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yeah, it's happening again... marie was flirting with art, and it hit me all over again, just like yesterday. that jealousy, and the anger, and the hopelessness, and the frustration... within 5 minutes of my arrival, i went from the cheerful me that they're used to into this depressed whiny child. when art was on break, i went up there to get something, and marie asks what's wrong, and comes over to the low doorway and wraps her arm around me and says she loves me. it makes it worse. she loves me is a joke. she doesn't love me. and i probably don't even love her, but i do love the way her arm feels on my shoulder, and the way her cheek rubs against mine. i hate teena for kicking her in the butt and telling her to go help a customer, because then she lets go, and the next i know, she's standing between tyrone and paul, flirting with both of them at once, and i'm sinking deeper... art comes up and all of them are laughing, and she wants them, all of them, and i'm upset and she doesn't even notice, doesn't even care. i go up there and ask, 'can i go home?'
even ask i'm asking, i know i don't want to go home. i don't want to leave marie... i'm just being a manipulative bitch. i want marie to think i want to go home and i want her to care.
marie and art ignore me and teena answers, 'no.'
i keep whining to teena, about how i want to go home. she asks if i'm sick, and i avoid the question for a while, and finally admit that i'm not. art walks away and marie jumps in then, and asks, 'then why do you want to go home?'
because if i say it, maybe you'll care. i have to make something up, though, and suddenly, the lies come together in my mind, and i reply, 'because i'm sick of this place and these people.'
'who isn't?' teena asks.
'no, more than everybody else, more than any other day. i'm sick of all the stupid normal people.'
'i'm normal,' marie says.
'i know.'
'so are you sick of me?'
i don't answer, just mumble 'mmmhmmmnnnmmm,' or some such nonsense.
she tells me i'm normal and i tell her i'm not. she asks why not, and i whine, 'can't i just leeaaave?'
'no,' teena and marie tell me in unison.
then the pregnant kelly comes over, and teena asks her about her wedding, and i realize that if i was really upset about what i'm pretending to be upset about, this would make it worse. even though they probably don't know what i'm getting at, i'd better keep it consistant, just in case, so i sigh and mope off.
i put my head in my hands, and i hate what i'm doing. i hate that i'm lying. and then, out of the corner of my eye, i see her hand on art's shoulder, and i hear him laughing with her, and all remorse is gone. i go back over there and beg, 'please let me go home. please...'
they can't. i know they can't. nobody else is here who can close self-check. i know i can't leave, which is the only reason i'm begging. if there was a chance that they would let me, i wouldn't be trying so hard, because i don't really want to leave.
they tell me no, and then art has to go help josephine, and now that he's gone, marie is concerned about me. she asks what's wrong, and what's normal, and i say 'nothing,' and 'i don't know.'
then she says, 'there's a hot guy over on self-check who needs your help.'
'shut up, man! i don't care!' i exclaim angrily, and then i turn and walk out the door, into the lobby, and over to the window, where they can't see me. i hear marie tell teena, 'uhhh, she just walked out of the store.' i don't hear teena's answer. i don't know why she made that 'hot guy' comment. i think she knows... knows what 'normal' means, and knows why i'm upset... not the real reason, but the reason i'm hinting at. damnit, i hate this. i press my face against the window. i feel trapped. i start making shit up and i can't stop, and i don't even know why i started...
it's not like i'm making up this feeling... from the lobby, i hear her and art laughing, and it sends another sharp pang through my heart, reminding me that the feeling is very real. but the way i'm acting it out isn't real. if she couldn't see me, and if i didn't hope that she would react to me, i would be hiding it, to some extent. i wouldn't be begging to go home, and i certainly wouldn't be making up ways to tie my sexuality into these feelings, and then dropping hints in the hopes that she'd pick them up. this is wrong. this is fucking wrong, to put on an act just to get her attention. what the fuck is wrong with me? why am i such a jealous, manipulative, awful person?
i'm going to stop now. i'm going to shut my mouth and deal with it, and stop trying to control her emotions. i come back inside, and go over to self-check in silence. for a half hour, i don't move from that counter. then teena comes to get a pick-up, and asks me what's wrong. i say, 'nothing.'
she says, 'cheer up, kiddo. you and molly are my favorite reasons for working late at night... you guys are so fun... snap out of this funk, come on...'
this, too, frustrates me. it's a compliment, i suppose, but it sounds to me like she's saying, i want to have fun, and when you're upset, you don't entertain me. i don't care about you, but i want you to snap out of it for me. it makes it worse. it's not really teena's fault. anything besides marie (well, her or christine) is going to make it worse... it's just how i am... and i hate it.
