I need your ‘self’/ to show you my heart;
Yesterday I completed my first week at my new job.
Who works there with me?
There is the blonde, leggy intern from France. There is the fiery redhead that smokes Marlboros and laughs out loud as she manages translators.There is the petite and somewhat severe Polish woman that manages interpreting. There is the Russian accountant whom I carpool with. There is the whisper-quiet but handsome Bosnian interpreter that works in the back office. And finally, there is my boss who is convivial, sharp and also from Russia.
And of course, there’s me— a brown-skinned amalgam of every culture I’ve ever loved and been exposed to. I identify as Black on my tax return, but some days I feel like a Spaniard, or an Indian.
I love every little thing about this job— the interpreters/translators as they come and go, my co-workers, my duties and also, our location.
Our office building looks run-down on the outside, but is actually really nice on the inside. The boss had what once was an (ENORMOUS) flat converted into our office space. There are two full bathrooms there. One has a clawfoot bathtub. We eat in a full kitchen. I counted what would be 5 bedrooms and 2 living rooms (and I haven’t yet seen the back office where the Bosnian fellow works). It feels more like a house than an office. The natural light and the softer atmosphere makes it a lot easier to get work done.
So far, I assist in scheduling interpreters’ appointments. I search for qualified people to recruit. I carry around the office cellular in case a client calls with an urgent need during the weekend. I also format documents and on the rare (but joyous!) occasion, I get to proofread documents in Spanish.
Today, my boss called me into her office to discuss my salary.
"20.75 hourly" <—— I still cannot believe it. This is over twice what I was making at my best rate ever (9.90 cleaning toilets at the mall last year). I only made that kind of money while driving Travis around. This commute is a lot less Herculean.
I am currently drawing a picture of the rest of my adult life. I know what flat I want to get. I know what kind of things I want my house to have. I know that I’m keeping that raggedy Honda I’ve got as long as I possibly can. I know what stores I’m going to shop at and what gym I’m going to join. I know what kind of clothes and gadgets I want to upgrade to. I know what kind of hair products I’m going to use. I’ve got the bedding and curtains priced out.
Jehovah answered my prayer in an unexpected and beautiful way.
I am confident that this job is exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time.
I need to pray about something else—-namely, the conversation I had with Dante tonight.
He and I had a text message conversation earlier in the day.
How was Cedar Point? I asked, knowing he was out of town the other day.
It sucked. ,he messaged back.
Really what happened?
I’ll tell you in words later.
Okay, call me tonight.
I had fallen asleep by the time he called.
"Hey. " He sounded downtrodden, bluer than I had ever heard. "Can I tell you a secret?"
"Yes, of course." I bolted upright. I could hear fear and sadness in his voice.
"No one else knows this. Not even Beatrice. It’s my darkest and most terrible secret, and it’s burning me inside. I need to talk about this."
"You can tell me. I promise."
I will not disclose to you what his secret was. It was so unspeakable and so heart-breaking, I can’t even bear to repeat it. The worst thing about it is that I have suffered through a burdensome secret that was just like his.
It took him a long time to say it; and once he did, he started sobbing on the other end of the line.
I found myself rendered nearly speechless. I murmured my best comforting words to him, saying everything that I would say if we had been together. I silently cursed the fact we were 35 miles apart while having this intense conversation. I longed to cradle his head in my arms as he wept, tears dampening my shirt. I was angry I could not be there with him to comfort him physically as well.
"It wasn’t your fault." I said to him. "And I understand. And I feel honoured that you felt like you could tell me this."
"Thank you… for being here for me." he said, huskily. "I’m… I’m sorry."
"Don’t be. You’re sharing your heart. Do not be sorry.”
He sniffled, and cleared his throat, and talked about everything else that was bothering him. One thing I enjoy about Dante is that he has no reservations talking to me about how he really feels. I appreciate any man who’s not afraid to cry in front of a woman, especially on the telephone.
I felt an intense longing to talk to him all day, but I don’t know why. To find out that he was in distress after getting the feeling I should call him was really weird.
He texted me later: Pray for me please.
I will. I promise. Do you feel better?
Yes. A lot better, thanks.
I called and we talked a bit more. I could tell he was feeling better because he got fresh with me.
"Hey." he said. Then he started laughing.
"Nothing… it’s just your voice was so breathy, it was like ‘hey… I just cracked open the wine…. I’ll be upstairs…’"
I started laughing too. “Oh stop it! I’m working!”
He talks about my voice sometimes.
"It’s nice." he said once. "I like how you talk. Very proper."
Dante has the Ebonic twang that I lack, but he picks “proper” words too.
This man… I don’t know. It seems like despite our misgivings, we’ve come to need each other. I just… wow.
I need to pray for the both of us now.@1 year ago
#persona #work #opposite sex #adulthood struggles