Monday, September 8, 2008

Strange Places

Have you ever been anywhere strange? or to a place where you had an immediate connection?

Those are two separate questions, I know, but something I read triggered that for me.

Strange? Um... yeah. A long, long time ago in a land not far away, I used to work in collections for a major auto finance corporation. This job required us to actually make field contacts to collect or repossess. Weird, huh? I find it difficult to imagine myself as a repo gal, but I was.

Anyway, I have been to some of the weirdest places you can imagine. People are so different. One home that I went to belonged to the nicest set of grandparents you could imagine. They were past due on their car payment and weren't responding by phone. I was sent to collect or repo.

When these people opened the door, their house looked like something Clean House would've just sent a bulldozer to handle. I have never, ever seen anything like it again. Trash and clutter was piled so high, there were only trails through the house. Every now and again, you could see a chair or a sofa. I guess they had to take a break from piling junk up every once in a while.

If you got a glimpse at a wall, it would have photos of the grandkids framed and hanging proudly.

Don't get me started on the smell. If you have ever repossessed a car, you know they have a distinct smell that no other vehicle has. I'll try and explain it... combine these odors in your mind, if you can: stale french fries, chicken bones, dirty diapers, old glue, wet dog, smoke, and a cherry air freshener.

This house had that smell. I guess they were up for foreclosure, too.

Now, I have been in Twilight Zone music strange places, too. Aside from vacation spots or just travels that had a pull, I have also, in the course of my former profession, been in the home of more than one real-life gypsy. Now, that, is a strange experience.

Immediate connection? Oh yeah...Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. My grandfather and all his family are from here. I just can't express the feeling I get every time I am there. It's as if the sea calls from a connection I didn't know I had. The weird part is I can't stand to be in the sun, but I love it when I am there.

Go figure.

What about you?


gary rith said...

Horrible to think we used to play there, but when I was kid we would go back into the woods, as kids do. There was a huge moonscape just beyond the trees full of rusting barrels. Nothing would grow there and it was terribly quiet and spooky. A little further was a large glass factory of some kind. I suppose we were playing on its former dump! I seem to have avoided growing an extra arm or something.

I always felt happy and at home when we visited parts of the Maine coast. I think a lot of people feel that way--homey and pretty, and for 9 months of the year, pretty empty too.

Mrs. Who said...

I don't think I have ever felt that connection but I would certainly LIKE to feel it in Grand Cayman. We snorkled for the first time there and it was such an incredible experience. I'm glad I got over my paralyzing fear of a shark attack and just did it.


I know a couple of people who live in the way you described. I don't know how they do it!
My connection place is St Augustine. It's not just that I love it, it feels like home even though I only went there once as a child and just started going regularly in the past few years. There's just a pull there.

Michelle said...

I tagged along one time when my dad repo'ed a car (he owned a car lot). It was a young couple that lived in a mobile home and long story short, the woman ended up chasing us with her hair dryer as we drove away. She was wearing only a towel that she dropped after the first step down the front porch. I was traumatized by the large swinging boobs I saw in the rearview mirror. Still am.

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