Live From Barcode Scanner Land

It’s almost time to eat a lunch and dispel the ache of a small breakfast.  Working on a project, absorption, organizing, cataloguing and labeling the scanner cables into boxes onto shelves makes me notice the passage of time less; lets me think less.  I experience the meditations that accompany the assessment of physical spaces and repeated manual manipulation of meaningless objects.  I need to work  This job ain’t work.  The restaurant [Buck’s] is work.  Teaching I think will be work.  My boss Andrew has a son Ron.  Sometimes ron calls here at work.  If andrew is on the line I put ron on hold and stand in andrew’s doorway to tell him who’s calling.  Andrew will be talking about the latest shipment of PSC scanners or doing some sales or tech support.  He puts his call on hold “Hold on a moment, will you, Heidi?” and looks up at me with an all-clear, yes-what’s-up, expression on his face.  “It’s Ron.”  “My son?” I nod.  Then this smile spreads across his face that reminds me of how wonderful the world is.  He smiles like a little boy receiving a present from someone he loves.  It is a truly beautiful thing.  So I walk into my office smiling and waddling, my gait affected by his delight at hearing from his son.  It makes me want to cry, happy.  “My son?”  Wonderful.  Then I think maybe some of his smile comes from relief because ron is also the name of a salesman they hired in Arizona who ended up doing business for himself using leads and inventory they’d given him.  So it is a mixture of his son’s call and the fact that it is not ron riely.  But that’s just tangential.  He responds with the same delight when his daughter laura calls.  He loves talking to them.  This pleasantness, I’m inclined to believe, only according to my own experiences, also comes from the reality that exposure to the kids is only occasional.  They aren’t coming home to stay.  It’s like that with my mom.  Living on my own gives a perspective to my relationship with her that I simply could  not have living at home.  I miss her and I call her and we meet up with suzanne and have a wonderful time.  Last week I went over there and spent the night in martinez, a visit.  I’m not a jealous person as much as I am confident bordering on arrogant.  It’s funny — pam and andrew have been married from years and they still have ex-husband and ex-wife issues.  But it is complicated with things like children and financial responsibilities and I don’t have to wanna grow up.


About Suhail Rafidi

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator whose works explore the destiny of human values in a technological landscape. You can find him on Twitter, too, @shelldive.
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