Years ago I wrote an entry gently poking fun at the way some of my clients butchered the English language. Without knowing it, they’d made me laugh out loud with somewhat hysterical statements the likes of “Yes, that’s my really picture,” “Billy-ah! You can coming over,” and “Don’t go Billy-ah. I’m boring” (which as it turned out, was exactly why I was going). And it happened again yesterday courtesy not of an escort – but from the Chinese woman who runs the show at Trinity Church.
I’m not sure why or how it happened…but I work at breakneck speed when performing menial tasks. It might stem from my cab-driving days when I instantly came to realize that the more efficient I was…and the harder I worked…and the faster I drove…the more money I’d make. It was one of the things I really liked about driving a cab. In the music business, I’d seen half-assed talents score big while geniuses floundered. But with a taxi, a loser might get lucky for an hour – or even a shift – and make more money than a guy who worked lean and mean. But by the next day, the wheat would get separated from the chaff, and I’d come out ahead.
Back at the church, I do three times as much work as the other steadiest volunteer. It’s not that she’s lazy. She’s just old (actually, she might be younger than I am)…or simply slow. As a cab-driver, she wouldn’t make any money. That’s for sure.
When all the clients are taken care of…and the floors are swept and the windows cleaned, Na (the Chinese woman) says goodbye and thanks us profusely for our effort. Which makes sense because almost all of the other regulars get paid. It’s only Cheryl and me who work free on a daily basis.
So anyway, yesterday, as Na said goodbye and thank you, she observed “You very efficiency!” And that’s when I thought back to the way escorts used to fumble the language when I sold them ads.
As a child, my mother used to marvel at what an incredibly lazy piece of shit I truly was. And in retrospect, I’d have to say that there was some merit to her criticism. But by the end of her life, she changed her tune. On her 90th birthday, the family convened in Florida to celebrate at a time when I was virtually chained to my computer posting Backpage ads.
“My God! Do you ever sleep?” she asked watching the endless hours I spent on the computer. “Not while there’s money to be made, mom! This gravy train will pull into the station at some point. And I’m gonna ride it to the end.” All the way to a courtroom and the Tombs as it turned out. But I didn’t know that at the time.