The Man in the Orange Jumpsuit
Also: The first man to ask me out.
- •I was 16After being burnt out by the Japanese modeling industry, I spent the summer working at a community park.
- •I was a secretaryOf sorts. I sat behind an old PC computer, only answered phone calls when I wanted to, and watched Louis CK stand-up when no one was around.
- •He always came on Tuesdays.At 9am sharp, he'd waltz into the office in an orange jumpsuit, smelling of aluminum cans and wet newspaper.
- •He wasn't a secretary.He was a trash collector for the city. He drove a white truck and went around to all the community parks, picking up the remains of birthday cakes and deflated balloons.
- •We barely spoke.I would only glance up at him from behind the PC. Sometimes he'd ask how my day was going and I would tell him that it was going okay. That was it.
- •By 9:03am, he was gone.I knew he left, when I heard the revving sound of his engine out of my left ear. Even through the cement structure I was in, I knew where he was headed.
- •This went on for about a month.The job at the community park was boring and it was time to go back to school anyways. I was done renting tennis rackets, being yelled at by parents about issues I couldn't solve, and there wasn't any more Louis CK online that I hadn't already watched.
- •So I quit.On my last day, I said goodbye to the old woman who replaced me in the afternoons and the stoner who strung rackets high. I didn't even think about saying goodbye to the man in the orange jumpsuit.
- •Then I walked home.I made it halfway out of the parking lot, when I heard the noise. The truck was so overwhelming that the children on the playground turned to look, but it was only a trash truck and they were too old to care about that kind of stuff anymore.
- •He honked his horn.I'm not sure why he did this, because he was pulled up next to me, as I made it to the sidewalk on the other side of the parking lot.
- •He asked what I was up to.I said I quit and was going home.
- •He looked suprised and I kept walking.He slowly followed in his truck, while yelling at me out of his window.
- •He wanted to know what I was doing the rest of the summer.I froze. From the little experience I had with boys, let alone men, I knew where this was headed.
- •My cheeks turned pink and I kept re-tucking my hair behind my ears."I'm busy all summer," I managed to mumble. I kept walking, but I could hear is truck follow.
- •"I see."He mumbled back and reminded me that I should let him know if I ever wanted to see a movie, but I think he knew my answer was final.
- •The truck roared off.Out of the parking lot and a left on Church Street.
- •I never saw him again.Which was probably for the best. I was too embarrassed and I don't think it would've worked out anyways. After all, I was 16 and he was 26, with no degree and only a white truck to his name.