Tuesday, December 16, 2008


In every kid's movie, there's that moment where the perceived villain is exposed as having a heart - and with that, being nothing more than human. In To Kill A Mockingbird, it's Boo Radley who sheds his xenophobia to help young Scout. In The Sandlot, James Earl Jones' Mr. Mertle gives Scotty Smalls the famed baseball, salvaging the relationship between Smalls and his father. Homeless Crazies end up being Guardian Angels in the Home Alone franchise. (How many naive children do you think met a rusty knife fashioned from the lid of a soup can due to that one?)

In this office, she has become my nemesis. Across the row from me, her cackle rings as sharp and brilliant as this blog. She turns what would normally been a five minute meeting into a day's long exercise in patience, with her frequent questions, inability to grasp even the simplest procedure, and her overall cantankerous disposition. If she lived on your street, your Frisbee and footballs would be sitting in her closet. In that makeshift trophy room, they would serve as a testament to her curmudgeonry.

Her computer wallpaper is an ever changing gallery of the creepiest baby figurines ever to be carved from porcelain. Since her monitor faces me, I'm left to stare at these pink porcelain premature babies. Their black eyes stare, taunting me in my inability to ignore them. This spell is only broken when she opens a Word Document. Then, she squeals in delight as Clicky, the animated word assistant dances across her screen. "Look at him, A.v.E. Look at him! He's my buddy!" In her child like glee, it's difficult to see the same person that shifts all blame to those around her. That her tongue effects that same crude accent time and time again to mock foreigners. Though overweight, she goes on about how the obese disgust her. How the handicapped are merely lazy. People in the office approach me and ask how I can work in a space so near to her.

It was three Novembers ago that her phone rang. She answered it and immediately began screaming. The screams subsided into sobs and she collapsed at her desk. Through her heaving, she repeated over and over, "What am I going to do?" Her brother had suffered a major heart attack and died, leaving behind a wife and son.

Situations like these are difficult, in that there isn't anything you can say or do. One can only be consoled with the same typical phrases, before they become dull and irritating. All you can do is stand near and hope they understand that by your proximity, they're not alone.

Where I spend the workday maintaining this blog, she seeks vengeance on those who have wronged her. Her biting reviews on Yelp and Metromix hope to cripple businesses she's never actually frequented, but knows she doesn't like on principle. Her campaign against curt phone operators is legendary. "I want to speak to your supervisor," she'll demand to the receptionist at her Dentist's office. A pregnant pause follows before she reaches for a pen. "When will he be in? Who are you?"

At times, I'll make an effort to see what she's posted on the internet. It isn't very difficult. I can usually gather what website she's on, and scan through their recent posts. Her entries are obvious, as her voice shines apparent in the writing.

It was on one of these runs that I found it. Found her. The following were posted an the guest book to an on-line obituary.

December 5, 2006

I miss you so very much. You left us too soon, I'm sorry I did not get a chance to grow old with you. You were such an enormous presence in our lives; you lit up every room you entered. I am hoping that you have everlasting light in your final resting place, and that you find the peace that you deserve. Your death has left an enormous void in our lives, a void that could never be filled. Now you are our Guardian Angel watching over us.

Your loving sister.

June 13, 2006

It has been 8 months since your death; it does not get any easier for all of us. I'm still in shock. I cannot believe that I will never see you again. It really hit me hard when (redacted) came by the house for dinner the first time after your death; you were not there to hug me, or help Mom with some plumbing problem because you were our right-hand man when it came to upkeeping the house. Everywhere I look I am reminded of you; I remember all our Christmas Dinners at Mom's house; the chair you always sat in in the Dining Room; the chair in the Kitchen you sat in during our regular dinner gatherings; the place on the sofa when we opened our Christmas presents. The devastation cannot be measured... the pain cannot be described in words, just in our eyes. How do we get over this?

Your loving sister.

November 27, 2007

Today marks the one year anniversary of your death; it seems like it happened yesterday. This Guest Book is my only way of communicating with you.

To honor your death, Mom & I decided not to celebrate Thanksgiving nor Christmas this year because it would be too painful not having you there with us at the head of the table.

We may appear to go on with our daily lives, but, the outside world cannot see what is in our hearts, especially Mom's heart.

In actuality, there isn't a timetable for grieving even though we are urged to move on & get over it. How do we get over it? I am still in shock & Mom sheds tears everyday while talking to your picture.

I am certain of one thing; things in our family will never be the same again.

You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Your loving sister.

December 4, 2008

Why does it still hurt so much.

We miss you more and more with everyday.

It's on the bad days that I go back to these posts. In her digital message in a bottle, I remember that she's someone who suffers. She's more than a wretched cackle that tries at my patience. Outside this place, she deals with the same shit as you or I. Only her manner of dealing with it differs.

And it's in these words that my day has become, tolerable.

1 comment:

Oliver Babbles said...

I thought this was going to be a post where you email her pretending to be the dead guy.

Talk about let-down city.