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Blog: That Time I Got Accused

(originally written 4/15/20)

For today only, I AM here to talk about the past.

While sorting laundry earlier, out of absolutely nowhere, I flashed back on a largely-forgotten event from my past. 

I was not daydreaming at the time or otherwise disengaged—was fully immersed in the joy that is throwing dirty towels, boxer shorts, etc. in the ol' rinser when this memory popped back into my head with no obvious trigger whatsoever.

It was 1999. I, like the idiot I was at the time, had taken a sales job pushing overpriced Kirby vacuums on the public. We'd reach Day 3 of training; I'd pretty much known when I showed up that day that this was not for me, but decided to give it one more morning.

During the class, one of my colleagues-to-be was partnered with me for a practice pitch. She was around my age, either Asian or Pacific Islander of some sort, cute, and bubbly, friendly to me as if we'd known each other forever. If I wasn't so suspicious of people like that, she would have been awesome. Instead, my guard was way up and I stuck strictly to professional communication. Wasn't rude or mean, but certainly wasn't friendly, either.

A bit later, lunchtime came. Everybody cleared out of our "classroom", including our boss Fred Travelena (how I still remember his name astounds me.) I wanted to quit, but he was nowhere to be found, so I just sort of lingered alone in the classroom waiting for him to return. Just stood there looking at stuff on the dry-erase board, staring out the window, etc. (Remember: this is 1999. No smartphones.)

Fred finally came back and I quit, leaving right away without seeing any "classmates".

A few hours later I get a call at home. It's Fred—apparently, Bubbly Girl accused me of taking her hairbrush from her purse/bag/whatever, which was left in the classroom I'd been lingering in during lunch. Fred isn't accusatory himself, but he tells me to expect a call from the Sheriff because the girl apparently really loves this hairbrush, and it looked suspicious that I quit right after it went missing in a room I'd admittedly been alone in.

Absurd, but true.

The call comes, I obviously deny any theft. I never went near anyone's property; I didn't even know it was in there! Besides, what the hell would I, a black man with little hair, need with a woman's hairbrush? Why would I steal THAT from her purse and nothing else? The call lasts less than five minutes and I never hear anything about it ever again.

While my mom—who wasn't naive like I was and knew being innocent didn't always keep people out of trouble—was concerned, I didn't worry at all. More than anything, I just wanted to know why that whore accused me. Was it because...

⦁    she liked me (hence the bubbly) and was bothered by me showing no return interest and opted for revenge
⦁    she liked me and couldn't think of any other excuse to potentially make contact with me upon learning I'd quit,
⦁    she really thought I stole her stupid hairbrush and would stop at nothing to get it back, or
⦁    she just needed attention that damn bad and I was merely a pawn?

I realize I'll never know the answer to that question in this life.

It's unsolved mysteries such as this that make me want to...have to...believe in an afterlife, despite my decidedly non-religious stance. Heaven is the only hope I have to ever learn what the hell happened that July 1999 afternoon in Suisun, California.

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