Couple things- I can’t indent. I don’t know why. In the past I feared that anxiety, fear of failure, lack of direction, or lack of talent would prevent me from ever writing anything. Never in my wildest dreams did I think indentation would be a hurdle…so paragraphs are separated by spaces now, and aren’t indented. Not going to talk about it further. It’s a blast here at SFSF.
Just as unimportant, there is a picture of me in this masterpiece for no particular reason. Well, it’s the first picture of me. Sarah and I are having professional portraits done on Wednesday by Anne Geddes. That’ll also be the day we record a 4-hour long radio show. It’s going to be about two train operators. And a three-legged dog.
“SOOOOO, I don’t know what to do because I sent it in on Friday and the deadline is the 2nd, which is Sunday, which is kind of stupid-”
I don’t know what she’s talking about.
“I over-nighted the application. Cost me sixty dollars. It should be there by the time-”
Oh yeah, OK, so Thea’s talking about college applications. She’s applying to different masters writing programs throughout the country. Why is she talking to me about this?
Ben is about ten feet behind Thea, stocking the produce section. His early morning movements have an economy to them. He looks at the world as if he were a newborn. He places cabbage and lettuce into the produce stand with motions that resemble a baby sitting in a bassinet. He slowly lifts his arms up and down, getting used to his new body. He looks at his hands as if they are doing something completely alien.
“-over-nighted it on Thursday, I spent sixty dollars OK? not thirty-”
My coffee is sitting on the counter by my deli register. I haven’t drank a bit of it yet. I need to get ice from the machine in the basement to turn my coffee into iced coffee. I still don’t get why she’s telling me about her application issues…oh yeah- “Your application to UW?” Thea and I both lived in Seattle, so we share that. Plus we’re writers I guess. I think that’s why she’s telling me about this stuff. “When’s the deadline?”
“The 2nd. The deadline comes while they’re out but it will be there for them on Monday when they get back in. But like the deadline-”
Thea’s wearing the shirt that I made fun of her for wearing. I made fun of her about a month ago and I haven’t seen her wear it since. I thought she opened the door for scorn and whatnot because she first observed the hideousness of what looks like a man’s horizontally striped, Reagan era polo shirt- something a 17 year old pothead purchases at The Goodwill. That day, she admitted that her shirt was old and ugly, so I agreed and told her it didn’t look very flattering on her. Plus, we’re at work, we all wear old, ugly clothes. Her shirt just looked particularly old and ugly. Saying that was a mistake. I felt like it was OK, because I was just adding to the pile. Natalia Herzigovina, the manager, gave her shit about the shirt too- I think. But like I said, it was a mistake.
“SO…don’t know what to do…kinda worried.”
I used to mock statements such as “Not before I have my coffee.” I don’t know why she’s talking to me about the application process. I tended to focus on the possesive my when I made fun of people and their relationships with coffee.
“You’re looking at my shirt aren’t you? I know you hate my shirt.”
“Nope.” Ben looks manufactured. He is tan, slim, and slightly taller than average. He is good-looking. He has a black beard. It’s about the same length and thickness as the hair on his head- very short. In the mornings he’s more like a robot that was just rebooted, not an infant. He makes careful, inquisitive arm movement toward the produce stand. Ben Calls me Delington because I work in the deli.
“-So what should I do?”
This is unreal, she’s asking me for advice now.“When’s the deadline?”
“The 2nd. The deadline occurs while they’re away, on vacation with their happy little families eating turkey and stuffing and ham. It will be waiting for them when they get back to the office on Monday.”
Ben is a mobile wax figure. His hair and beard never vary in appearance. Delington is maybe my 24th nickname. “Call them.”
“Well, what if I call them and it’s like I’m sealing my fate, I’m highlighting my application as being late and right then and there they deny me? What if that’s how I find out I don’t get in? Right then and there.”
I need to get to that ice machine in the basement. I have to bend over every time I walk down the century-old basement stairs. I suppose this is because the building was designed and built by Oompa Loompas. The stairs are not level. Pretty sure that I’ll slip one day while bent over in a not-very-balanced position on the not-very-level stairs. And I’m pretty sure that I’ll fall face first onto the cement floor and knock out all of my teeth.
“What should I do?”
“I don’t know. Don’t call them? Just wait or something? Go in there with guns blazing?”
“What should I do, really?”
“I don’t know. Why are you asking me? Why are you asking me! I didn’t finish college! Undergrad! I’m irresponsible! My girlfriend had to walk me through the application process over the phone! I attempted to transfer from a JUNIOR COLLEGE. I applied online and we got it in at like 11:59 pm, one minute before the deadline! I swear! I’m the last person you should talk to! Undergrad! …and guess what? I never went! I got in, and never went! I’m a college drop-out! I am not responsible! IRRRRRResponsible!”
Ben acknowledges me suddenly, “Nice talk Delington.”