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Tanya overdid herself today. Instead of having another cigarette, she snatched a toothpick underneath the parking break and fractured it in several places with her front teeth. Later, she gazed at the gym across the fountain, donning a tight undershirt and sweats for the stuffy room housing the treadmill. After 5 minutes, she opted to circle her apartment complex a few times, heating up half a sub from work with canned corn for 'supper.'
Tanya lit incense, listened to music, drank water and did the laundry all in a Tuesday night. Or so she thought, when the words hit her.
Jebediah realized, despite the rich devil's advocacy of a close friend, that this was NOT the first time. Right?
Ten years ago, the emotion materialized under the glow of parking lights on a rainy night. It smirked at him like an angel. It clamped onto his upper and lower jaw with both hands and creeped into him like a drug, slowly. There was a windmill involved, blowing "razor-blade memories" around afterward. Later, deemed a "short-lived infatuation."
But now Jebediah found himself left with a "short-lived love", a naivety, the emotion, another pen (again), but, most importantly, time. Going home, away, home again.
"Sweet and sour pork and, uhm a DRAGON smoothie, please," Hector ordered at the chinese restaurant one afternoon. "For here or to go?" The friendly asian girl asked. "Eh, here." Hector relinquished, sitting down alone. He conciously portrayed the message to other patrons that "he was just people watching" looking out the windows, gobbling up his fried rice. He didn't care when some fell on his tucked in polo shirt and khakis. "No one's perfect," he offered himself. Hector brushed the rice off his lap and gently swayed his leg occasionally so others would think he was enjoying himself. Needing more confidence.
Pamela seemed bored with underwriting. Her red hair was tied into a bun and she wore an overly stuffy, grey sweater--assertively placing her hands on her hips waiting for the kernals in the microwave to pop. It was the only gesture that reminded Borat of the way her shoulder-length hair bobbed last summer as she professionally flip-flopped down the hallways in burgundy halter tops, actively supervising.
"I never get enough time with my daughter," she said, sipping her slim-fast shake across the table. Borat opened his fortune cookie, sharing his coincidences with Pamela:"You will travel far for business and pleasure."
James was relieved after he was fired yesterday. Before he let the reality set in, he drew a picture of a co-worker's suggestion that "when one door closes, another opens--even though sometimes the hallway in between can be hell at times." So James peeked into the door that was opening: he was leaning against a palm tree. Numbers from a clock were strewn on the ground at the fork in the road with pieces of a heart cut in half. Neckties, manuscripts, arrows and coins were falling. James was walking, climbing and descending. The glove largley obscured by the door.
I'm listening to Maria Taylor sing she's
Afraid my heart, it beats too slow Or that I died and just didn't know Or of a fate I will have to choose And I'm afraid of how much I love you
Am I allowed to post them? I looked for examples.. and found the answer to something bigger:
Thomas Wolfe said that going home again is like stepping into a river. You cannot step into the same river twice: you cannot go home again.
Perhaps I was just rollerblading all along.. and Michigan was 'obscured' because its behind the door that closed. Now, I will eat.
Storm watched the fountain crystallize out her window as the sound produced by its cascading water ceased after watching
The Pursuit of Happyness
. Earlier, she observed an african american girl within her rear-view mirror unabashedly spitting, first to the left, then to the right--walking with others into a seemingly abandoned strip mall. Storm finished her cigarette and reached across her mango-colored dress shirt for her employment documents. She flip-flopped to the unemployment office where she proceeded to sputter out her situation and later, her amazement that the claim could have been done online without her ever having to leave home.
Love.. It is a river.. that drowns.. the tender reed. Some say Love It is a razor.. that leaves.. your soul to bleed. Some say Love It is a hunger.. An end-less aching need. I say Love.. It is a flower.. And you.. Its only seed. It's the heart.. afraid of breaking.. that never.. learns to dance. It's the dream.. afraid of waking.. that never.. takes the chance. IT's the oNE who won't be taken.. who can not seem to give. And the soul.. afraid of dying.. that NEVER.. learns to LIVE.. When the night.. has been too lonely.. and the road.. has been too long.. When you think.. that love is only.. for the lucky.. and the strong. Just remember.. In the winter.. Far beneath.. the bitter snow.. Lies the seed. That with the sun's love.. in the Spring.. becomes the rose......courtesy ~Bette Midler
Today I observed the stack of bills growing in my peripheral vision and spoke with my dad after the final answer on Jeopardy was answered. "You want money? You want to come back to Michigan? Just leave. They won't know who you are. You can start your career at 40." I don't know whats going to happen, I explained, while a hand was squeezing my heart and the water from outside was flooding indoors. Head above water. Where are you going now? Where CAN you go? Haven't we been through this before? Too proud, I said I didn't need anything.
