At the risk of being boring, I am wanting to elaborate on or explain some of my recent postings. So, if you're just looking for stuff about the house you might want to skip this post. I don't know how successful I'm going to be at this so ya'll just bear with me.
I have been unsure of the past few posts I've made (and deleted some of them) for 2 reasons:
Now, I know some of you may scoff at this but just listen to me. As someone who works in an industry somewhat ostracized by "polite" society, I am unsure what things regular people talk about. See, construction is sort of a society unto itself. We have our own social order etc. and we are often reminded by 'regular' people that we should stay to ourselves. We are told by our bosses to stay away from the white-collar people we must sometimes work around. Don't talk to them; mind your own business. Most construction workers are a very outspoken, candid bunch. Say what's on your mind and get it over with. But I know this doesn't always go in the social world; you're supposed to be more tactful than that. To me, the story of the Switchman is just an honest account of how life is sometimes very crappy and bittersweet, with a few funny stories thrown in. But some people might view it as offensive, which leads to my second reason.
I don't want anyone to think badly of the Switchman. When I left the railroad it kinda hit us that we cared for one another and we both expressed some of that. But we agreed then that there would be no contact between us. No calls, no dropping by 'just to see how you're doing' or anything as that would just not be appropriate. Only the promise that if he ever found himself single, he would find me. And so we've been running from each other ever since and that is what makes these coincidental (or not) episodes all the more frustrating. If it can't be then just let me forget the man, you know?
And I've tried. I have tried very hard to meet someone else. The funny thing is that I normally don't have much trouble with that. I mean, not that I'm all that, I just work around tons of men. The law of averages is just going to let you meet at least one every now and then. And I have met a couple of guys that seemed very interested and I thought, "hey, we might could get together" and then he just disappears or I get transferred to another job. Two other guys I know and have been friends with for some time have called and want to go out. I have been open to this and told them to drop by the house sometimes and we could talk but every time one of them starts to come by to visit or wants to go out, something comes up to stop them. I'm starting to feel like I've got the mark of Cain on me or something!
So, ya'll know that I got sent back over to Red Diamond a couple of weeks ago. The job that takes me very near to his house. This is also the job that they keep having cosmetic issues with and so they feel that, because of my art training, I'm the only one that can repair these problems. Can't send another carpenter, it's got to be Annie, so I can't refuse to go and my other boss can't refuse to let me. So, the building is essentially done and the people have moved in and are working. Most of them are very nice and actually want to chat with the four of us, which is a little unusual. One especially cold morning this slightly, older than middle age woman comes up to me and is making conversation about the weather etc. I remarked that I was just glad to be working in a warm building, as I usually have to work outside. Oh, she knew how that was! Her husband has to work out in the weather also and she really felt for him that morning as he bundled up for work. "Well", she continued, "he is a conductor on the railroad, he works for (same RR) out of the (same) yard so I really sympathize with all of you that work in the weather". I cannot express the terror that I felt at that moment. She seemed a little too old to be his wife but the way things have been going, I couldn't be sure of anything. I just thought to myself, "oh, no, no, nonono!" I somehow managed to squeak out, "oh, really" and prayed that my facial expressions were not revealing my panic. "Yeah, Joe just hates it when it is so cold." Oh, thank God! the Switchman's name is not Joe. I tried to contain my relief long enough to make it down the stairs where she went off to the cafeteria and I ran to find Steve, who some of you might remember, worked with me over at the RR. I told him what just happened and we were practically rolling in the floor laughing. I tell you, I was about sick.
The thing is, I can pass off the occasional sighting of the Switchman on the highway as just chance. I mean, we both live north of the same large, metro area and therefore must travel the same major highway. I can pass off every job I've been on since having a train connected to it. We build industrial and heavy commercial buildings after all, and they often use trains. I can even pass off our company having to go back to the same railroad job. Accidents do happen. But getting sent back to this job, having to drive down his road, parking beside Steve every day, who drives the exact same model and color truck as the Switchman, hearing that damn train blast it's whistle off every, freaking time we come out of the building and now, listening to this sweet lady who just loves to talk about her dear husband and his job as railroad conductor (and who knows all those other conductors over there, as she says), is just a little much. Whether it means anything or not. It's just these constant, persistant reminders. The guys are starting to take bets on when I'm going to run into him again. I feel like beating my head against the wall. I have laughed about it as often as I've cried I guess. What else can you do?
So, only time will tell. Maybe it will all make for a good story one day. A story that has a happy ending.