It was one of those late afternoons at No. 2 house where there was nothing to do and I was really bored. 2 house was out by the Bay, action was slow at any given time. Those guys were only to handle downed aircraft in the bay or on the runways. No emergencies at the terminal or the freeways leading up to the airport. That was No. 1 house’s job. Every few hours the backup generator for the airport- a world war II vintage diesel submarine engine mounted in concrete and housed in a curved roof metal building as long as a train car would start up and literally shake everything inside No. 2 house. I was going to be stuck there for another day or so. Wasn’t sure when Dad and I would leave. He never told me when his shift was done.
For some reason I thought it would be fun to grab DP, a golf driver, and a bucket of tennis balls. I’d run him for a while since there was nothing better to do. I set up the bucket of tennis balls and a beat up golf driver out in front of the secondary garage. Mobile 38 was behind me. It was one of the brand new Oshkosh fire fighting rigs with supercharged diesel engines. Dad told me it could go from 0 to 60mph in a few seconds from one of the taxiways, rush down a runway alongside a crippled jet airliner and overtake it even though it was hauling thousands of gallons of water and fire retardant. On previous visits Dad and I had taken it out along the perimeter roads to the end of the runways and watched jumbo jets come in a few dozen feet over the cab of the truck on landing runs while we ate ice cream. Dad pretty much had me convinced we could do whatever we wanted out there, whenever we wanted. It was true. We never got hassled by anyone as long as I was with him.
DP was an old golden retriever. I don’t remember the story of how the firemen found him or who brought him out to No. 2 house. What I do remember about that dog was when they got him he had a crushed back leg. So, they named him DP for ‘Disability Pay’ and they got him to a vet. By the time DP and I crossed paths at No. 2 house he was fixed up and wasn’t running on three legs anymore. DP was the official mascot of No. 2 house. Firemen love having a house dog. That’s a fact.
On this particular late afternoon bored out of my mind I didn’t give much thought to what I was about to do. Bored kid, bored dog, tennis balls and golf club. Seemed like a good time for all. A superior plan. I hauled DP out onto the firehouse driveway, grabbed a ball out of the bucket and dropped it to the ground. DP was ready to go. I swung as hard as I could with that golf club and the ball went flying. It arced up briefly over the roof of the secondary garage housing a couple of firetrucks then bounced off the pavement and lobbed into the weeds. DP tore off after it instantly, found the ball and came back. Rinse and repeat a few dozen times.
Everything was going so well until the yellow hater pickup trucks with a single blinky yellow light on the top of the truck cab showed up in a swarm upon me. Those guys were known as airport security and they were super pissed off when they got out of their trucks. I hit those tennis balls so hard they were lobbing out away from the firehouse. DP kept crossing over a major aircraft taxiway to fetch them and the tower was watching a dog running across that same taxiway. The tower couldn’t figure out what was going on so they called security units to investigate. When those guys showed up I was busted big time. The tower didn’t call off any landing jumbo jet flights but I guess they could have. Having a dog running around loose near runways at an international airport could have been a huge risk. It didn’t occur to me at all…
That’s the second time I got busted by the tower at SFO.
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 going 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.