Continued from Part 1 – Business Trip with Fat Cat (Journal Entry March 2022)
The way he spoke about the importance of hand washing, the staff, and other miscellaneous topics was a dead giveaway that he felt superior to everyone. However, as time passed by, circumstances necessitated that he rely on me for certain tasks. We grew accustomed to one another, and a symbiotic relationship emerged – one in which we exchanged jabs at each other when the opportunity presented itself. Although I didn’t hold any animosity towards him nor thought of him as a nefarious individual, his habits stayed firm. Despite his penchant for grumbling, he did make valid points and, on occasion, displayed acts of kindness towards the employees.
I learned quick that surviving a day with him required thick skin. Although I was disenchanted by his managerial abilities, I found solace in his distinct perspective – one that had been marred by the mundanity of our daily grind and the cutthroat nature of our industry.
Whilst toiling away on this assignment, a series of unfortunate events kept cropping up. Two workers ended up in the hospital, which forced them to take an early leave. Bickering and trivial mishaps became commonplace. People were losing their phones, minor tools, misplacing keys, documents, and mixing up appointments. The number one argument starter was about the use of the vans as there were always complaints of coworkers using the vans for their own purposes. Also, I was left at work on two occasions because my work ran over hours, and no one reminded me that it was time to depart. In hindsight, these events were almost an inevitable consequence of working almost 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
I asked Fat Cat why we couldn’t even get a single day off, especially Sundays. He nonchalantly remarked that it was for the greater good – not just for the sake of completing the project, but also for the satisfaction of our customers. He also had the nerve to insinuate that most of the workers were unworthy of his trust, and that he feared that a weekend break could lead to more shenanigans. Between the Fat Cat and the Scaredy Cat, it was clear that they had very little faith in any of the workers, except for a select few from the team of expatriates hailing from the United States, but zero thrust in the UK workers. The only problem with that was the fact that some of the US expats were just as lazy and wayward as the UK workers.
Upon my arrival, I was struck by a habit amongst the workers that seemed to pervade the atmosphere. They had an insatiable need to talk about each other. While entertaining, the behavior was annoying and reminded me of why I didn’t want anyone to know I was talking to CC. This habit of talking worked in the Fat Cat’s favor. He was no fool, and he knew the sway he held over his employees. It was strange to watch them clamor for his attention, as if they were children seeking the approval of their parents. They seem to vie for his favor, hoping to secure a promotion or simply to be regarded as his favorite. He didn’t have to try too hard to get any information because many of them unknowingly handed it to him on a silver platter. Every day, a few workers would come by our office for one reason or another, and the rumors would start to flow. We learned who got wasted at the local bars or hotels, who was sleeping around, who was using cocaine, and who was wasting company time by loitering around the smoking pit or horse playing on the job. The funny part of all of this was the fact that all these people lived in glass houses and did the same things too.
It is one thing to gossip with you close friends or co-worker, but another thing to willinging tell these things to a manager. These people were cutthroat! I felt like a substitute teacher again, dealing with unruly students who couldn’t seem to shut the fuck up. From that I started calling them teletubbies because of this. This behavior wasn’t isolated to this group or this project as a few months after I ended up on another work assignment in another country and I noticed the same behavior there too. Even back at the main operational office back at the other site, the same behavior presisted.
The Break In
During the third week of my stay at the hotel, an unsettling incident occurred when a van was broken into. What was ironic about this was that it happened on my final day at the hotel before I relocated to the same lodgings as CC. It was a strange experience to see something like this happen. The absence of any witnesses left us all baffled, each of us ruminating on who could have possibly done it and why.
Sweet Dreams are Made of This…?
I woke up from a dream that bothered me about CC. I recorded it in my dream diary because it stuck with me for days after having that dream.
