A day in the life of Aidan, technical communicator, and mayor of Phillips, Oklahoma, a town well-known for its dusty roads.
I am really proud of this town and my fellow co-citizens.
Aidan gets fairly emotional as he dives into his thirty-five-pager presentation.
Right now he is walking us through his second slide.
The Oklahoma PowerPoint tour de force has been requested by the department manager. This speaks ever so nicely about the company – they care about their employees and interesting pet projects, nice work-life balance and blah-di-blah.
A small dusty town in Phillips, Oklahoma, where he has been working on his community service duties by fixing its unsophisticated plumbing system, making use of his engineering-minded prowess.
Joie de vivre to mere mortals.
One of the central slides features a picture of himself in firefighting gear. That was his previous hobby, he announces.
Everyone on the small Zoom split-screen window smiles and congratulates him about his passions and enduring dedication to community service.
I must look puzzled (the Zoom camera is still on). Is it just me or is he taking himself (and by proxy his slides) too seriously?
I resolutely yawn.
My mobile starts vibrating. I am slumbered with slide tiredness yet I still doubt as to whether to take the call or not.
The phone buzz keeps going.
I reluctantly answer.
Come over as soon as you can.
I hang up. I don’t give a shit about Phillips, Oklahoma, and its dusty-minded townsfolk. Aidan can keep caring about his plumbing community service duties but as my dad’s breath has started languidly extinguishing, I exit the session without a goodbye.
Dusty roads in Phillips, Oklahoma will be worth visiting one day in the far-distant future. When dad is no longer here.
But dad will always be around.