In the Beginning…His Story
There is going to be a lot of “he said, she said” on this site. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and can definitely add to the comedic value of our posts. You have been blessed with my better half’s recollection of certain events. Now its time for the gaps to be filled in…
I was a “man of the cloth,” but I was crippled in the wake of a failed marriage and unable to emotionally meet the needs of those I was called to serve. I never lost my faith, but I was struggling on how to reconcile my broken heart with the message of hope I was preaching. I felt that I needed to get my life back in order before I could be effective in serving others and their spiritual needs. So I graciously submitted my resignation and got my credentials to be a substitute teacher. At this time, the State of California had a shortage of subs and I could make a cool $125 a day and be home by 4pm. I could even decline to work on a day I wasn’t feeling up to it and not worry about losing my job. Other than this, all I was doing during at this time was working a screen play and watching movies with my roommates. I had a brilliant idea. I could get a part-time job at a video store to get free movies and a few extra bucks. I would follow in the footsteps of Quentin Tarantino.
So I applied at 2 chain stores and a mom and pop shop. Only one called me back. The manager called me and asked me to come in for an interview. So I rocked some slick threads that I knew would leave an impression: tight black shirt with one vertical white strip, black Dockers and black shoes. I was dressed for success and it clearly worked as I was asked to interview for the assistant manager position instead of a clerk. I killed it at the interview and got a call the next day that the district manager wanted to interview me in the Valley to test a new interview protocol as a training session for all the store managers in the district. I was used to speaking in front of 30-50 youth every week so a dozen or so adults I never met before was hardly a challenge. I must have killed it yet again, as I was offered the position of Assistant Manager. My Empire Records persona bestowed on me by the crew was “Joe” as portrayed by Anthony LaPaglia. Indeed Wikipedia describes “Joe”/me fairly accurately as the “reluctant and perpetually exasperated but loveable father figure.” I quickly abandoned my lucrative substitute teaching career for more time with the “HV Family.”
I began to spend more and more time with the store manager as we formed a connection as a “failed marriage support group.” I began hanging out at the store even when I wasn’t on shift. I felt she was the only one that understood what I was feeling. I was finally beginning to heal but I was still in a weird place. One of the “kids” from the store spilled the beans that the manager was interested in more than a friendship. This was extremely flattering, but a bit awkward at the same time. I did feel a special connection with her, but did not want to jump back into a relationship after the despair I had felt over the past year. It was a struggle to keep her at an arm’s length when I really enjoyed her company. So my natural response was to write a song called, “Love Sucks Ass.” Maybe someday I will record it for the soundtrack for this story.