“In a dream, I saw CC in his hotel room with a topless girl sitting on the edge of his bed. However, I only saw the back of her head, and she reminded me of two workers I had met during my trip. With blonde hair and wearing white underwear, she appeared to be as tall as me but very skinny. When I asked who she was, CC told me she was a “place holder“. I don’t know why but that word place holder was stuck in my mind. At that moment something whispered in my ear saying “he is a very weak man.”Journal Extract – Wednesday 23rd March 2022
At the time, I didn’t know what my subconscious was trying to tell me, but looking back, I knew then that I wasn’t the only girl as far back as January 2023. Perhaps I was the only girl at the time because of geographic constraints but I understood he had a weakness that he didn’t want to be accountable for. The dream was one of the reasons why I preferred to keep our relationship private, but it was becoming increasingly challenging to hide our affectionate interactions in public. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use my dreams as a reason to cut him off or confront him. However, it’s possible that my subconscious was already influenced by the rumors I had heard about him. Yet again I was denying intuition because I felt like I was being led astray by the negative things I was told.
24th March 2022
During the third week, I moved to the hotel where CC was staying, which meant I got to see him more often. We started having dinner together almost every evening with other workers staying in the same hotel. Although I wasn’t entirely comfortable being around a large number of the men there, I was slowly warming up to it. However, I couldn’t help but notice a few guys staring at us intensely from time to time. Whenever I caught them looking, they would quickly look away and whisper to whoever was sitting next to them. It was annoying, but I never brought it up to CC. As a result, I avoided going to the restaurant for breakfast and would opt to grab some fruit or just wait for the bus instead of going in. I felt highly uncomfortable around anyone other than CC, Lady Ch, Jay, Jay’s husband, or my other nearby co-workers. So, I tried to stay away from those spaces if CC wasn’t around. At time when I wanted to go down to the restaurant I avoided it fi CC wasn’t there. Perhaps these people meant in the way they looked at us or me when I was alone, but I didn’t like way it felt so I avoided solo trip there even if I was hungry.
26th March 2022
A Night Out
As the second-to-last Saturday of my tenure wound down, the Cats graciously announced that Sunday would be a day off for us. The news was met with universal elation, though unbeknownst to anyone, the Cats themselves were also in dire need of a rest. Nevertheless, they feared the consequences of granting us free time, as they harbored little faith in the abilities of most of the employees, and by extension, the company’s success. Whether this reluctance stemmed from ignorance or indifference, it was unclear.
Once we released us that afternoon, we all returned to our hotels.
CC and I decided to dine at the same restaurant we had visited during my previous trip to see him. The night was unforgettable due to the bustling crowds filling the streets. As we strolled along, much to my surprise, he grasped my hand once again, just like he had on our very first outing together. I was caught off guard, just as I had been on the night he first did it. I couldn’t help but feel apprehensive since there was a high likelihood of running into colleagues who thrived on gossip. My instinct was to avoid any attention, but I went along with it because it seemed brought him some joy. Little did he know it was highly uncomfortable at first.
As we were on our way to dinner, his phone rang, and it was a call from a friend back home who informed him of someone’s passing. The news was disheartening, and I could sense his mood shift. Sadly, he received the news at a time when he was powerless to do anything about it.
Following dinner, we realized that we had left something at the hotel and had to retrieve it. Later, we rendezvoused with some other colleagues at a Hookah bar for a brief stint. While there, I noticed that CC and his coworker kept stepping outside to smoke or visit the restroom. Although we stayed for a while, I didn’t indulge in the Hookah as much as I thought I would. Instead, I engaged in conversation with CC’s coworker’s girlfriend, whom I found genuinely fascinating.
As we were preparing to leave, a group of unfamiliar colleagues emerged from the hallway leading to the restrooms. One of the guys was making a ruckus about a female coworker who had misplaced his bank card. The incident seemed peculiar at the time, but I didn’t think much of it until we all congregated at another bar. Its also important to note that this guy was also one of the main guys who would stare and whisper.
After departing from the Hookah lounge, we made our way to another bar that had a small crowd. Initially, it was just the four of us, but a group of girls took up residence at the adjacent table, followed by a few guys. We remained there for an extended period, and two additional strangers eventually joined us. By the time we left the establishment, it was around 1am. We made our way to the final destination for the night, which happened to be across the street.
