Friday, August 17, 2018

Hiring Marlene (Without Quotation Marks)

The fact that I’m writing the name Marlene here without putting it in quotation marks shows how much I’ve evolved. There was a time when I would’ve done that, just to be snarky.

But the way I see it now, it’s like me calling myself cripple. If that’s what I want to call myself, I don’t have to give a goddam PowerPoint presentation explaining my rationale. Just shut up and let me call myself whatever the hell I want.

So if someone who clearly sounds like a man on the phone tells me their name is Marlene, who am I to resist? They don’t need me to sign off on it for it to be official.

Marlene answered my ad seeking people to join my pit crew, which is what I call the crew of people I hire to get me out of bed, wash my armpits, etc. Throughout the years, I’ve probably had 100 or so pit crew members. Most have been males. A few females. I’ve had a helluva cast of characters. I had a Cambodian refugee, who risked his life to escape the Pol Pot bullshit but only lasted a week working for me. One guy got me out of bed and washed my armpits by day and played cello in a string quartet by night. I had a world–renown pagan high priest, whose other job was doing psychic readings in an occult bookstore. I’ve had guys with tattoos all over. Years ago, as I hustled around the U.S. Capitol lobbying Congresspersons about cripple stuff, I was accompanied by a pit crew member whose dreadlocks were died emerald green.

But I’ve never had someone in transition, like Marlene. Hiring someone like them would say a lot about how amazingly progressive I am. Not only would I consider employing someone like them, I would do so with great enthusiasm. Being in transition would be a plus. I was particularly delighted by the prospect of having Marlene accompany me back to the old neighborhood, so I could show all those fuckers how backwards they all are and how far I’ve left them all behind. When I was a kid, a family with someone like Marlene as a member would’ve probably been firebombed out of the neighborhood. Bringing Marlene around would be as satisfying as bringing a black fiancé home for Thanksgiving, just to rub your racist uncle’s nose in it.

So when Marlene showed up for the interview, I was happy to see that they looked like they were in the early stages of transition. They looked like a long-haired male wearing some makeup. If Marlene was a fully-formed female by now and people saw us going down the street together in the old neighborhood, the impact would be lost. It would just look like I hired a woman, which is no big deal.

I called Marlene’s references and they all said glowing things. And I looked forward to working with Marlene for several years, so we could go back to the old neighborhood several times and force those backwards fuckers to witness the transition slowly taking place. Wouldn’t that be excruciating for them? Ha!

I called Marlene with the great news. “You’re hired!” But Marlene said, “I’ve been offered another job, which I accepted, but thank you anyway. Good luck.”

Well, fine----then----- screw you, I guess.

All that stuff about going back to the old neighborhood was silly anyway. I’ve haven’t gone there for years. No one I know is there anymore. Nobody would give a shit.

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