Doug’s alarm buzzed him out of a deep sleep. He tried to stretch, wishing that his car was longer, so he could fully straighten his legs. Rolling over on his back he replayed the day before. A lot had happened in that twenty-four hour period. First, there was the discovery of the talking magazine, then there was the unexpected lunch with Andrew, the call for an interview, his surprise running into Glenna and her daughter Abby and then more conversation with the magazine.
He found himself marveling at how quickly life can change. He laughed out loud, seeing his breath in the cold air. He knew intimately how fast everything can shift, for his accident had turned life upside down and inside out in mere seconds.
Running his hand along the scar in his back, he found himself for the first time in a long time feeling hopeful. Maybe today he would get a job offer. He knew hanging dry wall was not what he wanted to do, but, it would at least get him headed towards having a roof over his head again.
His mind jumped to the scene with his brother when he learned that the magazine only worked for people who were open and ready. At first it pissed him off, later, it made him think more deeply about his brother. All his life he had felt dwarfed and unsuccessful compared to his brother. Perhaps Andrew was not really as put together as he seemed.
Climbing out of the back of the car, he got into the drivers seat to head to the gym. Another successful night parked on the outskirts of town, where the city lights were not so bright and he felt safe. On the way to the gym he let his mind replay the unexpected interaction with Glenna. She had finally introduced herself when she came back to the library in the afternoon. After her kind apology and his response, she gave him her first name, smiled and then walked away. He did not push it, or try to engage her further, it was clear that she wanted space and did not trust him. He was of course still very curious about her, but, his inner wisdom guided him to let it be.
He had treated himself with a take out burger and fries from a local restaurant that he loved, while on his way to his night location. It was not as cheap as his typical drive through Burger King, Wendy’s or McDonalds, it was a pre-celebration gift also made possible by his brother’s treating him to lunch. He actually hated eating this way, for he knew his body needed healthier food to continue healing and rebuilding. The unemployment checks could only stretch so far. No wonder unemployed and homeless people got sick, they could not afford to eat well, much less sleep somewhere warm and safe. How did one ever break through the challenges, especially if they had children. His mind circled again to Glenna.
The gym was almost empty, he loved being here in the early hours, then he could use the weights and machines without having to wait. Putting his stuff in the locker room, he felt himself pumped and ready to go. Looking in the mirror as he warmed his body up, he allowed himself to see, to really notice that he had come a long way since the accident. Gratitude warmed his blood as he headed to the bench to wake up his chest and arms. Within minutes Doug was in the zone, the world outside far away as he enjoyed the power of his body and the response of his muscles. He had started working out in high school, back then it was so he would look good. Now, he worked out for himself. Being in strong good shape had saved is life, his muscles and healthy system really rallied during his recovery.
Standing in the shower, the salty sweat rinsed off with the shampoo, “today is the day,” he told himself, “I am going to get a job.”
Echoing from his locker, his cell phone vibrated the metal encasement. Sliding out from the shower, he ran dripping wet to his locker.
“Hello, this is Doug,” he answered, while water dripped to the floor. Standing there naked, he hoped no one would enter the locker room.
“Hi, Doug, this is Russ Feldmen from “Built Your Way,” replied the masculine voice with a strong accent.
Doug almost dropped the phone, he couldn’t believe it. “Hi Russ, it’s great to hear from you” he managed to croak out of his mouth. Holding the phone to his ear, he scurried over to grab his towel, wrapping it around his waist, he held it in place with his other hand. Blushing he smiled at a man who entered the locker room.
“Your brother Andrew gave me your contact information yesterday. I had called him to get your number after your name had been mentioned a few times with regard to woodworking. I’m presently looking to hire a carpenter or I prefer to call him or her a “wood whisperer” for my top end clients. Would you have any interest in such a position,” shared Russ in his British or was it Australian speedy accent.
Doug could barely contain himself! He wanted to jump up and down, do a jig, but, instead he held his breath and calmed his body, “I am very interested in such a position. Working with wood is my passion, I absolutely love creating one of a kind pieces,” he blurted out, trying not to say too much or sound to over enthusiastic.
“How about we meet, so we can discuss more in depth what I am looking for and the details of the position. Are you available later today or tomorrow? I will be at one of the job sites in town around 2:00pm today or tomorrow at 11:00am,” offered Russ.
“Today at 2:00pm will work great. Can you text me the address please, I don’t have a piece of paper nearby to write anything on, sorry,” replied Doug with stuffed excitement.
“Sure, I’ll text it as soon as we hang up. I look forward to meeting you,” Russ concluded the call.
Doug quickly hopped back in the shower, and let out a silent scream into the space as he danced around the stall with the curtain drawn. He couldn’t believe it, two interviews today and the last one sounded like his dream job. He better get himself cleaned up, eat and go research “Built Your Way” before his interview with Thad.
To be continued… 37