I sat on the couch and wrote in my journal, curled into a ball. "Well today I finished up setting up my network on careerbuilder and monster.com," It said. Then I paced around my coffee table to make myself tired. Kicked it across the room. Threw things at my lamp. Now the pane of glass where I usually rest my feet is missing, allowing my legs to slip through close the floor--putting the table into a 'leg-lock' if you will. A sappy phone call then ensued, followed by endless tub scrubbing until I could take it no longer and succomb to sleep. Why me?
Agoraphobia. Maybe if I opened the door to my apartment as the muscles in my back knit themselves into bamboo I would find a purpose. So the warm wind seeped in and there was a cross breeze. I organized my journals, threw out my laundry and folded them again. I scrubbed my tub again, cleaned the sink, scheduled a phone interview with a recruiter next week. "Just cleaning up for the weekend, eh?" He chuckled, did he know what I was going through? I hoped so only if it was normal for unemployed people. Not if I was anxious.
"Have you been drinking?" The officer asked behind the glare of his flashlight.
"Are you sure? Your eyes seem a little dilated." He prodded.
I shook my head calmly and maintained eye contact. "No officer, I have not been drinking."
He took my license as I sat frozen in the driver seat, never flinching except to pop open an atomic fireball into my mouth from the door. I looked up at the sharp palm leaves move an inch further with each passing car. I got lucky. This will never happen again. This is why I stopped going to bars. Bars.
My cousins and I sat on the couch. Tiara, the pregnant one, was in the middle. Her sister Tehan and I felt her belly and waited for the baby to move. Suddenly I felt like the three of us were in a picture taken 20 some odd years later, after modesty and puberty and seperate lives set in. But something felt different to me, that love had returned to me once again after a momentary amnesia of its effects growing up. "Take a picture," by the Verve Pipe echoed in my mind. A trait from him that I had acquired.
He asked me what I was wearing.
"The Dr. Pepper shirt and khakis, CK boxers underneath."
"I'm wearing jeans, shredded in the back, shredded in the front and a belt with an eagle clasp under a green university shirt."
I elaborated that my leg hair was blowing in the wind in an attempt to match his details, and later explained I wish I was there to kiss him all over.
"Awww.." he said.
"You know, I think you're my first," I admitted.
"That just means you can be less reserved." He typed.
"Will you be the first to hurt me?"
"Nobody deserves to be hurt."
Today I called the recruiter for the second time. Did he have attention defecit disorder? "Oh yes! You background check came back perfectly. I just forgot to call you yesterday. When can you fill out the paperwork?" I considered my options: quietly applying for jobs, taking a walk around my apartment complex, watching Montel Williams or calling my mom again. "I'm free this afternoon!" I replied enthusiastically.
"Great! I'll let her know to be expecting you."
"Hey Dad, just signed the paper work for a job that starts May 29. I will be using Sue as a reference again."
"Thats great, bud, keep me posted."
Today I got bored and donned my rollerblades, hopped into my car and drove over to where my mom lived last year by grandma and grandpa and parked in the lot at Circuit City. Last year, my aunt Luchen would bring us smoothies as we tackled the trail together when I was between jobs.
As I eased my legs into a steady pace, my mind was circulating like my wheels and suddenly the sun felt like hot cotton candy and wax enveloping me into steam.
"Everyone trips sometimes," I thought, remembering Luchen's friend Dan ahead of us last year. Retired.
"Ok if you feel you must, but take an ativan first." Ursula suggested.
I want to be with you. No. Please. No. You lift up your skirt. I will lift up mine.
And the conversation continued. Unaware his basement had just flooded. I felt anxious as the love forced itself into friendship. I forgot he said no. I remembered it was 4am when we stopped talking finally.
"Sometimes you have to take drastic measures when the alternative is death. I can sit with my thoughts for hours."
"That's cool, I can't do that, I'd get bored. I'd have to write them out."
"Really?" he asked, as if he didn't already know.
Another call on my behalf.
"Alright well I should probably get off the phone. Good luck on your job search!" he said.
I returned home and eased tension with a glass of white zinfandel turned blood-red merlot as I reseached unrequited love, first love, rebound relationships. I got riled up. We were in seperate places but I wanted him now. Another call.
I want to be with you. No. Please. No. That's all I needed to know, can't feel the same way. It's bad timing (and it was-long distance, unemployment tends to get in the way dum dum). Nevertheless, I hung up.
"Sup?" my phone chirped. "Not much, chillin out," I replied. The phone quit making noises as I sat down, got back up, sat down again. "God, I hate Nelly Furtado," I thought jealously, looking at the song on his myspace page--knowing full well it was in reference to my love-deaf ears. He posted LOUD bulletins: he explained he doesn't put people in order of preference, he likes them all in different ways. He posted pictures of him kissing girls. To fuck with me he put a friend of mine on his top 8. I deleted him. And it felt good, for now.
"The baby looks just like you," aunt Luchen said, passing me the green beans.
