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Hmmm... I was considering using my "Get Out of Making a 100Words Entry Free Card" until I noticed December 1st will need an entry now. Speechless. That's what I am regardless of whether I write about events pertaining to the 1st or the 4th. If I could turn exposition alone into a plot element it would begin at Tampa's airport, snapping a phone picture of the side entrance. Metallic handrails clamped down upon a nerve that had already been extracted as I continued ascending to the terminal past all the familiar shops, newspaper stands, mannequins...into its vacuum of indifference.
Large raindrops stuck to the window behind the hot dog stand. Most of them were black, but others had a red hue to them from all the brake lights outside. I looked around as wind and water blew in my face. Then I heard the deep, guttural sound of my brother's engine approaching. He was subdued as he drove me home and voiced his frustration over the slant in his Mustang's windshield. Indeed, every light seemed to dive twenty feet into the wet cement. We shared a smoke later before he went back to his apartment to play video games.
After the door closed, I opened a customer satisfaction survey from St. Mary's Hospital in my room...technically my brother's old room just seven months ago. I listened to the sound of his engine along with the sound of rain falling on my bay windows and heat coming up from the vents. My mom called and said she has been feeling down lately but plans on driving to Bloomington for her doctor's appointment tomorrow. Her sister is nowhere to be seen. I cringed, wishing I could drive and promising her I'd look up information on MS Support Groups for her.
Today is actually my mom's birthday but the day's are out of sync this month so here goes. Maybe I'll skip a day later this month or keep writing ambivalently waiting for the site owner's to make an announcement. I finished a watercolor of my friend's living room tonight, complete with wine, friends, a rabbits and Uma Thurman on the flat screen. While attempting to take a picture of it under the reading lamp, however, I noticed viewing it in picture format won't do it justice. There's just too much detail and depth, too many memories alive in the design.
Excerpt from black journal
Dec 5, 2009
Well it's December. The time for garland hung in malls, white lights, green red and blue. Lights which were once incandescent are largely LED this year. December--the time for Yahoo! Answers, snow shoveling and scenic trips down A2 road glimpsing a surrounding winter wonderland (snow stuck to trees, trunks). It's the time for quiet nights blanketed by frozen precipitation, wonder over animal foot prints in the distance and remembering old xmas traditions with family. I haven't put up the tree and ornaments in a few years though.
I sat in the large banquet hall among my co-workers and their friends and significant others. After over a year, I still see them largely as people who know each other's purpose without really knowing each other. I thought back to a couple occasions last night when I was in a room with a lot of people and two different friends made the same comment to me: "Look at all the people and all the stories." That was hard to do tonight because although no one was on the clock, a caste system still existed in terms of position.
Tonight I was contemplative, sliding my thumb under the skin of a small orange. The neighbor's house through the kitchen window was lit up. Strings of icicles surrounded the gutters, illuminating the light blue paint in patches of somber yellow light. From my perspective, the picketed fence in the rear ascended at a slow 25 degree angle toward A2 road, and the roof of the colonial was pitch black--the sky slightly lighter with grey. Parting each segment of fruit created a muted sound of paper being ripped in two. The cold juice within spurting onto my teeth and tongue.
A party store and a pharmacy is two long blocks due west. After reading and working around the house I debated walking or driving there. I had just moved the golf clubs into the basement and placed the wheelbarrow upside down in the rockbed below the kitchen window. I swept the last of the dead leaves out of the garage into the occasional gusts of arctic air. Even though I had finished making a tomb for my vehicle for the next six months, using it to acquire toothpaste, italian sticks and a liter of code red mountain dew seemed harmless.
"I moved down and found a lot of opportunity, but ultimately it just didn't work out," I said. I'm proud of the fact I can say this about my life in Florida without feeling disquieted. Or worse--breaking into an overly detailed description of all my trials and tribulations--subsequently getting lost in myself. Almost out of spite, the jukebox began playing the Goo Goo Dolls. My dad and his acquaintance continued to talk about the economy. I listened attentively to their experiences and weighed their emotions as they morphed from frustration into fear, love. The future seems so uncertain.
I watched the end of Bloodsport tonight before turning off the tube, listening to the Stan Bush song, "Fight to Survive". Watching the audience cheer for Frank Dux reminded me of the video game Street Fighter and the audience present in each of the character's stages--paper-thin, two-dimensional figures who repeated the same movements without recourse. I feel a part of that repetitive audience now--watching from the sidelines and measuring the experiences of my past up to the ideals of my future. I seek the unexpected, even if it's just receiving a starlight mint with my drawer.
