Sometimes It’s a Dump

“It’s definitely affordable.” Brenda was embarrassed that those were the closest she could come to words of comfort, looking around her best friend’s new apartment.

Torie stared over the top of her glasses, waiting for Brenda to finish the compliment.

It took Brenda a minute to realize that she was supposed to say something else. “And I know you’re looking forward to the freedom that you’ll have, moving out on your own, no roommates at all!” She heaved an inaudible sigh of relief, wiping the sweat from her brow in her mind’s eye.

Torie’s gaze softened up a bit. “You’re absolutely right there, Bren. No more waking up to Kit’s alarm at five in the morning, and no more cleaning Jen’s spilled off-brand cola on the kitchen counter. I can’t wait for that!”

Brenda took six steps over to the window, which looked out on a courtyard bearing one lonely artificial tree in a terracotta pot. A barbed wire-fenced courtyard. She sighed and surveyed the apartment once more. What there was of an apartment.

The living room was barely large enough for a loveseat, and the kitchen even smaller. The bathroom was the only other room. Efficiency didn’t begin to describe the tininess of the place. She realized that Torie was talking to her, and tuned back in as quickly as she could.

“…so wasn’t that brave of her?” Torie raised her eyebrows, clearly expecting Brenda to agree. Brenda nodded enthusiastically, smiling as she did so.

“Absolutely. So when are you moving in, again?” Brenda changed the subject even though she knew Torie would need help moving the day after tomorrow.


The Wisdom in Spam

Job Application.jpgI didn’t know what I was going to write about today; it’s been a shit day, and I pretty much decided that I’m not going back to work because fuck that place and those people. Pretty much because I haven’t quit or found a job in years, and the prospect of having to hardcore get down to it freaks me out quite a bit. I’ve just been dilly-dallying for the past month, putting in applications here and there.

Full disclosure: I got and quit my job at Domino’s in 2013, but I’m an old hand at getting and quitting jobs at Domino’s. That’s no big deal. Anyway. 

Then I think about when I got this job, and how badly I panicked when it was time to go to my interview, and even worse when it was my first day. I’m scared a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean a freaking lot, and it isn’t safe to try new things and new experiences, especially all by myself. It isn’t safe at all. It’s big and scary and I would rather be four years old and facing monsters under my bed in the dark. Without a blanket to hide under. Dangling my feet over the edge of the bed.

But it’s not fair to myself to keep going to work at a place that makes me so miserable I ugly cry in public. And in private. Really, whenever the urge strikes. I’ve ugly cried more this year already than I did last year, and I had such a bad time with side effects from Topamax last year I ended up skipping my 20th reunion Homecoming game.

So today I posted a status on Facebook: so this is probably gonna be my last day here. Who’s hiring? Within minutes, a friend of mine posted that his part-time job was hiring. At my old mall! At my happy place! I told him I’d apply when I got home tonight, and he said he’d told his boss. Super important bonus: they sell body jewelry, so I won’t have to hide my piercings. So wish me luck on this one, y’all. Thanks fam.

When I got home tonight I changed my clothes and applied for that job. And it’s funny: I wouldn’t give my youngest brother my email a few weeks ago when he called our mom and said he needed it for a job application, because who ever heard of an employer needing a reference’s email address? Well, now I have. Whatever, I still don’t believe my brother. He also said he needed our parents’ birthdates for his application. And really, come on. Know your own parents’ birthdays, jeez.

So I texted my old assistant manager for his email, and I texted another friend to make sure I could use him as a reference. I’m reasonably certain that I’ve asked him that before, and I knew he’d agree, but it’s just good manners to ask, right? Plus I was simply hoping to hear back from him because he’s had a pretty shit time of it lately.

I did hear back, and he did agree, and when he asked what was going on, I told him I want to cry every time I even think about work and I can’t do this shit anymore. Like I don’t plan on going back and I’m crying now because fuck them so much. That sounds like TMI now, but if you’re not going to be honest with your friends, what’s the point of having them, right?

So of course he confirmed that the shit is fucked and gave me some directions for job hunting. And his wife just got a new job herself, and she said she’ll keep an eye out for me, too. Sometimes I think maybe I have better friends than I deserve. But  then I remember that I’m not my job, and I’m a decent person, so there’s that.

And then I went to my dashboard to read my spam comments. Yes, it was all spam, but one of them struck a nerve.

It is the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
I have read this publish and if I may I wish to counsel you few fascinating things
or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.
I wish to read even more issues about it!

Okay, maybe not that last bit, but the first sentence, for real though. Thanks, spam.

And then my husband texted me that he’s bringing me home a weird chair, and all’s right with the world. I’ll show you pics tomorrow. I hope it’s weird af.

Merry Christmas

I hope each and every one of you had as lovely a day as I did, whether with friends or family or peacefully home alone. 

Girls’ Night Out


Alison rifled through the detritus littering the bottom of her purse a moment longer before giving up and dumping the whole mess on the coffee table.

“I can’t find the tickets to save my life, Liza, I’m so sorry,” Alison apologized to her friend. The tone of her voice was contrite, but the fury with which she continued to shuffle through her belongings betrayed another, overbearing feeling of discontent. “Let me check my wallet again.”

Liza leaned back into the waiting comfort of the couch and continued to watch the scene unfold, feeling completely disconnected even though without her presence, Alison would still be asleep. She kept her mouth shut, knowing better than to waste her breath on sentences that Alison would never hear in her current emotional state.

