surprise trust fall (my usual password)
Thursday. 3.19.15 2:23 am
a creamy white graduation dress
Tuesday. 3.17.15 2:25 am
"A" unlocks the door and we enter the gym, after hours, because that's the time when we have the most unhindered access to the equipment, and the owners prefer it that way. She's armed with an old university bag that I wish I'd bought, instead of her, since I would have given it the love it deserves at the beach, or on picnics, rather than using it to tote dirty rags and toilet bowl gel, but that's neither here nor there. She puts on music, and I spray down the showers and fill the toilet bowls with gel.
It's 8pm on a Wednesday.
The thing about the college experience is that it's increasingly un-pretty, as the current state of the economy makes itself more and more apparent in both college students and their parents. I should be doing homework and eating a small snack before curling up with my knitting and an episode of Buffy (because that's the college dream, right?), but, instead, I'm throwing shower curtains into the washing machine with a scoop of whitening OxyClean (a new favorite of mine--smells great and gets mold out) and buffing sweat stains out of gym mirrors.
I don't have any illusions about not having to work for what I want, but I also don't think it's incredibly entitled of me to have expected the same college experience that my brother had had, a decade prior. We're family, after all, and circumstances shouldn't have changed, so much, in the past ten years...but, of course, they did, and here I am with callused hands from wielding the old-fashioned (but still effective in large areas) janitor's mop, grinning and bearing it when a trainer in for a late session brings down one of my just-cleaned rowers for a client, rather than having her use the other half of the room, which I have yet to touch.
(I don't think we should be exempt from the respect of someone asking, "Hey, any preference to which rower we use?" I don't think that it's worthy of shame that we're working our way through college debt.)
When I tell people that I'm an independent contract housekeeper, and that I do gyms currently but am also happy to work on houses, hotels, et cetera (I tell them, "I go where the wind takes me," to be ironic), they seem confused, because I don't seem like I'm struggling--and, really, that's the key. I want nothing more than to continue flying under the radar and to seem like that impromptu dinner after a meeting didn't put a dent in my summer class fund, which has nearly reached 65% of my bill--like I'm just working for the extra spending money. Once people know, it's free meals for me and a free pat on the back for themselves, and I'm not willing to trade one for the other. Sandwiches and black beans by the $0.67 bag are fine by me, so long as I don't have to hear about your poor cousin, or the time in your life when your family faced some minor hardship, or about how you think struggling financially is enriching, for Christ's sake.
Making someone think and talk about it even more than they already think (worry) about it isn't worth your shitty charity burrito at Moe's.
Today, I received a nomination for one of several school-wide awards--very posh, very expensive to throw. It arrived in the form of a shiny, cream-white invitation, which was folded intricately and placed into its matching envelope, sealed with a white, flower-embossed sticker. They used my full, formal name, and they even used the words, "Reception will follow." The envelope was the same milky, creamy texture as the $20 shampoo the gym stocks in its showers, and I was suddenly reminded that those would need filling, that night.
because what else am i going to do with my time?
Wednesday. 2.11.15 11:25 pm
I'm building a knit shop on Etsy, where there will also be an option to donate money for yarn and shipping, with which I will knit either a blanket ($15), socks ($10?), a doll ($15?), or a cap ($10?) for a child in need and send it to one of the US organizations that collects such items. It's an idea that randomly occurred to me upon realizing the Etsy is a very middle to upper class site, and there are a lot of people who can't give their children blankets at all, much less $50 Etsy creations.
I'm kind of kicking ass. I hit a huge sale that I just happened to stumble across and got a bunch of skeins that had me paying a dollar or less per one hundred yards. For normal comparison, one hundred yards of decent yarn typically goes for around $3.50. I have a budget up, I have a marketing plan, and I'm just about on schedule with my actual knitting...although I'd like to see if it would be possible to also sew simple headbands. Altogether, things are going...almost worryingly well.
Saturday. 1.24.15 11:10 pm
My first instinct is to hug you. You, having been the first boy I ever wanted to slow dance with, the first boy my mom recalls me asking after, hold a very strange place in my personal history...and I can tell, by the peculiar smile on your face, that I hold an unusual place in your history, too.
But then, my mother was the catalyst for your parents' divorce. More than wondering how your two little sisters (for whom I cared very deeply, before K started hating me for what my mom did, and before S grew older and the memories of me faded) are, or what led you to my town, I wonder why you don't hate me.
So I don't hug you. The situation--finding you at my front door, after having spoken with you just once during high school and zero times, before or after that, since we were just kids who spent a good deal of time together--throws me off more than a little bit, and that might add to it, but most of it is this pressing question; why don't you hate me? Why do you look happy to see me?
The whole way up the stairs to my apartment--above which you have friends you're visiting, you tell me--in fact, all you keep repeating, between small bursts of updates and questions, is, "Small world."
"Small world." It comes out in a sort of breath, like you aren't even really thinking about saying it, but more so marveling in some universal strangeness, still processing the fact that I walked up, unshowered and holding a McDonald's bag and a chocolate shake, after several years of radio silence--and I suppose I'm marveling, too, although a bit more at the fact that you look like you're happy to see me, rather than horrified that I look like something that was perhaps dragged several miles by a runaway horse.
And then taken to McDonald's in consolation of the incident.
In fact, I almost get the feeling that I'm making you unhappy by leaving (to a small degree, of course), when I say that I have to get inside to take a nap (true; I was on two hours of sleep and had a midnight shift). I can't say I don't feel kind of the same, after waking up and having a moment to think about it. I almost message you several times, but don't know what to say. I wasn't brushing you off, I just needed to go because I'm always busy and also felt totally weird about the whole situation? Sorry my mother was complicit in the destruction of your happy childhood, hope we can catch up soon?
Not exactly a way to ignore how our shared history came to a halt, after all. It's an elephant that grows with every additional question.
And it's too small a world for that.
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