I’m Not Paulie, I’m Jake, or Dan, or Big Mike, or Bob, or Aleron

May 15, 2020 Diary entry: Hello, I’m not Paulie, I’m Jake, Big Jake Fowler, I’m a salesman, a chicken salesman, a chicken salesman for one of the big firms, I’m in town hawking chickens, after my big sale I’ll be moving on, always looking over my shoulder, you see, I broke out of a medical van and escaped custody, they were trying to pin a bogus rap on me for contacting a serious felon I guess who they had detained and were isolating from the public, he was some sort of public enemy and it was my misfortune to be seen shaking hands with him after a chicken sale, I’ve been on the run for some time now, laying low, taking on new identities, changing my name, taking on menial or fake jobs just to survive and not be recognized, it is impossible to form any sort of relationship when you are always on the run, I did meet an exceptional lady on the fly, she was an airline stewardess and I was Dan, Dan Carter, an architect for one of the big firms, I was in town to peddle a multi million dollar skyscraper I had designed, the whole cityscape would be transformed, anyway, we were dining in a little out-of-the-way Italian bistro when I was recognized by a waiter and I had to slip out the door to the alley, the waiter had made a call to the authorities when he said he was going for another bottle of Chianti, I ended up in a neighboring town as Big Mike Hadley, a rodeo rider, I rode in the big rodeos out of Texas and Oklahoma before I was thrown by a bull and sustained injuries that prevent me from competing today, I was working as a merry-go-round operator and tended the painted horses until a lady recognized me from a picture in the town paper, I had to dismount that job in a hurry and move on, I hitch-hiked my way down south and landed a job pruning peach trees, I was Andy Hatfield, a mild-mannered drifter who had worked as a pruner for one of the bigger firms up north until the layoffs hit and I was forced to relocate, well, an extension agent for the government who was out doing inspections recognized me and I had to go on the run again, I ended up farther south, down on the peninsula as Big Jack Hemingway, I got a job as a bait cutter on one of the big excursion boats that take seniors out on the water after jack mackerel and the occasional skip jack tuna, anyway, once again I had to go on the run, this time I headed east, all the way to St. Louis, I began panhandling down by one of the big railway yards in East St. Louis, I was Bob, Bob Walker, and I had ridden the rails with the best, back before Reagan’s austerity programs and his rant against rail riders, I was one of the big men in the FTRA, Freight Train Riders Association, or more formally known as F__k The Reagan Administration, well, a fellow panhandler recognized me and tried to turn me in for the reward and I had to move on, I landed somewhere in Kentucky, I was Big Mick McClanahan, a boisterous hard-drinking Irishman who had owned one of the bigger theme bars in Chicago, I lost the bar due to my drinking and a lawsuit from a customer who I threw out onto the loop during five o’clock rush hour, anyway, I tended this small Kentucky hick bar until one night when I threw a guy out of the bar and he landed in the Ohio River and was struck by a barge, I went on the run again, this time I was running from another lawsuit, and I would’ve been recognized in court anyway, at this moment I’m staying in a rooming house somewhere in western Pennsylvania, a kindly old lady runs the place and the meals are free, but at the supper table she keeps saying she thinks she knows me from somewhere, when you live on the run, there just never seems to be a moment’s comfort, well, this is Aleron Boucher, a French fashion designer who worked for one of the big firms until the unexpected layoffs hit the fashion industry, saying keep one step ahead of the bastards, and adieu mon frere and adieu mon soeur, and shalom…

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