Monday, May 19, 2008

#10 - Jen: Blood and Water

“...She could never long endure any conversation of which she was not the chief subject.” - Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

Let me tell you a little story about Jen. Not one of those dumb stories where I pick on her and say she's a crack whore and accuse of her of selling inbred hamsters on the black market. No, I'm gonna tell you one of the good stories that illustrates the sincerity and love lurking behind all those volatile, foul-mouthed comments we're always hurling at one another. (Among other things, Jen has been referred to as a “silver-tongued she-devil.” I thought that was appropriate.)

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Jen made an arrangement where I was living with a mutual co-worker of ours on Magazine Street in New Orleans. It wasn't the best arrangement in the world - my room was about the size of a shoe box, I had no closet space, nothing in the living room belonged to me, and I had to ask permission every time I wanted to use the computer – but, as always, I did my best to be agreeable. Without complaining, I gladly paid half the rent and half the utilities. I even took time to show my roommate how to use the original NES controller. So, naturally, I was more than a little dumbfounded when, two months after I moved in, he told me I'd have to find a new place to live within the next five months. Why five months? Because that's how long it would be before he could afford to live on his own. IN OTHER WORDS: He wanted me to help him pay the rent until he could afford to kick me out....Um, no.

In the meantime, Jen and I were not on especially good terms with one another. Katrina, you see, had put a lot of pressure on everyone, and we'd managed to clash about a lot of stupid stuff. She'd even started going to lunch without me. *tears* So there we were – me, Jen, and my roommate – all working in the same office. Talk about a pressure cooker. And if you know me, you know that whenever I'm under a lot of pressure I get really quiet. I don't have an explosive temper; I have a silent resentment. So when my roommate started feeling that I was “shutting him out” he went to Jen and asked her what my problem was...Now keep in mind that Jen and I weren't getting along at this point. And she's vindictive by nature. This would have been her perfect opportunity to talk shit behind my back. Or, even more Jen-like, to get in my face about it and tell me that I needed to start acting like a fucking grown-up. But what did she say instead? She said to my roommate:

“I think his problem is that you're doing a really shitty thing.”

“Well,” he tried to explain, “I gave him five months notice. It's not like I'm kicking him out.”

“No, that's exactly what you're doing,” Jen told him. “You let him pay half the rent and utilities, but he doesn't have an equal share in deciding whether he can live there? I mean, come on, that's not right.” Jen then explained that it was best for him to leave me alone until I cleared my head and reached a decision about everything. Then she came to my desk, explained the situation, and gave me a hug.

Now what do we call this? We call it LOYALTY. It's a rare thing in this world, but Jen possesses it in spades. There are a lot of funny stories I can tell about her, but this one, like I said, is a story that really puts it all into perspective.

Love you, little sister.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're fuckin up my street cred you douchebag!

4:09 PM  

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