He was always scowling. I wondered how, and if he did, and what made him, smile. I was completely aware that perhaps he never did. His store was the kind of place that hired girls with bad drug habits, who showed a bit too much skin and needed a bit too much help to grow up and get on with their lives. Girls who dressed in fishnet stocking and assemblage pieces that were mostly scrap and safetypins. Mad Mulvaric hired all these types and leered at them every moment they were there. Who knew what went on in the back rooms? I imagined some of the company parties, the plowing of acres of coke and maybe Mulvaric even got his digusting self laid. I had a feeling that he was something of this bizarro playboy, who sneered and ate sloppy meat sandwiches in the back room and never changed his shirt but who had the right records (and only records) on his vintage stereo.
He had this one t-shirt that I think summed him up more than anything, with a picture of Marvin the Martian as a hip-hop turntablist in space. He wore it constantly, I think I saw him with it on maybe 85% of the time that I saw him; and for awhile there when I was poor and yet unemployed and imagining myself a hustler I’d saunter by after my late morning bagel (at 4pm) and filter my fingers through the 99-cent rack nearly everyday.
He always stood there right by the door to his little back room, probably because it afforded him an eye of the back of the counter––and you know who was always standing around in their ratty old fishnets. He’d stand at his post chewing incessantly, like guys with large goatees sometimes tend to do, chewing like a walrus on some imaginary sandwich that he was remembering or looking forward to, I could never tell which.