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overall, it was a fucking miserable day.

first, i went to udf. that part, besides being slow and boring (most our customers are college students, and on a saturday morning, most college students are still in bed, recovering from hangovers), was ok. susan said that chantaye (who was the shift leader last night) said that i was a hard worker. everybody says i'm a hard worker, which is one more reason that i think i shouldn't get a real job. at places like these, there's always something to physically be doing. that's the kind of work i can do for long periods of time. i'm good at that, because i hate being bored, so i'll find something to do, even if i wind up mopping the floor. i want to do it not really because i'm worried about the floor looking good, but because i'm worried about keeping myself occupied. anybody who sees me doing it is going to think i'm a good worker, and that's fine. but i can't concentrate on academic stuff for long periods of time. at a real job, doing programming or engineering or whatever the fuck i'm going to wind up with a degree in, i'm going to look lazy. even if i want to work on something for 8 hours straight, i won't be able to do it. if i want to have a job that i'm good at, a job that i can go somewhere with, i practically have a better chance of doing that at a place like this. udf has such a high turnover rate that they promote fast. i bet if i stick around for 6 months or so, i can be a shift leader, which is a big pay increase. if i quit school and just worked at working someplace like this, people would like me, or at least respect me for my work ethic, and i could go somewhere. if i graduate and get a real job, people will resent me for being lazy, i'll be frustrated that i can't just apply myself, and if i don't get fired, i'll be stuck in the same position my entire life. i know i ask myself this all the time, but for real, why the fuck am i in school?

when i got off work there, i went to my grocery store. marie was in the break room, but so was jp. she poked me once, but jp had an interesting story to tell, and even though i would rather touch her, i wanted to know, and so did she. evidently, prudy got fired. he warned us not to take his word for it, because he had heard the story third-hand, but here's what he heard:
prudy's sister was having a baby, so prudy wanted to leave. prudy always wants to leave early or come late or something, and everybody (except maybe terrie) gets sick of hearing her excuses, so teena told her no. this time, i guess it was really important to prudy, so she called up jeff and asked him if he could please come in and work the rest of her shift, so she could go see her sister. jeff said sure, and he came in. however, he showed up at the same time that ann realized that aleesha (who is on the same probationary period that i'm on, only one step further) was late again today, and this meant that she had to be sent home. teena decided it was perfect timing, and sent jeff to take over for aleesha. jeff said he came in for prudy, but when teena insisted that he take over for aleesha, he cooperated. prudy got extremely upset (after all, she was the one who called jeff in), and said she was leaving. ann told her that if she left, she wasn't coming back. she said fine, and left. somebody asked ann, and she said she had meant it-prudy wouldn't be working here any more.
so prudy got fired, and maybe i heard it first, but i didn't get anything out of marie... fuck...

then we went up front, but she got sidetracked and started flirting with rex, which frustrated me, of course. i went into the time closet and sat on the step, stretched out longways, with my feet against one wall and my back against the other and waited (i still had 5 minutes). she came in about a minute later, and went to sit on my feet, so i moved them out of her way, a little, but my legs were still touching hers... she didn't move to stop touching me, and neither did i. jorge came in and asked me to see a movie with him. i said i didn't want to see the movie. he said, 'well, that's ok. what do you like to do?' i said sleep, and luckily his mind wasn't in the gutter, because he said, 'awwww, that's no fun,' and left. marie laughed and rubbed my knee and said 'i'm sorry, that must have been a traumatic experience for you...' and i laughed too... jorge asked out pam, and she's in her 40s... the kid is crazy...
we sat in that position for a little longer, and it was surprisingly comfortable. my brain is ahead of my mouth, and i think it's ahead of my body too, because in my mind, all i want to do is get her fucking naked and grab her, fuck her, eat her, but in real life, it's bliss just to feel her body against my legs and her hand rubbing my knee.
in my mind and in real life, it's fucking frustrating when she gets up to clock in, and my legs feel cold and i feel lonely. i hate how the good things create the bad things.

i needed some cigarettes and i went up. i messed up marlboro (i do that all the time) and terrie said there weren't any. marie got them for me. terrie told marie, 'did you know that she knows everything there is to know about writing checks and stuff like that?' this time, the sarcasm in her voice is obvious.
marie asked, 'huh?' i left with my cigarettes. the point was to remind me that she still hates me, and it worked. i don't know if i'm supposed to take it in a stride, like having her hate me is no big deal, but i can't. it bothers me. her words are fucking harsh, and they sting.

