The listing said “Halfway House Manager, salary and room with private bath”. Eleanor hoped that her interview would pan out, she really needed a home as well as a job at this point in her life and in a new city. When she responded to the ad on Craigslist with her resume, she got an immediate email reply with a date, time and address for an interview.
It wasn’t hard to find 2858 Green Street, and when she got to the address she saw a small brass plaque on the wall that said “Miss Simone’s Halfway House — Established 1947”. Looking at her cell phone, she saw she was about 10 minutes early for her appointment. She thought of exploring the block, but decided being early wasn’t a bad thing so she went up to the shiny black enamel door and looked for the doorbell. It finally dawned on her that the strange windup key in the middle of the door was the door bell and she turned it.
A shrill brassy sound resonated inside and almost as she was removing her hand from the turnkey, the door swung inward and a well-dressed woman with wire rimmed glasses perched on her wide nose peered at her and asked ”Miss Pike?”
“Yes. Are you Miss. Simone?”
“I am. Come in please.” And she turned and headed down a hallway into a large living area. She motioned to a set of two overstuffed chairs with a table between them, by the large windows overlooking the side of the house next door, their windows just offset enough from these to afford some privacy while still letting in the light.
Eleanor saw that her resume had been printed and sat in one of the chairs on top of a yellow pad of paper with an old fashioned cross pen; so she took the unoccupied chair. She also saw that the table between them held a carafe of water with two glasses. She was impressed in spite of herself.
“I was particularly interested in you, Miss Pike, because of your degree in Anthropology. I wonder — can you tell me what it was that interested you in this position?” Miss Simone looked about 40ish, and sat very straight in the chair — when she had posited her question, she then filled both glasses with water and offered one to Eleanor — who nodded and accepted the glass. She sipped while still considering her answer.
“To be honest, it was the living accommodation that caught my eye. I just moved to San…