On the street

I was just propositioned by a hooker outside my own home.

Really. It was about eight and I had just pulled in the driveway after a very, very long day at work. I was tired, but I had groceries and was looking forward to a nice microwave dinner and some time with my cats. I saw a woman walking by the fence line on Huy. She started singing "Play that funky music white boy" and she had a decent voice, like maybe she'd sung in a gospel choir. I decided she had to be a happy spirit, and decided I might try singing something back to her, maybe a bit of Kodaly or Durufle.

So she said, "Recognize that song?" Well of course I did and as I walked over the motion detector on my garage lit me up. "She said, ooooh, a white man. I just love a white man. I could just suck their dicks."

Uh oh.

On the other hand, I was curious and someone this strange seemed like perfect material for a story. I decided to walk on over and talk to her. She was black, tall as I am with a long face and aquiline nose. She was wearing a low cut jean top with a bunch of buttons and jeans, and she was amply curved but overweight in the way of a high-starch diet. She was also a bit drunk. "I just had a run in with the cops."

"Why is that?"

"Because they know I'm a whore."

She tried to pull me close and reached down to feel my groin, but I wasn't having any of that. Even took out a tit and put it in my hands in a vain effort to get a rise. She was hustling me for money, and I was trying to hustle her for her story. And maybe try to see what got her into this state.

Frankly, I think it was alcoholism. Except that could be the cart pushing the horse. A dancer friend of mine tells about how many girls need liquor to cope with their work. Hooking is probably worse. She told me how she needed one good man to help her get cleaned up. I tried to get a story from her, she tried to get $20 for me. In the end I gave her enough for a meal. Whether or not that was a mistake remains to be seen. Personally, I think she takes her grain in a liquid form.

She doesn't want to be what she is. She said she'd do housekeeping work, that she was good at it, and gave me a different name once she realized I wasn't interested in sex. I think that much is true, that she'd like to change, and has found herself at the bottom without knowing how to get out.

And so the deed is done…

Finally…

After much soul searching and consternation, I’ve finally decided to throw caution to the wind and tender my resignation at my place of work. Twenty-five years of sitting in a cubicle environment are enough to drive most anybody over the edge. I sometimes feel as if I have become the color of light brown and I blend into my surroundings so well that camouflage isn't necessary. It's as if I've become as numb and unfeeling as the off-white plastic of my desktop.

I don’t think anybody ever wants to be a Senior Business Systems Analyst when they grow up. There's really no glamor in it and when people ask me what it is I do and I tell them, they just shake their heads and still don't understand. Requirements gathering, analysis, documenting, testing and re-testing just don't seem to shine a light of interest in most peoples eyes.

Thank God that those in my profession don't have one of those conventions where people from all around the country get together and talk trade. The ensuing boredom would impede progress for the next decade or so.

I don't know how people fall into this line of work. I don't think it's a chosen profession or some type of mystical calling. They just happen to fall in that direction on their way to somewhere else and spiral headfirst into it. It looks like I’ve finally come out the other end.

It wasn't easy. It took a lot of looking in the mirror and truth be told, I probably could’ve kept this gig forever. But after the year I had last year, well, lets just say that there had to be something “more”. I found myself at the proverbial crossroads and asking myself just what had I accomplished so far. I also found myself dreading the daily grind. I noticed it, my friends noticed it and most importantly of all, Anna noticed it. I couldn’t keep coming up with answers to the question of “What’s wrong Dad?” and I couldn’t keep lying. It’s not my style.

Now to answer the question about what it is that I’m going to do…

The answer is that I don’t know.

I know that I’m going to take at least a month off from doing just about anything.

I know spring is just around the corner and the yard hasn’t gone away and it needs some work. I know there’s a park nearby with a track where Anna can bust out her roller blades in the evening and I can get some much needed exercise. I know there are some volunteer opportunities at some local charity organizations and hospitals that are always looking for some people. I know my golf clubs have been whispering to me from down in the basement telling me that they thought it was time to go out and play. I know that some rooms in the house need a new paint job and I know I have the time to do it. After that, I’ll just play it by ear.

All in all, I probably have enough resources to last me close to a year if I budget myself wisely and nothing rears its ugly head. Lets hope that it doesn’t.

Now I might finally be able to answer the question of just what it is I’m going to be when I grow up.

Wish me luck as I wander off into the void…

I feel better than I have in years.

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