amit and rashid come over to talk to me on self-check. actually, amit was already there and rashid came over to ogle at a girl who was going through self-check. he said something to amit in hindu and amit laughed and told me, 'he's checking out that girl.' then he asked me, 'do you like to check out girls?'
rashid started laughing hysterically. amit waited for an answer. i said no (which is the truth). he asked, 'do you like to check out guys?'
i said no.
rashid had to go back to his register, but amit kept talking to me. he said i had to like to check out one or the other, and i said it's rude to stare at random people's bodies, and i just don't get much out of it. he said sure, but which sex did i prefer to look at. i just kept saying it's rude, it's rude, it's rude. finally, he managed to get it into a question that couldn't be answered with 'it's rude,' so i completely ignored the question and answered, 'like that drunk bum who stared at this girl's butt when she was bent over the counter, just flat-out, completely obvious staring, and she got all mad at him and they took it outside and she was screaming for him to stop staring at her butt and he was mumbling drunken nonsense, like that he was just trying to read her tattoo and that he's not like that, no, really, even though he so is because he comes in just to stare at girls all the time.'
he laughed and had to go back to a register.
i frustrate me. i'm scared that he knows. but if i don't want him to know, why didn't i just lie and answer 'yes' when he asked if i checked out guys? and if i do want him to know, i could have answered yes to the girl question. what's with me? i won't lie and i won't tell the truth and i'm stuck at this awful place in the middle, where i almost know what i want, but not quite.

terrie came over and borrowed my pen to sign her paycheck from her other job. fed-ex. she makes 11 something an hour, she tells me. i tell her i want to get a job there, working nights, when i quit school, so i'll work here and udf and there and i'll get rich. she says that's practically just like her, and i realize that it is. i wanted to work at fed-ex way before i knew she worked there, because they pay well... i'm just waiting til i have the time and a car. but she talks to me about it, like i'm a real person, and she doesn't hate me, and then she leaves.

matt asks if i can stay over at all, and i tell him i can give him a half hour. he says i should be able to get the baking isle faced by then, and i say sure, i will when i'm done up front.

at night, i go to turn in the drawer from self-check, and i notice that somebody has saved all of the reciepts from voided transactions. i hadn't saved any of mine... i wondered if i should have been saving them... so when i brought it up and turned it in to terrie, i asked her if i was supposed to save them. she answered snappily, 'you should know. you know everything, remember?'
i wince. i'm hurt and i'm frustrated. i hate this. i don't know everything, and i don't think i know everything, and that's one of the things i hate about other people, is when they think they do. i don't. i know nothing and i think that i know even less than that, which is why i'm always double-checking, asking everybody about everything they do that's different from what i do, even the new people, because i'm always worried that i'm the one doing it wrong, or i learned it wrong, or i'm making the mistake. but she doesn't fucking see that. she doesn't understand that i asked the questions not because i thought i knew everything, but because i thought she knew everything, and i'm so fucking seven that i can't come up with a way to explain it to her.
when i try to talk when i'm frustrated, i just whine. terrie turns me into a whiny baby. i whine, 'but i don't know everything! i don't know anything! i'm just asking cause i want to know, do i need to keep them?'
she snaps, 'i don't know. unlike you, i don't know everything; i figured you would be able to tell me.'
i make an upset, frustrated, garbled noise that doesn't come close to being a word, but sounds something like 'aurbghb,' and she sighs, 'i'll find out for you,' but she doesn't.

i want to cry. it takes every bit of my strength to keep me from crying. i can't take this. i can't take terrie. yeah, i'm frustrated, but i'm frustrated every day of my life. the problem is that i'm also crazy hurt. she hates me. she thinks i'm an awful person. she thinks i'm a snob, a stuck-up know-it-all, and regardless of anything else, i still like terrie. she may be an evil bitch in real life, but i don't see her that way. i still see her as a fellow lesbian, and as the terrie that christine was friends with, the terrie that marie laughs with and gives back massages to. i still want to be her friend and i still want her to like me. thinking that she hates me is one thing, but now it's like she's constantly ripping on me, and i can't take it. everything i do is a good enough reason for her to snap at me or make me feel bad. it was much better before that day when i got sick, when i started talking to her again. i felt better about myself when she pretty much ignored me, and i figured she hated me, but didn't have to constantly deal with this in-your-face proof of it. that's it. i don't need this, and if i've got to run away from it, i'll run away. no more terrie. rashid went two months without talking to marie, and i can do the same for terrie. this is not to 'punish' terrie, or to make her change her ways, or anything like that. this is to salvage what's left of my self-esteem.

