jameson & carol
About a year and a half ago, the company I work for ordered a truck. When you order a really big truck, it has to be driven to your location, and then you have to take the driver to their choice of transportation (rental car, airport, bus station). We've done this a few times before. The drivers are almost always more accustomed to urban settings, and concerned they're going to come to harm in the woods.
When Jameson came and we had to get him to the bus station 45 minutes away, time was already tight, and then it turned out the station had moved. We spent the next few hours shuffling him to different stations, which were closed for lunch, were experiencing delays, had just missed the bus... you get the idea.
Jameson was from South Carolina. I understood about 2 out of 5 words he said. He wanted to be a landowner. "If I had 3 acres of land, it'd just be to gloat, you know, say to the guy with an acre and a half, get outta my face y'all."
He was a family man. Five kids. With four mothers. "They call me the R&B thug, but I had to spend 45 days in county for child support, and once I survived, they upgraded me to the R&B Gangster."
He had some lifestyle tips. "It's like, I like my rap music and all and I got a reputation to maintain, but man, if I'm just cruisin' and relaxin', I'm listenin' to R&B."
Jameson on travel: "I can't staind the cold, but man I wanna move to Colorado for the weed purposes. Man you know you can go to work high and walk down the street MAAAAN and the police can't say NOTHIN'. I been weed free for two and a half months now." You got the impression it was only his current employment's habit of random drug tests that was keeping him on the wagon.
Later, as we stopped for lunch, he ordered fish and chips. He spread ranch on his fish with a long bony finger. The topic turned to donuts. "No Dunkin Donuts for me, ma'am, I am a faithful Krispy Kreme man and I don't wanna be cheating on her."
The family came up again. "And my girlfriend, you know we fightin', it's like she's on another planet, y'know, and I'd like to be there with her." The other 3 women were putting a cramp in his style.
He said he lived a "crazy strange lifestyle in Carolina". We circled the block by the bus station. A crowd of migrant workers, waiting to be picked up by anyone, stepped closer to the car. He waved them off solemnly. When he asked me if I had a facebook, I said no.
Pretty much a year later, the cycle repeated. Carol made Jameson look normal. For one thing, we started off poorly. She ignored the directions (we're in the middle of nowhere) and consequently got lost. I had to literally go out and find her by the side of the road, where she proceeded to grill me about the nature of the company I work for, while ignoring my attempts to steer her towards getting the show on the road. Carol had a burgeoning mustache/beard combo that made me uncomfortable to look at. The cab of the truck was full of garbage and luggage. Jameson had had a single backpack. Carol, who was about 4' 8", had a footstool, and what I believe were all her earthly possessions (multiple tote bags, and several huge suitcases weighing 75+ pounds), and a hell of a lot of Virginia Slims, which I didn't realize were still a thing.
After the paperwork, we got her into the car (with the footstool). We were instructed to be careful with her purse, which she bought at a Cracker Barrel. The best thing to order at a Cracker Barrel is a child's meal - a toasted (not grilled, God forbid) cheese sandwich.
She talked nonstop. Family history stuff. Her father with the six wives, like Henry the 8th. Her mother's name was Mary, but she chose to go by Ernestine. Why we needed to know that, I'm not sure.
Carol was in her 60s (generously) and had a severe case of ADHD. The average sentence went something like this: "Amazing how they built houses in colonial days. Then I think back on Biblical times. I'd like to go overseas. I already had 2 hip replacements. The doctors wanna do that thing, y'know, where they go up inside your colon. I got the diverticulitis. Oh wow, lotta older people dead in that there cemetery."
She'd been married once. Was open to a second marriage, but she'd gotten on some dating sites on the internet, and someone took her for twelve grand. I think she kept dating the guy for a while after that, too. There was some kind of delay with the rental car. We took her to Starbucks. She ordered something froofy. We hoisted all the luggage out of the car and left harassing the rental car agent.
All this to say, I can't wait to meet the next one.