"I'm thinking about moving back once my lease is up," as the three-word phrase 'not for him' seemed to triagulate out of my head, Luchen's head and Gamiolos head, hitting the earth-toned flower vase in the center of the table. No at this point it has to be for me not anyone else. "So my loan-processing job starts May 29 but another firm is searching for me also," I advised as Tehren's skittish dog backed away from my extended arm.
When my apartment couldn't get any cleaner today I sat down, got back up and created a playlist. I listened to Fergie, "Big Girls don't Cry" he sent me last night. I told him to listen to Madonna, "Bedtime Stories" and said goodnight. He deleted the comments I left for him on myspace. I deleted him entirely. "I think I will stay in Tampa." "Best for your career anyway." I loved him so much we could not communicate for awhile until I healed. All this time it was only me who needed the space. And we got it. What can we do?
My mouth ran a mile a minute with the recruiter, strangely uncharacteristic of me. I sat down again and began to read when my mind got distracted and peered at the watercolor on my wall depicting an abstract genie bottle: drawn in such a way it was a ribcage holding love in. The cork popped at the top like a champagne bottle, letting out the ceiling vents I acquired from Dallas, the parking lights from Tony, an endless path, a dead oak tree in front of a rising sun and a card behind the genie bottle written in illegible script.
This morning I didn't feel like myself not being employed again. I decided I'd at least do something and drive to Citrus Park and pick up my glasses. Before I left, however, I ripped open a fresh pack of smokes over the trash can and watched as the tobacoo slipped through my fingers like sand. They were Kool Kings--one step up from my usual brand of smokes, Kool Mild's, but enough to be the cause of my morning sickness I surmised. But on the way to the mall, I was beginning to feel disconnected so I smoked again. Slow down.
Today Luchen and I prepared bridal shower floats. We looked for a circle to draw on cardboard when my eyes hit the clock FROM TARGET. Not...(inwardly sighing). "You're very trusting," Luchen joked as she just missed my fingers with a pair of scissors she was cutting the circles out with. "Nah, I'm just preoccupied." After gluing the burlap over the pool floats I felt like my work was done for the day and felt better going home and waiting a few more days for my new job to begin. I'd go out but I don't have the funds. It will change.
A little beer is fine, I told myself. Losing track I had finished the whole 6 pack alone listening to music again. I laid down and woke up again, anxious and nauseated, lonely. Called my mom and broke down. Said I was wrong for misreading all the signs not listening to him because he'd make a good friend. I went to Taco Bell. I went back to bed, couldn't sleep. Got up again at 4, an old fraternity brother was online. "Give it some more time, Staring." I explained why I was ready now, but he stopped responding. Love stinks.
I walked by the skull and crossbones shirt in JC Penney to retrieve my glasses and eyed it curiously. It seemed like I was just at JC Penney yesterday but over a week had already passed. He wasn't even here for a week, I wasn't there for even a week. I bought my 4 shirts here earlier and told him that as he told me he's too fat and needs to shed 40lbs from his 6'6 frame. I shook my head and picked up my glasses with the hopes they would bring me a new set of eyes too.
Borat left the CVS down the road and proceeded to another one so he could fill another script. He swatted at the lovebugs as the double doors slid open and he entered the store. He meandered toward the back and saw another tall man, well built, carrying a shopping basket. He wore flip flops. Borat pretended to be looking at the greeting cards. When he reached the back, he observed the pharmacy had closed, so he wandered down the aisles: stopping in front of some alcohol--finally withdrawing his arm from the neck of a bottle losing the debate that ensued.
"What if I never moved to Tampa?" Tom thought as the "what-ifs inundated him. "Would I have family and friends around me right now?"
"What if I was kicked out of the house at a younger age? Would I have been better off?"
"What if I was more socially concious? Would I be this miserable right now?"
"What if I wasn't such a goody two-shoes? Would I talk more?"
"What if I placed more of an emphasis on relationships when I was younger? Would I feel this lost now?"
"What if the sun burnt out? Would I feel anything now at least?"
"What if what if."
Vladimir couldn't help but think of a Borg ship when he observed his new working environment. He followed his new co-workers around the ball-point pen sized cubicles and listened to a
introduce herself. It seemed she forced her eyes to stay wide open, dishing a healthy combination of cordiality and intimidation simultaneously. As Vlad inwardly made sheep sounds to himself, he followed the cattle into new departments and met the cocky stares of some of the indentured servants but couldn't help averting his eyes to the art on the walls instead. Vlad calmed down though, he needed this now.
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"James Macintosh!" I heard my teacher call from class one night as I was leaving. The cute/skater one, although probably straight with the remnants of mohawk dyed in.
"You left your cell phone in class." I smiled and thanked him, calling a friend I haven't seen in awhile on my way home. "Come over," he texted.
"See that belt there?" I tried doing it earlier. I scoffed, zipping my mouth shut, listening to him. Something wasn't right, I imagined--or maybe it was. Maybe it was just life.
When we went out, I patted his leg: not wanting anything more but friendship.
The Tip Jar