I went into rest mode on Saturday night and stayed there through Sunday. I answered my phone, otherwise I just shut down. I stared out the window at the sparse traffic that went by, while I tried to remember life as it really was back in the day. Back then I could have never just sat in one spot for two days.
Every time the urge to do something came upon me, I took the roboslut equivalent of a deep breath and it passed. I did manage to find the strength to brew about a gallon of strong black coffee. I had become addicted to coffee. I’m sure that was a shock to the farmer nerds and geeks.
Jennifer must have been settling in both days, because I didn’t hear from her. I had expected her to be on the phone every night demanding that I entertain her. I didn’t get a single call from her. I wondered who was entertaining her, but I resisted the urge to tap into her hallway surveillance camera. Truth is I didn’t care all that much.
Monday morning I returned to my normal weekday activities. I rode the bike to Helen’s Sit Down for breakfast. Which of course I would just go wash out at my earliest convenience.
I thought about it as I rode toward her place. How was that really any different than what I did before. I didn’t energize from the food, but I got something from it, then I discarded it. I created an illusion, but it was an honest use of the food. The Geeks had known that building taste receptors into my body not only allowed me to identify what I ate, it also allowed me to connect it to a memory of an experience from my past and enjoy it. All and all eating had become a pleasurable experience for me.
That said, breakfast that dreary Monday morning was almost a disaster. Not because the food was anything less than excellent, but because at 8AM a drunk wandered into the sit down.
The old guy was a homeless type. He was too drunk to eat at the shelter, so I guess he was hoping someone would give him a handout. I was about to do just that, when he got into a shoving match with a cop, who had stopped on his way home. In the jostling a very hot cup of coffee got spilled on my arm.
The cop cuffed the old man, but it didn’t end there. In most cases it would have been a blessing that there were two ambulances parked in the lot outside. In mine it was trouble.
One of the women rushed over to see what damage the boiling coffee had done to my arm. Of course there was no redness, no burn, and I wasn’t in any pain. I had never practiced my reaction to an injury, because they just weren’t supposed to happen.
“I’m just fine,” I said to the paramedic who wanted to examine me. “The coffee missed me.”
“I swear, I saw that hot coffee hit your arm. Are you sure you are alright Maxine?” the chubby girl asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. He missed me, but I have a very high tolerance for pain anyway. I guess it is all the times I have been injured.” She seemed to almost buy it. I had a feeling there would be rumors. Then again it wasn’t like a gunshot. They could never prove that I had actually been hit by the coffee. Of course I had, but I didn’t want to be examined. There would be no damage. My skin might feel like skin, but a really close examination might show something else to a trained pro.
Then again I had screwed a paramedic, and he didn’t notice anything. Yeah, but he had something else on his mind, I thought.
I would have breathed a sigh of relief, if I really did breath. I rode over to the mall for my three mile walk just to keep the mechanical joints flexible, thinking how lucky I had been. One day that might not be the case. Someone might see me not get injured, when I should have been. That seemed to be an issue which needed to be addressed. Nothing came into my head, so they either didn’t have an answer on the farm, or they weren’t listening to me. I preferred to believe they had given up listening, because I was so boring.
As usual I bumped into the dancer. “Sylvia tells me you are going to teach kids to dance?” I asked.
“Sylvia convinced me to attempt it. She has all kinds of ideas to help me get started,” She said smiling.
“It is true. That Sylvia is a dynamo,” I admitted.
“Once you get the proper equipment installed, she is going to arrange a segment on ‘Around The Town’ for me.” she said.
“You mean that local TV thing?’ I asked.
“Yes, the one about things of interest in the area,” she said.
“So what equipment do you need?” I asked.
“Just a wall of mirrors and a bar,” she said. Then she added, “I am going to provide the portable sound system. Actually Helen and I are going to provide it together.”
“I don’t even want to know how that is going to work,” I said laughing. “Well, I will have the equipment you need installed just as soon as I can find someone. You are going to need to supervise the placing of the bar. If you have any requirements about what kind of bar and how it is hung, give them to me this afternoon please.”
“I already have given them to Sylvia. She has taken care of the arrangements, I think,” the tiny dancer said.
“Good then there is nothing left for me but to wish you luck,” I said with a smile as I turned to walk in the opposite direction from that of the dancer. I liked her fine, but then again not all that much. I sure as hell didn’t want to hang out with her.
I got home in time to just plug in and watch the cars drive by in the mist that wasn’t quite rain. The colored lights in the mist was absolutely beautiful. The sparse traffic just made it even more eerie.