i stay at self-check for another half-hour, ignoring the temptation to go whine to teena or art or to shove my sadness in her face. marie comes over to self-check, when i'm kneeling down, taking out some money. she stands over me and says, 'come on, tell me why you're not normal.'
i shake my head.
she says, 'i hate to see you so depressed... you know i love you... please tell me; i just want to help...'
why does her concern hurt so fucking bad? guilt, probably. i feel guilty when she cares and frustrated when she doesn't. i look up at her and i don't know what to say. i can't just tell her, right here in the middle of the store. and telling her might solve some problem i'm having, but it won't solve this, and this is what needs to be solved, worse than anything else. i can't keep living like this...
she gets a customer and leaves, and then she has to go back behind the desk. art goes home. a half hour before i'm supposed to leave, the power goes out. marie and teena come out from behind the desk, and the cop comes over. i dig a flashlight out from under self-check, and teena has one too. she hands one to the cop, and holds out the other towards me or marie, and says, 'one of you guys, go clear out half the store.'
marie says, 'i will.'
i don't want her to leave me... i protest, 'i want to,' even though i'm somewhat scared of the dark, and have absolutely no desire to roam the aisles by myself in the middle of the night in the darkness, with only a flashlight.
marie says, 'no, me!'
'no, me!' i say.
the policeman tells teena, 'why don't you let them both go together? it's probably safer that way, anyway.'
marie and i jump on that chance, and she grabs the flashlight and we go.
she laughs and says this is fun. the excitement of the situation, combined with the fact that i finally get marie to myself, is cheering me up a bit. i smile and agree.
when we get away from the front end, her laughter gets a little nervous, and she touches my arm and confesses, 'i'm a little bit scared of the dark.'
'me too,' i tell her.
we have to check the back, too. they say now is a good time for theives to sneak back there, and we should make sure it's empty, but we hesitate outside the door. in the darkness, it looks mighty foreboding...
we look at each other, and she says, 'you first.'
'no, you.'
she takes a half-step forward, and then whispers urgently, 'i'm scared. hold my hand,' and she grabs my hand and pulls me with her. i clutch her hand tightly, and we go back there. we walk slowly around the back dock with our flashlight, clinging to each others hands and arms and waists... then we check the back hallway, leaning into each other and holding on tight. when we finally make out the door door, and back into the store, we breath a sigh of relief, and let go. i'm so glad to be out of that place that a smile comes across my face, and i look and she's smiling too. she laughs and asks, 'aren't you glad you didn't leave? you would have missed out on this... how often does this happen?'
she's talking about the power outage, i assume...
we go back up front. the back-up generators are on, so i can close down self-check, but one of the machines is missing a ciruit breaker, and it shut itself off. teena can't close out self-check for the night until we sign that machine off. she tells marie and me to go figure out how to get it back on so we can turn it off. i find the cpu and turn it on. marie tries to start it up using the touch screen, but it doesn't work. i tell her to use the keyboard, but she doesn't know any keyboard shortcuts, and she can't do it. i take over and start it up, and while we wait for it to load, she comes over to me in front of the moniter, and tells me, 'i love you, debbie.' then she wraps her arms around me and holds me. i hug her back and whisper, 'i love you too, marie bob.'
as soon as i finish the sentence, she's letting go of me. i think that's all she wanted. all day, she's been telling me she loves me, and asking if i love her, and i've been too upset and frustrated and jealous to give her the answer she wants... but now that i've said it, she can stop trying... my whole body just wants to be back in her arms. i can't even move; i'm frozen here, waiting for her arms to hold me again... but she steps back, looks at her watch, and says, 'it's way past time for you to go.'
then i unfreeze, because she's right. i'm about to miss the bus. i clock out and run to catch the bus, and barely make it.

i'm going home tomorrow afternoon. tomorrow night, i'll hang out with nikki and fly and tara and jamie. hopefully, i can find some time to see brandy while i'm there. i've got a family reunion saturday, which is usually fun. then sunday, i'm coming back here, and working 7 hours with marie. i left a note for molly (she hasn't read it yet) that maybe she can talk to marie, and we can do the jello sunday night. i'm sick of waiting, but at the same time, i don't know if this is the right move...

i don't know what to do. i never did solve the alana problem. i just ran away from it, and from her, for a while, and when i came back to alana, my obsession had moved on to christine, and alana didn't hurt any more.
i can't run away from marie. i don't want to quit this job... they might put me in grocery, or the office. they think i'm a good worker. i've got seniority. i've been here for nearly 2 years... i've put too much into this to quit, because of one person... especially when that one person is somebody who i like. it's one thing to quit because you hate somebody, but it just seems illogical to quit because you like somebody... i just don't know.