About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I like the little truism "Bloom Where You're Planted". It encourages me to simply do the obvious next right thing, with what's at hand and I'll blossom. I've been back at my  much loved work (with only a slightly different flavor and location) for a month now. When I look into the mirror, whether literally or metaphorically, I am amazed at the profusion of sprouts and blooms. Oh, to be sure, there are few stalks or full flowers yet. But compared to only a short time ago, it's as if I've been given a strong application of spiritual, mental and emotional Miracle Gro. Don't read this as "everything's wonderful". Everything is not. But almost everything is much better. And that is huge.

I never really knew George, beyond the knowledge that he was nominally related to "us". I worked only for A1 Carpet Care and was David's assistant. David's preference was that I be bonded to him and to A1 and that others in the special little world give me space to do what I do. And that worked fine for us all. Now I work for both David and George, seated in the place where George can be found most times. David pops in many times a day, many times simply to read my face, and we burn up the cyberworld with text messages and emails. It is a wonderful time in space for one who loves to connect with others, such as I.

George, it is clear to me, is a man who "does for" women. He is strong, well-established, sure of himself, knows his way around the planet, and - more importantly - around Las Vegas. He is rather aggressive and confrontational with men, seemingly unprovoked, sometimes. Conversely, he is rather courtly toward women - all women. When a female openly ponders about how to accomplish some task, George gets right in it, partly advising and partly trying to shoulder some of the required action. I am of mixed feelings about this "being taken care of". Mostly I resist it, though I listen to advice. Sometimes (less frequently), I'm simply grateful for a little assist in a mundane errand or dilemma. George calls me (and other females) "darlin' " with some degree of frequency. This is something I've never appreciated from anyone in business, but I have not yet prickled about it coming from George. That's what he does, naturally. If I find it truly objectionable, I'll say so, and I am certain he would modify.

I'd worked only a couple of weeks when my birthday came. I hadn't peeped a word about it, but it was not forgotten. I was only slightly taken aback when David popped in and said, "Grab a pen and pad. Come upstairs with me." No, he's not curt or rude. We just speak in shorthand sometimes. Usually when he goes short-of-words that way, it means his brain is bubbling with the newest idea. It never occurred to me we could have chatted downstairs right where we were at the time. I just hollered out, "Going upstairs with David!" and climbed the stairs in the broiling sun. When I went back down, with David hot on my heels, I learned I'd been had. George took me by the shoulder to the embarrassing moment  . . .
Some of these made a much-
appreciated gift. Hey! I'd been
unemployed for a year. This was
exciting! My head whirled.
Edible flowers. I ate one to prove it.
I sprayed the rest with a matte acrylic
spray to preserve them for some
future use other than simply add-
ing to my momentary pleasure
and future body weight.  ;~}

I decided to put half of my windfall into savings, use some to repair some of the harm to my personal business after a year of neglect, and some to buy a couple of things I'd not been able to afford before. Part of that was easy: make a bank deposit. Some of it was glorious: I bought a modest haul of art supplies I'd hungered to own and use. Some of it was daunting, just a little, because I still cannot easily handle more than a few demands at a time. My car, Lucy Sue, looked shameful. Mostly, she had sat for a year, collecting not miles, but dust and grime and hard-water stains. A drive-through car wash wasn't going to do the job and I'm not physically up to cleaning her decently. Along comes George. "I know just what to do, darlin'!" He fumbled for his cell phone and barked out, "Get your ass down here to the office. I need you." I cringed at the approach and waited for whomever to appear. Enter Pablo, a male who has given service to George for many years. He's likely accustomed to barked orders and good pay.  An hour later, during which time George ran out into the parking lot windmilling his arms and pointing out tiny spots of Lucy Sue needing attention, the car gleamed. It smelled good. At the end of my day, George took me outside by the elbow, opened the car for me and damned nearly hooked up my seatbelt across my lap. I drove off feeling pretty happy. I'd paid the enormous sum of $20 plus tip. It was a small investment in feeling a whole lot better.

