Midnight Squabble

•May 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

By the time we got back to Jacinda’s meager one bedroom apartment it was nearly midnight. Devil T made a dash for the bathroom at the back of the place before anyone else had a chance to get to it. I don’t think I was through the front door yet when he disappeared. When he re-emerged from the hallway the Devil known as T staggered whiskey-style across her living room and slumped over on the carpet in front of the couch. I knew he was in bad shape, all the cheap booze he slugged down at The Graduate was hitting him hard. I was concerned he might puke in his sleep so I pushed him up off the floor and propped his back up against the foot of the couch. Then I grabbed one of Jacinda’s kitchen table chairs and set that next to him so he could not fall over. I lifted his arm and placed it on the chair hoping that would help keep him upright. On the seat I placed his bottle of Cutty Sark and a bottle of 7up.

While I was busy getting Devil T squared away Jacinda had moved in on the bathroom action. I heard her in there for a minute and then she started yelling that someone had pissed all over the bathroom floor. I wonder who could have done that. Jacinda was furious, I mean she really came unglued. Her kitchen and bathroom are spotless and I think she’s got some sort of OCD thing gong on. Especially for anything with a chrome handle. Stuff has to be polished to a bright shine. Anyway when she got back to the two of us Jacinda yelled at Devil T about as loud as an angry five foot two crazy redhead woman could. I wasn’t going to get involved and to be honest I was damn tired. I bypassed the whole deal and walked back to Jacinda’s room and crashed on the bed.

Over the next ten minutes Jacinda railed on Devil T about the piss on the floor. In a drunken slurred sort of speaking tone he denied everything and took up the fight. I’m sure in his mind he was being accused of a crime he would never commit against anyone. No good would come of his defense argument to be sure and all I wanted to do was go to sleep.

The Graduate

•September 30, 2012 • 4 Comments

Devil T and I made the four hour road trip over to Jacinda’s place today. We’ve got a ton of work to do. Tonight we were supposed to start packing up her apartment. Tomorrow morning I rent a moving truck and the three of us load up through the day. Devil T will have to drive my car while I drive the big truck with Jacinda and her little calico cat. Before all that mayhem begins I decided to take both of them out for dinner and a few drinks. Jacinda recommended we go to a Thai restaurant that she likes. So we grabbed some food there which was tasty, and then after dinner she asked if we could go over to a place called The Graduate. That was a mistake.

Right now the Devil T is slumped over drunk on Jacinda’s living room floor. I tried to prop him up against her couch and a kitchen chair. I did not do a very good job. Should keep him from choking on his own puke in his sleep though. He’s got a bottle of Cutty Sark and a one liter of 7up sitting right next to him on that chair- neither of which he touched before passing out. Jacinda is furious with him at the moment. One of her disorders I am beginning to see is obsessive/compulsiveness towards cleaning. She will spend an hour or more just polishing the chrome strips on her kitchen oven door. So when Devil T in his stupor pissed all over her bathroom floor Jacinda came unglued. They fought for a while about that and it’s already well past midnight. I got to get some sleep or I will be ruined tomorrow morning.

The Graduate is a giant building, probably an old airplane hangar. Inside it smells faintly of sour alcohol and college kid puke. All the local college brats go there for high school cafeteria style pizza, cheap beer, and well drinks. The walls are covered with large screen televisions blasting X-Games coverage and other mindless ESPN bullshit. Tonight was whiskey night, apparently. The Graduate had one dollar whiskey shots and a cheap whiskey sampler with far too many different shots in the menu. We started off with a couple rounds of beers. Devil T is tight on funds right now so he was keeping it to a low roar but as soon as one of the bartenders told him is was dollar whiskey night that changed right quick. Suddenly he was rich. I tried to get him to slow down. He did not listen to a word I said. Shit was getting out of control so I tried to get us back to Jacinda’s apartment. She disappeared.

While hunting around The Graduate for Jacinda, Devil T managed to squeeze in a few more rounds of whiskey until his wallet was tapped out. I had to get him away from the bar and ask for his help finding the crazy redhead. As I was looking around the crowd, Devil T whispered into my ear from behind my shoulder “Buy me the whiSssskey sSSsampler.” I caught some spittle in my ear as he hung on his drunken speech.

“No. Dude we have to find Jacinda and leave. It’s late and I need you in good shape tomorrow morning. Remember we have to get her moved and it’s going to be a tough day. You’re gonna be wrecked.”

