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insane amounts of confusion...
my god i'm so overwhelmed. i went to bed last night and tossed and turned all night. i slept about 3 hours total, on and off, but even when that was over, i just laid in bed forever. i didn't get up for class, even though molly was in my class and i was wide awake and heard her leaving. i hurt, and i couldn't sit through class when i hurt so bad. i played stabbing westward-save yourself over and over and over becuase i can hear christine singing it to me, and it hurts.
i know your life is empty
and you hate to face the world alone
so you're searching for an angel
someone who can make you whole...
i cannot save you i can't even save myself
i know that you've been damned
your soul has suffered much abuse
but i am not your savior
i am just as fucked as you...
i cannot save you i can't even save myself
please don't take pity on me
my life has been a nightmare
my soul is fractured to the bone
so if i must be lonely
i think i'd rather be alone...
you cannot save me you can't even save yourself
i cannot save you i can't even save myself...

i finally got out of bed in time to get ready for work. the thought of eating still made me sick, so i just went straight there. i was waiting for michelle to get me my drawer, and terrie was talking to some guy that she knew. i wasn't really listening, but i was still hearing. she was saying a bunch of stuff, like how she was working a bunch of jobs now, and she was starting her own painting buisness and she was going to quit here in a month. i was in the same daze i had been in for the past 48 hours. it hurt too bad to talk, so i mumbled and made do and customers surely thought i was rude or depressed and i don't care. i want christine to be here. she was supposed to work today and she's not here. she won't ever be here. marie came in and said she missed me. i think i thanked her. i don't remember. then terrie came out to run my break. she was hiding behind the service desk. then her eyes peek up over the counter, dart back and forth, and then she runs over into my little pocket thing and ducks down and says tell her when john leaves. i had to laugh. it was the first time i had laughed since christine left. john left, and terrie stood up to run my break, so i left.

i wanted to talk to jim. i don't know why, but i thought maybe he could tell me something about this christine situation that i didn't already know. so i wandered around the store until i finally found the aisle he was stocking in. by the time i found him, my break was half over. he asked me what i was doing. 'looking for you' didn't seem to be the right answer, so i said 'taking a break.' most people don't take their breaks in aisles, so i made something up real fast 'i'm tired. i didn't want to sit down becuase i didn't want to fall asleep on my break. i did that once. christine woke me up. then she got fired.' he told me she didn't get fired for waking me up. i said i knew, she got fired for taking money. he said that surprised him and i said me too, a lot. i said it was funny, in a bad way, becuase i would have never thought she would do that. he said 'goes to show how you can think you know someone...' and he didn't really finish the sentance. i said she went to jail. he said she wasn't there any more. i asked how he knew. he said terrie told him. i asked how terrie knew. he said she lived with her. i choked. 'christine lives with terrie?!?!' i asked. he said yeah, she just moved in a week or two ago. i said i thought she lived with that black girl. he said she used to, and he doesn't know if that girl's still there too. i said but she lives with terrie? he said yeah. i asked why. he said well terrie needed a place to stay. then he laughed and said 'they love each other' with that oooh-la-la tone in his voice. i can't ever tell if he's serious, so i usually pretend he's not. i roll my eyes and say 'no they don't.' he said 'well, no, they don't love each other, but you know they do both love... well... you know...' i choked again and said 'no they don't.' he said they do. i said you're making that up. he said he's not. he said he's not in the mood to make anything up today, and why would he make something like that up anyway? my mind is spinning. he's not telling the truth, is he? he keeps talking like he hasn't just absolutely blown my mind, and says how he thinks terrie's not working here much longer. automatically, i said 'she said a month.' he said she has some other job, he doesn't remember what. i say 'her own painting buisness.' he stops and stares at me in complete silence. that's a rarity for jim. finally he asks 'how did you know that???' i had to smile. i told him the truth and he just laughed. 'you learn a lot by just being quiet, don't you?' he asked. i guess you do. then my break was over so i had to go back up front and my head is spinning. jim jokes around all the time. he could have made all that up.

