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Monday, October 10, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 9 Now it begins


The house is enormous. I am standing in the back entryway that is nothing more than an enclosed porch. It serves as a check in spot. “Security” takes my bags so they can go through them in search of drugs.

“My name is Diane and I am your social worker,” says the woman who came to meet me in the driveway. She places her hand into the air between us and smiles, the corner of her eyes crinkle up. I stare back at her hand, not really in the mood to shake it and I let my silence become uncomfortable.


“Anyway,” she says her hand still in the air. She looks at me and looks at her hand. It becomes quickly clear that this was not a gesture of kindness this was a test and I am failing miserably. “Security" puts his hand on my back and shoves me forward. I take her hand. “Good,” she says gently shaking my hand and walking me into the main part of the house.


“We like to have no problems out here in Saratoga” Diane says stopping in the middle of the hallway. Once we continue walking, I am given a brief tour of the downstairs area. She takes me through the kitchen, dining room, television room and points out various staff offices. As we walk she prattles off the house rules. Finally she stops directly in front of a floor to ceiling painted sign that the rules are written on, where she points out some of her favorites. I am told that I will be given a copy of them as well.


I notice that the house seems very quiet and I don’t see anyone around. Diane notices me looking and mentions that “Everyone is in their rooms.” The tour continues and I am taken to the top of the stairs where there are five doors in the immediate hallway. She opens one of the nearest doors and I am shown one of the bedrooms. "This is to become my room for an indefinite amount of time," Diane says not really looking at me. “Through your room is the entrance to Danny’s room,” says Diane as we enter. “He has lived here the longest of anyone in the house and has to walk through here to get to his room.” She turns and looks at me smiling with just her eyes.


My room is huge with two queen size beds separated by a dresser, two desks and additional dressers on each side of the room. Two large windows on the far side of the room look out onto the expansive lawn. Everything seems to be designed to be matching “two’s” of everything. I guess that way no one feels any preferential treatment and a lot of fights are probably headed off this way.


“I will let you get settled and then we will talk” Diane says walking to the bedroom door. She pauses, turns around and claps her hands together. "Structure is the key," she says. "Security" is standing very close to her this whole time and he follows her out the door. As the door closes and I am left alone, I lay down on the bed and stare at the ceiling.


Twenty minutes later the door opens and in walks a Cowboy. He is in his early teens and dressed head to toe, as a Cowboy. Cowboy hat, vest, boots and chaps, Looking closely at his face as he passes I notice the prepubescent handlebar mustache. “Hi I’m Geoff,” I say siting up. He barley looks in my direction as he walks through my room. He then opens a door and disappears. I assume that this is Danny.


Diane gives me about an hour before she comes and finds me, she is no longer shadowed by Security. “Hungry?” she asks softening her demeanor. “I am,” I tell her as I follow her down the stairs.

To be continued……

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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