I had an enjoyable time being around these strangers, primarily because of CC. Although I wouldn’t describe myself as antisocial, I didn’t have much experience socializing with people like them or frequenting places like the ones we visited. On the rare occasions I did engage in this kind of socialization in the past, I was usually invited to luxurious locations with strict dress codes. These venues often served expensive drinks and food and were occupied by pretentious people. The only aspect of these events I enjoyed was dressing up, driving a fancy car, and occasionally engaging in meaningful conversations with strangers. I also enjoyed knowing that whatever I did with that group would stay with them and not make it back to work. However, during this night out, there was none of that. We went to local places that I would never have ventured into on my own. There was nothing particularly thrilling or captivating about any of these locations, other than the company I found myself in. But, there was the worry that come tomorrow someone would have something to say, so I was on my best behavior.
At the last spot we visited, we all hit the dance floor. The foreigners I was with had no idea about the island culture of dancing anytime, anywhere. I was born in the Caribbean, lived on three different islands, where I had witnessed this firsthand. I remember standing in line at a bank and a song came on, and everyone started dancing in line. Another time, at a casino on a Spanish-speaking island I called home for a while, a song played, and even the card dealer took a break to dance. Since arriving in Germany, I had only been to a club to dance once several months ago, so I was thrilled that everyone in our little group was ready to dance too.
CC left the dance floor and joined a group of people standing on the side. From there, he watched us dance and laughed. He would occasionally disappear from the space altogether, leaving me, the two strangers, his co-worker, and his co-worker’s girlfriend to groove to a mix of 80s and 90s songs that weren’t exactly my cup of tea but still made me want to dance. When CC rejoined us, he whispered to me that he couldn’t dance well, but I thought he was doing just fine. However, he soon left for the restroom and spent most of his time afterward standing in the corner with the other co-workers, going outside to smoke, or frequently running to the restroom. I stopped dancing, standing instead at one side of the bar. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something suspicious going on in the restroom since one co-worker gestured to me as if a few of them were doing drugs in there.
After CC returned from chatting with the group on the side, he told me that one of the coworkers had advised him to keep an eye on me because all the guys were interested in me. It was irritating to hear myself being referred to as his girlfriend and I hoped that he would clarify the situation. It was also upsetting for them to assume that I was some kind of flirt who would thow myself at anyone who glaced at me. I didn’t understand why the coworker said that, but CC’s response was to tell her that I could do as I pleased and that there was no point in him watching me closely. Her comment was exactly what gossip-mongers would say, so I began referring to her as his girlfriend from that point on.
After a while, we all gathered on one side of the bar engaging in conversation. I was chatting with the co-worker’s girlfriend when I heard CC’s voice rise. I turned around and saw another guy accusing him of being a racist. CC defended himself by saying, “How can I be racist when my girlfriend is black?” I didn’t catch the whole argument, but I did hear someone say that we would make beautiful babies, which made me cringe. I tried to ignore it and carry on with the conversation.
I didn’t like that he called me him his girlfriend in front of everyone (especially the coworkers) when that isn’t the case. We never talked about it and I wasn’t sure if he was saying this to get out of being deemed a racist for whatever he said or did that night. It was sweet that he said that, but I was wondering why was I was so agreeable and allowing him to say and do things that I found questionable just to seem like I am going along with it and being cool. While I do like him, I believe there is something wrong with me for always feeling uncomfortable and not saying that I am feeling like this. I care so much about what others feel and think even if I am uncomfortable. I feel the reason I allowed this with him was because I felt like it was harmless at the time. He wasn’t physically hurting me or verbally abusing me so I assume this discomfort was one I could tolerate.Journal Extract – Monday, 28th March 2022
The night came to a close after we were ushered out of the bar. Although not everyone was ready to call it a night, we all agreed to continue socilizing at one of the guy’s apartments. However, as we stepped outside, a dispute erupted between CC’s coworker’s girlfriend and another worker, then chaos ensued. It wasn’t until 4am that we managed to extricate ourselves from the squabbling crowd outside the club. CC, myself, and three other guys decided to head to the apartment, but it was evident that the person who had invited us was too inebriated to continue socializing, so we walked him to his apartment make sure he arrived safely.
