- Eddie Reategui- Arizona -1984- ‘A blur out of the darkness’
People were driving & clamoring by me today, in a frenzy of speed, texting & the unending quest for more….right now! People want it now! Dinner, news, booze, sex, information,….now! The lines have become blurred between what is good for us & what is detrimental. People live their lives in a haze of frantic movement. They rarely notice birds, trees & flowers. Sometimes, they don’t even see the people they are speaking with.
Its a tragedy. I feel that they are living in the dark and they don’t even know it. Society– in Orange County– seems like a miasma of the unhappy, desperately treading water in the ‘beach cities’ pool of elitist complacency, and they call this ‘living’?! It seems like everyone has to keep up with all the others around them. To my eyes, its a race of stupidity. Some days, I am speechless. Scott & I worked for this woman that we started landscaping service for. We began several months ago. She was fussy…we could tell.
On meeting her, we were quickly informed of her supremacy over us & our ‘place’ in her grand scheme of things. Standing in the driveway beside her $75,000 Mercedes Benz, we were told that, “I’m the ‘number one’ real estate agent in Orange County, two years in a row.” Scott & I just blinked and stared at her. When that bit of bravado didn’t elicit the proper awe, she pushed her hair from her eyes.
She looked at me like I was an insect. Next, she pointed her perfect fingers at us, fidgeted in her silk Dolce & Gabana blouse & stated majestically, ” I have a Masters in Business Administration.” First of all, we were there to garden! Come on lady! We certainly didn’t care if she flew for NASA…although I am sure Scott & I would’ve found that fact, a bit cooler than her being an idiot home salesman with an ego-maniacal bag of issues.
This lady was a freak. Her husband seemed mellow enough, but I could tell that he had been brow-beaten & finally surrendered his manhood. His spine had– long ago– been dissolved by financial subservience & her acid tongue. He looked like a whipped dog. He was -mostly-dour & downtrodden. Poor wretch. Scott & I completed our work every week . We really tried to placate this woman. We hustled & always tried to do extra things for her & keep her happy. After all, she had been through three other landscapers in the recent past.
She was more brilliant & insightful than God…in her own eyes. This one was self-deluded. Today, we arrived & she came scurrying out. I groaned inwardly at the look on her face. She was holding a ream of paper in her hands & looked as stern as a taskmaster. I started cutting the grass. Scott walked around with her for about twenty minutes as I tended to the lawn. I caught glimpses of them & her mouth never stopped its incessant chatter & diatribe. The scowl on Scotts face became darker.
I walked out & emptied the mower bag & shortly after, heard Scott call for me. He said “Get in! We are done!” We drove away, leaving her standing there holding her stupid lists. He told me that she had insulted him over and over until he finally had enough. “We have tons of people that love our work & treat us wonderfully. I won’t work for people like that.” We ‘high-fived’ and drove into the afternoon sun, leaving her standing there…in her own darkness. Thanks to Jim Goodrich for the image. Skate…and be nice to your gardeners & everyone else! -Ozzie