i go over to the registers because i still have 15 minutes up front, before i can go work grocery. marie (who is a cashier for the evening) tells me that they (jane and terrie) want me to run malik a break. i ask if i should get my own drawer or use his. she says she doesn't know; ask them. jane is on break. i say, 'but just terrie's up there.'
marie says, like i'm stupid, 'well i'm sure she'll know. ask her.'
i ask if i can wait until jane gets back. i know i can't; i get off in 15 minutes and malik gets a 15 minute break. even now, it's too late, and waiting will just make it later.
she asks, 'what, don't you like terrie?'
aurgh. just like jim, a year ago. history repeats itself. don't i like terrie? yeah i do, that's the fucking problem, is that i do like terrie, so i care what she thinks. i don't want to talk to her because she doesn't like me, not because i don't like her. why does everybody interpret it the other way? i say 'no... i mean yeah,' because which of those answers means i like her? i can't decide, so i just conclude, 'i dunno.' then i find a stray cart, and say, 'let me just take this back first.'
she says ok, so i do, slowly, and when i come back, jane is still not back and i can't find anything else to stall with, so i suggest, 'how bout i just run on his drawer?'
malik, who is ready for break, says, 'sure. you ready?'
i look at marie for permission. she says, 'ask terrie.'
i say, 'but if i just do it, they won't care, will they?'
she's running out of patience. she answers, 'loser, i don't care. do what you want. just don't tell them i said it was ok.'
i see jane coming downstairs, and before she can make it back to the office, i catch up to her and ask her, so terrie won't even be around. she says she'll get me another drawer. i go back and tell malik and marie, and then brian calls jane. he talks to her for a few minutes, and i just bag for marie. marie suggests, 'go get a drawer from terrie.'
i say, 'jane said she'd get me one.'
marie is exasperated. she says, 'but she's not getting you one. she's busy, and you're off in ten minutes. you needed a drawer five minutes ago. terrie is perfectly capable of giving you a clean till. go.'
i don't mean to drive marie crazy, but i just can't deal with terrie again tonight. i swear i'll have a breakdown... i say, 'i'll just wait for jane.'
she exclaims, 'loser! go. ask. terrie.'
i'm frustrated... i whine, 'but she'll yell at me!'
she's a little calmer, now that i've at least given half a reason for my bizarre behavior. she asks, 'did she yell at you before?'
i don't know what to fucking say. i didn't fucking mean to say that. there's a million and three reasons why i should keep my mouth shut about this whole situation. i don't want terrie to know that it's bothering me. i don't want to sound like a tattle-tale. i don't want to seem like a baby, getting so bent out of shape by what somebody else might consider harmless teasing. i don't want anybody to think that i'm trying to get sympathy, like oh, poor baby, is terrie being mean to you? and i don't want it to get back to terrie, because she'd probably begin to include that in her list of mean things to say to hurt loser. i can hear it now... first, a sharp, you think you know everything and then why don't you go whine to marie about how i'm mistreating you? i don't want jane to find out that i won't speak to terrie, because it might hurt my chances of getting moved to the office. i don't want marie to know what's going on, at all, but it's too late to take back that whine, and if i say no now, it will sound like i lied, so i mumble a barely audible 'yeah.'
she's interested now, and asks, 'why?'
no way. i don't care if marie thinks i'm an idiot; i'm not telling her (or anybody else) any more. i answer, 'i don't know.'
she asks, 'well what'd she say?'
'i don't know.'
'i don't know.'
she's losing patience again. she sighs, 'so she yelled at you, but you don't know when or why or what she said?'
'i don't know.'
she looks at the clock (i now have 8 minutes), sighs, and goes up to the office and gets a clean drawer from terrie. she hands it to me and i take over for malik.

malik takes an 18-minute break. it takes me a full half hour to face the baking isle, and that's when i'm going as fast as i can. i'm not going to be able to finish it in 20 minutes, and matt's going to think i was going slow or being lazy. when malik comes back, terrie and jane don't have a drawer ready for him. he comes out and bags for me. marie asks him, 'you know she was supposed to be off at 10:30...?'
he says it's not his fault, but when he goes over for a drawer again (they still don't have it ready), he tells them that. he comes over and reports back to me that they say the schedule says i'm off at 11. i don't know what schedule they're reading, but i spend hours analyzing the fucking schedule, and i know i'm off at 10:30. marie is off at 11. malik is off at 12. terrie and jane are off at 12. rashid was off at 10. i have the fucking schedule memorized. i'm off at 10:30, i told matt i would get the baking isle done, and they're not even going to let me start it?? i tell him, 'no, i'm off at 10:30.'
he shrugs and says sympathetically, 'sorry, man, but i'm just a nobody... i've got no idea. go talk to them.'
i can hear it now... why are you asking me when you're off? why do you need to see the schedule? you know everything. figure it out. come on genius, what do you need us for?
i can't put myself through that. by the time i got done working it out with them, i'd probably be crying, and i'd only have 10 minutes left in the baking isle anyway. it's not worth it. i mumble, 'forget it. i'll just stay til 11.'
marie asks what's going on, and i tell her they say the schedule says 11. when she gets a break in her line, she goes up there to look at the schedule. she comes out with jane, and jane apologizes to me. she says the schedule did say 10:30, and somebody wrote in 11. she doesn't know who wrote it, but she's sorry for making me stay over, and i can leave now if i want. i don't bother to explain that i wasn't going to leave, just face, and that i want to get paid until 11, and that i'm not at all upset because i had to stay late, just upset because i frustrate marie and because terrie fucking hates me and because matt's going to think i'm lazy or a liar when he sees that i haven't touched the baking isle. i just tell her, 'no, it's fine, i'll just stay this last little bit.'
she says she's sorry again, and i tell her again that it's fine.

