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i got up and found the bi-weekly zit on my face. not really my face. this time, it was right in front of my ear, where a sideburn would be if i had one, but i don't. i say this not because it was particularly tragic, but because i'm going to bring it up again later.

i went to class, came home, finished typing the tape, and went to my next class. we still didn't get back our midterms. we are taking finals in less than 2 weeks and we still don't have our midterms back. i am getting upset...

molly and i skipped the next class. i came back and worked a little on writing up the paper. i have about 2 pages, out of 8.

molly had the day off, so i took her car to work. walking through the parking lot on my way in, i couldn't find marie's car. i don't know a thing about cars. i don't know what you call marie's car. i don't know the make or the year or anything, but give me a half minute to look over the parking lot, and i can either find you her car or tell you it's not here. same with terrie. i was all ready to be upset, because i wanted her to be here... but i figured maybe i was just blind today, and she's still here. i got inside, and she was there, behind the service desk. today was my dairy day, so i went up to the desk and asked michelle, tasha, and marie who i should call if i was supposed to work in dairy today. michelle told me, 'you're not supposed to work in dairy.'
i protested, 'but the schedule says i am.'
she answered, 'no it doesn't.'
i told her it did. she pointed to the break list, and said, 'you're on our list. that means you're up front.'
i pointed out that rex was on her list too, and he wasn't up front. she said, 'but he's at the bottom. you're not, so that means you're up here. and we need you to take over for tisha.'
i said, 'so i'm not in dairy at all?'
she replied, 'no. nobody told you that you were in dairy, did they?'
'jane did,' i offered.
'no she didn't.'
she fucking did. i don't mind staying up front, but i hate that her and tasha are looking at me like i'm lying to them.
i say, 'she did. she asked, 'did you see that you're working in dairy on wendesday?' and i said 'yes' and she said 'is that cool?' and i said it was cool, and today is wednesday.'
michelle sighs and says, 'well you can't go back there now. maybe at 7, we can send you back there, ok?'
she doesn't believe me, still. she's just saying that to shut me up, but i go ahead and shut up for her, and go take over for tisha.

the air is on full blast, and i'm frozen. it's raining outside, so there's no customers. i wander up to the service desk, hang in the low doorway, and memorize the break list while i listen to marie talk to kelly. they're talking about something, insurance and driving and something. i'm not sure. i don't care so much either. i just figure that if i stand here long enough, eventually marie will come over and touch me. it doesn't take long. she leaves kelly standing there and comes over to the low door. she puts her arm around me, rests her head on my shoulder and asks me, 'were you scared for me yesterday?'
i reply, 'no, should i have been?'
she says she got in a car accident yesterday, and some stupid lady hit her and the bitch didn't even have insurance. i reach up and touch her hand and tell her i'll be scared for it now, if that helps any. she says sure it does, and rubs her cheek against my shoulder. i realize that it is unbearably hot in the store. i am burning up but i'm loving every second of it. damn, i love the way she feels...
so that's why i didn't see her car. it's not here because it's wrecked.
then she lets go of me and talks to kelly some more about getting an estimate and what her insurance will do, while she traces her finger over my cheek. all of a sudden, she stops talking to kelly, touches my zit, and tells me, 'you have a pimple right there.'
i turn bright red and cover it up with my hand. it's not really a big deal. i don't care so much if it's there... i have a fairly clear complexion and i figure a pimple once or twice a month won't make or break my face, but this is marie and all of a sudden, i care.
when i finally move my hand off of it, she reaches out and scrapes it with her fingernail, which mustn't have done much, because she tries again, with both hands, to pop it. i squirm and move away and she commands, like i'm 7, 'hold still,' so i do. she pops it and i whimper and she tells me, 'there, all gone.'
then she goes back to talking to kelly, and i frown and press my upper arm into my face because it hurts and she makes a little, 'awwww' noise while kelly's answering, and then starts rubbing my back. i'm burning up again.
eventually, she gets a customer. kelly wanders away, and i turn back to the break list, which i had memorized about 10 minutes ago. i pretend like i'm still getting something out of staring at it, so i'm still in the low doorway when marie finishes. she comes over to me and shows me a book she's looking at. it's an apartment guide. she shows me a place she's looking at, and i ask if she's moving out. she says she is because she doesn't want to live with her parents any more. she's looking at 2-bedroom places. i ask who she's living with. the entire time we're talking, our upper arms are touching because we're both leaning against the door, so where the door stops, we lean into each other. i wonder if she's only leaning so she can touch me... she answers, 'my friend jamie,' and then she gets a customer again. as far as i'm concerned, jamie is the most gender-neutral name there is. in my lifetime, i've known 2 boys named jamie and 2 girls named jamie. i want to know if jamie is a boy or a girl... i call after her, 'i know a jamie!'
she helps the customer, comes back, and tells me, 'this jamie is a boy.'
i can't decide if she's reading my mind or if she just wants to show off that she's living with a boy.
i volunteer, 'i know a jamie who is a boy too.'
we flip through the book and talk about rent and other apartment stuff, like real people, just about. the places she's looking at are like half what i'm paying. when you live by campus, it's expensive... i tell her i'm jealous, and she laughs and asks if i want to live with her.
hell yeah, i do. but even if she's serious, i would need a car to get to campus from where she's looking, and i don't have one. rather than try to figure out if she's serious, i just say with a grin, 'if i had a car,' and i let her decide if i'm serious or not.
we go back to looking at the book, still leaning into each other... then pam calls me to my register. i wish i didn't have to go, but at the same time, i realize that i've spent over 15 minutes just standing up here doing nothing, and i'm probably due to work a little. marie doesn't even see that, though, because she glares in the direction of the registers and says, 'i hate pam.'
i'm glad. not glad that she hates pam, but glad because i know that means she's upset that i'm leaving.

