Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finally feeling better

After three weeks or so I finally don't feel like I'm going to die anymore. Woohoo!!! And I just realized I still have christmas presents to give out too. It's only March... it's not THAT late...

So, before I tell this story about work yesterday, it needs some setup. Long ago and far away I was Elder Allen in Chicago, preaching the gospel to the unwashed masses of the most destitute place I'd ever seen. This was a place so horrible that whilst tracting from door to door we often had to skip three or four houses in a row because they had been condemned, and the houses with people actually living in them were not far from it. Often a single three bedroom house would be walled off by the owner into four or five apartments and rented out for dirt cheap until it literally fell apart. The people living in these areas were much like the houses, beaten down, poor as dirt, with little hope and nothing to look forward too except their eventual eviction due the the condemnation of their home. Many of them could not even afford water or electricity. I loved those areas, because the people were so humble, and ready to listen to anyone who brought a ray of hope to their miserable existenses.

In those days I was, by necessity, always clean shaven, with my hair cut short, and I wore glasses because I didn't want to have to spend my limited funds on disposable contacts whilst on my mission. I was often told that I looked like harry potter, because of the glasses and the way that my hair is completely and utterly wild when it's short unless I basically dip my head in a vat of hairspray (hence the reason I usually let it grow out). My compainion and I lived in a two bedroom apartment with another companionship. Something you might have heard about missionaries is that they seek out the most ugly and outrageous ties to wear because it's the only part of their wardrobe that they can use to express themselves. And this is true, or at least it was in South Chicago where I was. You wear the same boring business suit and white shirt day after day, and you start to get very sick of it. There's nothing wrong with wearing a suit, it's just horrifically dull when it's all you ever wear. But that wasn't the only reason we wore those horribly ugly monstrosites. In the deep, dark, awful parts of the ghetto when people answered the door to young, clean-cut, white boys in their pressed suits with the most ridiculous looking ties imaginable on, it often brought a smile or even a laugh from someone whose day would otherwise have been full of nothing but despair.

And so began the quest for the ugliest tie imaginable. Every P day the four of us would go to every thrift store in our areas, searching for the holy grail of ties, the tie so ugly it could actually break the space-time continueum. One day, Elder Forrester and I found it. The other companionship had made an appointment to visit a member family that day and so they had not accompanied us on our shopping excursion, saving it for later. We went to the ties in the back of the Salvation Army thrift store and there it was, the ugliest tie imaginable. It was indescribably hideous. It was so ugly that you couldn't look directly at it, for fear of being blinded.

The two of us stared at the tie, having finally found the holy grail. Neither of us could quite work up the courage to touch something that awful looking, and so we left it there. Having seen perfection, we could not quite work up the motivation to own it.

We returned to our apartment to check on our laundry and put away our groceries, and the other companionship came home. Elder Kerrigan was proudly wearing that eye-wrenching, vomit-enducing, ugliest of ties like a medal of honor, and proud as can be over having found it. My mommy told me there was no such thing as monsters . . . but there are. That tie consumed him, making him its loyal puppet, and soon he wore nothing but.

Now, jumping ahead nine years to yesterday, I was delivering mail on my not quite route. A little explanation of my route, I deliver to all of the buisinesses at the intersection of 7800 S. and Redwood Road, as well as Gardener Village, a small apartment complex, and a little neighborhood. I call this a not quite route because it is an auxiliary route, and is evaluated as 32 hours a week. As such, it is not a fulltime route, and I, as the carrier, do not recieve full time benefits, nor do I recieve a regular, weekly day off. I wont get those until my not quite route reaches an evaluated 40 hours per week, or until someone retires and I move over to that route instead.

Now, Jordan School District was recently split, and they needed to move their headquarters to someplace actually within the new boundries of their district. So they bought out the strip mall on the Southeast corner of that intersection, where DI used to be. THey knocked out all the walls between the various businesses and made one huge office building out of it. Which was GREAT for me, it bumped my route evaluation up by 3 hours because of the volume of mail that they send and recieve.

Anyway, yesterday, as I walked in their front doot and started toward the mail room with my little collapsable cart in tow I caught sight of someone who looked vaguely familliar to me. I stopped him and asked if I knew him from somewhere, and as he turned to face me I recognized him. It was Elder Kerrigan, if a little fatter and balder than I remembered. AND HE WAS WEARING THE TIE!!! I imagine that a tie that ugly would be literally indestructable by conventional weapons, so I was not surprised that it still existed, but I never expected him to actually KEEP the thing after his mission, much less wear it to work at a repsectable government job.

And in other news, I'm slowly but surely working on Spires of Infinity, with three chapters completed so far. These earlier chapters are taking a bit more work than most of the stuff in the middle and end will, because of the amount of stuff that needs editing here. Most of the character introductions were badly done in the first draft, so I'm having to rewrite them almost completely. So far I've actually managed to cut the word count rather than add to it, which is a good sign. As I get more into it I can see that This story is actually very close to being finished. It doesn't need very much in the way of editing at all. I should plan stories out as thuroughly as I did this one more often. It really does cut down on the amount of work needed later on.

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