chung-Li were what most people called her, a smirk tugging at her lips. "Works for me. If I can call you 'Chi-Chi'." But the prospect of having to do business has the budding smile crashing back down into her more customary deadpan, a small, soft sigh escaping her lips as she leans her cheek against her hand, holding her palm out.

"Depends on what you got. We don't buy just anything, especially if it won't sell. And most people don't like the prices we offer, but… I guess for an 'old friend' I might be able to cut you some slack. /If/ you can remember that my name's Jade."
It's not difficult to see that Tiago would rather delay his supposed 'business' with the woman as much as possibly. Partly because it'll keep her from remembering his original purpose, and partly because he /just/ managed to steal that Rolex that's burning a hole in his pocket. "Oh yeah? Well…what d'you call it, then, if not a bad lay? A shitty fuck? But what d'you wanna go to Europe for, man. Aint nothin' there but like…well, there aint nothin' there period, I bet." His expression turns awed as he realizes how little he knows about the European continent, and with a slow deliberate shake of his head, he jumps on over to the next topic.

Jade is eyed. She is eyed rather sullenly for her perversion of his beloved nickname. "Yeah…okay. But don't you be makin' fun of my name, Li-Fe. I like it, okay, and I'm sorry if it aint exotic 'nough for you but…" He drops his ranting for a moment in pure, unadulterated surprise as she finally works her actual name into it. What follows is the emergence of a broad, sheepish sort of grin. "Dude, I knew your name the whole time! I was jus' fuckin' with you, see! And…uhh…right. The shit…" Reluctantly, he pulls out the expensive watch, holding it over her hand but refusing to let it go. "I - uh - jus' want an estimate. On how much that'd go for."
"It's just… complicated. Haven't you ever had someone that you wouldn't-" Jade cuts off abruptly as she realizes just who she's talking to, the guy who was the least-likely candidate for girl-talk in the world. "I don't know what's in Europe, that's why I want to go there. I didn't know what was to the east when I started in California, either. But there's things like the Colliseum, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower." She ticks off the famous tourist attractions on her fingers. "It's supposed to be the most romantic continent on earth. What else am I supposed to do? Go back to Cali?"

The teen gives a disbelieving roll of her eyes as the Brazilian claims to have remembered her name on his own, before giving up bothering to get him to admit his folly and instead fingering the watch, leaning closer. She studies it for a moment, makes sure it's working, before leaning back to her previous posture, pointing at it with one finger and a skeptical tone in her voice.

"Is that even real? I'm not buying a faux-lex from you."
Tiago blinks not one, but twice as Jade cuts herself off, his eyebrows shooting upwards. "Ever had someone that you wouldn't what? What's complicated mean? I mean, I know what the word means, I jus' mean what's so complicated about it." He prompts, leaning forward encouraging her to continue. Apparently, he hasn't realized that he's a joke when it comes to girl-talk quite yet. Her depiction of Europe, however, earns a faint snort of bemusement. "You're a fuckin' tourist, huh? You're goin' ta be boppin' along with your fanny pack and shit…They aint romantic, they jus' have like, bad teeth. Man, South America is where it's at if you want the romance. S'called a latin lover for a reason, princess." When she inquires as to what else she can do however, he finds that he's at a loss. "…Well…whatever you wanna do, I guess. So I guess Europe's right up your alley."

He watches her inspection of the watch with some distress, jaw clenched tightly. "Oy! Try not ta smear it all up or nothin', that's precious cargo, y'know? I've been waitin' like, all my life ta find one of them things." When she questions its authenticity, he frowns to her petulantly. "Hell yeah it's real. Or…well, it fuckin' better be. It /looks/ real, don't it?" Beat. "You…you don't have ta buy it off o' me, you know…you could gimme it back…if you wanted."
"Uh-huh." Jade's very unimpressed affirmative matches her disbelieving expression as she lets go of the watch, returning full possession of it to it's questionably rightful owner. "Fine, fine. I'll give you two hundred cash for it. Or two-fifty store credit, take your pick."

With her business offer out of the way, she backtracks to the idea of South America, letting her mind wander over the possibilities there. "There's always Rio, I guess. If I went by Puerto Rico I wouldn't have to tromp through the jungle to get there…" And out comes a travel magazine, swiped from the front of the store and stored behind the counter until the tan-skinned girl was done with it, at which time it would be okay to be sold. She flips open to a picture of the giant statue in Rio de Janeiro, staring at it for a moment, quirking her lips side to side. Finally, she looks back up.

"And I'm not going to travel the world looking for new and exotic people to knock me up. I have enough problems in life without having to worry about raising a kid stranded in third-world country. Can't you see anything beyond your rapacious sex-drive and over-inflated male ego?"
Tiago snatches back that watch as soon as possibly, clutching it to his chest possessively. "Two fifty!" He exclaims, half outraged. "That's it? Are you kiddin' me! I think I'll keep it, thanks…maybe bring back more shit later." With this mumbled out of the way, he preoccupies himself with polishing the item fastidiously with his t-shirt before replacing it in his pocket. Now that his 'business' has been completed, he feels he can return to the chatter without guilt.

