dabbling

I call up Boss today. It’s the last day of September and I’m intensely curious as to whether I’ll be able to pay rent this month. He says, absolutely, I won’t be a total bastard and ream you this month the way I normally do (I’m paraphrasing) and let’s meet at the Starbuck’s on Olympic and Doheny. We can discuss things. I get there at the arranged time (3:30) and order some coffee and sit down with my notebook. As I wait, I write this rather lengthy musing:

I’m waiting for Boss. He says he has to stop by Bank Of America to get money for me. Cash would be interesting, but a check would be fine. Anything. Rent’s due tomorrow. I’ve got no idea whether he’s gonna pull through, but we gotta hope. I live on a constant edge of tension, never secure in my job, never really knowing whether the big break is gonna come this week, or the next week, or the next month, or the next goddamn year. Or never. And no idea what I’m going to do in that case.”

[At this point I get a little depressed. It’s not the nicest Starbuck’s, and even the really nice ones make me feel queasy.]

“I feel like I could do many things. Yet I have no formal training in anything. All my current talents are self-taught. That’s another way of saying that I dabble. I’m a dabbler. Rare is the occasion that I leap headlong into the lake. The dabbling has to happen first. A toe, perhaps. Maybe the whole foot. Then I wander off to find another lake, convinced that at the bottom of this one coils a great, toothy serpent. I am now familiar with a small portion of several large lakes.”

It’s now four o’clock and my cell phone is ringing. It’s Boss, of course. “The bank was a nightmare,” he says. “I have money for you, but I don’t have the time to talk. We’ll have to discuss things over the phone later. Can you meet me outside the Starbuck’s?” I gather my things as I listen to him proceed to get lost, but spotting his Mercedes down the street, I’m able to talk him out of his confusion. He pulls up, blocking the driveway, rolls down his window and hands me a stack of twenties.

“Is this the full $750?” I ask.

“No, it’s four hundred. It was all I could get today. I’ll give the other four hundred tomorrow. We’ll talk about the websites over the phone. I have to rush off to a meeting.”

Fine. As he drives off, I pocket the money understanding at last that he only really dabbles in sanity. As I drive home I’m grateful that I have Saeed & Palash to help me preserve my own.

About the author: will

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