“Ta-da!” Alison called in a sing-song, bursting with pride to have found the tickets that she was sure she’d thrown in the trash with the series of receipts that marched constantly through her belongings. “I was positive they were in there!”

Liza smiled mildly, more amused by Alison’s reaction than impressed by the actual discovery of the tickets. She pulled her feet back and stood up, arching her back in a stretch that popped her back three times in a row, like gunshots in the new silence. “Let’s go then,” she said.

Alison cocked her head to the side. “Don’t you even want to know what we’re going to see?” she asked her friend.

“Nope. It’s more fun when it’s a surprise. And besides, even if it turns out to be some horrible hypnotist, if I don’t know who we’re going to see, I can blame all of my discontent on you.” Liza smiled again, more sweetly this time, but with a hint of venomous honesty.

“I swear, Liza, I’m through apologizing for that lackluster son of a bitch that we wasted nearly a hundred bucks on. That was three years ago, for crying out loud, and he was so highly reviewed in that Examiner article. You can’t put all the blame on me. I won’t take it.” Alison was so upset that she was mangling those poor abused tickets in the hand fisted at her side. Her purse swung loosely from her shoulder, empty of her belongings.

Liza scooped up Alison’s wallet from the mess on the table. “Put the tickets in the change compartment. I’ll grab your keys.”

Alison’s jaw dropped when she realized that Liza was utterly refusing to rise to the occasion and fight about the ventriloquist they’d seen at the Lake Theater. It would have been the fourteenth time they’d fought about it; two more and Alison would probably have paid Liza to drop the whole thing once and for all. But she didn’t consciously understand that. It was more a feeling of poison ivy, itching just behind her right temple every time Liza brought up that spectacularly failed girls’ night out.

A reflected flash of light blinded Alison as Liza paused at the door, swinging Alison’s keys around and around the first finger of her left hand. “Get it, girl. Shoes on, show’s starting.” Liza winked and walked out of the apartment without bothering to make sure that Alison was following instructions.

Alison slipped into her pumps and trotted obediently behind her friend, locking the door behind her on her way out.


Jukebox Problems

Once upon a time, my friend, his wife (ex-wife now) and a couple of our friends (ex-friends now), and I drove to a college town about an hour away to go to a bar. Wow, things have changed.Anyway, we went to the bar. Had some drinks. Had some more drinks.

I was sent to the jukebox with very specific instructions, but you know, jukebox. Man, those things are chock full of good songs, if you’re lucky. I accidentally ran out of credits before getting to all of the songs I was assigned to play. Accidentally. I swear.

When I got back to the table, I assured the slighted party that the song he requested wasn’t on the jukebox. But what did I know? I hadn’t even gotten halfway through the albums.

When that five bucks’ worth of songs ran out, said slighted party brought another fiver to the jukebox, and came back to the table upset that not only had I not played his stupid song, but I played some garbage by Fleetwood Mac instead.

That should have been enough to end the friendship right then and there, but I’m older and wiser and more confident now. Nobody disses Fleetwood Mac on my watch.

He played his stupid Seven Bridges Road and my friend’s wife and I left our bras in the rafters, which was apparently a tradition there, and we left.

I don’t know what I was thinking, hanging out with people who don’t properly appreciate Fleetwood Mac.

Not Getting Dirty Drama Queen

When Trikelia walked out of her front door this morning, she had no idea what she was getting into. It was supposed to be a nice, average day of hiking through the swamp with her friends. img_8075

They loaded up their packs and trucked out the the trailhead, checked to make sure everyone brought their water, tied their shoes, and pulled up their gaiters. And then Chrissy started being a diva.

“I don’t know if I really want to go today, guys. I mean, it just rained yesterday, and there’s already water on the trail right here,” she whined.

Trikelia watched the five dollar bill change hands between Will and Chris and shook her head in disgust at their bet. To be fair, she did admit to herself that she would have joined in, had she known about it. She sighed. “Come on, Chrissy, you didn’t have to get in the car this morning. You already knew it rained, and you’ve been wet before, jeez.”

Chrissy narrowed her eyes. “But this time I have new shoes.”

“Just stay with the car then,” Will shrugged.

“Give me the keys and I will.” Chrissy crossed her arms in defiance, and she nearly missed the set of keys when Will tossed them to her. The other three turned their backs and started down the trail as Chrissy unlocked the back hatch and unloaded her pack.

They walked in silence for about twenty minutes before Chris started in on Chrissy. ” I can’t believe she pulled that crap today.”

Trikelia nodded. “I know. I don’t know why she even got up this morning if she was just going to cry about her shoes. For crying out loud, we hike in a swamp. I don’t know what she was expecting. And it’s not like she’s never been before.”

Will just shrugged again. “Whatever. She spent most of the day complaining anyway. No biggie. Just don’t tell her next time we plan something. Problem solved.”

“Yeah, I guess,” said Trikelia. She paused and held up an arm, signalling the boys to stop for the snake slithering across the trail in front of them. “But let’s not let her ruin our day. We’ll just have more fun without her. She can sit in the car and eat her organic hippie food all by herself.”

“Those weird rice cakes she brings are so gross!” Chris chimed in.

The three of them laughed together and started walking again, the snake far enough out of the way now.