By Steve Vermillion


I just have to say right up front that you did an excellent job of finding out why I was only getting 87 channels instead of the promised 500. And bravo for arriving in the first 2 hours of the 'service window.' Installing new cables to replace the old ones on the roof could not have been easy or fun (LOL), but you stayed up there like a trooper and an acrobat and found my missing 413 channels, for which I am really grateful. 

I am writing not just to thank you for your professionalism and TV skills though, but to let you know that after you left, when I was making something to eat, I recalled that when you first arrived you said, “Hi, how are you?” What's troubling me is that I wasn't honest. I told you that I was fine. That was wrong of me. I shouldn't have said “Fine.” I shouldn't have lied.  

To be truthful, I'm here because we (Cheryl and me) broke up and she asked me to leave her apartment. I've been living here less than a month now, kind of falling apart. I get panicky sometimes and I was having a hard time breathing when you knocked. You couldn't have known of course, could you have? Still, you were the only person who has even bothered to ask how I was holding up. 

I don't mean to make myself sound like a complete loser. I do have hobbies and I spend quite a bit of time surfing the web. I also talk to the people at work, and I talk to my Narcissistic mother and two of my brothers sometimes. The other 5 brothers and sisters I wrote off my list a long time ago. (A long story). Talking to them always disintegrates into shouting, name calling and mean comments about each other's weight, so what's the point? Am I right? Anyway, if you knew the details, I have a feeling you would take my side. 

Speaking of work. I like my job and I think my coworkers like me too, but I'm not sure it's really the right place for my personal goals and especially career advancement. I'm way over qualified, and in terms of my resume, I'm not sure that after I get the nerve to quit I really even want to include it, so then I'd have to figure out how to account for the three and a half years I've been there. One idea I've had is to make up a story about traveling some place out of the country, doing volunteer work for poverty...installing wells, building huts, or maybe giving vaccination shots in little kids' arms, something along those lines. I haven't decided. What do you think? 

I actually ran this by Hamir (the guy whose cubical is right next to mine), but he didn't seem too excited, in fact he didn't even look away from the screen he was working on or take his headphones off. It was almost like I wasn't even talking to him. I get that a lot, even when I'm ordering coffee at Starbucks, just before they misspell my name on my cup (LOL). Does that ever happen to you? I mean people ignoring you, or worse, someone kicking you out of their apartment for something you didn't even do and then not even answering their phone when you try to call over and over again to apologize and you just know they're sitting there not answering on purpose? Probably not I'll bet. You seem like the kind of person who would get more respect than that. 

Anyway, I'm thinking about calling the cable company in the next day or so and seeing if they could send you over again, if that's OK with you. I was trying to think of a good reason to call, I mean something believable, but I realized that I couldn't complain about the TV not working right because that would reflect badly on you, which I promise I would never do. So I'm wondering if I try calling the billing department over something about my bill that I don't understand, if they would send a Service Rep. Hopefully they will. Anyway, it's just a thought for now. 

Oh, and if you're not doing anything in the next week or so, maybe you could come by (I'll probably still be here. LOL), and we could watch TV. Maybe a game. I'd order a pizza and try to get a couple of neighbors to drop by just so it wouldn't be too weird.


Steve Vermillion is a writer and editor living in Northern California. He is a contributing editor at tNY Press. His recent work appears in print and online in a variety of magazines. In 2014 he was nominated for a 'Best of the Net' award in Short Stories, as well as receiving Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train Magazine's Short Story of the Year.

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