Thursday, December 30, 2010

today i helped a lebanese woman study for her citizenship exam. i was tagging along with friends who thought that it would be good if i were to read through the exam questions, because she hadn't heard my voice before. the first question i opened to was, "are you or have you ever been a prostitute?" the next question was, "have you ever sold your body for money?"

it was very weird to walk into this proud woman's house where i was offered cardamom coffee and to ask immediately, "are you or have you ever been a prostitute?" it probably isn't a very good conversation starter in any other situation.

her english was a little rickety and she gave a couple of especially non-sequitur answers over the course of the mock interview. my friends and i laughed out loud at some of them, which probably wasn't the nicest thing to do, but sometimes it was just too funny. take, for example:

what is the name of the national anthem?
three hundred and seventy five.

what was the main concern of the united states during the cold war?
thomas jefferson.

who brought the slaves over to america?
my husband.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

last night i had a dream that one of our neighbors in the apartment complex got a piano, and i thought, me, me, me! i want a piano in my apartment, too!

retail has pretty much run out of charm. it is okay for a couple of months, but as soon as i start thinking about the massive amounts of time and effort i spent getting my undergrad, i immediately feel like a collapsed house of dreams. smoke furling out of shattered windows, that sort of thing.

two days ago there was a dress hanging on one of the return racks that i had never seen before. it looked like a fish, and i had to share the experience with somebody, anybody. so i addressed the most nearby customer. "ma'am, doesn't this dress look like a fish?"

she gave me a look and said, "i actually bought a dress just like that about a year ago to wear to my son's wedding. and then two months ago i buried my husband. both times i received a lot of compliments on it."


my girlfriend reminds me that every hour i spend organizing elastic-waisted velour pants and turning shirts right-side-out after they've been thrown on the dressing room floor is another hour closer to switzerland. but what kind of way is that to live, killing time?

"i believe that you are your work. don't trade the stuff of your life, time, for mere dollars. that's a rotten bargain." - rita mae brown.

so i put in my two weeks. i told them i was going home for christmas.

"going home for christmas," said one of my supervisors, eyes narrowed, like a snake about to strike.

i'm broke. i'm lonely. i'm cold. i'm making time for the work that i love every morning when the campus is covered in snow and everybody else is still in bed.

it will get better. it will get better. it will get better.

Thursday, December 9, 2010