This week I've been working at prisons, the tax commission and a certain giant "call center." When college didn't want us anymore, my wife and I got jobs at this certain giant call-center. That's when we started to get to know eachother and later got married.
My wife is well aware of my cubicle-induced 'Nam Flashbacks (Johnny? JOHNNY!!!!!) and when I told her I was working at the call center (even in a construction related manner) she asked, "Are you going to be okay?"
I tried to make the most of it, "Call centers are usually full of hot chicks aren't they?"
And since I got to know my wife at this particular call center, my wife answered, "Yes! Yes, call centers are full of hot girls." She was talking about herself, of course.
I feel so bad for the cubicle people. It's the opposite of the world I'm trying to create. And today, me and a buddy realized that most of the girls in the call center were far from hot. Chilly, even. We played foosball against some of the cuter girls in the breakroom but I looked at them and thought, "My wife is way cuter than these girls."
Last week, a little old lady knocked on our door at 10 pm and our five year old let her in the house. My wife and I were given no information regarding this and were surprised to find a very elderly woman planted firmly on our living room couch a few minutes later. My wife started talking to her and I assumed that it was someone she knew from the neighborhood. I went somewhere else to watch tv while they had girl talk.
Moments later my daughter told me my presence was desired and when I returned my wife made some facial and finger gestures to tell me, "She's crazy!" but the words that came out of her mouth were, "This is Ester, WHO I JUST MET. She doesn't want to go home because she isn't treated very well."
My wife told me later that the woman kept going on and on about how we seemed nice and how the lady wished we could get to know her and let her stay with us. It was geting late into the night. The kids were in their pajamas. But Ester was sitting on our couch and she intended to stay where she was.
We asked her if we should go talk to her family or if she had any other family members that may be able to help her. No. We asked if she would like us to call the police, we could all talk things out and make them better. No. Because no matter who we talked to, Ester knew they would just send her back home to live with the tyrants with absolutely no concern about her feelings or her reasons to want to live elsewhere. But unless I could conjure up some new CARING relatives or something, Ester was determined to stay on our couch.
Ester couldn't tell us where her house was. Ester didn't know anyone from church who could help her.
There is this guy in our neighborhood. He's in his forties. He's nice and well meaning but also annoying. He's annoying because he wants to be my friend. He knows almost nothing about me, but he wants to be my friend. He brings community related stuff to my house for me. He plans barbecues around my schedule. He always wants to get together. With me. My wife tries to assist him because he's nice. She goes to the barbecues without me. Every time I see the guy approach our house, I get annoyed. I probably say things like, "That dork is pissing me off."
My wife says, "Why? He's nice."
I say, "It's stupid to pick a house and say I'm going to be friends with whomever lives here! He's trying so hard to be friends with someone he doesn't know. He keeps popping in."
My wife, "He just comes by to say hello."
Me, "It's the pop-in! Most people hate the Pop-In. I'm not alone. Anyway. That is not how I make friends and that guy needs to leave me alone."
My wife said, "You used to be nice. You're not nice like you used to be."
I wanted to say, "You mean I'm not nice like I was when I met the girl of my dreams and we quit our jobs at the giant call center together to travel around and live off my credit cards and had a great time? For some reason, I work my hands till they bleed so I can buy endless crap for four unnamed people who are not me and I'm not nice and happy like I was before as evidenced by the notion that I don't want to be friends with some weird dude in his forties who lives down the street? Some wicked thing has wrapped it's vines and tendrils round my heart and squeezed it until it was cold and hard and black as midnight?"
But instead of performing a soliloquy worthy of Hamlet, I just stared my wife in the eye and said nothing because I thought it was all ridiculous.
But my wife suggested calling the Pop-In guy to help us with Ester because he's always sniffin' around the neighborhood, seeing who's who and what's what. I said, "Yes. Call that guy."
That guy came right over and he knew who Ester was and where she lived. He told her he wanted to take her home. She said, "No. There are two sides to every story and nobody ever listens to my side. They'll just send me home and forget about me and nobody cares about my situation."
And the guy said, "Well. You can't stay here." And he grabbed her elbow and we all got up and walked out of the house. Right outside our house were two police cars and Ester's family. They were all searching the neighborhood for her. They were all so relieved. They put Ester in the front seat of their minivan and let her sit there alone for half an hour while they told us pointless stories about the neighborhood.
Everyone seemed happy and everyone went home. I said, "It's weird that everyone is so happy about it all. Ester just kept saying over and over that she didn't want to be swept under the rug but all we did was sweep her back under the rug. And then we all go on living like we did before."