I have really big news, is that I got. a mother. fucking. JOB OFFER. That’s right, I’ve officially accepted a job offer to be a full time web developer at a small company in the city I want to be in, doing what I quit my old job to do, getting paid a salary. I’ve never had a salaried job before. I’m kinda nervous. But super excited, which means eventually I’ll get to move back into the city.
So…if this is a really awesome thing to happen to me, considering the major downs I’ve been seeping in, why the hell do I still feel like my life is shit?
Probably because trying to find a new car is super stressful. Also I’ve begun looking at potential 1 bedrooms/studios to live in, which is also stressful, but should probably take a backseat to my finding a new car. And, I got a goddamn ticket for driving without my headlights turned on. I was driving my mom’s car, which used to belong to my sister, which I’ve driven maybe once, and for some reason I turned the headlights off, forgot to turn them on when I was leaving a dance, and I got fucking pulled over by a member of Atlanta’s finest to receive a citation for driving without my headlights. AMAZING. REALLY. MY LIFE ISN’T STRESSFUL ENOUGH, PLEASE, NO REALLY I INSIST, PLEASE GIVE ME MORE SHIT TO DEAL WITH.
I bought a silicone keyboard cover to place on my macbook to protect it from potential spills that may/will occur. It feels weird to type on, and I realize it muffles the speakers of this computer. So uh…it doesn’t feel quite as good to use, and it dulls a certain sensation…I’ve been calling it a keyboard condom. Yup.
But first, storytime:
A couple of days ago, I got a phone call that ID’d as someone in Atlanta/Decatur. So, I answered. “Hello?”
“Hello! This is Bob-Smith-Dude-Guy from Random-Home-Security-Company! How are you doing today?”
“Oh! I’m doing fine, thanks!”
“Wonderful! Now, I’d like to talk to you about our home security services. Are you the homeowner?”
“Sorry, I am not the homeowner.”
“(brief pause)…Okay!” he said, cheerfully.
Then he hung up.
Uhhhh, rude. Didn’t even give me a proper farewell. WELL, joke’s on him, I actually own, like, 5 houses, he would’ve made a killer commission of the sale I was about to make him.
Anyways. I was on my way to my new part-time job’s in-store training. I was super frustrated because I underestimated the traffic to get into the city, and I was feeling really bummed and sad and stressed about losing Carla and having to find a new car and deal with insurance. I was about 20 minutes away from the store, stopped at a red light behind a line of other cars.
A panhandler was walking down the lanes, waving at drivers and holding a sign that said something about helping him eat today. I never give money to panhandlers, but that day, I remembered I had a granola bar in my bag. I grabbed it, rolled down my window, and called the guy over once I got his attention. I handed him the granola bar. He thanked me, and he continued down the street behind me as the light turned green, and I drove away.
I wasn’t sure if he’d even accept the granola bar. Ya hear stories about people offering to buy panhandlers food, only to have their offer rejected because they really just want money for…things. I guess. So, I felt just a little better that the dude took my granola bar.
What I’m trying to say is: yeah, right now, I feel pretty shitty. But things could be a lot worse. I’m in a fairly good spot, all things considered. I just gotta keep my perspective on life.
Also, last night I cracked open a fortune cookie that read, “Your skills and talents will soon be recognized.” God I hope so, if this refers to the interview I just had today. Which went well. I’m pretty optimistic about it.
I’ve admired tattoos for quite a while now. Or at least, ones that are done well. I like how they can say a lot about the person who has them. Me, I’ve just never had anything very meaningful enough that I’d want it permanently etched into my skin.
I mean, it’s pretty simple. Nothing too exciting – a line of text, but it’s from a play that I’ve carried with me for a long time. And for some reason, today I suddenly thought I might like this idea as a tattoo. Where, and how though? No clue. Do I even really want it? Well, I’ll give myself maybe 6 months, and if I still want it by then, well, fuck, I’ll do it.
And yes, this even includes your divorced parents.
I never would have thought I’d be one for casual debauchery. I’m still wondering if it really happened and it’s not just something conjured by my imagination.
But a touch to my still slightly sore knees tells otherwise.
Bear no malice for the ones who leave you. The only regret they feel now is the regret of not being able to tell you how they really feel.
From Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. By Bert V. Royal.
No matter what Time does, it never seems to fully please us.
We’re impatient with it. It never moves fast enough when we want it to. We want the stoplight to turn green already. Why won’t this lecture end. Is it lunchtime yet? When the hell is Sherlock returning. How many more days until the weekend? I wish my food would get here already. Is it 5 o’clock yet?
We want more of it, for those moments and experiences that we wish we could soak in for as long as we’d like. Admiring a burning sunset sink lazily over a lake. Receiving thunderous applause and praise from friends and family after an adrenaline-fueled performance. Watching last night’s lover sleep next to you, wrapped in the cool embrace of dawn.
And it surprises us when we turn around and realize how far it’s carried us along. Sometimes this makes us feel rather cross. You scoundrel, Time – when did you sneak up on us like that?
It’s not that I’ve forgotten the date – it’s that I’m realizing it’s taking less and less amount of time for the date to sneak up on me. I felt slightly embarrassed that I practically had to be reminded about Ashleigh’s death anniversary by means of a link sent to me, leading me to her memorial ad in the local online paper.
So maybe I’m starting to lose awareness of when February 3rd approaches. Maybe next year it’ll already be February 3rd and I’ll have just realized its significance to me. And maybe the year after that, or the next one, the day will pass and I’ll have forgotten its meaning all together.
But while I might lose track of the calendar, I do not forget Ashleigh. The gravity of her passing still affects me from time to time, in some way or another. Last spring, my university’s theatre department ran the premiere production of Hidden Man, and in one scene the protagonist attempts suicide via hanging. Normally I don’t have issues suspending my disbelief when it comes to violence on stage, but watching this was something else entirely. I was immediately brought out of the performance. I felt ill. I actually buried my face in my hands because I just could not watch this suggested act of suicide, even though I still knew it’s staged, it’s a performance. It bothered me so much that I had to step outside the building during intermission to get some air.
After the show, I felt embarrassed and chided myself. Why do I still let what happened to Ashleigh bother me so much? Why did she even matter to begin with, if the only relationship I had with her was that she babysat me and my siblings when we were younger?
I guess, just by being somewhat prominent in our childhood, she was important. And while time passed and we no longer needed a babysitter, we still remembered her. And when we found out what she had done, it rightfully shocked us.
It was the first time I had to cope with an act of suicide by someone I knew. And by default of being a first, it’s not something I will easily forget.
I’m not entirely sure what I accomplish by writing about it every year. Part of me is skeptical, that maybe I’m trying to draw attention, that I’m just throwing a small pity-party.
But ultimately, I want to think I do it for myself. I want to remember Ashleigh, and trying to spend a little time each year writing a few words happens to be my preferred method.