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Drivin' Biden

by Jordan J Hall 6 months ago in celebrities · updated 3 months ago
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How I met the president. Part 1

It was springtime, but you would not know it. Heat in the city had grown as had the sunlight, especially grand in our 17th floor Union Square office. Too bad I was stuck in the basement warehouses across the river in Williamsburg. The CollegeHumor machine was a hay-day operation at that time. There were too many possibilities alive within the venture, and another came rushing up to me.

“Jo-gun!” Bennett said with signature rasp, “Have I got a deal for you!” I responded to him the way I always respond when he brings a cockamamie idea into the room, with diversion.

“Another rat stakeout?” The vermin were getting brazen, stealing things in broad daylight. We dispatched 12 wharf rats from our surrounds, but there was always more thanks to the ever present crafty in our makeshift film studio.

“No, but we should do that,” he sat down his newly acquired Duluth Pack briefcase on the workbench. I could feel his eyes twinkling with excitement, so I halted my mapping of tomorrow's PA routes and gave him him a moment. “What if I told you there is a chance you and I can drive in the vice-presidential motorcade?” He smiled wryly and waited as the offer sunk in.

Let me remind you, Bennett has a lot of ideas. A LOT. He also has no patience for a filter, rather he allows the world's response to his ideas to be the filter. That is partially why I am here, but also to ride the waves of his insanity-the rush is amazing.

“I would say, ‘sounds cool.’ I am qualified. Are you?” He frowned a bit. Bennett’s production life was just hitting its stride and he loved racking up the miles.

“Don't worry about me, all we have to do is pass security clearance,” Bennett said. I nodded not knowing or caring what that meant. It should be noted that very few of Bennett’s notions see the light of day. This one appeared no different, but there was a hint of reality in his stance. Usually when the idea is ridiculous and he knows it, he just wants you to consider the idea. For the inanity of it, for the ‘Can you believe that?!’ factor. This though, this was different.

“Is this legit?” I asked finally shutting my laptop to give the topic full attention.

“Oh yeah,” the floodgates were open. His eyes were electric with intel. “Biden is in town next month. Jesse, dad's old bulldog of an assistant, works events for the DNC. He knows we drive for production, so…” We did indeed drive the hell out of vans and box trucks. We drive 15 passenger vans all the time. We had just taken the entire office on a sojourn to Medieval Times. As nuts a that was, it paled to the madness of my day driving Biden’s people would be.

“This sounds plausible,” I said. It is dangerous to say, ‘yes’, to Bennett Wilson. Once you do, you are never certain where the lines are. One yes, becomes three, three become nine, and before you know it you are knee deep in sawdust making 1,200lb castle doors to affix to your new studio for ‘sound protection.’ Knowing this, I did not give him a, yes. “OK,” is the safest answer to give a Bennett. It is positive yet riddled with doubt. Instead of hook, line, sinker, it means, I will agree to terms, but there is proving required. “Let me know what you need from me,” I said. He smiled and nodded.

“Hey, off topic, what is the best way to get to LaGuardia?”

“Depends. Where are you leaving from and at what time?”

“Midtown. After the shoot in Bryant Park. 6pm.”

"Well, there is no good way to LaGuardia,” I said coyly. Bennett snickered and sipped his coffee. “There is a least-worse way, but…” my phone buzzed, it was PA calling. “One sec,” I told him and stepped out to the street as our sunken studio was notorious for dropped calls. The kid had run out of gas in Greenpoint, so I had to scramble a second PA to make a fuel run. By the time I got back inside Bennett was gone from the studio and was now elbow deep in one of the dozen projects in the shop. I went about my day and forgot about the interaction until days later, when Bennett found me at the office in Manhattan.

The entire production team of 26 goofs had been called for an all-hands meeting to discuss the fall schedule and upcoming summer vacation. As our tiny herd shuffled into the conference room, I snuck up to the kitchen to score a coffee and a snack.

“Twix for breakfast?” Bennett said, popping out of the elevators.

“Don't judge me,” I gave a wry smile, fully expecting more judgment. “They were out of bagels.”

“Eat up now,” he said grabbing a bagel. “You won't have the time for that next Tuesday,” Bennett was grinning ear to ear. His bright eyes danced around the news bouncing in his head.

“What is next Tuesday?” I finished stirring the coffee with my Twix and looked up. Bennett was gape mouthed. “Next Tuesday we are driving for Biden,” he spoke with expectant eyes. I had totally forgotten the interaction from earlier in the week. “Did you tell Sam, yet?” No, I hadn't given it another moment of thought, as I do with many Bennett’s notions.

“I mentioned it, but I'll chat him up after the meeting,” I couldn’t tell if he knew I was lying. Bennett nodded, unable to hide his toothy grin.

“This is happening,” he said stuffing a half dozen granola bars along with hummus and carrot packs into his bag. “I need your Social,” he said pulling out a notebook. He flipped to the back page where his full name and social security were already listed. I obliged and wrote down my info. The steaming coffee was pulling me into the workday, but Bennett's request still seemed like a dream. When I finished, he slapped the notebook closed, stuffed it into his bag and moved to the elevators. I smiled and responded to his lark.

“Meeting is on this floor, big conference room,” I said gesturing with my arm load of snacks. Bennett nodded looking deep into the granite pattern of the tiled wall.

“Which is why, I'm going this way,” he said hinting at the exit.

“All-hands meeting, Ben,” I said trying not to engage.

“My hands are needed in Brooklyn,” the elevator binged, and the door opened. “We got the electrician coming at 11 today; I can’t lose another week if we miss him,” I thought for a split second I would join him for a breakfast burrito over the Williamsburg bridge. “You'll fill me in,” he shoutspoke while entering the elevator. “Besides, all those plans will change before they get to me,” the doors began to close when he blocked them with his bag. “And tell Sam for real. This going to be fun,” he said with an odd smile. The doors shut and the magician disappeared behind the wall of metal. I let out a laugh and assumed the kid was high. Regardless, so was I.

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About the author

Jordan J Hall

I write Historical and Speculative Flash Fiction. Nature and society's underbelly are the focus of my work. My writing can be found at FoxHollowStories.com and The Spectre Review Literary Magazine. Check out jordanjhall.com for more.

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