Friday, May 30, 2008

The Search is On

Last night on the way home from work, I started to feel sick. Just a little, but definite. By 9:00, I figured, what the heck, and went to bed.

Now... flash back to college and that one time (ahem...) that you drank way too much. WAY too much. Remember how when lying down, it seemed like the room was spinning, and passing out would have felt like a blessed mercy? That's what happened, although I hadn't had anything to drink at all. I'll spare you the details, but I spent the night in the bathroom, wrapped up in the sheets from my bed. I must have had a fever, because the sheets were all clammy and gross this morning.

So, I called in sick. Unfortunately, no one who needed to know got the message. Apparently, the shelter residents were worried about me and went to one of the directors who was around.

Where's Andrea?

She's ALWAYS here at 10 minutes to 8. (It was probably 9 or 9:30 at this point.)

So, the director in question called my house. I was, it need hardly be said, in the bathroom and didn't answer the phone. Now, she's worried too.

One of the residents has a friend who works for the state police. When I didn't answer the phone at home, he immediately called his officer-buddy to see if there were any accidents between my house and work. (No, was the answer.)

Soon, I saw that work had called -and unaware of course that now the police were looking for me!- returned the call. I was brought up to speed about the residents' concerns and immediately went to get showered and dressed for work. Seriously, that kind of concern merits my showing up, even if I feel somewhat the worse for wear.

I tell myself that it doesn't matter whether or not the homeless guests like me. They shouldn't have to bother; I don't go to work to be liked. Of course it does matter, but as an ideological position it's still right. No one there owes me connection or gratitude. Of course the days when I feel actively disliked are hard, and those days happen, unfortunately.

And just when you think, #(*! it! I can be hated and earn more money. I'm going to leave and be a ....... something else. I'll change my name and go sell margaritas on the beach in Cancun, that's what I'll do. The plan is somewhat fluid, as you can see. It's possible that it needs a little tightening up before it's useful ;) But trust me, there are the days when you want to turn in your keys. And then... someone cares enough to call the state police to watch for your car, because they don't want you to be dead in the ditch. It's a profoundly touching gift to be cared for like that.

But I'll be driving the speed limit tomorrow morning, just in case the police are still watching for me :)


Lisa :-] said...

Sorry you were sick, but that's an amazing story. Just what you needed, I think...

Renee said...

Aww. And isn't is reassuring to know that despite the fact that you now live alone you don't have to worry about falling and injuring yourself (or worse) and not having anyone notice for weeks and weeks. A half an hour is all it will take before they send a search party!