I get ‘pretty tired’ of people ‘watching me’... at work... in old estates. “Pretty” that work is not. It’s a professional thing; my ‘pretty tired’... I guess. Estate people; the people in an estate... for whatever reason... when I’m working in that estate... are always... ‘watching me’. I’ve become used to it. It’s all forms of ‘watching me’ from ...the stand there and stare at me doing any and every... thing... for hours to... secret peeking from afar with follow up intensive inspection of a ‘watching me’ space ...as soon as I vacate that... space. IF I was not the ...scrutiny be – upon me... it is actually pretty GOOFY the way ‘watching me’ people watch. And act. Generally... they have no idea what I am doing, how I am doing or... doing it. WHY I am doing what I am doing. EVEN WHERE I am doing. This last, for example, is the non-sense of WHY I would ...very carefully inspect the... ‘cellar’ UNDER the estate. Anyway... hairy eyeballs... I attract.
To counter this ‘watching me’ I have behavior rituals that I default to and adhere to ‘through out’. I don’t talk. I will answer ...SLOWLY, simply and partially... a direct question. Commentary is ignored as ‘no response’. I DO process the commentary for ‘value’ to my work. But say nothing. Ever. I keep working; a perpetual handling ...in a fussing way... every... thing. After a few minutes of watching that and not seeing me show ANY sign of, well... fortune in a junk pile euphoria... ‘they back off’ (drift off mentally AND, hopefully, physically). “Good bye.” They check back... ever less frequently. I never break pace, stand around or sit down to rest, LOOK AT THEM...; no eye contact... or ‘especially’ handle some thing so as to send a ‘he? THAT? GOOD?’ message. I can find a pirate’s treasure box full of gold coins and will, after a curt peek, push it slightly aside with my foot with no-NOTHING... and ‘keep going’. I don’t give information to the enemy... just to the person whose paying me... when I’m ‘actually paid’.
This all, to no surprise, worked well for I with Helen-in-the-doorway. Two point five minutes into ‘that’ she... turned away from the doorway and ‘went off’ in the front room. I had started to my immediate right ‘against the (inner) room wall; an “ANYWHERE” (I don’t ‘start’ at a ‘beginning’ often shown to me by the estate to be “over there”.
“Thank you.” and I KEEP GOING MY WAY.
Helen, viewing mostly my butt in a bent over poise, vanished. I had also put a head lamp on; a cross country skier’s head mounted flashlight, to illuminate MY direct focus. Doing that; privately lighting a dim space... further excludes ‘watching me’ people. I started ...and continued at a rapid clip... a ...sort of appears to be... ‘looking through’ ‘everything’. It’s not that. I am just fussing through, as a (19th century type) rolling show panorama, the crud to ‘get a general feel’. Although there is specific object contact and denotation... ‘it’s the big picture’ that I’m working on... except, of course, finding a true pirate’s chest of gold... changing that course. THAT rarely happens. I promise
What all this is... is a very pat formula for I to quick-as-possible... ‘get a feel’...that is...; for I... to coordinate... FOR MY SELF... and WITH MY SELF... ‘what’s going on here (in this estate)’. Getting rid of ‘watching me’ allows me to “FASTER”.
I do not ‘groundhog’. That means a common rummaging effort where the ...rummager... rummages... and pushes ‘all that’ (junk?) behind them while usually ‘setting aside’ “something good”. This last is determined by the ...groundhog. THAT... is a bad directive so... get the idea? I.... ME... very carefully ‘return’ everything to its original poise as much as possible... which is... when done by a knowing hand... VERY POSSIBLE; “YOU’D NEVER KNOW ANYONE LOOKED AT IT”. AGAIN this means that if I find a pirate treasure chest full of gold I do not start running around with my finger in the air but SAY NOTHING and ...put that treasure chest full of gold RIGHT BACK WHERE IT WAS (“Underneath two roof leak wet cardboard boxes of TV Guides from the 1970’s you really do that?” YES!). Understand... I... know its there... and where it is... even if it is... ‘pitched’ ‘upside down’. No one else needs to know this... just to the person whose paying me... when I’m ‘actually paid’.
After a few minutes... and about eight liner feet of wall space ‘inspected’... of its ‘its’ that rose to about three feet ‘stored’ along the wall and... skipping past the back of the room door to be ‘working on’ the ‘back wall’ of the room... that included ‘buried’ furniture ‘in (its original) place”, et al... Helen came back to the doorway and... well... rested... from doing what ever she’d been doing. “YOUR NOT WRITING ANYTHING DOWN ARE YOU.” She said.
“No.” I said... with my butt towards her and not rising.
“THAT AH... (pause). DO YOU READ ALL THOSE LETTERS?”
“WELL... I TRIED to read some but they are SO BORING.”
“So... MEN NEVER WRITE ANYTHING DOWN. All those letters are written by WOMEN. YOUR NOT writing anything down.”
“WHY DON’T YOU WRITE something down?”
“Because someone might read it.” I say... telling the truth.
Helen shuffled in the doorway. “ARE YOU A PIRATE?” she said.
I rose and turned to look at her... looking at me.
“No one: NO MAN in MY FAMILY ever wrote ANYTHING DOWN. And they were ALL PIRATES. Everyone of them. YOU’RE A pirate... AREN’T YOU.”
“Ah... sure. Whatever”. I turned back and bent over again.
“I LIKE PIRATES; pirate MEN. They THINK about what they’re DOING. They always KNOW what they’re DOING”.
I continue working.
“That BANK is PIRATES. PIRATES STARTED THAT BANK. That lawyer’s a pirate. I KNOW THEY’RE ALL PIRATES. ... I’m a pirate TOO. Do you know that? I always wanted to be a pirate. Even when I was SIX I wanted to be a pirate. I AM A PIRATE. They don’t know that. They think I’m Helen. They think I’m crazier than a SHIT HOUSE RAT. ... YOU know I’m a PIRATE don’t you.”
I rose and turned to look at Helen. She was leaning on her left arm in the doorway looking at me. “Yes... Yes I do know that.” I said.
She grinned at me. But didn’t move. I turned back to my work. “You know that and I know YOU’RE a pirate and that’s why you’re here. I like pirates.” She said to my back. “Those women... writing those letters... they didn’t know they were married to PIRATES. I know they were married to pirates. I KNOW because the MAN I MARRIED WASN’T a pirate. He didn’t even know you could BE a pirate. He never knew I’m a PIRATE. I’ve always been a pirate. Ever since I was a little girl. That bank doesn’t know I’m a pirate. That lawyer doesn’t either. But you do. You figured that out pretty QUICK didn’t you. I want you to know I like that.”
I kept working; bent over facing the floor and stacked crud before the far wall. “Thank you.” I said to her. Internally I said... to myself...: “Jesus... she figured THAT out pretty good.”