as we're finishing our conversation, i get a customer with a huge order. by the time i'm done with this, there will be no point in going back to grocery. i resign myself to the fact that i'm spending my last ten minutes up front, and that matt will now hate me too, and i ring up the order.

when i'm done, i shut off, even though i have a few more minutes. i can't afford to get another huge order, or i'll get overtime, so i go to bag for malik, but marie shuts off too, and comes and stands by me and so does the policeman that everybody talks to. i want marie. i let malik fend for himself, and i stand there and talk to marie and the cop. marie says she hates beer. he says there's better stuff. i say jello shots are good. i don't fucking know, either. i've never had a jello shot. i've never tasted anything alcohol-related that has tasted good to me, but i'm sick of being the innocent kid and i want to have something to contribute to the grown-ups' conversation. they agree, and marie talks about a party where she had a lot of jello shots... we talk about drugs and legos and my second job.
as we talk, matt walks by. he's going to the back dock, for break with the rest of the night crew. i don't know what he thinks. he either thinks i'm off front end at 11, and then am going to work the baking isle til 11:30, and will be upset with me after break, when he discovers i haven't done it, or he thinks i was off at 10:30 and instead of doing the baking isle, stayed on the clock to talk to marie and the cop, like i'm lazy like the rest of the world. i don't want him to think either of those... i want him to keep letting me get extra hours... i want to go explain, but marie is blocking me in and i can't bear to leave her, even if she wasn't. he passes and i missed my chance and i'm mad at everything...
she suggests that we go up and get our stuff, and i ask, 'before we clock out?!?!'
she laughs and says, 'come on, be a rebel,' and lets me past her.
i say, 'nah, i'll clock out first,' and go to go the other way, but she props her leg up on the other side of the checklane so i can't get through. i walk straight into her leg and keep pushing, like that silly red rover game, only her leg and a checklane instead of two arms. i only get to lean on her leg for a second before she pokes me in the side and i jump back. then i push again, and get poked again... we play like that for a little, and then she lets me through and goes with me to clock out.

it's 10:59. she clocks out, but i'm in the doorway, sort of blocking her way, so she waits. i tell her not til 11. she says she's going to do it for me, and finds my name and asks for my passcode. they write it on the back of your nametag, when you first work here, and today i am wearing my original nametag. the code is so faded that i can't even make it out, and i know what number i'm looking for. i figure she doesn't have a chance, so i flip it around and show it to her. she leans over and stares at it a bit, while i marvel at how close she is to me, and how easy it would be to just reach out and wrap my arms around her waist and sink into her body and breath in and feel the comfort and the warmth of her ugly gorgeous body... marie is an oxymoron. she's got fucking great vision, though, because she gets the number. she tries to punch it, but i wrestle her and get my arm around her, so i'm holding both her hands down. she punches the numbers with her nose, and i have no more hands to stop her, even though i try to hold her back. she manages to punch me out at 10:59 and 59 seconds and i punch her in the arm and she laughs and we laugh and fight all the way up to the break room. she gets her stuff and waits while i get mine, and we walk downstairs and outside together, and she says, 'i have to go home,' and i wonder why the fuck she's telling me that, like if she didn't have to go home, we'd go out and get piss drunk together or something. i say bye and she says bye and she leaves and i watch and i hurt. i'm sick of playing. i'm sick of only touching her when it's a joke. i want a hug. i just want that comfort, of having her body close to mine, that's all. i just want to stop being 7, and to have her talk to me like a real person, and i want her to care.
fuck, do i even know what i want? i don't. i'm the most confused person i've ever met. i say it's just physical, what i feel for marie, but now i'm upset because she doesn't care about me, and i'm longing for the comfort a hug?? if it was just physical, i wouldn't care if she cared and i would be longing for the pure phsyical pleasure of sex. what the fuck is this?