Summer mode means being home more. It doesn't mean no work, contrary to popular opinion (and since when did those opinions become outrageously anti-teacher? Whoopsie....getting into a completely different subject...no mad rants now...oosah oosah....). I'm working on nine projects. Nine. But being home means no dealing with traffic and no dealing with, hmm, what do you call those things? Oh, yes, people. Being home means having the freedom to make my own schedule. That means that I can cater my schedule better to see Eddie and hang out with Eddie and occasionally help Eddie with the business.
I kept Tuesday free so I could drive around with Eddie to do the collections. Every Tuesday, he collects money for the bread he sold that week. It's also the day he collects returns. Because bread? Is returnable.
And so, I got a taste of the bread business in the figurative sense, the literal sense having been covered over these past few months by way of delicious carbs parading through my front door through the kitchen and into my mouth.
The daytime business, in my mind, should have been uneventful. Sure, at night the crazies come out, flinging things and yelling and crying and boozing. (I keep telling Eddie that he should just sell bread out of his truck to drunk people on the streets who are coming out of clubs--drunk people will pay anything for food. I know because I used to be one of those people in my younger and more intoxicated days).
The daytime business turned out to be quite different from what I'd imagined:
1. People simply cannot drive. Double-parking I understand. What I don't understand is people who don't know how to change lanes blocks before seeing double-parked cars up ahead, the ones who cut me off at the last second, finally realizing within inches of another car's bumper, oh this car is not moving and that's why its hazards are on. Also: the changing of the lanes on the parkway has become a kind of production of slowly grazing across the lines and moving back and then grazing again until the lane feels just right. Also: not speeding but the opposite--lollygagging at 20 mph when the speed limit is 50 and we're in the middle lane and cars are whipping by on either side and there's no way to get out of it. Also: speeding on side roads where there's barely room for one car to go through safely. Also: just stupid people.
2. Lifetime Movies are right: teenagers are obsessed with fighting and recording it on their cell phones. We pulled up to a deli and there was a crowd of kids there, yelling. I told Eddie, please don't get out of the car. He shrugged and waited. I didn't know if there were weapons there. In watching the situation unfold, he was like, Now you're really seeing Brooklyn the way I grew up. I kind of was, only when he grew up, there were no cell phones and kids weren't kind of fighting--when he grew up, they fought over more important things than "let's get famous on YouTube." In any case, this was a real fight between two girls. Mostly, it was yelling and onlookers egging them on. From what I gathered, one girl really wanted to fight and the other kind of did but kind of didn't. All this was blocking the doorway to the deli, which was closed with a man standing against it, occasionally opening it to look on and then go back inside.
One girl called out what time it was. Apparently, they all had to get back to class soon and didn't want to be in trouble. Seriously. They're tough enough to beat each other up but they are scared of being late because they fear their teacher.
One girl wound up, we think, dragging the other girl. The group moved away from the door. Eddie went into the deli. That's about the time the group ran down the side block. That's also about the time the cops arrived having been called by the deli.
3. When we arrived at a super market, we stood to the side waiting for a manager. In that time, a homeless man wearing a jacket of the market was pulling on some woman's shopping cart. One of the managers told him to let go because her purse was in the cart. He was like, No man, I just want to help. The woman took her purse from the cart and the guy started wheeling the cart for her out of the store as the cashier hit him with a stack of plastic bags, just wailed him once on the back of the neck. When he came back in, he leaned up against a closed check out counter. A Styrofoam cup on the counter apparently had some change in it because in under three seconds, he shook it, flipped it, took the change, and put the cup back to where it had been.
4. On the way home, two crazy crackheads were not only walking in the street, but were yelling at each other across the cars that were zooming by.
In the midst of all this, Eddie got his work done, skimming almost an hour off his usually time because I'd been driving. Now that I've had time to process it all, I'm wondering really what's in store for when I accompany him on the truck at night. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to work that night.