Okay, so I’ve listed two topics here. I think they are really related in a lot of ways, so I’m combining the two into one great big thingy. So here goes . . .
“Revenge” “Have you ever rebelled? If you have, how did you do it?”
I wouldn’t consider it Rebelling.
I would consider it doing What is Necessary to Get My Point Across. If a few windows get smashed along the way or a few nights get spent in a jail, whatever. And the problem isn’t me, hellooo. If more people would do What is Necessary to Get Their Points Across, the world wouldn’t be so screwed up. I hate seeing people sitting back and getting taken advantage of by big mean businesses or government entities and stuff like that. People need to take a stand when they see an injustice. Maybe that’s why I like working in a law firm. That’s all these people ever do is take stands. I know it’s cool to hate lawyers and stuff these days, but honestly, I like what I see in the people I work with. In . . . terms . . . of . . how they do their jobs anyway. *pauses to think about how to describe the past few weeks’ occurrences* Okay, I won’t even get IN to how certain people around here operate their personal lives, not to mention the fact that their personal lives always seem to be popping up (ohhh, bad choice of words) in whatever closet I happen to open.
Of course, (moving on to Revenge now), I feel better when I get revenge by telling EVERYONE in the office every detail of what I’ve seen, and I do. I think the higher-ups know by now I’m the one who spreads all these “rumors” but they also know they can’t do anything about it because all the rumors are true. But, for the most part, I find revenge to be unnecessary. Most people who do something revenge-worthy end up being “punished” by their own doings and un-doings, or they, you know, escape to a New York Office before I have a chance to take revenge on them, or I’ll find that they just don’t need to me to take revenge on them because they are already punishing themselves.
What? What was I supposed to do? Believe me, I wanted to scratch his eyes out when I found them together, and I wanted to scratch her eyes out even MORE but the weird thing is I was totally mad at her for doing it with him but now I’m even MORE mad at her for leaving him and I don’t understand why anyone would be so callous as to just walk away and - - who cares. God, whatever. It’s not my problem.
But anyway, to provide a proper conclusion to my essay, I just have to say that rebellion is totally glorious and justifiable, while revenge . . . *looks down the hallway at a closed door* . . . revenge just has a way of working itself out.
My favorite . . . tough crap Alan!!! . . . retreat. Sorry, just had to say that. Tough crap. You could have had me, but now you CAN'T. Do you get it? You had your chance and you blew it on The Squid.
Okay, whatever, my favorite retreat. Right now is the beach. I've perfected myself in a swim suit, and nothing makes me more happy in the summer time than flaunting it. I've got it. I know it. And I fully plan to enjoy myself this summer. I know Boston isn't famous for its beach community, but you know, here's all you have to do is "Take the Red Line to Broadway T station, then No. 9 or 10 bus to end of line; or Red Line to South Station, No. 7 bus; or Red Line to Andrew T station, No. 10 bus; or Green Line to Copley Station, No. 9 or 10 bus to end of line. Also: Red Line to JFK-UMass and walk to Carson." Where you'll find "Our prize for the most urban-feeling shore goes to South Boston, where you find Castle Island, L Street Beach,and Carson Beach. Here, the sunburned descendants of Irish brick masons share sand with elderly Vietnames e fisherwomen and Dominican middle-school students. You'll hear Cambodian and Creole mixed with the tinkling of the ice cream truck and the bumping bass of the 69 Boys; you'll smell hot dogs and salt water. You will also have to pause inyour conversation every few minutes as yet another jet plane roars low overhead on its way to Logan Airport."
I ripped that off from the Boston Globe, but I'm more than happy to credit them. That's where you'll find me this summer. Hanging out on the beach. My favorite retreat.
My other favorite retreat is shopping. There's something about shopping that makes me feel so complete. I suppose if I had a therapist they might tell me it's some sort of substitution for real emotions or connections with other human beings, but whatever. My tikki torches never forget to call me. My cappucino maker never screws around with other women. My stainless steel pepper mill never ceases to arouse. Shopping rocks. I know you understand.
My mother. Ok. I guess I’ll write about my mother. Anything to keep my mind off . . . The Squid. That’s right. I’m going to just pretend I didn’t hear the . . . I guess we’ll call it ‘ruckus’ . . . in his office the other day AND pay no attention to the graphic rumors flying around AND continue to believe those scratches on his face and neck and god knows where else are just from some inexplicable fall. I can ignore all of this. He’s still mine. Whether he knows it yet or not.
