Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Catalogue of Embarrassments

Page 176., Item #FU37815 Model : Josh/ A million ways to be cruel


One of the places I worked a year or two ago was a center for the developmentally disabled. It takes a certain type of person to work there. You can't be easily embarrassed, and you've got to have a pretty thick skin. What you don't expect is how rewarding that kind of work can be.

Unfortunately, this won't be one of those stories.

I had just gotten out of training that very day, I was walking toward the home I would be working in. There were around ten or twelve of these houses, set up to be self-sufficient.

As I was walking toward my first day on the job, instead of just giving mannequins CPR, (like in training) I was actually going to interact with the clients. I was balls deep in my own thoughts, a mind movie of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest mixed up with The Departed starring me as a tough but compassionate orderly with a heart of gold, and the kind of stare that let the patients know that I was stern, stern but fair. And that no matter what--

And that's when he crossed my path. Drove right across it. He was driving some kind of vehicle that probably only exists in Oklahoma: part lawn mower, part four wheeler, bearing the bastard logo of John Deere. I started to be a little pissed at him, for just cutting me off from the sidewalk, lawn mowerish vehicle idling.

I wasn't pissed, though. He was instantly forgiven, because even though he drove for shit, he was gorgeous. He introduced himself to me, asked me if I was new, and asked which house I was working in. When I told him, his face just lit up. "Guess I'll see you later, then," he said, winking at me.

My step picked up considerably, at the the thought of working with Josh. I made my way into the house, got acquainted with some of the patients, most of which didn't seem developmentally disabled in any way at all.

I started getting stuff out to make dinner, when Josh sauntered into the kitchen with me, donned an apron and we started getting things prepared. While I chopped, he distracted me, teasing me, basically flirting and just kind of playing verbal grab ass in the kitchen.

I was imagining Josh, naked except for his apron, when the front door of the house banged open. I thought it was just another one of the guys who lived in this particular house, but it was another worker. I started laughing, "So, there are three people that work in this house?" I remember asking him, making flirty eyes at Josh.

The other guy looked at me, then over at Josh, then back to me, and said slowly, "No, it's just me and you."


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Page 209., Item #FU65895 Model: John/I wanna sex you up

I make no secret about my mental illness, and to me it's not sad, because some of the funniest fucking things have happened during this whole magical mystery tour. If trading the crazy means having a normal, boring, vanilla life, I choose to keep the crazy.

I stayed away from most of the other patients. Some of them liked to yell, some of them were attention whores, some of them liked to take their clothes off, and some of them were just plain annoying. Instead of socializing, I made conversation with my crossword puzzle.

A few words into it, the lead on my pencil broke, so I had to go to the front desk and ask for a pencil sharpener. As I walked over, John, who looked like Ichabod Crane, with his large beak of a nose, scrawny body, almost as if he was the human equivalent of a vulture, followed closely behind me.

I stood at the desk, waiting, feeling John's body heat, because not only was he crazy like me, he had no idea of a little thing called personal space. When no orderly had shown up, I turned to John, mostly to get him to back the fuck up, and asked what he was waiting on.

"I want to come," he said, a small smile on his lips, like we were sharing an amusing secret.

I took a deep breath, struggled with my temper, and thought 'fuck it' and let him have it. "What in the fuck makes you think it's okay to say that to me?" I asked, my voice rising, fury baking off me in waves.

John took a step back, looking at me like I was a dog that had started foaming at the mouth. "What?" he asked cautiously, "I want a comb?"

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Page 307., Item #FU95684 Model: Jase/ My baby's got a secret

A couple of years ago I went through an intense period of dating. If you were a man and you asked me out, we dated. Maybe more, if you played your cards right.

I ended up meeting a guy who was incredibly sweet, shy, and touchingly innocent. We went out on a few dates, he had finally summoned the courage to hold my hand, and with his eyes in his lap, asked me over to dinner with him to meet his family.

I ended up really liking him, so I said yes. The night of the dinner, I took special care in getting ready. Since I was meeting the parents, I decided no cleavage, nothing that said that I might be taking their son's innocence on a joyride.

When we all sat down to dinner, waiting for the dad to get home, I remember him squeezing my hand under the tablecloth, his smile big and pleased; his mother loved me.

When his father walked in the door, my heart just sank. I don't think I've ever been so disappointed.

I knew that I would not be seeing Jace ever again. Because I had dated his dad a few weeks before.

12 comments:

otherworldlyone said...

I felt so many different things while reading this...it was a bit intense. Expectant, surprised, sad, hopeful, dismayed, amused, and back to surprised.

You've got that something. Yes ma'am you do.

I admire your honesty, of course. But more than that, I admire the way you word it. That totally makes sense if you think about it long enough (I did).

slommler said...

Brilliant! I felt so sad when I realized she wouldn't be seeing Jace again.
Hugs
SueAnn

Sharon Longworth said...

You have quite a gift for saying things in a way that touch my heart, without being sentimental or soppy. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes, it's painful - but it's always undeniably honest and real - this post does all of that.

caterpillar said...

Didn't know how to react...I laughed, read through carefully with a frown, and when I came to the end of the post...an 'Oh oh' came out involuntarily.

downfromtheledge said...

almost died laughing. just think how much less joy there would be in the world if we all kept our crazy to ourselves.

bluzdude said...

Geez, what's the etiquette there? Pretend you never met? Ask if there are any more guys in the family? Apologize to Mom?

Alice said...

I loved this. Your posts always succeed in making me laugh or cry, sometimes both. I work with the developmentally disabled. There have been many times, when someone new shows up that we (the staff) has asked each other if they were new staff or a new client. Unfortunately, that is more of a commentary on our staff than our clients.

The Phoenix Rising said...

good stuff. I agrewe with the others. =)

The Lissst! said...

I loved the part about trading your crazy for a normal vanilla life. I feel the same way you do. This post was awesome. It was clever, creative, and fun to read.
Thanks to you.

ladytruth said...

It's too bad about Jace; he sounds like a nice guy. It's all for the better, though; imagine what Christmas would be like every year!

runawaybride said...

I could not stop laughing over John... and so sorry about Jace..

Maryx said...

I almost fell off my chair laughing! And yes.. so many other emotions! Love this!