Miedo 3: Fragments of Fear
‘Life isn’t about milestones, but of moments.’ Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
George was gone for several weeks before he returned from his business trip to Mexico. Katie and Ellen were not pleased and arguments went on for days. I didn’t really understand any of it nor did I see it as any of my business, so I made myself scarce whenever I could and left them to get on with it.
Mike and Nammie on the other hand didn’t seem to care too much at all. Mike simply tried to hush things up and upon failing in this, would eventually take off slamming the door behind him. All I remember Nammie saying in her deep southern drawl was, ‘Well, ya’ll know what he’s like…’ and as far as she was concerned that was the end of it.
‘He left mom for years once while he was away, supposedly on a business trip. She had to work and look out for me and Mike while we were in school. He was never there for us. That was back when we lived in Elizabethtown where I grew up.’ Ellen explained to me one day when things had calmed down somewhat and we were alone.
‘Seriously? On a business trip? That long?’
‘Well we have our suspicions and theories, but I won’t go into all that. You get your Green Card tomorrow! George is going to take you to his office afterward to show you… well, whatever it is he does. I’ll be at WKU practicing for my recital.’
It’s the only time Ellen ever mentioned about George leaving Katie and the conversation ended as abruptly as it started. I thought it best to leave this were it was rather than press her for anymore.
Making good on his promise to Ellen, George took me to pick up my Green Card after which we had lunch together in McDonald’s before going to his office. The office was a long short building that on the outside, reminded me of a small row of prefabs similar to the one my grandmother and grandfather lived in with the exclusion of the front and rear gardens. Inside it was divided into three sections. To the front was the main office from where George worked. He had a desk and a chair to one corner with a telephone, a three-stack paper holder with correspondence, notes and some notepads, pens/pencils etc. To the side of his desk was a tall metal filing cabinet. I liked it; it was simple and fit for purpose. There was a huge contraption stuck in the window.
‘What is that thing in the window?’
‘It’s an evaporative cooler. It works by circulating the air and adding moisture so it blows out cold air. You have to have it in the window so that pressure doesn’t build up. If I turn it on and you go outside, you’ll feel all the hot air going outside, while the cool air blows in. We get some really hot days in Kentucky. I take it you don’t need these in England?’
‘No. We don’t get very many hot days like there are here. I don’t think it ever gets this hot.’
The rest of the front room had some flooring floor tiles on display. I had never seen the like of them.
‘All these tiles you see here are from South America… Venezuela. I went last year and they shipped me some samples. All you see here are just the free samples they shipped me.’
‘There’s enough here to do a couple of decent size houses if it comes to it. Come look in the back…’
The back room was only a little smaller than the front room due to having a bathroom sectioned that had a shower, toilet and sink. There was an old sofa in one corner with some clothes thrown on it. I looked askance.
‘Er, I sometimes stay over when I’m really busy. You know…’
The rest of the room was filled with pallets stacked with tiles similar to those on display.
‘Normally, I don’t order this many, but someone liked ‘em and wanted them for a store layout so I got these in for them. These will be gone soon to make room for the samples coming up from Mexico.’
‘Are they sending you a lot from Mexico?’
‘Oh yes, and Mexican floor tiles are even better… there’s a high demand for them if I can find the right buyer! Of course I told them I already have several buyers so they’re sending me a full load of samples which will give me enough to tie me over until next year before having to order any. These here are a few I have left from when I went to South Africa a couple of years ago. I didn’t even have to order any before I got my meeting with Venezuela so it was easy money just selling the samples they sent me… the way I like it!’
George had quite a menacing chuckle which I kinda liked to be perfectly honest. And that’s exactly what he did when he finished telling me about his samples from South Africa. Apparently, these firms he visits even pay his way, and his stay. God knows what kind of promises he must make to them. But they buy it. He orders as little as necessary to get enough of a reference for his next venture.
I got the feeling from our talk that George liked things the way they were and I wasn’t going to be seeing much of any work from him… turns out my intuition was right.
I do hope you enjoyed chapter three so far, and I appreciate any comments and suggestions to things that could be improved. If you have missed the first five episodes, you can find them under my Miedo page. Thanks again for all your support.