Anyway, back to my mother.
I guess the word mother can mean a lot of things. I mean, it’s just a word. It can just mean the person who gave birth to you, or I guess it can mean the person who raised you and cared for you. I’m not sure the best way to describe my mother. All I really knew, growing up, was that my mother was different. She was never traditional, and she always followed her own paths. Which is good! Believe me, it’s good. I totally admire this about her. It was really great how she traveled a lot, and explored a lot, and never got stuck in those awful ruts of having a traditional job or a traditional marriage. 'You only live once, don’t you,' she would say. But anyway, it seemed like she was always the happiest when my dad would come for visits. I remember them in his van, singing along to the radio. We never actually went anywhere, we just drove around and I would pretend we were a normal family, taking a normal Sunday drive. But we don’t really talk about him any more. I think her new boyfriend doesn’t like him. I wonder what Alan’s mother was like.
CURRENT TOPIC: "Close your eyes and think about what you've been missing in your life lately. It could be a person, pet, place, thing, occasion, feeling. Anything at all that you miss dearly."
It’s interesting that you asked me to close my eyes first. Because, you know, the answer sort of changes when I close my eyes. When I have my eyes open the answer is that I miss the cool suede corkscrew chairs which I had to sell when I went into that credit card debt dealio. But with my eyes closed . . . I honestly miss my grandfather. I only think about it when I have my eyes closed, maybe, or something.
It reminds me of a line in For Whom the Bell Tolls (yes I read classics! What in the hell made you think I didn’t?) Robert Jordan talks about the closeness he had to his grandfather and he mentions what a shame it was that there was so much “time” in between people like himself and his grandfather. And it is a shame. Why didn’t my grandfather and I get to share the same time frame? Maybe it’s mean, but I feel like I would have been better off having my grand father as a parent, instead of maybe, having my parents as parents. My grandfather was someone who provided . . . guidance, I guess would be the word. I think that’s something parents used to provide. I guess I wish I could have spent more time with him. It’s not fair that I lost him so soon. I could really use him now. I think the whole world could.
CURRENT TOPIC: At times, lots of people never tell us what they are really thinking. Who is the one person that you would really like to know what they are thinking (as far as how they feel about you), and why?
* * *
I used to always wish I could read minds. Can you imagine how fun that would be? You'd like, know, but the other person wouldn't know that you know. And they'd be so freaked out because you'd be able to, well whatever. Back to the topic. I'm sure everyone reading this knows who I'm going to talk about, so I'm not even going to say his name.
For a long time I wanted to know everything he was thinking, wondered how he felt about me, wondered if he knew how I felt about him. At first I assumed that if he did think about me, it was just some sicko pervy thought that I'd rather not know. But then . . . There are still a lot of things I wish I knew, but I don't think he always knows or understands what he's thinking. It's like, even if I could read his mind I'd probably still be completely confused. (You know, he probably thinks in that word salad language, which would explain why he started talking that way. Hmm. Hopefully Denny is taking good care of him)
But anyway, the other day after my trial I stopped wondering. It was like I suddenly just knew. When I looked at him and asked him to celebrate with me, I knew he wouldn't, that he couldn't. And the weird thing is I completely completely understood why he wouldn't or couldn't, and I'm not hurt by it at all - for some reason I actually feel complimented - but it does make me sad for him, in ways I can't explain. I guess the reason a lot of people don't say what they are thinking is because sometimes it is impossible to verbalize. I couldn't explain what exactly happened after the trial to an outsider, but I just know that when he asked me to stop, but then didn't stop me everything suddenly made sense. There are certain things and certain feelings which aren't meant to be put into words. They can't be. I guess that's why I kissed him. I knew he would totally get it, and then neither of us would have to explain anything or discuss it further. Plus, I knew a kiss was all I was going to get.
I mean, I’m still cool of course, but for a fifth grader, I was really cool. I was one of those girls who knew how to dress, who knew what to say, who knew which boys to like, and who knew which girls to . . . pick on. I was tall, blonde, and my very cool friends were like a fifth grade version of Veronica’s friends in Heathers. So, anyway, me and Colleen and Monica ruled the bus stop. We determined who got on the bus first, last, and the order in between. But anyway, the point of all this is I want to talk about a girl named Listie.