Devil T silently walked over to my left side as I was scanning the room for any sign of Jacinda and he whispered into my other ear “You’re a dick.”

He was absolutely no help at all. As I walked around crowded tables towards the front lobby Jacinda suddenly showed up in front of me. I asked her where she went. She bummed a cigarette off somebody and was smoking out front in the parking lot. Great. I turned around to grab Devil T by his shirt collar to leave, and I discovered he too had disappeared. I was annoyed. He’s a lot easier to spot in a crowd though than a five foot two crazy goth girl. Devil T is over six feet tall and he had on a mangy hat. Sure enough I saw him back up at the bar trying to swindle someone into getting him a whiskey sampler.

Hauling them both outside to the car was difficult. By the time I shoved them in and left The Graduate in my rear view mirror Devil T was belligerent. He forgot how to roll down a window and decided when he saw a pretty girl walking down the street it would be okay to open his door to yell at her. All this while the car was rolling. He complained non-stop about not getting the whiskey sampler on the drive back to Jacinda’s. I ignored him. Jacinda did not however and thought she was helping by making the suggestion we stop at a corner market on the way back to get him a bottle of Cutty Sark. I said no, and then both of them started bitching at me about it. I was overruled. So, Devil T got his booze and he’s going to have a wicked hangover tomorrow morning. I’ll bet he will wish he was dead.

Advocate

•September 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Jacinda spent the past four days with me here at my house. Before making the day long round trip to bring her home I set her up with her own room at my place. She refused to use it. We slept together in my bedroom which was a little awkward at first. One thing I noticed about her the first day was in the morning Jacinda is actually coherent. After a good night’s sleep she seems quite normal. In the evening though she can really be loopy. I think it’s a combination of the medication she takes and plain fatigue.

While she was here for the weekend visit I tried to get her in contact with some old friends. I figured that might be fun for her. I also took her out to the coast for a day trip although the weather was not good. Jacinda acted like she was having a great time though which was the important thing. I suppose when you have been cooped up for years in the same one bedroom apartment with nowhere to go and nobody to interact with being outside just about anywhere is better than that. Regardless if it’s raining. An isolated living situation like hers must be a little bit like jail. It doesn’t matter what time of day you wake up because you will always be looking at the same four walls.

I’ve been giving this thing a lot of thought. I have spoken with friends and family. They have all told me what I am about to do is a bad move. Only one person has supported the idea with some reservation- Devil T. Everybody else thinks I’m entirely out of my mind. Maybe they’re right, but I am going to try this out. My plan is to move Jacinda here to my place. She can have the spare bedroom and I’ll make sure the amount of rent she pays is practically nothing. Should make her life a whole lot easier. As it is now the overwhelming amount of financial support she gets each month goes to her crummy one room apartment. She is virtually broke all the time. I will also act as her advocate with Social Security Administration, get her a better doctor, and some counseling. It’s a tall order to take care of but I think I can do it.

Samson is not too thrilled with this plan. He’s going to get a new room mate.

Mickey Rooney In Drag

•January 20, 2012 • 1 Comment

Jacinda’s excuse for pulling a no-show on me was lame. Her story was that she took a bus to the next town over which was about twenty miles away from her apartment. She was visiting some friends, lost track of the time, and next thing you know she’s sleeping on the floor at someone’s house because it was too late for the bus. Jacinda claimed she tried to get home early the following morning to call me and explain but that somehow never happened either. When she got home and saw the note I left on her doorstep she told me she cried all day. I figure she was hanging out with dirtbags getting loaded on shit and passed out cold. It didn’t matter though as I’d never know what really happened anyway. I should have taken that as a sign to forget it and stay away from her but I just could not let it alone.

I made the four hour drive over to her place again a couple months later. We were still speaking over the phone almost every day after I got stood up. Jacinda assured me she would be there this time. Sure enough when I got to her apartment door and knocked I got a response. She was in there, but claimed she wasn’t ready and told me to come back in a while. Jacinda told me through the closed door she had to take a shower, do her hair, makeup, blah blah blah. She sounded a little weird, certainly nervous. She said she didn’t want me to see her the way she was. I had a pretty good idea in the back of my mind I was about to get jacked around again real hard. And I probably deserved it for being this dumb twice in a row. There wasn’t much to do in the meantime but wait until she squared herself away so I got back in the car and drove around town.

