Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tauy Creek Digest #53: Based On a Dream


I looked out of the back door window at the rain pouring down. It was a hard rain and it turned the yard into a swamp. There was a knock on the door. I walked across the house and opened the door. A person in a poncho, with a clipboard and ID badge stood there. They were soaked.

"I'm with the city," they began. I glanced at their badge--Todd Newman. Strange, he looks like an ex of mine--dressed as a man but still. "I was driving by and noticed a problem with your garage."

"Garage?" I didn't have a garage.

"The structure along the main road," Todd Newman said. There was a structure along the main road--the house faced a side street--but it wasn't a garage, barely big enough to be a shed and made of rotting plywood. "It's leaking."

"So?" I asked.

"Not up to code. You need to fix it." We walked out into the backyard and took a look at the building. It was still pouring and I was getting soaked despite the raincoat and hat I wore. "See? It has holes in the roof, the wood is broken and caving in, it's sitting in a lake."

"It's raining," I said. "It's just a poorly made plywood building. I didn't build, it was here when I bought the place. Aside from the plywood, the skeleton of it is sturdy. Besides, it's not supposed to be up to code. Look, I don't have time for this, I have to get to work," I said and began walking away. I left the house, leaving the city employee, or my ex-girlfriend, whichever one it was, in my yard and left. I was starting a new job making calls for political candidates. It was in a giant call center with hundreds of other people. We were all making calls around the country talking to people about the people in their area running for public office. We weren't trying to get money or their vote, just talking to them about the politicians.

"You want to go to lunch with us?" a woman popped her head over my cubicle wall. Another woman and two men stood with her.

"Where to?" I asked.

"We were thinking that new Mexican place around the corner. Apparently the food is big and cheap."

"Sure, I'll go," we all left together right away. The Mexican place was new, having just opened a little over a week ago. It was pretty bare when we walked in. A counter separating a spacious dining room from the kitchen area. A salad bar-like cart was next to where you paid and held condiments such as black olives, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, and chips. We all ordered--I ordered an enchilada, it was a giant thing about the size of a brick and only cost a dollar.

I grabbed some salsa and chips and plopped some olives on it then went to pay. I turned and looked outside, it had turned into a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the sky was a bright blue, and the rain had quickly dried up. It was almost like it hadn't rained at all. The coworkers I had come in with had disappeared into the other spacious dining room around the corner from where you pay. As I was looking out the window, I noticed the city inspector/ex-girlfriend outside. I left my food and ran out of the eatery.

"Are you following me?" I asked, confronting them and backing them up against a car. "Over a plywood shed?"

"Out of code, dilapidated plywood sheds are where it all begins. Before long you'll stop mowing your grass, paint will flake off, trash cans? Pfft. You'll just throw your garbage out the window and let nature take care of it," they scoffed.

"I don't think that happens," I said. For some reason, we were now in the car, sitting in the back seat. It was even more clear now that the city inspector was an ex pretending to be a man for some reason. "You can't go harassing people about stuff that doesn't matter."

"I know," they said dejectedly.

"I have to go back to work," I said, opening the door to the car. I got out and headed back to work.

"Hey, where were you?" the woman who asked me to go to lunch said, peering over the cubicle again. "We saw you grab your food but then you ran out of the place."

"I had to deal with something," I said. I dialed the next number on my list and got out the guide for that person's political representative.

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