My old enemy is back. He is like a relative, the one who is “between jobs,” the one having a problem at home with the little woman, and he just needs somewhere to stay a little while to get his head together. His last visit lasted several months until he finally moved on. That was ten years ago, and he left me hollowed-eyed and half crazy. I don’t know what his intentions are on this visit.
He comes into my room like a mother on a school day.
“Wake up, little buddy. Time to get ready for school.”
“But it’s not time to get up” I protest. “It’s the middle of the night, there is nothing to do at this hour, and I have to work tomorrow. I need to sleep”
“No, old buddy. I insist. There are things to think about. I’ve got some ideas you need to mull over. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Let’s talk about you. How are things going? What you gonna do tomorrow? How are things going? Oh, sorry, I already asked that. Maybe there’s a good B movie or an infomercial on T.V. Hey, you got anything to eat around here?”
We will repeat this scene night after long night. Sometimes there is a lull in the conversation and he grows quiet, as if planning the next night’s strategy. On these occasions, I may slip away for a restless hour or two, a little nap before the real day begins. Other times he is more persistent, and we will watch the sunrise together.
Either way, he will call me tomorrow. “Hey buddy, how you holding up? You look a little tired. How’s that project going you are working on? Have a cup of coffee. You’ve got lots to do. Remember, you’ve got the drive after while. Look sharp now. We wouldn’t want you to drift off to sleep on the way home. You might just kill somebody. That would be a shame. Have a good day, and remember, I’ll see you tonight about two or three. We’ll have a nice visit. Maybe there’s a good one on A.M.C. that we haven’t seen yet.”
I will push on with life–try to ignore him until he gets tired of the game. The last time he finally packed up and moved on after about six months.
Maybe he intends to move on quickly this time. Or maybe he intends to stay until the job is finished.
One of us will have to go. That much is certain.