I have the best, but here’s one of the rest
Recently I recounted a story from my “Dallas days” to one of my husband’s coworkers. We got on the subject of Hare Krishnas; he had a (VERY) funny tale to tell, as did I. It’s a long story (one which I care not go to into at this time), but it got me thinking about the various men I dated before I got married.
This has been on my mind of late because my wedding anniversary is this month: October 31. Our civil ceremony/quasi-elopement did not go over well with my Southern Baptist inlaws. They sent me a rather turgid email (not even a phone call) stating “Congratulations on formalizing your commitment”.
At the time I thought this was funny as hell. I still do: “formalizing (my) commitment” sounds like being thrown into a mental institution. Then again, I live in New York Shitty, have a cat named “Frances” (as in Frances Farmer) and operate a blog (mostly) about dog shit. I am the self-elected inmate of my own prison of sin. In their eyes anyway; I prefer to call it freedom.
Humor me, the levity helps me laugh off the money I lost by not having the requisite “dog and pony” show in a church.
While my husband was out of town this week, I pondered the motley crew who (at one time or another and of their own free will) CHOSE to take on my manic antics. This group is a veritable rogue’s gallery of manhood, I assure you. Water reaches its own level: freaks beget freaks. Some of them were nice, others not so much, but none of them were boring. I feel sorry for a few of them sometimes.
I parsed through the “coulda-haves”, “shouldn’t-haves”, “mighta-haves” and the “what the-fucks” and have declared a winner— or more appropriately— a runner-up. (I am married now, after all.)
The year was 2000 and I was a temp. I met a guy on the job (we’ll call him “Mike”) and we hit it off. (Yes, I realize that dating in the office is not advisable, but then again, we did not work with each other in any way.) Mike was a comedian who worked a day job to support his passion, I was a nascent Dog Shit Queen and full-time smartass. Do the
We bantered a lot, hung-out a lot, but went out only once. I didn’t get home until 4:00 a.m. that night. Nothing naughty happened, we just had so much fun bullshitting we lost track of time.
After that, nothing. We still emailed each other on occasion, but it was pretty weird. This really got to me at first, but I got over it and moved on.
(Jump forward two years)
I swung by this office to say “Hi” to my old supervisor and asked if Mike was around.
Old Supervisor (sheepishly): Uh, he is not here— didn’t you hear?
Fellow (former) Co-worker: He had a breakdown or something and had to be hospitalized.
F.F.C: He thought his roommates were watching him or something. It was a real mess.
Being the inquisitive person I am, I got to the bottom of this mystery: I emailed Mike. We met for dinner and I got the scoop.
Mike was clearly medicated, but was still very much the charming and incredibly witty man I knew several years before. The story (as I understand it) is as follows:
Mike thought his roommates were videotaping him. He had a nervous breakdown and was incarcerated at Bellevue. One day he managed to escape and (for reasons one can only imagine) decided to go back to work. And work Mike did— until a few men from Bellevue came to collect him. No one in the office thought anything of him being there.
If the previous anecdote is not sufficient evidence that working in a cubicle farm either encourages or requires insanity, I don’t know what is. Something distinctly weird and BAD happens when you throw people together like that.
I left our dinner date sad. To this day I cannot exactly pin down why I feel this way, save the fact that Mike has a long, hard road before him and being ostracized by his former coworkers is not going to help matters.
Wherever you are now Mike, I am rooting for you.
Mike’s musings about other Bellevue residents (to me):
They were really nice people, artists mostly. Like you.
This is one of nicest compliments I have gotten to this day.
(Drawing Credit*: Miss Heather)
*This rendering does not depict anyone mentioned in this post in any way whatsoever. I just felt like including it.