i go back to the lane where terrie is running my break, and she talks to the customer the whole time that she's taking out her drawer. she goes to leave, and i ask 'do you really live with christine?' she said yeah as she walks away. she can't leave... i have a million more questions for her... i call after her 'is she really go to jail?' i meant did she, but terrie replies 'no, i didn't do anything! why would i go to jail?' i say christine. she says oh, she doesn't know. she thinks i meant is she going to. and she's four registers away by the time she gets that out, and the conversation is over. my mind is honestly spinning. it matches the room. everything is spinning. i don't think i would be able to think about this on a regular amount of sleep, with food in me, and i don't have any of that. i should have eaten. i should have slept. things need to stop spinning so i can think. jim said they lived together and he was telling the truth. he said they loved each other, and right away admitted that he was just kidding. and he also said, although not directly, that they were lesbians. maybe that's not what he said. could i have misinterpreted that? or maybe i just mis-heard it, or something. he never really said lesbian or gay or anything like that. he must have meant something else. becuase i KNOW christine is straight. she pinched jp's ass. she wants to have kids with a certain someone. but i've never even thought about terrie. i never even thought to wonder if she was gay. it's a funny thing, now that i think about it. i have nothing that would indicate that she was straight. marie flirts with guys all the time, and jane has a husband and kids and tasha has an ex-husband and rhonda's getting married and michelle has a husband and kids, but i've never heard terrie say anything that would indicate she likes guys, and i've still never considered this thought. how could i have not thought about it? but it still can't be. i might not have any proof that she's straight, but i don't have any proof that she's gay either. and i know jim is wrong about christine, so what would make me think that he's right about terrie? my god i can't think the whole fucking room is spinning. i need to find jim and get him to clarify. christine is not in jail right now, but she's living with terrie. terrie is the one who i need to talk to. if i ask terrie about christine, it has a half of a chance of getting back to her. and terrie might know the answers. i am scared of terrie. this would be a hell of a lot easier if i wasn't more scared of terrie than i am of anyone else here...

marie comes around and collects the trash. she taps my leg to get me to move out of the way, so she can get the trash can, and i am amazed when it sends a shiver down my spine. i hadn't expected that feeling... why can't everything in life be predictable?

