i came to work today, to find out that everything was in turmoil. the ladies were running up and down like chicken without heads and our boss was mumbling to herself more than usual.
‘d’ya hear?’ my coworker, source of information and ball of volupuousness as she calls herself, asked me as soon as i made eye contact with her.
‘no, what happened?’ i said, worried that i was going to have to collect my weird belongings and be moved wherever administration’s brightest minds decided i’d best serve the organization. they did it twice to me before.
‘mrs. XXXX has gone AWOL. she moved out of her apartment and nobody know where she went.’
oh boy this is trouble. i try to remember mrs. XXXX lovely pruney face surrounded by the bright mustard yellow hair piece, and her pitch black painted in eyebrows. and her red red nails and toes. didn’t i just see her yesterday?
‘did you ask her boyfriend?’ i inquire.
‘well, the police and the adult protection people are questioning him, because they suspect financial abuse.’
see the boyfriend is 25, and the lady herself 76. she fished him out of one of her quick trips to San Juan to “recharge” as she called them herself. i piece together the surreal story which tells me that the guy allegedly appropriated her social security checks and used the rent money to keep himself in style, so December Juliette had to move out of her apartament and go into a very cheap one room hovel without leaving an address with us or her boyfriend.
our comments are loud and crude, because what else can we say? this story tops the one with the passed-out hooker in the bathroom, or the one with the 85 year old man in a wheelchair and his 45 year old bride who was his aide, or the story of the man with his own cockroach colony in the dining table. or the hoarder with 100 meal-on-wheels packages stuck in his closets. two marriages and one engagemend where all the spouses were over 80 are tame by comparison.
there is a question going through my head. what can she possibly do at that age? singlehandedly save the baby oil industry from bankrupcy? images go through my head that i do not really have a stomach for.
but at least she tried. she looked for true love and dared to have it even at the cost of her social security check. i mean possibly the memories of those months will be enough to warm her until her dying day. because she won’t have any money for a heated apartment. what would i have done? would i have really stretched my heart that wide and my body even wider for fresh meat like that? oh who i am kidding? i am a carnivore.
‘i am telling you girl, don’t count me out at that age.’ my voluptuous coworker says and moves her eyebrows suggestively. ‘don’t count me out yet. besides, come on what else is there to do with money at that age?’
yeah, i can see her point.