January 3rd, 2006


TM Challenge: New Years Eve Reflections

CURRENT TOPIC: New Years Eve Reflections: Over the last year, did things go pretty much as you'd expected or planned, or did your life take a significant, unexpected turn? Overall, was it a good year or one that you want to put behind you as fast as you can? (canon or fanon)


After Mr. Chase declines my offer to accompany him to a bar – what a rejection! – I decide to leave work. I’m just not in the mood to be here. I scribble “Left” on a post-it note and stick it onto my computer screen. Hopefully Alan will see it there and understand. Hopefully Alan won’t fire me. What’s wrong with me today? Why did the Lizzie thing upset me so much?

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It’s all snowy and gray outside. But now I’m careful to walk as far away from the curb as possible. The slush stain which that stupid Mercedes splashed on me this morning is still on my coat. My hair is getting wet from the heavy snow which is coming down. I see my bus approaching but realize that in order to catch it I’ll have to dash across traffic and hop a few puddles, and that seems like too much effort. And at the same moment I’m captivated by a woolen knit hat in the shop window in front of me. Just as I’m about to go in and buy it I’m captivated by something else. An empty bench. Right now it looks like the most appealing thing I’ve ever seen. An elderly woman is eyeing it too, but I quickly rush in front of her and heave myself down in the middle of it, my purse occupying the remaining space. She walks on.

I sit there.

Then I start to think. I think about my job. I think about the weird dream I had about Alan last night. I think, why am I sitting here? I am so lucky to have this job and I’m jeopardizing it by ditching out in the middle of the day to sit pointlessly on an empty bench.

I think about how 2005 started for me, and how much better it turned out in the end. It started out as the worst year of my life. It was almost a year ago today that I lost my job at The Gap, but the memory of the day they let me go is still fresh in my mind. I still maintain I was framed. I don’t know how that scarf got in my bag. Then I think about having to work the whole series of frustrating, meaningless deadend jobs and mooching off my roomates, and living off of credit cards (why do they give credit cards to unemployed people?), the desperate day I enrolled at John Casablanca’s. The day I had to move out of my cool trendy Back Bay apartment and into a blue collar neighborhood in South Boston. But then, like a miracle, I got another chance. I got a real job. A job I can be proud of. You know, I’m not so stupid as to not know the real reason why Alan hired me, but I really needed this job. I bet I needed it more than those other women. Maybe in some weird way he could sense how much I needed it. Maybe it was like a karma fate type thing that brought us together. And now, through this unexpected turn, everything has worked itself out. My debt is gone. I’m actually saving money. South Boston is slowly becoming a cool trendy neighborhood. Everything is working out!

So . . . if everything turned out so well in 2005, why am I so upset today? I just feel, I don’t know . . . conflicted. I’m not sure what I want. I keep thinking about what he did in my dream last night, and how I kind of wish that would really happen, but that would be unprofessional and I’m sure he does that to all of his secretaries and it wouldn’t mean anything to him. Maybe I’m just tired of every guy I date describing me as “frigid.” Whatever . .

Melissa, you’re being retarded. Go back to work.

The 3:20 bus for Southie approaches. I watch it stop and then continue on its way without me. I lean my head back, letting the large snowflakes hit my face, undoubtedly smearing my mascara, but for some reason I don’t even care. Before long my face, my hair, and my coat are completely soaked.

Melissa, you’re being retarded. Go back to work.

I get up from the bench and look back at the side walk where I just came from. My old footprints have already been hidden completely by a new, white, covering of fresh snow. At the end of the block I can see the shimmering post-modern skycraper which houses the law offices of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. I begin toward it, going back to work.
  • Current Music
    the sad Charlie Brown Christmas song
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