Working from home on Thursday morning, per pandemic tradition for Ocean, I was playing some classical music to help me concentrate on abstracting out these properties. When it reached Samyula & The Spring Ensemble, I realized I was crying. I started it all over again, because the home office rang me up, and tried not to lose it. The music made me think of sitting in the living room with Leah and watching Tales From The Loop with her. I finished my work, wrote out a quickie entry for October 7th which included a dream, and realized what the music evoked from me.

It was the last time where Leah and I were doing something together and reminded me of Molly Drake's I Remember.


More apt, "Two happy hearts that beat as one; When I had thought that we were "we"; But we were "you and me".

I hope I wasn't deluding myself. Moreso, I hope I wasn't deluding myself the entire time when I honestly believed there was some manner of reconciliation. It's not so much the loss and the change in my life, but it's the whole idea that I might've been lying to myself. After all, reading those two outlines/sketches which were never posted at heptapod.org on October 5th demonstrated the misgivings were already there.

So one of my co-workers had scheduled a day off. I thought it was going to be October 13th so I was off by a week. Waiting in the parking lot down in Mays Landing I get an email from my manager with Monmouth work. There's all kinds of confusion in the home office but I had to cancel my appointment for Wednesday, work in Monmouth, and finish out my week in Toms River. While sitting across the street in my heavy-duty camping chair and eating my lunch, some guy crossed the street to approach me. "I'm a street photographer. I saw you, can I take your photo?"
"Yeah, sure" and I turned back to my phone to look 'real' rather than posing. As he walked away, I should've asked him to send me a copy. Especially since I'm getting back in the habit of journalling for my sanity and fill up the empty minutes between work and weed.
The vicious little woman in Monmouth, who I described as a rabid Jack Russell terrier, kept making these grand gestures of avoiding me while I was working. Clearly she has mental issues. Besides that, I know I spoke fewer than one hundred words during my workday.

Normally I am quiet and reserved, seeking to avoid conflict and confrontation, but I've dialled that up to 11 as of late.
Back in March someone sent an anonymous letter (remember those?) to my employer talking about how I talk like a sailor and being way too loud. They added in their missive how I asked this 80 year-old guy who survived three heart attacks to step outside and fight. I'm 6'2" and 342 pounds. He's 5'7" and maybe 160 soaking wet. My manager called to get the skinny, I knew nothing but I said that I do curse under my breath like other searchers.
During one of my visits Ocean after that letter, one of the searchers (J.) who I consider to be friendly (despite being a Trump loyalist and younger than me) said she got the oddest call from my manager. "He wanted to know how you behave in the county. I told him you're a sweetheart and quiet." She and the Insurrecctionist asked what was up. I told them about the anonymous letter and so forth, said I had no idea who it could be but I had a few suspicions. J. said, "Yeah, lots of searchers are mean." Kinda aligned with what my manager told me a few days after our first conversation, "We've seen this before. Other searchers don't like seeing us showing up in their counties because they think we're going to poach their work. It's not about you. It's them versus us."

Now it's June 9th and I'm working in Ocean. There's still a mask mandate in the courthouse and part of Ocean's policy for entering the deed room was to take a lanyard. No lanyard? You gotta wait 'til there's a lanyard. Since Ocean has been very strict, at one time threatening that any violation of their protocols will result in summary banishment until the end of the pandemic, I park my ass and wait on the stairs.
This one searcher who's been there quite a while and supposedly has some cachet (F.) just strolls into the deed room despite there being no lanyards. I'm not shouting but I'm saying, "Hey, you need a lanyard to go in there." F. just ignores me. The Deed Room manager is on break so I head outside, find her, "Hey. Do we need lanyards to come into the deed room?"
"Meh, I don't really care." Typical response in Republican Ocean County. I shrug and go back inside.
As I'm walking in, F. is walking out of the deed room. He gets in my face, "I don't take orders from you, scumbag."
I'm taken aback. A sheriff's officer hears but does nothing and threatens she'll throw us both out.
One of the women working in Mortgage Recording pipes up, "I saw everything. He (making it clear she's referring to me) did nothing" and then the manager of Mortgage Recording joins in, "I saw it all too."
I go downstairs, get my notes to make copies, head back up, and return with my copies. J. asks, "What was going on? The Deed Room manager came down with two sheriff's deputies, there was a ruckus, and F. was escorted out of the building."
I tell her and get back to work.

In mid-September I'm working in Monmouth. While scanning work to send to the home office, my manager walks in. Except I don't know he's my manager since I never met him in person. "Hey, let's go have a talk outside."
Oh boy.
We're walking down the hall, "How's your day going?"
"I'll tell you after we talk. I think you're here to fire me." My reasoning was he hoofed it from Bergen County to Ocean County to talk to me.
"No, no, no. We'll talk outside."
Apparently some searcher in Ocean called the home office, it appears they weren't anonymous, and said how I was loudly cursing a blue streak. When they asked me to tone it down, they claimed I responded sarcastically "Tone it down" with a silly mocking voice.
"Yesterday was uneventful. I overheard the women in the mortgage department wondering if Missouri got tornadoes and I told them 'yes'. That's the only time I spoke aloud. During work I speak to no one, explaining how after the anonymous letter in March I don't speak to others unless they address me." I rattled offf the other searchers who were in my presence the most as if they could be character witnesses. My manager believed me and thanked me for my time. Rather than doing one more job before lunch, I grabbed my stuff and went to lunch anyway to come down from that unexpected meeting.
While futzing with my phone at the diner, I saw my phone activity. Six calls to the home office, one inbound spam call that I ignored, and a brief conversation with my former neighbor's wife about donating to her son's football team. I screenshotted it, sent it to my manager and his manager, then almost immediately received a request that I call his manager.
"Listen, I'm really sorry. We have to treat these things seriously. We believe you and we know it's other searchers wanting us to be kicked out of the courthouse. You're fine."

Jesus Christ.

I don't hate my job, but I hate most of the people I work with as a title searcher.

One last thing! Instead of having a huge list to all the dreams, I'm just going to make the links to entries containing dreams appear purple rather than green. Trying to keep things simpler in this incarnation.

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