Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chapter 17

Susan Ellen was born with the name Susanna Miriam Elizabeth Abramowitz-Vanderbilt (again, not her real name—but she is affiliated with an affluent family.)

She’s a petite woman and in her mid-forties. She has thick brown hair that’s normally dried straight, but, on the day I met her, she looked like she used fireworks to wash her hair. Her face looks a little like a bunny. (On days when I think extra bitterly of her, it looks like a retard bunny.)

Her house is a model home. No pictures on the walls. Every piece of furniture is white. The kitchen is never used and, since she doesn’t know how to take her dogs out for a walk, there are absorbent sheets everywhere filled with tiny little piss stains and pebbles of doody.

As I entered her home, she was talking a mile a minute.

“I’m so glad you’re here. So thankful. I had an assistant for eight years, but she left. The temp agency gave me someone else but she was horrible. Do you want some tea? Coffee? I have a lot of tea, but the only coffee I have is Sanka.”

I was so flustered. Is there an office anywhere?

“I’ll have a cup of tea. Thank you.”

“What kind? I have everything.”

“I’ll have green tea, if it’s available.”

She laughed at me. “What kind?”


“Here, I’ll just make you this green tea from India or China. No wait. It’s Malaysia. Have you ever been to Malaysia?”

Is she on drugs?

“No. But I always wanted to go, though.”

What am I saying?

“Okay, I really don’t have time for talking. We have so much work to do.”

One of her dogs started sniffing her toe. She picked it up.

“Ohhhhh. Prince!” She started kissing his face. “Go say hi to…”

She looked at me.

“I’m sorry what’s you’re name again?”

“It’s Becky.”

She looked at the dog. “Go say hi to Becky! Go say hi to Becky!”

I thought she said there was a lot of work to do…

The dog came up to me. I pet it. It smelled horrible. “Musty” wouldn’t even begin to describe how horrible this dog smelled.

I looked at Susan Ellen. “So, you said there was work that needed…”

“Oh right.” She walked over to her kitchen table and picked up a cotton shirt. She threw it at me. I caught it.

“I got paint on this shirt,” she said. “I remember I got it online. Can you get on my computer and find a website store where they sell it?”

I looked at her. She was serious.

“Do you remember where it was from?” I asked, holding her laundry.

“Nah. I got it, like, six years ago. But it was my favorite shirt. I’m so bummed I got paint on it. Don’t you hate it when that happens?”

“Uh… yeah, I guess. And… where…?”

“Oh! I’m such an idiot. The cleaning lady is here today and she’s currently in my office. But my laptop is down here in the living room. You can just sit on the couch and work there today.”

I sat down on the couch and found her computer. Another one of her dogs jumped up on the couch and walked over to me. It smelled even worse.

I want to be unemployed again!

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