I made a phone call on Tuesday night, and did not speak a word to anyone until this morning (Thursday).
Wednesday was a training day for the rest of my staff down in Oakland, they left for the training before I even arrived to work. I had the office to myself. Maintenance requests by business owners are done online, and go directly to the Facility Supervisor. Rent was already collected, books balanced, conference calls caught up, and I am exceptional at what I do for a living, which means usually in this building, fires are put out even before they are ignited……..the phone didn’t ring, no deliveries. No small talk with business owners. No complaints from the neighbors.
I could have stayed home. It was one of those days when everything was already handled, and the building just ran itself. The boiler and chiller units ran automatically. The lighting system pre-programmed by me worked seamlessly. The doors to the property locked automatically at 6PM. The alarm-security system kicked on by itself.
Millions more people are going to be obsolete in the next decade or so if this keeps up. I include myself in that list. If not obsolete….it will be a one or two day a week thing with fewer benefits and lower wages……..
I did get caught up on our own filing system with contracts, reports, revenue and cost analysis. All done in silence. Not a word spoken. All day, and into that afternoon! The sound only of flipping pages, a cross pen on paper signing documents to be locked in a filing system. Cabinets and file drawers opened and closed. The hum of lights. The sound of a passing car outside. It was even a light business day at the property. Not many clients or visitors. It was just one of those rare days when nothing happens at work………
You are probably wondering about “the phone call” that I had Tuesday night………it was to a woman who “doesn’t like me that way” or is put off by my Christian beliefs and practice. We had a good date the Saturday before over dinner. I like the conversation. I liked her company. She was cute, half my age and it was the first real date that I had, well……probably ever. Group dates from college years don’t count in my book. Going out with guy-pals in the halcylon-electric nights of the late 1990’s with their girlfriends to the reflection of neon on wet pavement, crowded Taxi rides, all in a haze of marijuana smoke and ties askew with unbuttoned collar don’t count either.
The woman and I met for Indian, and I was kind of surprised she agreed to a date with me. I met her a few weeks prior at an “English Beat” concert down in nearby Petaluma. I was expecting “dad” jokes from her, or her just using me for a “nice dinner” while she then went out afterward to go blow Chad on her knees in a urine-soaked men’s bathroom floor, then submitting fully to him only to complain to her bitchy-but-cute girlfriends that “men are jerks” over Sunday brunch in Marin, Larkspur, Novato, Santa Rosa or Bodega…….
She gave me her celli after we were both thrown out during the last thirty minutes of the above mentioned concert, and after toying with the idea for almost a week, I did. I asked her out to Indian, she agreed.
Low heels, skirt, blouse….she wasn’t dressed like she was at the concert in keks, dumps, and a sleeveless top.
The meal was a pulling-burn of curries, pungent spices, creams, naans, marsala, tamarind, and chutney…..we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The conversation was fantastic, lots of laughs, and I learned a bit about her and myself if truth be told.
She is a native of the area (which means family has some wealth), parents are still married (they both are a hair older than me), and she works as a payroll accountant at a local, but famous winery. She shares a house with a few other women that she overall gets along with. She has a younger brother who is some golf prodigy or has the potentials to be semi-pro or even pro someday.
Plates, picked up, a large crowd all around us and when the check was dropped, she said “First date right? Dutch down the middle, including the tip. Sound fair to you?”
I nodded and smiled as I reached for the check, she said “The damage was worth it, I really had an awesome time!” She then added, “I do tip on the heavy side because I was once a waitress at Denny’s, and these folks live on their tips….so I always tip heavier….because you know…..waiters put up with a lot of nonsense.”
I agreed. Check split and paid. I took her hand, and escorted her out on to the busy downtown street. I lit a cigarette and asked her if she wanted to drop by for tea at my place….it was only a few blocks away. “Totally!” she smiled looking up to me…….
The street was packed with white lights strung through the trees, bustling cafes, crowded sidewalks, loud brew pubs and shops that seemed abustle even at this time of the evening. It was a gorgeous California night. We walked and talked all the way back to my place, holding hands sharing a laugh here and there…..
So this is how it is???????????? Is this what guys always talk about? I feel good. She seems really receptive to me……..I like her, I would totally do this again, and I like the conversations we have been having…..she loves music, wait til she sees my vinyl collection!!!!
At my place, the cat immediately noticed I had a guest with me, and made a fast dart n’ dash for the safety of the closet and my laundry basket. She laughed, and seemed surprised I owned a cat.
“Don’t worry,” I smirked, “He’ll be out in a few minutes showing off to you and demanding to be petted. He’s a bit shy.”
“Like you?” She replied, looking up and smiling at me.
I began to make a pot of tea, and she then noticed all my records……..a few thousand of them……I told her to have fun, and go ahead and swim in the collection…………
Note: This is the first part in a series of works by Emil Marchand. Find the second part here.