My thoughts on death. My musings on Faulkner. The people have spoken and the people say, “Whatever, Mary. Tell us more about Receiving Room Guy.” When I posted about the young man working in my building’s receiving room this summer 324 people “liked” it on Facebook. (Faulkner “like” count: 38.) Who am I to blow against the wind?
It’s a good thing that there has been a huge development. Two, actually.
First, I went in the other day to pick up a book I ordered. Receiving Room Guy was on the phone at the desk. I could hear through the receiver that on the other line was his boss, a man with a thick Korean accent. Receiving Room Guy reached over to get my envelope and made a face that said, “I’m stuck on this phone, I’m sorry!!” I flapped my hand to communicate, “That’s totally okay!” and I left. I thought it was nice that he felt bad about being on the phone. If I were in his place, I would’ve made the same face – especially if I had his face, which must be very fun to have. If I had that face, I’d just stare in the mirror all day and make it do things and be surprised that I couldn’t make it look anything but gratuitously attractive.
That was the first development. A moment of “I like you enough to wish I wasn’t on the phone when you came in so that we could’ve exchanged pleasantries.”
The second development came about two hours ago. Everything I am about to tell you is a true fact.
I open the door to the receiving room, go up to the counter. Behind the counter, off to the right, is Receiving Room Guy picking a bass guitar. It was a slow Saturday afternoon, you see, so Receiving Room Guy was using his time to practice his bass guitar because Receiving Room Guy is clearly reading the You Can’t Write This Stuff Handbook and I guess he can’t bring his baby kitten to work, so it’s bass guitar practice time. His long hair was not pulled back, so it was like, on the verge of falling in his face when he looked up and smiled at me. And so it was in that moment that all interesting, witty, or intelligible things I have to say left my cerebral cortex.
“Wow!” I said, noticing the embroidered guitar strap, clearly indicating Receiving Room Guy has a sensitive, introspective side. “Is that a bass guitar?” (See? I told you. Hang on; it gets worse.)
“Yeah,” he said, taking it off, looking shy. I caught him in the act, I suppose.
My knowledge about bass guitars begins and ends with this: they plug in. Without a cord that hooks up to an amplifier, they make next to no sound. But the thing is, Receiving Room Guy’s bass looked super weird, like Brooklyn hipsters made it out of reclaimed park benches and organic unicorn hair. There were no visible electric hookups, no nodes. So I said, at the risk of asking the dumbest question I have ever asked in my life:
“At the risk of asking the dumbest question I have ever asked in my life: is it… Wireless?”
You know how deeply happy you were as a child when you gave your mom or dad a picture you drew and they put it on the fridge? That overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment washed over me when Receiving Room Guy looked at me and said, impressed, “Oh, no, it’s not; see, it’s got the hookup right here. But yeah, actually, there are wireless bass guitars now, but only the really fancy rockstars have those ’cause they’re like, thousands of dollars.”
There is much, much more to tell you. This is like, not even half of what happened just now. But you know what? You’ll have to wait. I know when I’ve got a content tiger by the tail. In fact, I’m chuckling to myself as I write this because I know what I’m going to tell you tomorrow and you have no idea how much you’re going to love it. Until tomorrow, my little FedEx envelopes. My little Target boxes. My little Amazon returns.