62. My Future is Smiling Bright as the Los Angeles Sun

That evening as the night became late with all the joy of the meeting, they drove me home to the motel.  Before leaving me, mom reassured me that they’d be resourceful and get me out of my current place.  

She wanted to help me get my own apartment and employment too and I know if she had her way she’d send me to school.  I should’ve listened to her more.  “Don’t you worry honey, everything is gonna work out just fine!”   

The days went forward and as I was not yet employed I stayed busy hanging around with Dave.  Doing fun things young guys would probably do, going here and there, hanging out at his home and getting fed real well by mom too!

Meanwhile Mrs. Elson was working her magic, connecting with people she knew wouldn’t mind helping her out with this new campaign of hers.  It seemed like all her efforts were about to pay off; just in her general bubbly attitude I guess I felt comforted enough to trust all is well.

In just over a week mom had a fantastic plan of action lined up for me.  She called me to say, today is the day!  Mom and Dave came to pick me up from the motel for the last time and took me to my new residence and place of employment.  

Mom was with me like a shadow when I went to the office to close my bill.  I lifted my wallet from my pocket to pay and she put her hand on top of mine and said, “No Parma, don’t worry, I’m taking care of this.”  And with that she paid my entire bill with a delighted smile.

They drove me to an apartment complex in Westwood Village and parked the car.  Mom had explained to me a little about what she came up with.  I would both live and work in the same place.  I would get my own furnished studio apartment and a small salary.  Well how convenient is that?

Mrs Elson introduced me to her associate, one of the owners of the premises.  We sat down and the basic interview began.  Mom sat quietly.  The lady told me this position was somewhat of a guardian/maintenance person.  I’d be responsible for keeping an eye on the residence.  The main concern was for the safety of the tenants and to keep the premises quiet.   

Mind you the majority of them were college students attending UCLA.  If there was light maintenance to do like replacing light bulbs, I could take care of it.  There was no worries of collecting rent, tending to rubbish or gardening.  There were regular people for all of those things including building maintenance.

I was to be primarily the owner’s eyes and there as a middle man, a young middle man to blend in between the residence and the owners.  But no I was not the official manager of the premises as I really had none of those duties.  A pretty great set up all in all I thought.

Before leaving me there, mom told me to call her everyday.  “Let me know how you are doing and if you should need anything.”  Dave and I would continue to visit one another mainly during the weekend as he knew I had to pay some attention to my new duties and I’m sure he had other things to do.  It was September and the fall term had commenced.

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54. Escape From the Farm!

It’s now the 4th day into my farming adventure.  I did not get out of bed to go up another tree.  I couldn’t help but notice there was a lot of commotion round about the place.  I decided to get up if for nothing else then to see what was happening.

To summarize; an older man, a Punjabi gentleman also did not get out of bed to go to the trees this morning.  It would seem it wasn’t by choice though.  The coroner had just arrived in the community to collect him; not an all together unfamiliar scene here apparently, at least according to the talk I was catching.

His personal belongings were soon collected by some authoritative figure at the camp.  This man had lived in a different ‘residence’ than I, so I didn’t actually see everything but of course word travelled fast and I was amazed when I heard about this man’s stash.

A wooden box had been retrieved from under his bed.  Apparently the elder man was indeed old fashioned and having no use for modern ways, never used a bank.  There must’ve been years of cash, his pay I guess, stuffed neatly away in that box.  

I remember hoping the right thing would be done and the money sent off to his next of kin, if indeed they could be found.  I was 22 years of age and I knew full-well that I didn’t want to leave this farm like that so …   

Escape from the farm!   I found the guys I’d came in with and thanked them for helping me get this job.  I confessed I was not cut out for this and it was my time to leave; must return to my original path, the one in the city.  

They offered to drive me to the Greyhound bus station and gratefully I accepted the lift.  It was nice to have a few dollars in my pocket:  I bought a ticket and was on my way.

Lalit offered a cheerful smile when I walked into his front door of the hotel.  It also felt good to pay my rent 2 weeks (total of $14) in advance.  

A nice hot shower was in order and that night I slept very well in my own space.  

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