If possible, don't even talk with them. Best path for you. Of course, that was impossible.
As far as I was concerned, the less I knew about coworkers and their personal lives, the better. That meant TV viewing choices, financial poverty, personal hygiene, new experiences with controlled substances, sexcapades, obsessions with neighbors, cousins. Heard enough?
People share. They can't help themselves. Colleagues were a notch below relatives in sharing nightmares.
He rolled up for their date an hour late. Sloshed.
Many times, there had been a note taped to the Manager's Booth or in the Office:
I'm never going to drink, ever again. Swear to God.
There were similar pledges at the store. To be honest, I could relate. In another era, I had woken up many times wondering where I was, who I was with, and why did my head, which was so empty, hurt so bad.
I never vowed to curb my kamikaze habits, however. That required foresight. Thinking.
Still, I never arrived an hour late for an arranged date, unless there had been an accident and I could show broken bones or severed arteries to a boiling female. If not, most of the girls I dated would have arranged just that.
And I sure as hell would never have tried that stunt with Larra.
Larra was a mishire.
Her parents were rich. She didn't need the punky record store job. For more money, she could have worked in her father's law office .
Maybe she wanted to mingle with the other classes. Still, she was brainy and attractive, accustomed to a level of treatment..
Hardly the type to fall for a repeated pick-up.
"You can always call on me. I am a manager," was an oft used, surprisingly successful line.
Larra started dating a colleague within the month. Exposed him to Bukowski, among other literary activities.
The relationship was rocky. He could be combative and thoughtless. She was intelligent, quick tempered. The "thoughtless" aspect perturbed her the most.
He rolled up for their date an hour late. Passed out on the sofa.
Two females glowered disapprovingly, Larra and her roommate. They stewed and vented. They could have shaken the slumbering guest awake. Grab, shake, scream.
Instead, the roommate brought the razor.
The kind for shaving legs.
Which is what they did. Females often laced humor with revenge.
Being a razor, the instrument held no prejudice against male legs. Bare was its goal.
Now how did I know all this? How did everyone in the store know all this? How did everyone know the deforestation included the mustang brambles surrounding Dodge City? Next week, why did female coworkers make thumb sucking gestures when Baby Boy walked past?
Because people, even victims, shared.