Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Yesterday, I bought 2 pairs of "scrubs."

No, I am not a doctor. And no, I am not acting in a hilarious tele-play. I got a second job as housekeeper at the Ameri-Host Inn.

Next week, my friend Rick will join me as a housekeeper, too. That's right. Gehlen Catholic's two Class of 2000 co-valedictorians will spend their summer wiping pubes off toilet seats. This is where "studying hard" gets you.

Whatever. I like housekeeping. Hotels are cool and you get to spend your time in them. Yes.

Anyway, I work with this guy at the hotel. He's a nice feller - somebody who I had always seen at church and would occassionally hold mini-chats with. But how I remember him the most is... he was the uncle of Jamie, this kid in my class.

One time, back in third grade, I'm over at Jamie's house and there's a picture of his uncle on the bedroom dresser. And I ask who it is and Jamie just goes on and on about this uncle - how cool he is, how friendly, how fun. Then I ask, "What's he do for a living?" And Jamie says, "Well... he - people say he's retarded, but he's not. He's smart."

(This, of course, meant that his uncle had a mental disability and didn't hold a job. In any case, Jamie still really revered his uncle.)

As time went on and as things go, Jamie (as a teenager) fell back in his studies, eventually dropped out of Gehlen, and went to the public school. There, I started hearing strange stuff about him: he had gotten into drugs, he got caught masturbating in the science lab. I don't even know if he graduated high school.

People slip through the cracks.

Yesterday, I'm talking to Jamie's uncle at the Ameri-Host. He asks me when I graduated high school and I - trying to bridge a time gap and also, share something in common - tell him, "Four years ago. Yeah... Jamie was in my class." And his uncle says, "You mean, trouble was in your class."

Jamie may have stood up for his uncle, insisting that he was smarter than most people gave him credit for... but his uncle knew Jamie was trouble.

SIDENOTE: A housekeeper brought fake-poo to work this morning and put it in the bath-tub as a "practical joke." Jamie's uncle thought it was hilarious.

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