The Diary of a Nobody/October 16

Read Free Fortnight continues!

Meet Sparrow, an average man passing an average life…

Tuesday, October 16
Had a voicemail from a voter here in town when I woke up this afternoon…His name is Frank and when I called him back his wife answered and said he had just walked out to get the mail, which means they either live near the post office because there isn’t home delivery here in town, or he lives out on the cog as we say here, outside of town on an old county road, which turns out to be the case.

Anyway, he had read my guest commentary – along with those from the other two candidates – in the local paper Sunday…He had never heard of me, was surprised we lived in the same small town and wanted to know what in the hell was going here…He asked what I did for a living and I said I did some writing and paid the bills as a hotel night auditor and that I also picked up some hours working at the retailer and I told him about some past occupations as well which actually sounds more like a litany of failure than a recap of a professional career.

Then he asked what other issues concerned me because the commentary focused on our country being unable to sustain perpetual war and I said, Sir, our non-stop wars and our fiscal insanity are all that really matter because eventually our country will be destroyed…I added that our non-stop violence has produced a violent world and violent citizens, and he agreed with me when I said if America had been at peace for the past 30 years instead of at war that mass shootings would be very rare instead of the regular occurrences they are now…Then he said something that I wrote down because I didn’t want to forget it:

We mimic what we see…

Bingo, I told him…Our violent government produces violent citizens…Not everyone agrees with Frank and I on this, but this is indisputable if you ask me…Then Frank went off on a tangent talking about his Army service in Vietnam, ultimately adding that he was “brought home on a stretcher” adding that we had “killed a lot of people over there…and what did we really accomplish?”

It was a pleasant chat, although he remained non-committal about who he was going to vote for and I rang off thinking if I could talk with every voter in the district I’d probably win.

Dead slow at the retailer tonight…I was a cashier for the first couple of hours and it was rare when I had back-to-back customers, then I went to service desk while Deya went on a break and I stayed there rest of the night because evidently they were slammed during the day because there were a lot of returns that had to go back and Deya took care of those because Deya doesn’t like standing around doing nothing and that, of course, is my only real talent.

Towards closing a short, older gentleman who needed a shave but otherwise looked a friendly sort came in and by chance I met him by the door…He pulled out a receipt – evidently to show he had shopped here earlier because it was not relevant to his transaction – and said when he had stooped over to pick up some soda he had stuffed a couple of things in his coat pocket and he now wanted to pay for them…I smiled at him:

Oh, so you’re the thief…

He laffed and said yeah and the hilarity continued when I told him to get up against the wall and spread ‘em…The items were some fishing things, lures or something like that…I don’t know because not only do I not hunt I don’t fish either…All I do know is they came out to $10.37. 

Immediately after I had made my ten till closing page a lady came up to me asking if I knew the difference between the two types of recording discs she was holding…Well, it was obvious even to me that they were slightly different – the bar code numbers were only one number off – but otherwise it should go without saying that I know squat about this, so I got on the radio and requested Tyler, the electronics guy on duty, make himself available at the service desk…He does and I show him the discs and it turns out Tyler knows squat about them, too, because almost immediately he has his phone up looking them up, which was sort of funny.

Don’t be surprised when someone at a store like this doesn’t know a product…It happens…And don’t be surprised when the clerk looks at the box to see what the deal is…It’s a good way to find out and they actually teach this tactic in training.

Tomorrow I meet with Candace at the other hotel to finalize my employment there and get a tour and whatnot and I already have my social security card in my wallet…It’s the original I got 45 years ago or so when mom got numbers for me and my baby brother that had just been born…I take pretty good care of it so I won’t have to bother with the hassle of getting a new one.

Sparrow’s Sleep Log: 1000 Tuesday until 1400 Tuesday…More sleep management…I have an 1800 shift at the retailer but not the hotel tonight and if I sleep eight or nine hours – which I easily could have, especially with a PM – I won’t be tired when I get home from the retailer tonight and we all know how that screws me up.

16.5 hours for the week, a dreadful total, but I’m pretty strong.

The Diary of a Nobody is a novel. All elements are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Anything else is a coincidence.

It was inspired by the 19th century British novel of the same name.

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