While walking to the apartment, CC offered guidance to a guy about his wife, drawing from his own experience. The guy revealed that he had found out his wife was with another man that night, but strangely enough, he had given her permission to do so. I couldn’t understand why he would allow it and then become upset about it. As the guy continued talking, he started to divulge more about his past and the ex who hurt him. He claimed that he had met her during his first few days in Southeast Asia and that it was on the first night he hung out he met her. He also mention her brithday and a birthday cake she got him.
When we arrived at the apartment to drop off the drunken acquaintance, we sat and talked for a while. CC offered the upset guy advice, suggesting that he take some time off to get away and find himself. He posed a hypothetical question: if you could go to Southeast Asia to escape and clear your mind, would you? The guy seemed confused, as it didn’t seem to help with his situation. As they talked, I realized that I had been an observer all night. Everyone was drunk or slightly buzzed, no one was really putting on a show. I wasn’t drunk, and besides dancing, I maintained a vigilant stance observing everyone in their natural elements. I couldn’t enjoy the night in the same way they did. I couldn’t drink to the point of not knowing what I was doing or using it as an excuse for my poor behavior around people I didn’t know well. While I felt comfortable around CC at that point, I could not let him look after me in an intoxicated state. It didn’t seem fair to do that to someone I didn’t know all that well. I was too afriard to let him take care of me in that way seeing that he was drunk himself. So, I couldn’t see him being of any assistance to me if i was in the same state.
I believe that CC saw his trip to Southeast Asia as his own version of Eat, Pray, Love. The essence of that was to take ownership of one’s happiness and to stop living according to society’s expectations, while also acknowledging one’s past mistakes and accepting responsibility for them. At the end of such a journey, a person would come out transformed, content, and feeling like they have made positive progress. However, I am unsure if CC experienced all of the benefits from that during his time abroad. What I did learn was that he carried with him the joys of having stories to tell about his adventure, but also pain and an addiction to a certain lifestyle that came with it. I was also sure that his time away opened his eyes to a world of possibilities and gratefulness.
As we walked back with our new acquaintance, I decided to stay quiet and let him take the lead in the conversation. He seemed to enjoy talking, so I left them to chat. When we reached our hotel, we stood outside while CC tried to explain the benefits of traveling and why this guy should consider leaving his wife. Once we arrived at our hotel, I grew impatient listening, then started to walk towards the entrance while CC continued to give advice. Before I got to the door, I heard CC say to this guy that all women are whores. He exclaimed, “They are all whores! As soon as I finished paying off our bills and completing her paperwork, I found out she was cheating.” The way he shouted this at a stranger made me realize that he truly meant it and that was how he felt. I couldn’t help but worry about him, considering that all his interactions with women seemed to have become the same since his heartbreak with someone he loved. It was ironic that he saw his ex and all women as whores, yet the rumors about him suggested that he was just as much of a whore himself. After hearing him say “…thats why I fucks all of them…,” I decided to go to my room. There was nothing in that moment that could convince me that he didn’t mean anything he was saying. He was literally admitting to what people have said about him and now I knew why he behaved that way.
After he went upstairs, I confronted him about his derogatory comment. He apologized, but I didn’t feel like it was genuine. I couldn’t bring myself to judge him in that moment, but I realized that his behavior towards me was influenced by his underlying beliefs about women. It made me wonder if he saw me, the manager who introduced us, his sister, mother, or any random women he encountered in the same way. It was evident that he hadn’t dealt with his pain and was coping in an unhealthy manner. I concluded that his journey to lose weight, to look his best, the drinking, the partying, and seducing as many women as possible was all a part of his misguided way of healing but ulitamtely it was about revenge and self denial. A type of revenge and denial that he would never admit to or could even recognize. He seemed to attempt to heal himself in the same way he celebrated by exchanging once addiction for the next. Instead of grieving and going through the process of internal self-development, which involved realizing that her actions wasn’t his fault and wasn’t an action that will be common in all women he coped externally. I think we all know that this never works, eventually we will revert to the same old habits which causes a chain reaction similar to planting the negative seeds of karma. Even I had to learn that I couldn’t get over saddness in the same way I celebrated a birthday or in the same way I rewarded myself. While those methods (losing weight, trying to look good) are actually helpful we should not lean heavily on them as they are only by products of self discovery and self actulization. I on the other hand would prefer to withdraw myself from everything in similar situations, which is just as destructive as his mission to hurt every woman he met. Maybe he did this to avoid being seen as a weak man or to avoid dealing with his emotions. Or perhaps the island proverb about people living out family curses was true.