This place has a ton of burnouts and freaks in it. I swear I have not seen this many people in a town riding around the sidewalks on those electric scooter chair things. You know the ones five hundred pound monsters with stubby limbs use in the grocery store because they’re mutants and invalids. Their elephant sized legs won’t support the weight to walk any longer. My guess is most people here are on food stamps and meth. I stopped into a gas station to top off the tank and I watched the lady on the other side of the pump struggle for five minutes with the hose. She could not understand how to fill up a red single gallon tank. She had placed the tank down on the ground next to her truck and then proceeded to jab the hose in through the opening. But each time she pulled the trigger it just clicked and nothing came out. The woman pushed the gas tank around all over the ground as she stuffed the hose at it again and again. No gas though. I finished filling up my car and stayed on my side of the pump quietly watching her. It was fascinating to actually see someone so stupid in action.

She asked me for help. Knew that was coming. Her cheeks were heavily cratered like she had done a lot of meth in recent years, and her teeth looked badly ground down. A real blonde haired tomboy tweaker if I ever saw one. I just stood there staring at her for a moment and then I told her the reason why no gasoline was coming out of the spout. She had to hold the can in place and compress the spring around the nozzle before the trigger would activate. I felt like I was talking to an eight year old. Looking in my rearview mirror as I pulled away from the station the woman finally got the gist of it. Good for her.

Jacinda had asked for a few bottles of water when I first arrived at her apartment. I drove over to a grocery store and bought a half dozen. Helped kill some time. I managed to wander around town for about an hour. Bored, I cruised back to her apartment taking the long way. When I knocked on her door for the second time much to my amazement she opened up. Before me stood a small woman with bright red hair. I did not recognize her as the girl I used to know. This person sounded like Jacinda, but looked like the elderly actor Mickey Rooney. Mickey Rooney had sort of an aged, weathered appearance and was wearing a goth dress. His makeup was skillfully done by Tammy Faye Baker. Holy shit. Gone was the hot little redhead girl with a tight figure and a face like Marilyn Monroe that I remembered from thirteen years ago.

Safety Nazi Shutdown

•January 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It truly was only a matter of time before Miss Auschwitz returned to our instrument line hoping to implement the “Cone Of Silence.” I waited for a few days without a single sighting of her scraggly looking booty. Her evil plans must have been focused towards some other unlucky department or individual. I pity those poor fellow employees immensely. Whomever or wherever she was exerting her totalitarian will upon surely suffered. Miss Auschwitz style of authority is withering and her kooky misleading directives can drive a well-adjusted person right to the edge of sanity. She is without a doubt a legendary pain in the ass.

Today was the day I had been anticipating with a self-satisfied, twisted glee. You see the Bossman and I had planned to call Miss Auschwitz on her bullshit for the last time. We agreed to make this experience as unpleasant as possible for her with the desired outcome of deterring her from visiting the RF Sources lines. A final harsh beat down if you like, or a “Coming to Jesus” closed door meeting with management. Whichever happened first I did not care. Preferably she would get a dose of both. The first phase of the plan called for myself to confront Miss Auschwitz head on with the data provided by ASResearch. Our product line had the only digital HIPOT tester in the entire division. The Bossman reasoned that because our equipment had better capability for safety during a high voltage short to ground, her new weirdo safety policy would not apply to our group. Therefore she could shut the hell up, stop wasting our time and most importantly get the fuck out. If she chose to argue with me concerning the HIPOT tester data then the second phase of the plan was to take place. I would march her over to the Bossman’s office and he would harsh her from that point on. That was the agreement the Boss and I had discussed.

Early afternoon the wench walked into my area. As expected she came down on me with attitude, and an iron fist full of ergonomic mumbo jumbo. When she told me the instrument line would cease all production until her Cone of Silence shit heap was installed on the test racks I think I smiled. At that point I got her up to speed on the HIPOT equipment we had in the rack and showed her the data sheet with it’s safety specs highlighted in yellow. I asked her if the Cone of Silence could beat the microsecond power cutoff our ASResearch box was capable of. Miss Auschwitz did not appear to comprehend what that meant exactly, so she fell back on her combative skills. I then got up out of my chair and walked her to the Bossman’s office. When he saw the two of us he sighed and I turned around to split the scene.

