Walking a mire in another man’s shoes.

I have a co-worker that I haven’t spoken with for some time. At best guess it’s likely been upwards of 4 months. We sit close, maybe 2 metres away, so it’s not like I rarely see him. He slips in every day without making a peep. He doesn’t talk to any of us all day long. He’s like an inscrutable enigma shrouded in mystery. He does his job and leaves. We’ve tried asking him questions about his interests, hobbies and activities before. Answers have always been murky or insubstantial. Sometimes he just grunts. It’s weird, considering everyone else on the team is so friendly and/or chatty. When I glance over my shoulder at his monitor he’s usually watching something to do with sports. Damn, that’s no in. How am I supposed to get this guy to open up?

Logic steps up to bat. Of course there’s no necessity in getting this guy to join in the fun. If he wanted to, he would, right? We’re all adults here. Still it bums me out a little that he’s been on this team for 4-5 years and nobody knows a thing about him outside the fact that he likes sports and plays guitar sometimes (a hobby he doesn’t like talking about. Then again, it seems like he doesn’t really like talking at all). Clearly there’s nothing wrong with this guy, but I’m placing my values of connection and chumminess on his shoulders when they don’t fit. I’m the one who’s erring here by assuming that the tint of my vision fits all eyes. Still, what does he do? Some kind of undercover boss? A manifestation of my own introversion that nobody else can interact with? Is he secretly a vigilante, set to take down the criminals of Toronto?

Maybe he’ll be on my tail soon enough. My girlfriend and I are still entangled with the New York Summons Office in trying to stave off warrants for our arrest. We’ve called about 30 times each, but nobody will pick up the phone. It’s just a bummer that they’ve essentially misfiled something we paid for and followed to the letter, so now we’re gonna be punished for a petty misdemeanour. Because we have an inability to get in touch with anyone, if we’re stopped by cops in New York they will most likely take us down to the station, where we’ll have to explain to a judge exactly what happened and waste everyone’s time. They’ll probably make us pay again. Then because the system seems to be riddled with gaps, they most likely won’t remember to tick off that we paid and this’ll be a recurrent issue. Egads, can’t we at least submit online?

Bureaucracy, eh? Well I’ve got enough pottering about to do here in Canada, let alone messing with the inefficient justice system of a foreign country. I still need to get my Canadian passport (preferably before my New Zealand one runs out), sign up to vote in the Canadian Federal Election, finally change my address from my family’s home to the one I’ve lived in for 2 years and renew my library card, because the Toronto library system is pretty fantastic. Oh Service Ontario, the fun we’re gonna have. Now I’m scrabbling to think of non-familial references who’ve known me for 2+ years. I’ve gotta rifle through my files to get my citizenship, forms with my address and every other little piece of information that tells the system I’m me. Somehow I’ve got to find time to visit my local electoral office between the hours of 10am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Passport photos need taking, plus I’ve gotta pony up the funds to make it all happen. Geez, the fun never stops. Maybe this is why my co-worker never talks, he’s hoping he’ll become invisible to the system. Off the grid in person. Hiding in plain sight. I should be so lucky, if I wasn’t such a loudmouth.


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