Aug 16 2005


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Greg stepped out of his car and waved amiably to the groundskeeper, a diminutive hispanic woman who, if she stood next to Greg, would come about to the top of his stomach. They had never spoken beyond the occasional awkward ‘hello’ or ‘pardon me,’ but he made a point to wave and smile at her when he saw her, and for her part she would always stop whatever she was doing and wave back in a kind of matronly-yet-servile benevolence.

It was the servile part that bothered Greg; while he was hardly rich, he was a well-educated and erudite white male of the type that, should he apply his efforts in that direction, could more or less have the world at his door. In terms of the social construct, while he didn’t exactly have a royal flush, he could easily be said to be holding a full house. The groundskeeper, on the other hand, was probably an immigrant with a shaky grasp at best on English, who spent her days clipping hedges, sweeping sidewalks, and cleaning up litter and bits of passing road debris in order to feed what Greg assumed was probably a goodish number of children.

Sometimes, he wondered what she thought about him. His liberal-with-a-hint-of-Protestantism upbringing suggested that she should regard him as a lout and a layabout who didn’t do proper work and deserved a good old-fashioned smite for having the gall to live an easy life. However, as far as he could tell, her attitude was anything but. She seemed to regard him as a particularly nice man and as far as he could tell hoped that he would marry an equally nice young woman and generally go on having the world served to him on a platter. “Couldn’t happen to a nicer boy,” seemed to sum up her attitude, for which he was grateful, though it still left him feeling awkward and without any real notion as to how he should act around her.

But this wasn’t what was on Greg’s mind today. As he smiled his usual awkward smile and waved his usual awkward wave, staring down at her from a dizzying six-feet-plus, he found himself wondering if she was one of the wee folk, or if he was the giant.

-The Gneech

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