Job-Shadowing

Today was hectic. I got in to work and did my routine accounts for high theft areas and while I’m inputting the report, this little phone in my office rings. I knew it was going to suck because of all the devices I talk with (acronyms, walkie, cellular) that little cordless thing was never part of my training.

Sure enough, some shit was going down and I had to act like teaming with the corporate investigations center was something I did all the time. A lot of this job is just behaving like you know everything. It’s a very different scene than I’m used to.

They say that for the apprehension classes there is hair pulling.

Although it might not be the strongest, most prideful thing to say, sometimes I miss being overqualified and bored. My new job is really hard work and it’s only getting more difficult. Tomorrow I have power equipment certification because it falls into the security part of the building; I have to know how to operate shit so I can audit everyone else.

Today was the first day I believed that I might actually be able to do this.

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Someplace Else.

It feels like worry, like panic, all because of the way my brain was stirred when I couldn’t sleep. Sand kept creeping up. Just a giant-ass desert in the part of my fantasy that had rolling, grassy hills. For days I’ve been tugging at her dress, pulling on her arm, telling her…

“You’re digging in the dirt.”

She was kicking the sand around, making trenches with her feet. She was on her knees, sifting through an ugly orange color with my hands.

This is the part of my story where I tell Faith to snap out of it.

Do you remember? You used to be a queen. Not just of this vacant place and however it looked a long time ago. We need you back.

The words, the words of the angel in the cloud, were planted in her heart like a seed. Over the years, she watered that seed and cared for it, nourished it, and allowed it to grow into her life’s obsession. Now, a quarter of a century later, her journey was nearing its end…

This is really going on while you’re bleeding in the sandbox, pulling up amateur-looking websites and embarrassing He-Man fan fiction by some asshole who left you neurologically affected by his words.

Do you get that, yet? That you weren’t supposed to feel like this for ten years or ten minutes? Missing someone after they’ve said hello, being unable to say goodbye, constantly analyzing every threat he made to something that should never have been your responsibility – as a teenager, young adult or woman – to relieve?

The desert is not your fault.

This sphere of light was now a portal between the nightmare world of his current existence, and a magical world beyond the stretch of his wildest imagination. It wasn’t the beauty of this place drawing him in, but rather the promise it offered of a new beginning, a new opportunity to wrap his bony fingers around it and crush it,
once
and for all.

Faith closed her eyes and the feathers began to molt away, flying freely before sparking to a crisp in the wind.

The drama, the awful sense of doom, the proven pattern of abandonment and rejection… This is not how things should be. The learned anxiety has affected your mental health.

Some memories are real, even though they are no longer the truth.

There are a million accessible times and places in my world.

It’s time to get out of this one.

9/12

I don’t remember much about the country’s 9/11 other than standing in my living room, barefoot, somewhere in college limbo, staring at the TV in disbelief. To see a building crumble in real time, knowing it wasn’t a movie, made my heart shoot out across the entire world. I thought of everyone I knew. I rang their souls. I wanted to hear back from them…

but to each their own method of travel.

I tore a page from my Rolling Stone magazine of an American flag running vertically with two black stripes and pinned it on my cork board.

Before that date, it seemed like all of the movements and timestamps were in the past. One year later I saw Green Day in concert on 9/11, for the American Idiot tour. Our buildings weren’t falling, anymore, but damage had been done. A wave of fear and politics had swooped in and surrounded me with times to remember.

The Future had arrived late and broken through every front door. The noise outside couldn’t possibly be of what I’ve read to be war…

Some people vent on blogs. Some people run their fingers along fallen names. The way I see it, although the 24-hour marathon of footage covering dust, ruins and cellular goodbyes (how heartbreaking) is trying, it’s for the ones who suffered and will continue to live altered lives forever. I will give the day to them, recognize them when they wish to be seen, and always remember how important it is, to be aware of opportunities we leave open for disaster.

There’s a MXPX song titled “Buildings Tumble” that I used to play just out of high school in the year 2000. It was one of those CDS that didn’t sound very good to me aside from one track, and I didn’t want to throw it away. I played that song over and over until I was ready for the next big thing…

which is a lot like what America is doing, now.

Years pass by, that’s something you have gotten used to
Some of us are dumb and blind and out of our minds
Walking each day through fields of land mines

Let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let yourself say, “I was wrong”
Let your heart move on and on
Let your heart move on

It’s Always Something, or, In Which Sally Can Go Fuck Herself

When I accidentally ripped an envelope for a check I needed to send out, the only spare on-hand was bright green and intended for a large card. There’s no need to worry about how formal I look for a bill collector via snail mail so I made due and sealed everything inside the big envelope.

Yesterday I got a suspicious letter informing me that my change-of-address was “not legible”. Something didn’t seem right.

“It was probably just a mistake on your part, ma’am, because the letter was in with your check.”

“How [in the fuck] do I accidentally include a letter stating that I’m moving somewhere when I’m NOT MOVING ANYWHERE?”

“Well, who is Sally?” She was still trying to prove that I was behind everything.

“SALLY?!”
“Yes.”
“I DON’T KNOW A SALLY!”

The operator got really quiet, really fast. I heard some clicking on her keyboard.

“It’s closed. Your card for your new account will be mailed immediately. Please stay on the line for a message regarding your account.”

Then she put me on the wrong line and I listened to silence for a few minutes before hanging up.

Awesome.

Progress

Last night, zombie outbreak, dream = terrifying! It went like this: the zombies were out there and headed for my house, but as long as you turned off every light and ceased every noise they’d continue right on down the neighborhood for someone else to eat.

I was panicky, running from light to light (so many lights) and sometimes they wouldn’t turn off when I flipped the switch because dreams are stupid like that. Eventually though, I escaped.

Then I looked at my brother and he was five. I said, “Chris! You won’t believe it – you’re young, again, like really young. A child.”

“I am?”

“Yeah, this has to be a dream!”

***

Everything is so intense right now that there’s hardly any time to think for myself. My new training is unlike anything I’ve been through before. Sometimes, because it deals with a handful of intimidating things, I briefly imagine quitting – but I press on. Surrendering is not the right answer. I can feel it.

And so, every day, I get better. I doubt myself less. I learn new things.

There are a few easy questions that I ask myself when I’m evaluating an option: if it makes me happy, if it’s good for me, and if I can be proud of it. Some have learned the hard way, that if I don’t get a ‘yes’ out of all three… that I’m not going to be game.

Placement

I was shocked to find another Stargazer. A September Stargazer is not common for Michigan, but I planted them at an odd time and we had irregular weather. That’s perfectly fine with me!

Everything seems to be stable and nothing has gone dormant. It’s weird; there was a time when I was so attached to each thing that I knew if it needed to be relocated or rotated. Lately I’ve felt distanced from the whole thing, appreciative of it being there but distinctly not tending to it like I was. It’s like my lessons have been learned and I’m looking elsewhere for amusement.

It’s all very beautiful and comforting but I don’t rely on it, anymore. Perhaps I am a gardener graduate.