A True Romantic
As I observed him, I realized he was a true romantic, but someone who falls in love too easily. Unlike him, I don’t believe in love and view it as a tool of manipulation. I have a deep distrust of people, especially those who invade my personal space with their desires. I believe they do it to distract me from their true intentions, even if they are not fully aware of their own motives. I dislike romantic love, and always strive for human love as often as I possible. I knew there was love from me for him; so that’s why I chose to treat him in a way that was caring and understanding. While the world outside was telling me otherwise, I was trying to be patient in these moments, understanding, giving, and a person ready to dish out advice when asked or give a helping hand to him. Perhaps I was too much of a people pleaser or a servent in those moments.
I believe that two opposing ideas can coexist simultaneously. Despite CC being a genuinely nice person, he struggled with taking responsibility for his actions and facing his issues and in many ways that was me too. However, this flaw is something inherent in all human beings, including myself as a self-proclaimed stubborn person. I am uncertain about how CC perceived me then and now, and I secretly worried that he saw me as a whore. Despite his kindness, I realize that no matter how open or kind I am, something will always cause him to treat me as such.
CC had nothing to offer me in terms of money or resources, and according to societal standards, we aren’t equally yoked. Yet, there was something about him that stirred something inside of me, allowing me to act differently than I normally would. My friends who believe in metaphysics might say that I was fulfilling some sort of pre-birth karma contract by having this experience with him. They could only assume that the reason for having this experience was to come out as a changed person, to lead me to a better place, or maybe CC was there to help me find my people or point me in the direction to my soul mate. Perhaps this interaction was the key to led me away from him and into the arms of loving and caring people.
During our conversation that night, he brought up his ex, but I felt hesitant to pry further into their relationship. Instead, I allowed him to share as much as he was comfortable with. Although I supported his side of this story, I was not oblivious to the complexities of their situation. I understood that every story has two sides, and that he also played a role in the deterioration of their relationship. It’s funny, but there was something in my subconscious that still pared these two together. It was like she was still his girlfriend because the bond was never served on his side. Despite geographical distance, his ability to be physical with many other women, I felt that in a different realm they were still together in his subconscious. He hadn’t severed the bond yet, as it was still lying dormant festering, but I couldn’t tell if his emotions were hate, revenge, rage, hurt, love, or confusion.
I felt sorry for him. I feel sorry for him! At the same time when I look back at this experience it’s injected with deep regret and shame on my side.
It was a crazy weekend especially at the last bar we hanged out at. The argument outside the bar was unexpected…….Despite all the b.s I had fun. What I was hoping for was dinner, a few hours or hanging out and a night that ended in love making. But that wasn’t what I got. I got a fun night, but I got a drunken CC and hurtful remarks. Early in the morning I woke up to a knock at the door, I lazily got up and realized CC wasn’t next to me so I assumed he was in the bathroom or went back to his room. When I opened the door, I noticed it was him totally naked standing in the hotel way. Lol. Because he stayed at my place he used the wrong door thinking it was the restroom. That was funny. Drunk or not, I knew this could happen to anyone because the first night I arrived I was trying to get off the bed thinking I was back in my apartment. I was so disoriented trying how to get to the bathroom.”Journal Extract – Monday, 28th March 2022
Unfortunately, there will be a part III which will close out March 2022.