Thursday, December 2, 2010

Away Goes Trouble Down the Drain...

I seem to have this unexplainable connection with men that work for Roto-Rooter. Two weeks ago
when the toilet in the laundry room gurgled up and percolated over, causing space 8's washing machine to over-flow into their hallway, I met Robert. While showing him the septic tank maps, and watching him sink his "chain-snake" deep into the underground, we talked for well over an hour about education, politics, and gangs.
The gang topic spewed to the surface when I astutely noticed a 3 inch Roman Numeral 14 on his left forearm. One thing led to another and suddenly I was being asked out to lunch.
David from Roto-Rooter came out yesterday when Bonnie Warren (Space 11) phoned to say that "All kinds of crap was comin up into her yard." David, unlike Robert, has led a pretty quiet life. He's been in this country for over 25 years and "trusts that the United States Government is not corrupt." Like the conversation with my other "Knee-deep-in-shit" friend, we talked about a variety of topics for more than an hour...I watched as a giant pile of paper towels, baby wipes, tree roots, mud and all textures of shit were laid at my feet. Then, as if I would have an appetite, David removed his gloves to write up the invoice and asked if I closed the office for lunch!
All of this "love stuff" reminds me of a situation I found myself in several years ago. It was
2002 and I taught 6th grade at the time. It was parent-conferences and I was sharing Alex's report card with his father, Reynaldo.
As I am going down each academic subject, trying to explain Alex's strengths and areas that need attention or improvement, Reynaldo says, "Do you like cultural food?"
In a mid-sentence that I think pertained to math scores I say, "Oh! I love cultural foods!" I continue to discuss the report card. Next Reynaldo says, "Do you enjoy World Music?" Again, after sharing Alex's success in completing his Social Studies Project I, totally oblivious, say, "Yes! I love World Music!" Without missing a beat Reynaldo then asks, "Would you like to go dancing this Friday night at Club Gemini?"
It was one of those moments where you float up above your body and look down at yourself...
Well, I saw and heard myself laughing with a nervous tinge, not giving him a "Yes" or a "No" just continuing on with Alex's D in Spelling and how we can help him improve.
You know "in the day" I turned a few heads but they were always of the female gender!
I guess septic dudes and single dads were my true romantic destiny!
Shit happens.


  1. I am laughing out loud! I have also enjoyed talking to the various plumbers and seem to find interesting their they deal with all that crap all day, but can still laugh and find the humor in the daily grind.
    Oh, Val, I so remember that conference at school, how we all laughed after you told us! I still think you should have gone out on that "date" would certainly have been the subject of a future blog! M & M

  2. M & M,
    :) We laughed hard didn't we? You're right! I should have gone and then had him out to the park for a nightcap!!! Thanks for reading and appreciate your comments!