Painful Claws

Uhm, No, Before That

Before I get started, a little housekeeping. First, to keep Yoast SEO happy, painful claws. Next, I started this post while it was still too hot to stay at home. It was still summer. I don’t have air conditioning. My house gets hot. 90°F outside and my house will also be 90°F.  Tucker was published before this one. So while I’ve edited this post to fit its place in the blog it was originally written as the episode before Tucker.

Painful Claws FiredYou need to know this because the conversation below happened in August. Losing my job was fresh. It’s November 2018 as I continue working on this post. Being fired is old news. Tucker was written last week, in October, when my world shifted to my old trade of cab driving. I added the wrinkle of starting a small business.

That’s some backstory to help you understand the conversation below, that is published in November when the events in it happened in the summer and precede the Tucker post.  Confused? So am I. Let’s get on with it.

Cat Scratch Post

The kitten is just playing. My forearm is an imaginary mouse trying to get away. Ow. Painful claws. Inger keeps coming over with more stuff related to her meddling in the investigation of the finger she found in the whip. My spare bedroom was clean. I gave the bed away. That’s done. Why does it take three houses to investigate an abandoned car? Why does one of those houses have to be mine? Can I have my extra room back? The kitten feels that she needs my extra bedroom for her investigation. Feelings, lately, have become irrefutable facts. So the need for my extra bedroom is now an irrefutable fact.

Where I had a clean room there is now an olive green, four drawer filing cabinet, a mid-century task chair that looks military surplus, a desk that isn’t a desk, more like one of those tables I remember from metal shop in high school, and a twin bed covered in expensive cotton bedding with an eruption of pillows.

All the man-cave feels of my house are being disrupted. It even smells nice. Luscious Pumpkin Trifle? Seriously?

✠ ✠ ✠

This happened: I’m not working at Altria anymore. I haven’t told Inger/kitten. But . . . she’s making dirty dishes as I type this in the kitchen. Wait. Do I have an espresso machine? When did that happen? Now she knows, “when did you lose your job?”

Last summer.

How do you lose your job. I thought you were this awesome enterprise computer tech dude. Who loses a job like that. Are you stupid?

I kinda want to talk about fingers in whips.

No. We are talking about you losing your job.

I don’t know. It was Friday, my bosses boss calls me and says that Altria asked that I be let go. No explanation and I had 5 minutes to get my stuff together before being walked out of the building.

So . . . you are not awesome? Any idea why they let you go?

No clue. The only thing is my running fight with a guy I nicknamed “banana slug” on this blog.

What did your boss say?

That it was an HR matter now.

Oh. Yeah, you pissed somebody off.”

Cat Scratch Post Painful ClawsProbably. Anyway, I’m self-employed now.

What do you mean?

You were still living on Stewart Street when I set up Baugh Holding Company in 2016. It was a paper tiger until I lost my job. I got discouraged and threw away the paperwork.

What the fuck!? I don’t understand. How do you lose your job if . . . unless you have been lying to me about doing well there. And . . . why would you throw away the company’s paperwork?

✠ ✠ ✠

Can we talk about your case?

Nope. Not done yet. Ok, what’s Baugh Holding Company? And you didn’t answer my question–are you a liar?

Truth? Baugh Holding Company is a way for me to do the money right with my various revenue streams and whims.

Answer me. Were you lying to me about Altria?

No. I had problems but they weren’t the sort of things that get one fired.

That sounds sketch. Somebody isn’t telling the whole truth.

Maybe so. Nobody said anything other than, “it’s an HR issue.

So you call yourself self-employed and the company is Baugh Holding Company?

Kinda. Baugh Holding Company owns other businesses that make money. Right now it’s Transit Webb, an UberX Rideshare Partner (3ea79). I have other ideas in the pipeline.

And that’s enough to keep this place going?

I hope so. So far, yes.

You better. I’m not carrying you. Is that what you’ve been doing weekend nights?

Yes. I’ve booked $2300.00 since I started full time.

That’s not a lot. I hope it gets better.

Agreed. Inger missed her calling. Her cappuccino looks awesome, “So, what’s up with the case?”

Not much.

Right. Since returning to UberX as my job, I am taking Sunday through Wednesday off. It’s Tuesday morning. I’m not expecting anybody. There is a big door knock on my front door. A cop door knock, “Mr. Webb, are you home?

Officer Harris

Fuck. What now? The kitten suddenly gets a look on her face and disappears out the back door.

Kitten has a court appearance for her assault arrest after the thing at Black Hand Coffee. AFAIK she’s not wanted. So her quick exit out my back door is odd. Officer Harris is at the front door with another cop I recognize from when that guy got shot and died in a neighbor’s backyard.

I open the front door, “Hey, Khalid, how are you?

“Good. Is Inger here?”

“She just left?”

“Mind if I come inside?” Now, he’s a cop and needs a search warrant but I don’t mind so I open the door wider and let him in. My house is 670 sq ft. You can search it in a couple of minutes even if you toss the bed.

3624, the resident stated that the suspect just left,” The radio crackles an acknowledgment.  We are in the kitchen and I sense a flurry of activity in the alley. “3624, the alley between east 15th Street and East 16th, an officer needs assistance.” If that’s Inger this isn’t good.

Officer Harris radios, “3624″, as he hurries out my back door.

Inger’s Ghost

Inger was gone for a week after that. There was a local news story about a woman being arrested in connection with a murder investigation. I ran into Inger again on a Monday. She was in the line at the Urban Farmhouse in Scott’s Addition. I was there for coffee and their WiFi so I could write. I tried to get her attention and after giving me a hard stare she pulled out her phone and dived into it. I’d been ghosted.

Two weeks later I saw her in her front yard at the 16th Street house murdering the overgrown plants that had infested her chain link fence. This wasn’t a kind pruning. This was a plant genocide. I stopped the car, “Inger, what’s up?

Through sweat drenched bangs, “Nothing. How are you?

Good good. Any news on the finger case?

“Not really. The DNA came back and Charles was in the car. It’s not clear if he’s a perpetrator or a victim.”

Oh ok. Keep in touch, ok?”

Yeah. Take it easy.”

You too,” and I drive off.

Black Hand Trouble

Then at the end of August, the kitten started spending more time at my house. She hadn’t found anyone who could fix the weird problem with her TV where it would show tweets about her that could only come from someone that knew her. Not a smart TV so that’s not it. And in a panic, she disconnected the TV from the way, the Internet, the cable box, everything. And yet it displays tweets that defy explanation. So, there is that.

I dunno. A lot of the way she acts towards me feels like more than just a safe space. I don’t think she’s got Daddy issues, but who knows. Her Mom is the big ovary, Momma Grizzly Bear type. Very helicopter. The Stuart Avenue place was her Mom’d doing. Dad works in DC for Altria on tobacco products. He’s up there a bunch. So, maybe not “my Daddy abandoned me” the way I hear it in my neighborhood. But mayhaps.

Things had been quiet with her until Black Hand Coffee happened. A little Patsy Cline to close out this post:

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