Letters to Holly

Friday, June 9

Step Right Inside, Stupid People

I work on the second floor of a building with two main doors. The front door faces Tunnel Road and is always locked for three reasons:

1) We don’t want salesmen.

2) We don’t want vagrants.

3) We don’t want people looking for the old real estate office.

The realtors moved out in Nov. 2005, but we still get people trying to rent a house. The other door is in the back of the building, next to the parking lots. This is the entrance we employees use. Some people looking for the realtors are so determined that they go around to this back door. Now, one must remember that in getting to that door, they missed the giant yellow sign for our organization and the lack of a large two-story red sign for the realtors. They also missed the organization crest above the front door and the completely new landscaping we’ve put down.

Still, they come in the back door. This door leads to a small room where one finds a door and a staircase. What do they all do? They go up the stairs to where I, and now a new lady, work. They will roam the halls until they find someone. This has happened to me a lot. It happened again yesterday morning. But it wasn’t someone looking for the realtors. It was a vagrant.

This old guy – raggedy and shuffling – found the new lady. I heard her trying to figure out what he wanted and hopefully lead him out the door. I walked up and asked what was happening. She immediately thanked me. The guy is holding what looks like a check card and mumbling about food stamps. Now I doubt he’s lucid, and I’m not so much asking him as suggesting to him what he might be doing. I’m leading him to tell us what he really wants, not what he claims to look for. He says he wants to use the card to call a number to get food stamps. He’s not using our phones for this. I ask him if he has quarters to call from a payphone, and I show him that I have some to give. Before he can ask, I ask to see the number. It’s an 800 number, so he doesn’t need quarters. Back in the pocket they go. I then direct him across the street to the Greyhound station where they surely have a payphone (and if not, I don’t care).

I also note that the card features the signature of “Angela B.” on the back. This is not his card. He could received it from her, found a lost card, or stolen it. I probably should have pressed him on it, but I didn’t care. It’s my responsibility now to move him along, not bust him. Plus, he’s obviously looking for some sort of currency (even if he didn’t realize he could have lied about the number and taken my quarters). I won’t get between a desperate man and access to money. This mystery isn’t worth it to me to solve. Besides, unless Angela also wrote her PIN on the card, he can’t use it for anything, and he’ll discover that soon. I escorted him out the door and told the downstairs people what happened. I have asked for a while now that we label the downstairs interior door with an “OFFICE” sign so people won’t come up the staircase. Unless they walk by my office, or now hers, we can’t hear them, and they can wander or hide for hours, maybe until we close. Downstairs, vistors would open that door and immediately encounter occupied offices.

This kind of wandering happened in my old paper offices. Vagrants would walk in and ask for money or work. We would deny them, shoo them off, and lock the back door for a while. There’s no need to be mean. Just quickly and gently eject them from where they ain’t supposed to be.

And about three hours after I typed this, someone came in looking for the realtors. Two in one day, if you can believe it. The boss called after they left to say we’re now locking the back door. And if anyone does manage to sneak in, we call the cops.

Your Sis and I grabbed a pub dinner and had a nice long conversation with an outside meal. Her brains are scrambled from the effort to close shop before next week. While we watched the Dallas-Miami game, I helped her check off marks on the final research papers. We finished up around midnight, and I can already tell she's ready for summer, because she never stays up that late.

Tomorrow is our one-year anniversary as spouses and homeowners. It's been a busy year, and while most of it has flown by, I do get the sense of the year's passage. Still, it's been a very easy year with her, and I can easily handle doing this for another 49, if possible. We're not giving each other presents, but we are saving the money for a real and true honeymoon. Your Sis is a doll and a peach of a wife. I'm extremely lucky she didn't trust anyone else enough to marry them.

My obsession with the 1986 horror film From Beyond is so overwheleming that I bought a recent back issue of a Candaian magazine featuring a cover story on the movie. I saw it solicited in a monthly comic catalog and tracked it down online. This film strayed across my path when I was an impressionable teen, and part of my brain imprinted on it. It's total schlock, and something of a relic -- true monster movies are rare these days. I also have a press packet for the film and a late '80s Belgian poster hanging in my workshop. Allegedly, a domestic DVD is coming out soon. It was put onto DVD in Germany two years ago which does my Region I player and incompatible TV (NTSC vs PAL format) no good.

Picture of the Day
You saw X3 and watched Kitty fight on the team, but did you know what her costume really looks like?

That's right, she's kinda punky. It goes with her confounding ballet-ninja skills. For the longest time, she followed Wolverine around, as Rogue does in the first X-Men film. And she always had a thing for Colossus, the steel-armor X-Man.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the clip. and the story.
i'll type yu out one of my more humorous encounters with one of the homeless guys in the er later on today. its a real doozy of a story.

happy lunchtime.