Wednesday, December 21, 2005

rex's holiday memories: christmas 2001

Christmas 2001 fell near the beginning of my two years as an office temp in east Tennessee. I worked that month in a bank warehouse in Blount County where materials were printed and checks were processed. My job was to mail bounced checks back to people, mainly overzealous Christmas shoppers or churchgoers who couldn’t quite back up that Sunday’s offerings.

Happy birthday, Jesus.

Anyway, the women in that office were a miserable lot who spoke only of where to buy the cheapest carton of generic smokes or how their husbands were unemployed, drunk, and never touched them anymore. They ranged in age from an eighteen year old mother of two to a sixty-five year old grandmother who went around singing “All I want for Christmas is some sex” all day.

There are things, horrible things that a person simply can never hope to erase from memory, and she is one of them. She will be there when and if my life ever flashes before my eyes, and I know that I will no longer struggle to cling to my earthly form then.

The only tolerable woman was a quiet middle-aged divorcee recently laid off from Hobby Lobby by the name of Phyllis. I mention her only because everyone referred to her as “Feel this”.

It was a henhouse of despair and sexual neglect, and those were the longest six weeks of my life.
There was only one other man in the department. He was possibly the only black man in this particular corner of Blount County and definitely the only black man I had seen with a mullet since the last significant Jackson 5 tour. He was even quieter than “Feel this” and spent each of his breaks sitting alone at a table in the cafeteria reading through high school football magazines. Football seemed the obvious topic of conversation when I found myself sitting beside him at the Christmas party.

“Like high school football?” I asked. I can be quite the conversationalist when required.

He looked up long enough from a magazine open to pictures of sweaty high school boys working out to say “No”. Then he took his stack of magazines and shuffled off to another table.

I was sore afraid.

Anyway, that Christmas sucked, and every subsequent Christmas, no matter how uneventful, has been all the more appreciated.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have Granny's number, by chance?

11:50 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Just hang out in Blount County for a while.

4:20 PM  

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