Jorge’s Bad Choice
After a couple of days working with the Carmelo girls Tommy and Rich walked down the street.
“How are you getting along with the Carmelos?” Tommy said.
Rich chuckled. “Fine, it’s hard to keep up with them.”
“I pay them so well they keep me from being a rich man,” Tommy said. “Honest as the day is long. The only problem is there is no ambition. They could open their own place and run me out of business. As far as I’m concerned they are my business. In fact some people call this place Carmelo’s.”
“It’s good you recognize that,” Rich said. “Some people see that in others and try to crush their creativity and ambition so they can’t move on. They fire them and tell them how useless they are. Then word gets out and a false reputation is earned. In spite of what we’ve been led to believe not all reputations are earned, many are manufactured.”
“You speak from experience?” Tommy said.
“No,” Rich said, “just an observation.”
“I don’t believer you,” Tommy said. “No, I don’t think you’re laying; you just don’t want to talk about it, am I right?”
“I never want to think I’m a victim,” Rich said. “I’ve made enough mistakes to earn what ever people think of me. I just choose not to dwell on it except in private.”
“That takes a lot of honesty,” Tommy said.
“I’ve thought a lot about that. You have a lot of time to think at sea,” Rich said. “You’ve heard the old story of a wife saying how do you like my hair? If the husband doesn’t like it and says so, he’s in trouble. So he says she looks great. She’ll take a quick glance in the mirror someday and say, ‘oh my, who is that? That looks hideous’ and so she gets another hairdo. I think we sometimes do that with ourselves; we are honest to the degree it doesn’t crush us and someday we’ll notice it and change without anyone embarrassing or hurting us into change.”
“You thought that out so much that I can’t disagree,” Tommy said.
“I like working with the Carmelos,” Rich said.
“That’s a sudden change of the subject,” Tommy said.
“Not really,” Rich said. “They are unpretentious and see me for who I am. They don’t understand my language, my background, or my ways; they just see me for what I do.”
“I sort of think they feel sorry for me,” Tommy said. “If they leave I won’t survive. They are always saying, ‘what would he do without us?’”
“What would you do?” Rich said.
“I don’t even want to explore it,” Tommy said.
“By the way,” Rich said. “What is it about this Jorge Maldenaldo who comes in here two three times a week. All I hear the Carmelos say about him is, here he is, here comes Jorge.”
“You look at me and you look at the Carmelo girls,” Tommy said. “We are built the same. That kind of build ain’t good for nobody except a lineman or a bus driver. Jorge was every girl’s dream-boat 10 or 15 years ago, now, not so much. Back in the day he would not even look in the direction of the Carmelo girls. Jorge had his pick. He picked Maggie Casale. Everything fit her tight and tighter. After four kids and a diet of empanadas and dulce de leche she’s the size of the Carmelo girls side by side. They always whisper and chuckle, ‘I think he wants us now.’”
“If only we could see into the future,” Rich said.