I was watching the view on main street when Sylvia, in her rain suit, rode her moped past. I thought I probably should work out a way for her to drive a car. If she ever asked, I was sure I could find a way to get it done. She seemed happy at the moment, so I didn’t want to rock her boat.
A short five minutes later she was in the kitchen calling my name. “Maxine are you here?” she asked.
“I’m upstairs looking at this amazing view. Bring the coffee pot and come up,” I suggested.
“Okay, but I am not going to make a habit of working in your bedroom,” she stated firmly.
“Whatever, I just wanted you to see this view.” I suggested.
When she finally made it up the stairs, she took one look and said. “Wow, it looks like something from a fairytale. I expect to see Knights on horses ride by chasing dragons flying between the buildings.”
“Geese you Romanian peasants have great imaginations. I am so jealous,” I admitted.
“Bullshit, you called me up here because it is a wonderful sight. This could be one of those deserted cities around Chernobyl,” she said.
“Yes or the British town after Dracula decimated it,” I said. “Now you have me doing that flight of fantasy thing.”
“So what is on for today?” she asked.
“Do you have someone lined up for the mirrors and bars in the meeting room across the way.” I asked.
“Yes and we will have to start calling it the dance studio,” she suggested.
“We will see how long the tiny dancer can survive,” I said sarcastically.
“You do know her name is Catherine?” she asked.
“Yes Sylvia, I do know her name. I heard Leon call her by name several times.” I admitted.
“I’m just checking,” Sylvia admitted.
“Did you call Edsel to make sure she pressures Jen to get me permission for the office building?” I asked.
“I did and Edsel asked me out,” she answered.
“You knew she was a stone Lesbian, when you got involved,” I stated a little harshly.
“Hey not to worry, I know how to say no. Besides, if I were going to go to the dark side, it would not be with Edsel.”
I did not ask for more details. “So let’s go to the mill village. Bring something so that you can make notes,” I demanded.
When we arrived at the one house which wasn’t boarded up, Sylvia and I walked through it. I gave her pretty much the same list as I had the foreman from ‘His Laboring Few’.
“When we get back to the office start checking on appliances first. Then check to see if you can find a plumber from the old country. Have him come meet with us about working on these houses. Since we are going to have to give a warranty on the plumbing, I want it all to be serviced.”
I walked around the house pointing out things she needed to check on as well. When we got to the heating system, which had been a freestanding oil circulator in the old days, I explained what we needed. “You should also find a Heating and Air Conditioning contractor who won’t kill us, to tell us what units we needed. As payment promise to give him a chance to match any other price we got for the installation.
“Sylvia what I think we are going to do is to get two model homes ready first then renovate the others to order more or less. We can get them almost finished then complete them to the buyers specifications for a price.”
“So let’s get that base price low enough to draw in the buyers, and then we can work on getting them what they want,” I suggested.
“Yes, I get the idea now. Base level everything that is acceptable, but with plenty of upgrades available,” she suggested.
“Exactly, now Let’s get your gorgeous ass back to the office and working on it,” I suggested.
“And what are you going to do boss lady?” she asked.
“At the great hot dog banquet, Leon told me that Timmie had quit at the ‘Cloak and Dagger’. She is either getting married or someone offered her more money,” I said.
“I think it was both. I meant to tell you, but I just forgot,” Sylvia said.
“Well I’m going to see what I need to do to make it all self service. We never did have enough for Timmie to do,” I said.
“True enough, Helen can give us some names if we need someone to work a party for one of the members,” Sylvia said.
“That’s a good idea,” I said.
“The company that leases us the new digital jukebox has a lot of other vending machines they would love put into the club. How about I call and have their rep meet you there. I mean you had planned to go over anyway.”
“Only if he can meet me today,” I demanded. Sylvia walked a few steps away to remove a card from her purse. She punched in some numbers and talked a few minutes to the person who answered.
“4PM is the best I can do,” she said.
“Then I will have to drink coffee and look out the window until then,” I said smiling.
After my meeting with the skinny old man from Tryon Amusements, I agree to allow them to place an additional coke machine and an ice vending machine. The landlords percentage would go to the home owners association for the expenses of the club. It looked like a good deal to me.
I also arranged for the coolers to stay, so that members could keep there own beer and other things chilled. Hell we had been planning to cut a watermelon the next year, so I didn’t want to lose that cooler. Also Vlad loved his beer and Leon and the dancer had to have chilled wine, so the cooler was a necessity. If any of our few members outside the residents had any objections, they would just have to get over it.