"Rio, huh? Yeah, I'd like ta go there…" Beat. "I mean, I've been there. It's pretty cool 'nd all. See, that? O Cristo Redentor?" He points to the statue with a fond smile. "Christ the…Redeemer, I think is its translation. It's real sick - in the good way. Fuck, if you're serious, I could teach ya some Portuguese. It'll help ya out."

Tiago offers his services selflessly before she gets the chance to insult him, which probably attributes to the sense of 'hey!' he feels after her jabs are made. His brows furrow, and he frowns over to her mulishly, leaning back from the counter in a defensive manner. "Hey, man. Rapa-wha? I dunno what the fuck you're on, but I don't force no one inta doin' /nothin'/, okay? They want it as much as I do, I aint no rapist." After having misconstrued the meaning of the five-dollar word, he proceeds to roll his eyes at her. "Yeah, okay, what else /is/ there, huh? What the fuck're you lookin' for, movin' around so much, 'cause it sounds like you don't even know yourself."
"I told you most people don't like our prices." There's a small sigh. "We're a pawn-shop, not a jewelry store, not an electronics boutique. We don't pay their prices on things. But we don't ask that many questions, either, so we get by."

"You think? Aren't you supposed to be from Brazil? Shouldn't you know? You know," With a maliciously impish smile, she props her chin on her fist, idly shaking a finger at the South American. "You remind me of those guys from Guam who claim to be from Hawaii. Or Puerto Ricans pretending to be Cuban. I'd take you up on that offer, but I'm afraid I'd want my Portuguese to be a little more than witty one-liners such as 'nice shoes, wanna fuck?'"

To ward off Tiago's just indignant outrage, as well as her own snickering laughter, she holds up the magazine in front of her face. "Look, I don't know what I'm looking for. I'm eighteen, how the hell am I supposed to know what I want in life?" With a bit more seriousness, she sets the literature back on the counter, flipping to an article about the night-life in Paris. "But I might find it there, in France. Or Italy, or… Anywhere. There's a whole wide-world out there, Chi-Chi, and if I have to settle down and spend my life in just one part of it, I want to make sure it's the best damned part I've ever imagined. …What about you, huh? Let's say for a minute I believe you weren't born over in the Bronx, why did you come all the way to New York if you weren't looking for something better?" Closing the magazine shut, she pulls open a drawer, discarding it inside as she archs a brow expectantly.
"…Puerto Ricans and Cubans speak the same language. I dunno why that'd be weird." Tiago points out, confused by the example. Regardless, he's stubborn enough to scowl over to her at the challenge. "Ah, shut up, /princess/. I was born in a shitty-ass city in the middle of the country, okay. Not every Brazilian's from Rio, surprise surprise. I aint never even gotten the chance ta see the ocean until me and my ma came here - to America, I mean. And I know the language better'n anything, and you'd never say 'nice shoes, wanna fuck' because it's awkward as hell." Beat. "I can teach you 'wanna fuck' though."

The lad reaches forward, clearly intent on ripping the magazine away from her snickering face, but when the sets it flat he finds that there's no need to. Instead, he merely purses his lips in her direction after running his tongue over them thoughtfully. "You're only eighteen? Man…you're a baby. But I dunno. Maybe you're right, and France is so much better'n here. But it wont make you happy. Places change sure, but the people are always the same. I don't care what anyone says. You gotta learn ta live with the people, not the place, otherwise you'll always be fucked."

When she turns the question to him, though, he looks quite uncomfortable. Green eyes flash around the pawn shop, searching for some sort of distraction or solution that he simply does not find. "Why'd I come ta New York? Well, that's easy, aint it? New York's huge. It's grimy as fuck, and it's dirty. I can blend in here, good. I wont get in trouble here, 'cause I can hide out. That's why I was in Miami before that, too. Like, big cities, that's what I need. A low profile. 'Cause so long as I'm not goin' ta get caught, so long as I aint in trouble, I can enjoy life the only way I know how, man. Jus'…fuckin' around and havin' a good time."
Smacking a hand to her forehead, Jade can't help but affect a wry grin through the casual smirk she preferred to wear. "I'll just bet you could. You probably know how to ask that question in almost every language on Earth." Just before she smacks the drawer shut with her fingers, she pulls out a small, plastic sign, bent in half so it would stand up on it's own, reading 'On break, back in 5 minutes'. The five had been covered with a small piece of duct-tape with the number fifteen written on it with a sharpie marker. This is placed casually up on the register as the only other customer in the place, aside from Tiago, began to wander up towards the counter. Jade does a superb job of ignoring his dirty look and focusing on her chatting.

"I'm just the baby, huh? You're perpetually stuck at sixteen! Having a good time's great and all, story of my life, but there comes a time when a girl just wants more. Of course, you're a guy, so you'll probably be happy the rest of your life, as long as you have something to stick your piddle in."

The customer, who looks on the verge of objecting, is caste a highly unfriendly, disparaging look from the shop employee. "Can't you read?" She turns her eyes back to the Brazilian, opening the drawer to pull out a set of keys. "C'mon, there's a hotdog shop across the street. I'll let you take me to lunch." Then back to the customer, "We're closed, come back later, please."

With an indignant huff, the woman deposits her would-be merchandise, two used DVDs with one-dollar price tags on them, on the counter and storms out.

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