the rain stops. dustin comes in for the evening and marie immediately starts flirting with him. when i get breaks in my line, i sneak in that general direction, with stray carts and baskets, but i don't go up there again. i don't need any painful reminders that she prefers him to me... i still remember the time i made the mistake of thinking that i was as important as prudy...
but i'm dying to know about this jamie kid. is he her boyfriend? i would think he's not, but i really have no idea. what if she's moving in with her boyfriend? i can't stand not knowing...

i run a break on self-check. then michelle sends me on break, and i take my time getting my stuff together up there, hoping maybe marie will come over so i can say something to get her to tell me more about jamie, but she's intent on dustin. i wander around for a while, and finally give up and go outside. i sit out there with rex, and we talk about everybody's cars. he knows what everyone drives. i tell him that for the longest time, i only knew teena and christine, because theirs were so obvious. we have a conversation about both of christine's cars, and then christine herself. he says it's too bad she got fired, and i agree. we talk about how nice she was, and then we move on to other cars. i miss christine...

i come back inside. dustin is outside. i go up to get a drawer, and michelle is apologetic. she tells me that i am supposed to be in dairy today, and i can go back there now. marie says, 'awwww... are you leaving me? i'll miss you...'
i grin and tell her, 'i'll miss you too.'
i'm getting good at this. i'm serious, but if she's not, she can't prove that i am. it's wonderful when nobody knows if anybody's saying what they mean. wonderful, that is, in the most sarcastic sense of the word... i just want to know where i stand...

before i leave for dairy, though, i ask 'how come your parents aren't killing you for living with a boy?'
this is my spur-of-the-moment idea on how to find out about jamie. she says they don't care. i tell her my parents would kill me if i moved in with a boy. she asked michelle what she would do if her daughter wanted to live with a boy, and michelle said it would depend on the boy. i said my parents wouldn't care what boy it was; they would hate it. marie tells me, 'well it's not sexual...'
what is sexual, then? tell me about sexual. show me sexual. what do we have? is this sexual? all the accidental touches, and the purposeful ones too, what are those? are they sexual? can you tell me about sexual, marie?
call me crazy; i probably am, but hearing her say 'sexual' turns me on like nothing else. i ignore all the thoughts running through my mind and tell her, 'well it wouldn't...'
i decide that's probably not what i meant to say, but i already see marie and michelle exchanging a glance, and i wonder if they're filling in the blank i left... i declare, 'my parents would hate it anyway.'
marie talks about how religious jamie is, and how she thinks he's gay anyway, so it's not a big deal.
i wonder if she's saying all this to answer the question i asked or the question i didn't ask...

i call brian to figure out exactly what being in dairy entails. he sends evan back to meet me and take me through it. evan tells me that jorge (who got moved to dairy a few weeks ago) just isn't working out for them, and next week there are some big dairy sales, so brian has me back here every day next week, he thinks. i wonder if he's getting me mixed up with molly. i don't want to be in dairy every day... i like the front end. or maybe i just like marie, but either way, i don't want to spend all next week back here...
between the two of us, we fill and face everything, in under 3 hours. it's not even 10 yet, and i'm supposed to be here til midnight. brian is gone, and evan tells me i can probably just leave now. i hate giving up the hours... so i go up front to see if there's anything art wants me to do, and he sends me out to get carts. i clear the lot, and then he asks if i've had my last break. i forgot all about it... so i take that, and then he tells me to give helen a break. i do, and then i bag for a little, and then art asks me to work the returns, so i do that for about a half hour. then matt sees me and asks how much longer i'm here. i tell him, and he tells me to leave the returns for them to do at the end of the shift, and to face the baking aisle, so i do. i manage to finish it, and then it's midnight, so i clock out. i go past dairy and notice that the milk is getting low... i wonder if they expected me to fill the milk again before i leave... i hope not... i hope they're not going to be upset because they think i wasn't working... i was working. just not in dairy. so today, i worked 5 different positions: cashier, self-check, bagger, dairy, and night stock. look at me; i am multi-purpose.

i don't know why i'm not exhausted now... i have to work early tomorrow. i feel like i'm actually making at least a little bit of sense, so it would probably be a good thing to work on that paper now, but if i do that, i'll be dead tomorrow. i think i'm going to get a bite to eat, and then i'll make a decision.