Weekend Reunion

•April 2, 2011 • 2 Comments

Four and a half hours worth of Saturday driving brought me to the little town Jacinda lives in. I left early in the morning hoping to dodge most if not all of the wine country sightseers that plague my county; it usually results in below the speed limit tourist traffic jams. My route out of town took me just North of Calistoga on back roads towards Clear Lake. Passing through the bottom end of Lake County I headed East out of the hills. It was a somber road trip, the sky was a soft gray overcast from horizon to horizon. There wasn’t a speck of blue to be seen anywhere. As I dropped down out of the Western foothills to central California flat land the trees gave way to endless farms growing everything from almonds to rice. I had the volume up on my car’s stereo and I cruised along single lane roads without seeing another soul for long periods of time. I wondered what Jacinda looked like after thirteen years, all I had was my memory of her when we were both in our early twenties.

Eventually I crossed over I-5 at Williams. Further East my planned route would take me over lonely farm roads named only with a number. Out there the land is a simple grid of interconnecting roads with no real designation of any kind, farmers hauling out their produce or bringing in supplies to the ranch are the only people one would run across. Time passed slowly as the miles came and went. I was looking for an intersection at highway 99 where I would turn North into Jacinda’s home town.

Arriving at her address I parked my car and killed the engine. I sat inside for a few minutes thinking of what to say when she opened her apartment door. She was expecting me, but I was ahead of schedule by a couple of hours. Realizing I was somewhat nervous and unsure of how things would unfold I sat in the car watching one of Jacinda’s neighbors. She was an old black woman dressed in light blue sweatpants and sweatshirt. The old woman walked about the single story rows of apartment buildings mumbling to herself as a lit cigarette barely hung from her lower lip. Her hair was jet black, cut into a page-boy that reminded me of numerous characters from a 1930′s swashbuckling adventure movie. Perhaps she was a Musketeer that escaped from an insane asylum. When I got out of my car and locked the door I decided to steer clear of the old woman and not invite any conversation. Her dialog with an invisible friend would hopefully keep her plenty busy until I was long gone anyway.

Walking between two rows of run-down first floor apartments I began scanning each door for Jacinda’s number. Figuring out the ascending order on Jacinda’s building I headed straight up until I stopped at her next door neighbor’s concrete steps. Piled high on the final step was a large mound of half-burned and visibly wet blankets. There was also a couple shattered glass candle holders with melted wax remains mixed in with all the broken glass. It appeared as if someone had almost burned down their apartment the night before and got very, very lucky that the whole building complex did not go up in a firestorm. I had to wonder if this whole place was filled with fuck ups and meth freaks.

Knocking on Jacinda’s front door I backed away and waited. There was no answer. A calico cat sat in the window peering at me silently with light blue eyes. I waited a moment and then knocked again a little more loudly. Still there was no redhead at the door. Was she asleep? Maybe she was in the shower. Maybe someone kidnapped her and tossed her body into the Feather river? I had no idea. I did get there early after all so I decided to drive around town and see what there was to see. Kill some time and then come back later. As I walked back towards the parking lot and my car the old black woman was meandering about near the street mumbling to herself in a loud tone of voice and smoking a fresh cigarette.

Nearby I found a few blocks of gold rush era buildings that housed antique stores, a thrift shop, and a book store. Most of the frontier town buildings appeared to be vacant of any businesses. I spent some time browsing in the shop windows as a slight cold breeze kicked up. The day was much colder than I would have expected, I was not wearing a warm enough coat so the chill was becoming uncomfortable. I stepped inside one of the few antique shops to warm up for a few minutes and see what they had for sale. Walking through congested aisle ways I didn’t see anything interesting or worth having. The vast majority of this store’s wares were junk if anything else. And severely overpriced at that. I speculated how long they would be able to survive before going out of business.

As I headed back towards the door I spotted a small collection of glass telephone pole insulators. Laughing to myself I remembered that was my vote for one of the all-time dumbest things to collect. On swing shift at work someone came up with the bright idea to hold a contest for the most useless hobby. Each of us had to make a vote before the end of that night’s shift. During my lunch break I did some generic web searches for things that people liked to collect, and I stumbled across people who were into glass insulators. Some folks were so obsessed with this particular hobby that they had amassed a large photo collection of each year and manufacturer of the damned things. Other people created web sites posting insulator “sightings” on top of old crumbling wooden poles in the middle of the desert. It seemed so pointless and retarded that I made it my choice for that evening’s contest. I could not remember if I won the contest that night or not.

