I wish I could find a way to help Alene so that she could be more secure financially. It’s been hard on her. Both our lives were turned upside down in 1999, but I was already independently wealthy, so when I found it impossible to keep up with my old life, I just negotiated an early retirement with my employer that allowed me to work as a freelancer.
But Alene was too emotionally disturbed to proceed with her academic career and thought that resigning was the only course of action. In Seattle, she has worked at some rather dumbass jobs, often earning not much above minimum wage. But she has managed to thrive and be happy. She’s in a better job now and is hoping to be in a position to buy a home next year.
I could easily write down her bank account info and make a deposit — but she would never be able to accept it was hers and not some mistake. But I’ve never even been able to successfully get an email through to her — so a large transfer of funds is hardly likely to make it either. I know. I’ve tried several times.
So there she goes, year after year, working hard and making a living. I like the place she works at now. The pay is adequate and the people treat her decently. I’ve certainly never had to restrain an urge to go down there and read someone the riot act. Else I would never have left her alone in Seattle.
At her first retail job in downtown Seattle, I saw customers treat her horribly. I once rushed down from the Olympic Hotel and managed to intercept a customer a few blocks away from the store — I’d asked Alene to see which direction she went after leaving the store. I gave the woman a piece of my mind — and I think she was genuinely astonished at my detailed knowledge of what had transpired in the store. And there was another employer who gave Alene the shaft in a big way. I managed to call in some favors from a connection at a major corporation to orchestrate a nasty surprise for the business once Alene was safely out of the way. To this day, they still can’t fathom how and why it happened!!
Meanwhile, it’s Friday — and I have her all to myself for the weekend:)