One finds it in the little
things, small connections.
The next day, a Friday, it was monsoonal, hell for hot and threatening rain. This did not make me happy, as my car sat out in the open. I dreamed at the window a little bit, observing the gray sky and traveling back in time. I wondered whether Vicente still cleaned cars as poorly as a car can be "cleaned", still exuded the charm that pulled me magnetically and whether he had ever received his transplanted kidney. I experienced a little wave of sadness and went back to work. How can this happen in real time, reader? For I am not even slightly fictionalizing this: a man walked past my window outside. I only had a fraction of a second to experience the lightning bolts going off in my head. He opened our door to enter. He made eye contact with me as I sat behind the desk. He nearly dropped to the floor. He began to visibly tremble. He clutched at his chest a la Fred Sanford having the big one. "Leslie! Ay, dios mio!" I vacillated between grinning and tearing up. "Hola, Vicente." "Leslie!" He came behind the counter and took me by the hand. His English has not improved, nor has my Spanish. Other than talk about car cleaning, and limited talk at that, we have trouble communicating to completed concepts. This took me aback only a little: he put my open hand on his chest - hot from hellish heat, wet from his profession - car washing involves water, even for Vicente - heart pounding nearly out of his skin. I could physically feel all of this. He continued to grin at me, trembling. I was struck - for the 9 millionth time in life - by the mystery and joy of connecting purely with one other human being whom one can't help being drawn to. I don't know why I am so bonded to a man who really does a poor job that I pay him for. He is not "hot for me", nor am I for him. It's not that. But whatever one calls it, we have it and it goes deep. After he collected himself, Vicente (of course) put the moves on me about the car. That's his livelihood. I impressed upon him that the car had just been detailed "jesterday". "Oh, jesterday?" I nodded. "Next week, Leslie?" I nodded. David walked in and took in the grand reunion. Vicente left and David grinned from ear to ear. "And you'll still be giving him a 50% tip, won't you?" I nodded. The story of Vicente's return into my small arena does not end here. He (and others) will be the subject of my next post after I grab a couple of photos I need. Across the period of a year, Vicente got his transplant and Leslie got sober. I told him, partly in pantomime, about my alcohol fueled crash and burn. "Ay, dios mio! Now better, Leslie?" I told him I was better now.

David stayed nearby, leaning against my counter on his forearms, a stance I now recognize as the newest, "Let's talk" pose. I was intrigued by his look, as he isn't the only one between us who "reads face". "What's going on, Sir? I can see you're percolating." In our little world are represented many different beliefs and belief systems. A fragment of knowledge about astrology used to make us crow about the Virgo Brigade in our world under the stucco canopy, back where the world can't see us. For in a group of maybe 25 people, several key players were Virgos: David, me, the much-loved and now gone Rudy, Cesar, the wonderful carpet technician. We knew our world ran well because of our Virgoan superiority . . I'm kidding! We thought it was interesting. "You know Trudy?" Sure, I do. She now manages A1 Carpet Care and I don't resent her for it. She was looking for a job when I surrendered mine. She seems to have done well with it and David has told me she is now "one of the family".  "Her birthday is the same day as yours, August 24th. She's exactly one year older than you are." I grinned. "Sir, how the hell did you manage that?" He grinned that slow, broad beam and shook his head from side to side, slowly. "I didn't know until a couple of days ago. I had to scramble so her birthday wouldn't go 'forgotten'." And so it goes . . .

In my ears this weekend:  Because I love just about anything he performed . .


  1. Happy birthday Lesley. Long live all virgos. This is such a long luxurious post, it's good to hear all's going well.

  2. @ Lis ~ Hello, dear woman. I'm so glad you stopped by. What a good word you applied ~ "luxurious". It's appropriate. I'm luxuriating in the riches I've been fortunate to experience a second time. That doesn't happen to many people, I think. It makes me feel like a golden child. A "chosen one".

  3. Sounds like both George and Vincente (a possible Latin Lover?) might have the hots for you.

  4. @ Kirk ~ Ha! No, I swear that's not the deal in either case. Both are firmly and well-connected with their own partners. One is just a courtly American man-about-everything and the other . . well, he's not after me, but he IS quite the Latin lover, apparently, as we shall learn in Chapter 2. Man gets around! And he's older than me, with a recent kidney transplant. I stay at home too much, it seems.

  5. Last week I went down to the hotel on the beach where I had my office for 5 years prior to the surgery. I miss it, 20 feet from the beach 40 yds from the water's edge. Had the chance to talk with some former colleagues, even saw a few dolphins. Nice to reconnect. I'm happy that it seems to be working out well for you.

  6. @ Mike ~ I've always pretty much believed in "you can't go home again", but I am certainly in the place where I was meant to be. It grounds me. It helps me in ways that I need an assist. I'm accepted and understood. My shortcomings are well known and they love me anyway. What's not to like? However, a dose of ocean and dolphins would be welcome.