Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chapter 23: Lunch Time

It was about three hours in to my first day when I realized I hadn't eaten breakfast. I was too much in a rush that morning to even think about lunch.

It was almost as if Susan Ellen read my mind.

"Did you bring lunch with you?"

"No, I didn't. I was wondering if it was all right if I took my half hour to drive somewhere and get-"

"No. I'll make you lunch here." She wanted me to stay like that blind character in Frankenstein.

"Oh, ok."

It was nice. I guess.

She sighed, "But I don't have any food in the house."

She looked into her refrigerator like it was the first time ever opening it. I really don't feel like I'm exaggerating when I tell you that she pushed the refrigerator door before she realized that she needed to pull it open.

"I have sweet potatoes. Do you like sweet potatoes?"

"Uh… okay."

She took out two potatoes and plopped them into her oven. She started fiddling with the knobs on her stove.

"I don't even know how to use this. I never cook."

While she went to go smother her musty puppies, I quickly turned the gas off and turned the oven on before the inferno happened.

We both took a seat at the kitchen table waiting for our potatoes to not catch on fire. Susan Ellen broke my gaze by telling me:

"So, the people at the temp agency said you were interested in losing weight."


I remembered the conversation I had with Ted.

Note to self: Never make small talk with stupid people, even if they do compliment you.

"You totally don't need to," she said, "I mean, you could tone up here and there, but you're not as bad off as some other people I know, like my housecleaner."

And just that moment, Susan Ellen's housecleaner entered to head to the garage to put even more sheets into the washer. How many freakin' sheets does this woman have?

Susan Ellen stopped her. "Como…," Susan Ellen began, "Como—oh, how do you say it? Como estis?"

"Fine," the housecleaner answered, in her native Brooklyn accent.

My face was buried in my hand. Susan Ellen whispered to me, "She's really heavy. It affects her health."

I nodded, hoping to God that I wouldn’t shit myself if the housecleaner heard her.

"Anyway, you're fine," she said. "Except for some of the blemishes on her chin. There's products for that, you know."

I touched my chin and didn't realize that my mouth was wide open in amazement that she would point out a complete stranger's zits.

I think she took it as me being defensive.

"I mean, you're pretty," she told me. "No, I really think you're pretty. You are! You have this great hair… but you really need to use conditioner."

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