There was a single, battered pay phone on the edge of a nearby parking lot. I pumped a couple of quarters into it and dialed Jacinda’s number. Her answering machine kicked in. Guess she really wasn’t home. She knew I was making the effort to drive all the way over here to see her. We planned the visit last week. Over the phone she sounded excited about the weekend reunion and told me she couldn’t wait to hang out. So what the hell happened? Evidently I had a lot more time on my hands with nothing to do. Getting back in the car I drove around Jacinda’s town with no destination in mind. I passed the time driving around neighborhoods getting lost and seeing if I could find my way back again. I had a greasy lunch at an old run down restaurant called The Cornucopia that back in the Seventies was most likely a Denny’s. My guts weren’t taking kindly to the sandwich and fries I ate. Later on I would experience an unpleasant brown cornucopia atop a toilet thanks to their bad cooking.

Afternoon hours drifted by slowly like the low hanging gray clouds above my head. I was bored out of my fucking mind. Concern for Jacinda faded as I became angry with myself for making the effort to drive all the way out here. I could have been doing anything else with my time off from work. I felt like a chump. There was no one to blame for that except myself of course. Driving back to Jacinda’s place for one last try I knocked on the door and got no response. I wrote a quick note to her and placed it under a rock on her apartment steps. I wanted Jacinda to know for certain I showed up as planned. She really screwed this up by pulling a no-show performance. Then I started the four plus hours drive homeward, with luck I could get home before dark. I felt entirely stupid and somewhat depressed.

Charged With Assault

•March 20, 2011 • 2 Comments

Jacinda and I spoke yesterday. Curiosity was eating away at me something fierce. Would she voluntarily tell me why she suddenly went missing, or was the latest phone call just going to go over small talk? I chose to lay low and take the small talk path and wait to hear what had happened. Much to my surprise she brought up her disappearing act all on her own.

A female neighbor in her apartment complex saw Jacinda peeking into her windows as she walked by to her apartment. She explained to me that this particular neighbor is on a corner of one of the buildings across from where Jacinda’s place is so she has to walk by the neighbor’s each time she goes to the laundry room or the manager’s office. The two of them have a poor neighbor relationship- this isn’t the first time both girls have fought. Anyway this woman didn’t take kindly to Jacinda peering in at her so she came outside to confront her. The two women started shouting insults at each other, Jacinda was enraged. Like an angry eleven year old girl she decided to ratchet things up a few notches by kicking this female neighbor as hard as she could in the shins. This of course resulted in the police being called for an assault.

Sounds like the district attorney is going forward with the assault charge against Jacinda and a court date is to be set for the near future. I think Jacinda is somewhat frightened about the situation but there is nothing she can do about it now. It’s too late. She is going to have to sit tight and wait to hear from the D.A. then figure out what to do next. The more I talk to Jacinda about her living situation there in that small town I realize how isolated and miserable she must be. She’s got few if any friends, next to nothing as far as income, and the apartment complex seems entirely depressing. Her family is in the vicinity but I am unsure how often they are able to check in on her.

Badly needed social services are pretty much non-existent in Jacinda’s area. She has told me a few times that when she has gone to local government resources for help of one kind or another the response she gets from people sitting behind a counter or desk is that it’s all used up. There is nothing left she can take advantage of. When I asked why, she mentioned that state workers tell her they are broke. Budgets are strained so thin and most of the state resources she is eligible for have been consumed by illegal aliens from Mexico. So she is turned away at the front desk and told to go home.

I realize Jacinda’s town is a backwater. It’s a tiny place in the middle of nowhere surrounded by agriculture as far as the eye can see. The nearest place of any real size is twenty miles away. Since she can’t drive and public transportation is scarce it complicates her isolation. Maybe if she was living back in the Bay Area she would have more opportunities, support from friends still here that remember her, and a much larger pool of social services to utilize. I have a spare room in my house. It’s small, but I could easily rent that out to her which would be a fraction of what she has to spend on rent at her apartment. I am thinking of inviting her down here to stay. It’s risky, I have not talked to Samson about this at all. Not yet anyway. What I should do first is take a trip out to see her and spend some time with Jacinda on a weekend at her place. I’ll ask her that question next time we talk.

 
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