If you have ever read anything by me then you know I work with the two strangest people in the world. A pair of sisters, both morbidly obese. They haven't said much to me in the past four years of working together. I mean the first seven months I said "Hello" when I came in, but the younger sister, who I'll call Dopey, did not respond. For seven months I said "Good-bye," when Dopey left, but she didn't respond. When I say there's Noo talking to her, I mean it, literally. The girl might be autistic, or retarded. I never got a straight answer out of anyone. I asked the older sister, who I'll call "Lucky" if her sibling had ever been diagnosed. She answered me by way of a blank stare.
I tried explaining them once to my 22 year old son. How they live at home with their father, in an apartment walking distance to the post office. They have no hobbies that I know of. No activities at all. I do not run into them on the street. I have never seen them hiking or driving or riding a bike. There is such a thing as newspapers would probably amaze them - except they sort newspapers at the PO. I wonder what they make of the far off places described in the articles. My son asked me if I thought they were staying at home to save money until they get married. They will never get married, I explained to him. That would require speaking to someone.
I brought in some CDs I liked after I quit trying to talk to them. I like music. Since they won't talk, they can't complain. I enjoyed the blues for a couple of years until the CD player broke down. It wasn't mine. In fact it belonged to their dad, who is friendly and talkative, as was their mother. So mysterious that they don't even retain the basics of please and thank you. We live in a small town where 99 per cent of the people are white. Even their mother was white. But the father is Asian, as am I. So when he says his daughters work at the post office, people think he's referring to me. I'm way to old to actually be his daughter. People twist what they need to - to make the logic fit, because those girls are so odd no one knows they exist.
Dopey likes to leave before the counter opens up. Her regular schedule is to come in at 7:30 and read someone's magazine until the delivery truck arrives at 8. Since there's nothing to do until he arrives, I usually walk in a minute or two before him. Lest you think this person suffers from aphasia, let me clarify. If her father comes in, and he never knocks, she will speak to him in full sentences. She even makes eye contact. If a person comes to the counter and asks her for help she will ignore them. If I ask her anything, I just get a blank stare. If I stand too close to Dopey she steps to the side. She won't ask me to move over. That would require acknowledging me.
Dopey and Lucky do wear clothes. Dopey has a t-shirt with off roading vehicles on it. Her father owns seven. Neither Dopey nor Lucky can drive. Lucky has a shirt that I think she ought to wear every day that says, "I can hear you, I'm just ignoring you." That explained everything to me. They are not deaf. One day Dopey was not at work. She didn't call in. That would have required so many unknowns: dialing a phone, speaking, leaving a message etc. etc. So of course she didn't do that. Later her father told us she had tripped at Wal-Mart. Of course she did. It was unfamiliar territory for a person who rarely leaves her house.
I was watching Dopey one morning trying to stuff another letter into a po box that was clearly full. The owner would have needed pliers to pull the mail out. And yet she persisted, as if "mail in box" were the only instructions she had ever received in her life. It was truly comical. She was one step above an idiot, what's known as a "moron" on the intelligence scale. After spending 5 minutes at her futile task she muttered a string of curse words worthy of any sailor. Dopey was capable of being frustrated, even if she didn't know how to shop at Wal-Mart.
The dad hasn't taken them back to Wal-Mart. I guess he firges if they can't handle it at 30, they won't never get used to it. My boss asked me once what I thought would happen to them when their father died. "Nothing," I replied. "enough people in our neighborhood are used to that pair. Quiet, mind their own business, lived in the same apartment for years. The real problem will be when you die."
"Why is That?" He asked in astonishment, but that's because he never saw the moron trying to put mail in a box.