An offer

As I came home for lunch, Mr Patel flagged me down — he’s the guy who runs the rez hotel. I wondered, what's up? Had I left my vibrator out and offended the maid? Did he want me to wipe away the cockroach corpses around the sink? Did they find my tiny stash of pot in an empty can of tuna fish?

Nope, he wanted to offer me a job — the night shift at one of the Patel family’s other rez hotels. “We like to hire the tenants,” he said, “if they seem responsible.” Nobody’s ever accused me of being responsible before, but I do keep quiet, I’m coherent enough to carry on a conversation, nobody’s evicted me for nonpayment of rent, and I haven’t accidentally set myself or the building on fire with my crack pipe. Compared to most of the people who live here, that makes me an upright citizen. 

What’s the work? Mr Patel says it’s just checking in latecomers, buzzing residents in and making sure they don’t have a hooker with them, keeping the place quiet enough that people can sleep, "maybe some mopping and toilets," and "solving problems as they come up," which might be worrisome.

I'd have to move, but I'm tired of this upscale neighborhood, and I've been planning to move anyway.

The pay is less than I’m making at the current job, but it includes free rent, which makes it not much less than I make now. It sounds like the hassles and bullshit would be substantially reduced, too.

It’s not a done deal yet, but inside I’m somewhere between optimistic and ecstatic. Never would’ve guessed that the Patel family would hire a white guy. Everyone I’ve ever seen at the front desk at this hotel, at any rez hotel, is Indian. The maid is Asian, though, so I guess it’s not entirely a family operation.

I still have to talk to the day-shift manager at the other rez hotel, who’s another Patel cousin like my Mr Patel. Unless someone throws me a spitball, though, damn right I'll take the job, and the department store can kiss my smelly butt.

♦ ♦ ♦

After work and in a good mood, I asked a local longtime panhandler if he’d like to join me for dinner at the O’Farrell Cafe. I've bought meals for homeless guys before, but usually it's to go (meaning, I'll buy you a sandwich but you gotta go). Never brought a hungry stranger into a diner before. It was probably stupid of me, but I've seen this guy for months and my gut said he's not crazy.

His name's Delbert, and I made it clear that this was a one-time offer. I'm a cold-hearted bastard even when I'm not. He had a Chinese dinner, I had the cheese omelet, and he wasn’t very talkative, which is perfect for me. I read a zine. He didn't say much more than thanks. That's enough.

From Pathetic Life #8
Thursday, January 5, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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