later, marie comes to take over for my next break. the first thing i do is get some food. i eat 2 rice krispie treats. i know that's not much, but it's gotta help, when i haven't eaten in over 2 days. then i go to find jim. i have to get him to clarify. when i find him, though, he's in the back room with a bunch of night guys, breaking a truck. i forgot it was a truck night... fuck. i can't go back there now... so i roam back up front, where alyssa is glad i'm back early, becuase it means she gets her break. my head is still spinning, but it's a little better. i just need to talk to jim. alyssa gets back from break and she's behind me, and she starts talking to me about classes. i hurt a little less, with all these crazy thoughts about terrie and christine in my head. i know christine's not in jail right now. i know there's still a chance that i can get to her, somehow, through terrie. and there might be a chance that her and terrie are both lesbians. but no. i know christine isn't. i don't know anything. my head hurts. so i'm talking to alyssa and jim comes up and i can't ask him. the 3 of us have a half-normal conversation. alyssa is friendly. i don't volunteer any information, i just answer the questions she asks, but she knows a lot about me from that. well, relatively. she knows the whole summer thing, and how i used to work here, and all the classes i'm taking, and my study habits, and that i have a new name tag... then later, alyssa is a little away, and jim comes over to joke with me about something, but i say 'hang on, you've got me good and confused.' he asks why. i say 'christine and terrie do live together, right?' he says yes. i say 'but they don't love each other, right?' he says no. i say 'and they don't like girls, right?' he says 'well...' and he looks really uncomfortable. he says 'i don't know if we should talk about this here...' i make my best sad puppy face at him and say 'awww, but i wanna know...' he shifts back and forth and says 'ok, no, they don't love each other, but then yeah.'
'yeah is the next answer?' i ask.
'yeah,' he answers, still looking uncomfortable. then he adds 'you can't say anything about it, ok?'
i say 'ok, but it's not true.'
he asks what i mean. i say i know it's not, becuase i was outside one time listening to marie and christine talk, and christine said something about wanting to have kids.
i get a customer but i still face jim and wait for an answer. he says 'well yeah, that's becuase...' and he looks at the customer, and looks at terrie on the other end of the front end, and looks at all the people around and sighs 'i can't talk about this here. i'll call you over the intercom,' and leaves.
i see him a few minutes later and he's walking and laughing with terrie. him and terrie are friends. i assume they're not talking about me, or they probably wouldn't be laughing. he's just joking with her, like normal, i'm pretty sure. then she goes somewhere else and he dissapears and i wait for a phone call, but instead, he shows back up and says 'here, i drew a picture to explain.' he holds out a folded up piece of paper. i open it up. it's 2 stick figures. they're labeled christine and terrie. the bubble coming from terrie's mouth says 'i like girls.' the bubble coming from christine's mouth says 'i like guys and girls.' i stare at it. then i ask him 'for real?' he says 'yeah, but look, you really can't say anything, ok?' i say ok. then i ask how he knows. he says well, he's been friends with both of them for quite a while. i know that's true. i know it's more likely that he would know than me. and it really seemed like he was serious. this isn't something he would make up just to make up. either it's really true, or it's some kind of in-depth plot against me. he thinks that's why i won't date him and so does terrie. they think that if he tells me that terrie's gay, then i'll tell her the truth about me, and then he'll know for sure why i won't date him? does that sound paranoid? i need an objective viewpoint here. i am good at being paranoid. but i've been right about some stuff. that black girl really did live with christine. and if terrie really is gay, that makes it a lot more likely that she really did know, or suspect, the real reason i wouldn't date jim. my gut instinct is just to believe him, but i know that's also what i want to do, and i'm afraid that i only believe him becuase i want to believe him. if terrie's gay, i've got some hope left. she's leaving in a month, but if i can just get over my fear of her, i might be able to get somewhere. and if christine is really bi... well she's still gone, and i'll still probably never see her again. but she does live with terrie. and i will see terrie. i don't know how any of that's going to help me, but at least there's something. at least i can make myself believe that all is not lost, or not yet. i have a month to come up with a plan and execute it, and i don't have much time here for thinking about it or analyzing it or fucking up my part. but first, i have to convince myself for sure that it's true. i observe terrie for the rest of the night. the lady policewoman is here. mostly, guys work here, but there's one lady. terrie is talking to her a lot, and they're real friendly. i've never noticed her being so friendly with any of the policemen. but i'm sure i've never been trying to notice, either. i stand on my bag holder and crouch down, looking out over the front end. i'm watching marie when i hear terrie saying 'what in the world are you doing?' i keep listening, wondering who she's talking to. she says 'you look like a bird on a perch or something!' i turn to look at her and realize she's talking to me. i'm embarrassed. i get down and she laughs and says 'you don't really have to get down. i don't really care. it's actually funny.' i stay down anyway. she was standing next to the policewoman. terrie clocks out at 9 and goes grocery shopping. jim comes over and asks 'so what do you think about that?' i stall for time and ask 'about what?' he says 'you know, what you just found out. does it blow your mind?' i said 'uhhh, it's pretty surprising... i wouldn't have thought that ever...' he says yeah, it was surprising to him at first too, but he got used to it. i get a customer and he leaves. see, if he wouldn't have gotten my opinion on it, it would have been more believeable. but when he wants to know what i think, doesn't that make it more likely that he's just finding a way to hear my opinions on lesbians, so he can decide if i am one? i don't know... a little after 10, michelle asks me to go get carts. i go, and when i step out the door, i see terrie and the policewoman, sitting on the bench and talking. terrie has a full cart of groceries. jim leaves while i'm getting carts, and stops to talk to me, but just about random stuff, like classes. i tell him i might quit school. i don't know what i'm going to do about school. i suggest these things to people in the hopes that they'll just tell me what to do, and make me believe it, but nobody has the answers. i think i want to quit, but i'm not sure. yesterday i thought i wanted to quit big bear. what i think isn't stable, so i feel like i'd be a whole lot better off just following what other people think for me. i wish christine was still around. i wish i could talk to her just once more... i clock out at 10:30, and leave for the bus stop around 10:45. terrie and the policewoman are still talking. these guys are obviously pretty tight. that would be a bit more meaningful if i knew for a fact that the policewoman was gay, but i don't even have a clue about that.

josephine is at the bus stop. i tell her about how christine got fired. she hadn't heard, and she's really sad too. she says if it were anyone else, she wouldn't even care, but she liked christine and christine liked her. i know that. christine did like josephine. she is a foreign lady and she knows what she's talking about, but since she has a heavy accent and doesn't speak english that well, she always sounds confused. me and josephine are a lot alike, that way. we both stink at talking and christine likes us both, in sorta the same way. she thinks we're cute. she thinks we're characters. she likes characters. she told me that once, about me, anyway... i miss christine.

what about terrie? i need to know if it's true. how do i find that out? i need to know fast. and then if it is, i need to do something... the room is spinning again. i need to eat or sleep or both. my god, now what?