I'm rubbing my eyes, getting impatient with researching Farmer's Insurance--but I can't find enough evidence against interviewing with them. Perhaps my vision is clouded due to the lack of opportunities. Everything about being an agency producer with them says, SALES, SALES, SALES. On top of that there is a website complete with the Farmer's logo and the word SUCKS!, but this alone is not conclusive. The same websites can be found for other organizations too. What's more important is, regardless of the position, am I able to sustain another blow to my confidence due to another interview gone awry?
So I imagine right about now my friend Rachel and some of her friends are sprawled out on couches at the Old Miami in Detroit. She is probably working on her second drink, eagerly awaiting the Electric Blood Sledge Death Chickens' performance. I am disappointed because I had to cancel due to work constraints, but grateful for the opportunity to tag along. For the past few months, she has invited me to places I'd otherwise probably never stumble upon myself. No, instead I spent all evening slopping black watercolor onto paper. It didn't turn out well, but tomorrow's another day.
Ah. Another weekend (or two days off in a row). Today I only worked four hours which seemed silly. Barbara was making caramel colored bubbles with the next plastic shopping bag at self-checkout. Two lot attendants were hanging out at the service desk. I tried to follow suit, but couldn't stand around too long before feeling guilty for doing nothing. Besides, the immature manager with no adam's apple favored Steve, who reminds me of a prepubescent Eddie Murphy. What am I doing wrong here? What am I projecting to them that screams,
I want out
A little bit of cabin fever is setting in this evening, having exhausted my list of things to do. I spent most of the day escaping into the harsh warlands of Ghengis Khan. Later, I went to a barber shop off Main Street. My stylist seemed lonely, and she took a long time cutting my hair and giving me compliments. A hot guy walked in with his mom and sat in the chair next to me, making my pulse quicken as his hair was spiked. Tonight I finished unsuccessfully making a watercolor of my mom from the early 80's, sighing.
I'm listening to smooth jazz and just put away my latest sketch of a beach and a forest of palms converging in the distance. I owe a lot of credit to my Dad, who rummaged through the tin box of photographs at the top of his closet and flopped the panoramic original into my hands. There weren't enough objects to draw in the foreground, so I created the wreckage of a passenger jetliner thinking about Dean Koontz's Sole Survivor and ABC's Lost. Something else will have to loom over the distant tree line--perhaps a rollercoaster or even a ferris wheel.
I think I understand now why my aunt in LA had such a small writing room. Tonight I unwinded in the cedar closet downstairs, where virtually everything from my past is stored. There is a dresser from my childhood with different color strips for each drawer. The top drawer stores all the cards I've ever received, the next drawer stores a few essays from college and journals dating back fifteen years. As I succombed to memory lane, giggling here and there, I realized I felt safe in the enclosed space--not just from prying eyes but from time as well.
I was using the 10-key at self-checkout tonight as a way of measuring the length of the average human lifespan. As I zoned out, I told myself matter-of-factly that this is how long my dad has been alive: 01, 02, 03... This has been the flavor of my life to date: 16, 23, 28... I assigned an emotion to every age as I continued to type through the years. If I wanted to feel age 20 I had to add one and get 2001, the year I cleaned offices and was initiated into Delta Lambda Phi.
Days off work can be lonely but I do my best to keep myself occupied. Sometimes I travel to the edge of my world, which lies a couple of blocks west under the brick foundation of the party store that adjoins a CVS. For lunch it was two italian sticks. Liz rang me up, my brother's friend's girlfriend. As I returned home, I wondered what it would be like when I'm legally able to drive again. Would I have to resign myself to ever getting angry in traffic? Would I question every daydream as if it were an impending seizure?
I awoke to a series of texts this morning. Hannah needed more specific directions to my workplace. Dillon confessed that last night he put a small bottle of Frangelico in his coffee. When I got up, I noticed a light layer of snow had fallen, covering the ground and all of the branches. The shower was running so I went to the kitchen for coffee and sat on the edge of a recliner in the living room, sipping carefully. When the water ceased, I showered quickly and threw on some clothes, working the shovel with my Home Depot-style gloves.
Rachel's parogis were covered in chopped onions. She asked me to put some onto my reuben as I fumbled with the plastic lid containing thousand island dressing. I obliged, feeling more relaxed in the sports bar where multiple televisions broadcasted a football game and the occaisional group of men shouted with undue enthusiasm at the screens. We grasped at seedlings of our lives' current events and watched them grow as our conversation progressed. Although I mostly listened, I reveled in being transported to thoughts of winter in Denver, windy days in Chicago and heartfelt emotions reserved only for journal entries.
