It turns out, quarantine diaries in my case are no fun. Nothing is going on here ( in my home, anyway) , and as angry as I am about how our country is handling things, I’m just not good at being cerebral about it. So, I’m still going to comment on the situation at hand, of course, but I also think that, jesus, we have all had enough of this bullshit situation and just…… whatever… I’m just going to pass the time by recollecting stories rather than focus on this awful cornucopia of shit this pandemic is presenting. I do feel a little guilty if people google quarantine Diaries and they get this page and it’s just me remembering crazy shit that happened in my life from many years ago, but that is the direction it is taking, and honestly, I think that is where it should go. celebrate life, the past and the present.
Do I sound drunk?
Anyway, I’ve got some good ones planned. My friend Delores just reminded me today of one of the worst days of my life. But for now, I will start out short and tame. This is more just kind of a WTF story than anything else… The Funeral Home Guy…
My first real job was working at a place called Bob’s Burger Express. It was a shitty, fast food place which was basically the equivalent of a generic grocery store product to brand name. Burger King was a block away and always packed, but we sold hamburgers for .49 cents. (although in defense, we had fresh local meat and produce delivered daily and I stand by the fact that Bob’s was far superior in overall quality). I interviewed for the job when I was 16 years old. I was pretty shy, but maybe not on outward appearance. I dyed my hair black, and I wore white makeup and red lipstick. I wore all black and was definitely asked a few times while I went about town if I was a mime. I don’t have a picture that quite illustrates it to the full extent, but this is a photo of me from the Bob’s days:
I remember when I went to the interview, the manager concluded it with… “Well, we are really hard up for people”… And so I was hired.
That job ended up being awesome, and so many of my friends worked there it was hilarious. Most of them were short stays, but I endured.
Next to Bob’s was a funeral home. The mortician, Tom, would often come by Bob’s after his shift and purchase some fro-yo from us. He was an older man – it’s so hard to judge because I was young then and I’m old now, – but – I’d put him at around 55-60 years old at the time. Meanwhile, I was under 18.
He came in often, he sure did enjoy that frozen yogurt. He was a really nice man, seemed totally wholesome, and lonely. He was always by himself, and I took a liking to him because he was kind. It was sad to me that this man always came in by himself buying our crappy frozen yogurt and had nobody to talk to . I wondered what his story was. And also, OMG, he was a mortician!
It got to the point where he would seek me out, and if I wasn’t working, he would ask where I was. He seemed to only really like dealing with me. My coworkers would joke about this and say “It’s because you look like you are dead!” Which is true, I used to pile on so much clown white makeup it was ridiculous.
He began suggesting that we ‘have coffee’ or hang out outside of my work. And that was when it kind of got weird, because… come on – you are like a maybe 60 year old guy suggesting to a minor girl to go out for coffee? And I did totally look like the walking dead, and he did work for a funeral home.He started really ramping it up, offering to have me over to his house. All of my coworkers were horrified. I was kind of morbidly intrigued though.
When I turned 18, after spending two years at Bob’s, I was ready to move to Portland. He asked me over to his house to have tea as a send off. I couldn’t NOT do it. All this time I had been wondering what was going on.
It was pretty boring. He lived in a fairly nondescript apartment over the funeral home. When he offered me tea, I made sure he drank first to make sure he wasn’t trying to kill me. I asked how he got into the business and he told me he had initially been an anesthesiologist (oh, really? Interesting…….putting people under…) I can’t remember why he switched career focus. Anyhow, it was fine, and tame.
When I moved to Portland we wrote to each other a few times. I really believed maybe he was just a lonely old man who somehow connected with me because I was a little bit different. But thinking about him tonight, I found one of his old letters and it starts out “What have you been doing? I have been watching a lot of TV. My second favorite indoor sport.”… uuuugggghhh.
I also googled the chapel that he moved to on the coast after I moved to Portland, which is where I sent letters to. The website lists all of the people who work there, and of course as a funeral home, all of their past employees in memorium. He is not listed.
So yeah, I don’t know what to make of that.