Listie. Bizarre name. Bizarre girl. She was younger than all of us, I think only in third grade, and she was sort of screwed in the head. She would have these, like, chronic panic attacks if she wasn’t allowed to be the first one to get onto the bus. I think she was afraid she might end up sitting with a boy or something. And she really dressed bad. She would wear stuff that was popular last year, or things just wouldn’t match. We couldn’t believe it.
CURRENT TOPIC: What is the greatest sacrifice you've made for love?
Ok, first of all, love? Yeah. Second of all, why would I make sacrifices for it, or anything else for that matter? I don’t sacrifice. Life is hard enough already without making any additional sacrifices. I mean, look at what’s happened to me now! Here I am working on a whole different floor, with all these people I don’t even know, and there’s a freaky woman with some kind of eye twitch, and no one trusts me to do any work because they know I’m just here on the mean and unnecessary order of Ms. Schmidt *takes a breath and glares at cubicle wall* and I don’t know anything about what an “H.R.” person really does. Truth is, I don’t think they know. These people are seriously from a different planet.
Oh well, I guess it’s good resume material. And, it does give me better access to certain . . . things I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. And, hopefully it’s only temporary.
Anyway, back to the topic. I don’t think I’ve ever made a sacrifice for love. Unless you count the time I . . . well no, that wouldn’t count. Whatever. Why are we talking about this?
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?
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.
Karma. I think karma is like that weird hippie sh*t my parents used to talk about. I never really paid attention, but I think it means that if I’m like, super nice to someone, then they’re supposed to be super nice back to me. I don’t really believe in that though, because I’m always super nice, and yet bad things still happen. I mean, just the other day I got a speeding ticket. A speeding ticket! It’s so unfair. And I tried to be nice to the cop, but he didn’t even care; he just kept repeating the words “school zone” as if that’s somehow justification for doubling the fee. See? So, just when I think things are looking up, something stupid like this happens.
Maybe I should try this karma thing though. I mean, look at people like Denise. She’s not that much older than me and yet she gets to be a lawyer and have awesome hair. How much of that is due to karma? *crosses arms and raises eye brows* You just can’t know. But then I look at people like Denny. This weirdo shoots poor people with paint guns, sexually harasses everybody and sets a bad example of moral conduct by having alcohol at his desk, and yet he gets to be the senior partner and be on TV a lot. Things always turn out okay for Denny Crane. I bet he has no idea what it feels like to have his power shut off in the middle of winter. And what about Mr. Chase? With the sacrifices he must have made in Vietnam or wherever, he deserves to be the owner of the company. And what about Alan? He’s been so cool to me and gave all that money to the homeless guy, and yet he’s still single. *pauses and looks out the window for a while*
So whatever. It seems to me like everything in the world is just random. But okay, here’s the deal. As a test, I’ll give it a try. For the next little while I’m going to push myself and try even harder to be super nice. Like, I could make coffee for Mr. Chase tomorrow, or not hang up on Alan’s rude clients. I could even give Ms. Schmidt some advice on her wardrobe or try to have a conversation with Hands. There’s all kinds of things I could do. We’ll see about this karma thing. *narrows eyes* We’ll see.
I’m so glad you asked! Right now I feel happier than I’ve felt in months. Partly because I smashed a window, which felt a lot better than I ever could have imagined, but mainly because my wonderful boss Alan has rescued me from the totally f**ked up credit card people and gotten my financial life back on track. Without these enormous monthly payments, I’ll actually be able to start shopping again, which is a relief because I needed a new pair of shoes to match my hair binder thingy.
That really was the lowest depths I’ve ever sunk to. I would seriously rather die than go to a jail cell again. That was the most disgusting degrading thing I’ve ever been subjected to. How could they have put me in there with those horrible women? Couldn’t they see I different from them? They should have special cells for people like me, who are being arrested for reasons which aren’t even their fault. Thank God Alan came, although I didn’t really appreciate his “I’ll take the blonde” comment, or his disturbingly familiar rapport with that other slut-chick he’s apparently friends with. What was that about?
Oh well, the point is, it’s over. And the other point is I love how Alan defended me in the meeting with the white-toothed Texas jerk. He did look sexy doing it. And I told him so. Watching him take that guy down kind of makes me wish I was still on Night Terror Duty. Maybe it was hypocritical for me to tell him I thought he was sexy, after I made up that elaborate contract preventing Alan from making any kind of comment about my appearance. Hmm. I didn’t think of that. Oh well, I say what I say. Now, where’s my Pottery Barrel catalog . . .