I started my temp job at the title insurance company,
I had no idea that it would be the job that would
eventually carry me, all of my material posessions
in tow, to New York a newly broken man. It
was just another in the endless series of temp jobs
that I was taking at the time to pay my $350 a month
rent in the enormous Victorian house up on Capital
Hill. I was in stasis, day-by-daying life.
I took the $7 an hour job running the microfilm machines
that contained all of the lease information for every
vacant lot in Seattle, paging endlessly through blue-lit
records of houses and homes, my hair falling out in
clumps onto the table as I made endless copies of
under the supervision of a nepotism beneficiary, the
son of the company's accountants, an oily Greek teenager
whose preoccupation with muscle cars and getting laid
provided in me a chance to shine in comparison.
they hired me on full-time and I began to be absorbed
by office politics. James, the Greek, was constantly
on the prowl of the women in the office, and one of
his wandering eyes was never far from Lisa, a statuesque
blonde in her early 30s who ran one of the other departments.
I was constantly treated to his lewd descriptions
of her anatomy, along with other girls in the office.
I unsuccessfully tried to romance a receptionist who
was only there for three days. Nothing much happened.
got the Greek kid fired by a well-timed nervous breakdown
and moved into his position, managing a crew of temps
with a gentle hand while being trained in the ins
and outs of real estate law. I was, if not happy,
at least stable. I got to know the people in the company
a little better.
went to a party for a woman who was leaving, me sneaking
barely underage into another bar, drinking and eating
hot wings, thinking about when I was going to tell
everybody at the company that I had decided to move
to New York, had saved $10,000 to do so, was leaving
in mid-August. My secret kept me sane, kept me looking
forward. Lisa offered to drive me home.
was living at my Mom's house for my last month in
town, sleeping in her guest bed, biding time until
I stepped on the plane and moved across the country.
She was out of town along with her boyfriend, up at
the cabin she was building in the mountains to the
East. Lisa drove me home. We stopped off to get a
6-pack; she went in and bought while I waited out
in the car. I wasn't even twenty-one.
went back to my Mom's house and sat in the back yard,
in wooden deck chairs on the patio, our shoes off,
drinking beers under the stars. Somehow our legs ended
up intertwined, facing each other in a bizarre, subtle
pushed against her feet with mine, and her chair fell
over against the deck, the slats in the back snapping
in half under her. I jumped up out of my chair, helping
her up, and our faces met in a crash of drunken, repressed
lust. We stood there, in my mother's back yard, making
out in the warm summer night, my brain slowly revolving.
hadn't had sex for several years, and it was so strange,
having this woman in bed with me, in the cold, lonely
depths of my old house, naked, this woman older than
me by so many years. It was stramge, short, and unexpected.
And then she put on her clothes and went home.
had just happened? I'd just had sex. I'd just had
sex with a woman twelve years my senior. My mind boggled
at the utter ridiculousness of the situation. Eventually,
I fell asleep.
and weekday nights, I would steal off to see her,
our secret hidden from everybody at the company. Most
of the men there harbored some secret desire for her,
she was the alpha-female of the office, and when they
would try to calculate their chances with her I would
have to remain silent, a bizarre combination of jubilation
and dread burning in my chest. We made it clear to
each other, over and over, that this was just about
sex, just about two people fucking. No emotional committment
so we spent a month like that, our little illicitness
going unnoticed, sneaking in sex, me making excuses
to my mother for where I was spending my last nights
was scrambling to see everybody and everything before
my plane left, ingraining what I truly believed would
be my last memories of Seattle into my brain before
I left. I finally got to see Lisa the night before
I left. After she left work, we had fifteen minutes
before I had to go meet my grandfather for dinner
back in West Seattle. I saw her in the window of a
bus and ran to catch up with it.
got out a stop later and had our final goodbye in
the parking lot of a goddamned Safeway.
wasn't anything, we'd both assured each other multiple
times. I was moving, I was leaving town, this was
a month, a fling, nothing.
why the fuck was I crying as I walked away?