21 October 2005

My room mate has kept me up late-til at least 0100-the past couple of nights. The first night, he decided, at nearly 2300, that we needed to rearrange the living room. The second night, after I rearranged the furniture the next day after he went to work, to watch 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' in the newly cozy living room.

I am stopping with a young friend, we'll just call him Entrare-no real names, please. He is an unusual young man, nearly 29, a recent computer science grad after putting himself through college. I met him years ago at a blood drive I worked at his college. He behaved as though we had known each other forever. He was so down to earth about it that I thought perhaps we had met some where.

Now, years later, newly arrived in his new hometown of Atlanta, I realize, yes, perhaps indeed, somewhere in a previous life. Although, knowing Entrare, it is possible that he had a sense of the familar through pre-cognition, and I am confused because frankly I am at times bewildered by the 21st century.

It never fails to amuse me, this 21st century. Who the bloody hell wants I mean WANTS to live in a 'Matrix Re-Loaded' world??? Blade Runner, THX38, Logan's Run, you people are demented, crikeys, get over this! How do you think these stories end, anyway? Badly, of course, and bloodily-yours no doubt-trust me, it is never romantic.

Fast forward. I gathered all the change in the apartment and counted it, then rolled it. How demoralizing. Then I opened a packet of turkey gravey I found in my hurricane evac pak that I accidently packed into the car during my escape, made it, and poured it over some rice. I opened a can of cranberry sauce, too-what was I thinking, cranberry sauce in an evac pak?

We live on an edge brought on by Entrare's determination to not ask his mother for help, and my determination to thwart Crusty. Crusty's parting shot was that I would end up a bag lady-what a swell guy.

He left me with no money, no car, no food, an angry teen-ager, around 30K in bills he'd racked up while cleaning out the bank accounts, and a dog he said was Fox's. Well, actually two dogs, but one was mine, so Baer doesn't count. And he died in '99. For two years I tried to find a job within walking distance. I finally found one, and it lasted five miserable months. Too long a story. Permit me to gloss over my five months selling snacks and what to my horror turned out to be porn magazines, while fending off the morning clerk, for what amounted to $50.00 a week after paying cab fare.

I didn't find another job for two more years. I promise you that truly, "Who you know-not what you Know" is how one finds a job-ANYWHERE. Pretty much.

The job from hell. 365 Days a year, opening and closing the complex gates at 12-13 hour intervals depending on the season, running the business office Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm-NO LUNCH HOUR-"You live there. Eat between customers." So sayeth Mr. Boss. Plus opening the office on Saturday morning until 12 Noon. Did I mention that every single day of the week I was expected to open/close the gate at 12-13 hour intervals depending on the season? I did, didn't I. OK, did I mention that tenants thought since I lived there I was on duty 24/7? To tell them what unit the were in, or to show their cousin a 5x10 because he might want to rent one someday? That they had no problem stopping me on my way out, or banging on my door, or ringing the phone repeatedly until I finally answered because-"I knew you wuz in ther, I saw your car/light/shadow pass on the blinds..." "This will only take five minutes..."? Times 300, because that is how many units we had. I filled the damn things, and trained most of my tenants to not disturb sleeping dragons. Most of them, anyway.

And in between, Mr. and Mrs. Boss sent their granddaughters over to my on site apartment. Or they would come over, or call, and lean on the bell/pound on the kitchen door/call, then hang-up and redial-over and over and over and over and over....Their youngest daughter, a 35+ something who works for the government, came into my office shortly before I quit, and despite my telling her (for about the gajillionth time over the last nearly four years) I had just started to grab lunch, kept me standing for two hours while she droned on about her charity work, and how people just don't appreciate the charity efforts people try to extend.

Starving is better. I just wish I had a cigarette.

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