The start of something?
| I used to just be your average everyday computer geek. Programmer by day, high-tech hacker by night. That was the good days. Now I’m on the run from, well to be quite honest, everyone. I guess I should start at the beginning, before my whole life to the express lane straight to the seventh ring of Hell.
Average Thursday morning, Average coffee. Average chit-chat in the elevator. Average morning meeting. As a programmer everything seems kind of average until your fully immersed in your code, finding the slightest detail to debug, finding new ways to do everything you could ever need. (Well in the computer world, at least.)
“Hey Fitch,” two cubicles down, I think his names Mike, ”What you doing after work?” I know he doesn’t care, he’s an ass who just tries to brag about what HE is doing after work.
“Thought about headed to the bar, wanna come?”, to Hell with it, I’ll let him brag today I don’t care.
“Nah! I got a date with that sweet blonde from accounting.” (see what I mean)
“Well, maybe next time.”
Headphones back in, swimming threw my sea of seemingly incoherent glyphs and symbols. I suddenly feel like someone is watching me. Stand up, look around, nobody; odd. Back to my work.
Hours go by. Lunch: Mac and cheese, generic soda, cookies from the vending machine, average.
More work, more symbols, more glyphs, NOT average. Odd feeling again, stand, look, still nothing. Check the clock, 6:15, passed time to go.
Average bus ride, average walk, average…”What the F!”, on my door hangs a bright yellow envelope, eviction notice. I know I just paid rent. Off to the landlady’s apartment.
“Your rent pass due!”, How I can be intimidated by an Asian woman who is just shy of five foot, I will never know, but she is the scariest lady on the planet. “You pay TO-DAY!”
“Mrs. Chong I gave you the check for my rent last Monday. How can it be pass due?!?”
“Check bounce! You pay cash! Tonight! Or your butt out on street!”
Ok, I am about five nine-ish, and this little Asian makes me feel like a four year old caught in the cookie jar. How she can get eye-level with me I will never understand.
“You pay! Tonight! Understand!”
Her last word, I’m not sure if it was a question or a statement. But the slamming door an inch from my nose, signaled the end of the conversation.
Already planned to go, so off to the bar to brainstorm. So maybe a bar isn’t the greatest place to brainstorm, it’s loud and noisy, but the park doesn’t have dollar beer night. With four cold ones down and a fifth on the way I hear someone next to me complaining about his girlfriend, and how he thinks she’s cheating on him.
“Man, if I could just get on to her e-mail, I could know for sure.”
“Dude, quit stressing, she’s probably not cheating and you’re just getting all worked up for nothing.”
Thank you Mr. Edison for the light bulb, because I just got an idea. “Hey!”, the guy looks at me with a confused expression, “ I can get on her e-mail, for a price.” (And yes folks, I know this is illegal, and probably frowned upon, but if I can get the cash to NOT sleep on the street, I’m going to.)
“How much! I’ll pay you anything!” (Wow, that was easier than expected.)
Now lets see; rent-$450, bar tab-$45 and rising, time and effort needed to get onto an e-mail-minimal, “Six-fifty.” The cash was in my pocket so fast I thought my jeans might rip from the sudden tension.
Pull out laptop. Key in e-mail address. Key in password program. Really? She used her phone number as a password, too easy. I hand him the password, he asks to check it on my laptop, hesitant agreement. For the next ten minutes he sat and read, and read, and read, until finally he leaps and tackles the guy that was with him.
“You son of a bitch!”
Definately not average. One, fights like a boxer, the other, a girl. Return laptop to bag. Duck flying chair. Pay tab. Off to the dragon lady’s apartment, again. Two blocks from the bar to my building, not too far. That is, it’s not too far unless you get about a dozen steps down the sidewalk and the bar brawl get taken to the street. What started as an angry boyfriend has turned into a full blown mob. Shattering glass and flying beer bottles means I’m running all the way home.
Safe in my building, panting like I just ran in the Olympics, I slide down the lobby wall. Deep breaths calm me down. Front door opens, sudden unreasonable panic, just Yvonne, the brunette in 241.
“You don’t look so good. You ok?” She genuinely seemed concerned,” You didn’t have anything to do with the fire trucks down the block did you?” (I later learned that they torched a few cars .)
“Me, fire trucks, no. The cops and the angry mob, yes. But fire trucks, no.”
“Oh my god! What happened?”
“Just showed someone something they didn’t want to see.”
“Oh! Well just so long as your ok, I guess.” She stated as she stepped into the elevator, “ Wouldn’t want to see anything happen to you.”
Huh, that was odd. Oh yeah, dragon lady. Down to her door, no answer, Knock harder, footsteps on the other side of the door. The door opens until the chain catches firmly.
“What you want!? It’s late!”
“You told me to bring you my rent tonight, in cash.”
“Yea! You bring rent or you be homeless bum!” I don’t know why she feels she has to yell everything.
“Well, here’s your money.” I hand her the bills, door narrowly misses my nose, yet again. Note to self, find out why check bounced, never let it happen again.
Back to my apartment. Dinner comes from the freezer and goes directly to the microwave. Tastes ok, certainly not very healthy, screw dieting.
Work on a few personal programs, debug the password program, shouldn’t have taken ten minutes for a sever number password.