William Starkweather and his wife, Keziah, were the first settlers to come to Plymouth, MI in 1825, buying 240 acres from the US Government at $1.25 an acre. What I've become accustomed to being the Mayflower Hotel, and later an affluent condominium development, was once the site of the Starkweather's log cabin. They lived with their first-born son, Albert, who died at 20 years of age while attending the newly formed University of Michigan. How did he die? How did Brittany Murphy die? Since when is our twenties and thirties the time our lives becomes so rapidly precarious?
I made a sign on a piece of receipt tape and attached it on the pinpad at work today, burned out from pointing and saying, "Press Cancel for Credit" or "First Press Yes to the Amount." I don't know if the reason so many customers decide to become inept has anything to do with my behavior, but I had enough...so I made the sign. Much fewer customers struggled with the pinpad after that. Their eyes averted to the writing but somehow I still felt guilty...as if I wasn't saying enough or providing enough customer service at that point.
For the last couple of days I've been reflecting on working as a janitor at Johnson Controls in the Fall of 2003. Something in the way the sun shone through the lobby windows as I descended the stairs gave me a mental picture. That night, I drove past Ann Arbor to Chuck's. He never cared for his chatty roommate who often answered the door, ushering me into his room sooner than I could slip off my shoes. Skulls, candles, pot and 28 Days Later waited for our viewing pleasure and later, thanks to him, my first job in an office.
I jumped into my dad's car, coming down from a sugar high at work. He told me my brother is coming over for dinner tomorrow at which point I told him our mom was expecting us for pizza or subs. "I'm not inviting her over," he shrugged. "You shouldn't have to," I said, looking out the window.
I know she's been feeling lonely, but..." he said, leaving it at that. Later I called my mom, who became defensive my brother and I weren't eating with her. I decided I'm not taking the bait--every year it's the same thing.
Today I poured a glass of egg nog and put some whipped cream on top, waiting for my brother to finish discussing gaming rifles with my dad so we could go over our mom's and watch the Green Mile. I reluctantly shared a glance with Gilda as I drank the last of my spiced milk slowly and thoughtfully, as if it was capable of igniting my own Christmas spirit. A few lights would flicker as I was bathed in golden light, subsequently unleasing years of loneliness through the cracked window by the burrow's tail, where no one would be harmed.
Sometimes I find humor in telling others things that are in direct contrast to what they are expecting. I like to tell co-workers who are getting ready to leave that the supervisor asked them to stay late, for example. Last night, over Christmas dinner, I think I got more than I bargained for pulling this same trick on my dad. My brother and his pregnant girlfriend were sitting at the table, ravenously digging into cornish game hens. Somehow the conversation got to how fast some babies come out. "I was fast," I declared. "No you were not!" he ranted.
I lost my phone last night and didn't find it until this evening when I visited Station 885 again after work. The seating area around the bar was devoid of customers and the blues musicians, and I no longer heard the train moving around on its tracks above. The bartender retrieved my phone as thoughts of working in the noisy establishment twelve years ago crept. All I could remember is how uncomfortable I felt, grasping the support beam behind me like a rail on a rollercoaster. My life's been a long journey, but now more than ever I need strength.
Tiny gusts of snow blew about as I came in through the back door. I felt the pockets in my coat followed by the pockets in my jeans for that characteristic lump of plastic which would have been my phone. After removing my energy drink and checking further, I deduced with frustration I left it in my apron at work. While shoveling snow that resembled piles of flour from the driveway I decided to use my day off tomorrow to retrieve it from work...wary of announcing I misplaced it again and the accumulated anxiety such a trip might unleash.
I'm just not comfortable with my overuse of the pronoun "I" whether it is the letter itself or the contraction. I'm also not comfortable with the amount of use my old room has been getting. In here I paint, I read, I write 100words entries, I apply for jobs and participate in phone interviews (which, by the way, I don't like either). I occasionally smoke in here, I sometimes eat in here...all while listening to coughing, football games and boxing down the hall. I need more space, especially to paint, so I suppose I'll give the basement another try.
I helped a customer shrink wrap some gutters tonight on break. "I'm not rich," he said, insisting on having the rest of the plastic. Later I was informed that he also stole a package of Twizzlers. Needless to say, I was appalled, but somehow, as I did laundry, it reminded me of someone I met at Barry's going away party who never responded to my friend request. He was a handsome recruiter from Kentucky. After the lights went out, I snatched his socks. What's most upsetting to me though is I can still look at them and feel no guilt.
New Years Eve...The last day people can write 2009 on their checks legally. More interestingly, it's the last day of the opening decade of the century and from this point on, we will all move further into its unchartered depths. This is the century I will continue to live out my adulthood and eventually come to rest, so I pray that I have the strength to make it a good one. Now what was I doing for New Year's the last five years? I need to determine this so I have a potential conversation piece at the party tonight.
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