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well for starters, i went to class, making this a week straight since i've skipped a class. (insert round of applause for loser here...)

then came work. i was there on 5 and marie was on 4. we're both doing nothing, and she says 'loser, come here.' so take about 2 steps and go over there. then mark walks by and starts talking to us, and she rolls her eyes and tells him 'you're ruining it.' mark and i are confused. she says 'i was going to tell loser something, but i don't want to embarrass her in front of you...' now i'm slightly frightened... he leaves in a little, but i get a customer. it's about 5 minutes til we're both doing nothing again, and i go right over there and say 'what?' she says 'so, what do you think of jim?' i stare at her. 'what do you mean?' i ask. she asks 'well do you like him?' i say i like him, i just don't like him. she says 'i think he likes you...' i tell her i know that. i tell her christine clued me in to that way before i left for summer. she says 'well you should go on a date with him.' i am blushing. this is an embarrassing subject for me and i don't know why... i tell her i don't think i could do that. and then i add 'even if i could, i think he's ignoring me. he avoids me like crazy and he won't talk to me.' she says he's not. i ask when she talked to him and she says she thinks it was monday, or sunday. i ask what he said, and if he said why he's avoiding me. she said he's not avoiding me. then she says 'here, i'll ask him,' and calls him over the intercom, right as i get a customer. i can do nothing to stop her, so i ring up the customer and listen to her end of her conversation with jim. she hangs up and informs me 'he said he's not avoiding you and he just talked to you recently, like friday or saturday or so.' i know my face is red. i can't believe she just asked him that... she tells me i should date him. i say i can't date him becuase i don't like him like that. she tells me to give him a chance. then she says 'i'll call him up here. JIM!!!!!!' she says it loud enough for the whole front end to hear and loud enough for my whole face to turn red, but not loud enough for him to hear. then she goes up to the service desk and asks teena and amit 'don't you think loser should date jim?' teena laughs and says yeah and amit agrees. i'm turning pink again, but i go up there to put my two cents in. me and marie wind up having this rapid-fire conversation...
i say 'i can't date him.'
marie asks 'why not?'
'i just can't.'
'do you like him?'
'i like him, but not in the dating way.'
'you should give him a chance.'
'i can't.'
'why not?'
'do you have a boyfriend?'
'do you have a girlfriend?'
'then give him a chance!'
and at this point, our conversation stops becuase teena is laughing hysterically. we both look at her. she tells marie 'i can not believe you just asked that question!' i realize she's laughing at the girlfriend question. marie realizes it about the same time as me, and she laughs and says 'well i just thought i'd cover all the bases, you know...' i feel funny inside and i don't know why. the question hadn't really stopped me. it hadn't seemed that strange... it had just seemed like the natural next question... and when i had answered it, i hadn't even thought about it... i had just told the truth, becuase nobody's going to have a problem with me not having a girlfriend... but teena thinks it's hilarious that she asked that... she thinks it's way off, like there's no chance anybody like me could ever be a lesbian. that bothers me. i don't want her to know the truth. i don't want marie to know the truth. but i don't want them to think that question is strange. i don't know, i don't understand me, but i'm bothered by it... anyway, they talk some more about how i should date him. they tell me that he's had a crush on me since i first started working here. everything they say just makes me more embarrassed. i wind up bright red and hiding under the counter because when i get embarrassed, i just want to hide... they laugh. marie tells me 'you're so cute.' teena tells me 'don't have a heart attack.' i go back to my register. then jim comes up and is talking to alyssa a few lanes over. all of a sudden, marie doesn't have a problem with embarrassing me any more. she screams 'jim! hey jim! loser's over here!' then she turns to me and says 'i know you want to talk to him...' i am turning red. i throw some trash at her and hide under my register. she screams 'jim intercom line one!' she doens't even have the intercom. she's just screaming for the hell of it. then she says 'hey loser, don't you want-' then she screams 'JIM'-and goes back to her regular voice 'to come over here?' i want to die. i want to fall into the floor. i move my trash can and crawl into the spot where it went and she cracks up and tells me she loves me and i miss christine and wonder how the hell i ended up down here with the trash. jim goes back and alyssa comes over to us and tells marie 'you're loud.' she laughs and says she knows. i slowly make my way out of the little cubby-hole i jammed myself into and alyssa laughs. i ask if jim heard marie and alyssa laughs and asks 'how could he not?' but she says they weren't talking about me, just about how much fun she had last night. and she says she thinks he was trying to play it cool, like he couldn't hear marie, or maybe he would have been as embarrassed as me. marie comments that she bets he wouldn't hide with his trash though. alyssa agrees-'loser is special...' i feel really really dumb. marie says to alyssa 'hey, you wanna do me a favor? call jim over the intercom and tell him to come back up here.' alyssa says 'i would do that for you, but i don't think loser would like me very much for that...' i smile at her gratefully.
then marie starts screaming jim again. just randomly. then she starts singing 'jim and loser, sitting in a tree...' i am dying. i don't know why she has to do this. she likes to see me turn red. she thinks i'm cute when i'm embarrassed. i am protesting 'stop! stop!' and i'm throwing things at her, pens and pennies and bags and reciepts and anything i can find to throw, and she keeps singing and saying his name and all the workers who come by ask 'what, you're dating jim?' and marie says 'no, but don't you think she should?' and some of them laugh and say no way, he's old, and some of them say 'yeah, you should!' all i can do is say 'i can't,' over and over and over. eventually she gets a little tired of this, and i get a break from her teasing while she goes over and runs alyssa's break. then it's time for my break, and as i turn in my drawer, they tell marie to close off for her break. i don't want to take a break with marie... grrrrr... i go up to the break room and have a rice krispie treat, and while i'm eating it, jim comes in. at the other table, this stock guy is snacking. i say 'what's up?' to jim and he says half-heartedly 'hey, rice krispie treat again?' and i say 'always,' but before i've even finsished the word, he's over talking to the stock guy. and when he finished talking, he turns and promptly leaves. he is avoiding me. this is not normal jim. of course, it's also not normal for him to come up front and hear marie screaming his name over and over... evidently, he just told marie that he liked me, and i bet he now realizes that telling her wasn't a good idea... so i finish my rice krispie treat and marie comes back. she goes straight to the intercom and says 'i'm going to call jim.' i dive for it and hang it up before she can. so she links her arm through mine and says brightly 'let's go find him!' i brace my feet against the floor, and lean back as hard as i can. she drags me anyway. my feet slip and she's pulling my full weight across the room. i grab onto the doorway and hang on for dear life, while she pulls at my other arm. i tell her 'i think my break's over,' and i go back downstairs. it's not even been 5 minutes though, so i go past the clock and go outside for the rest of my break. it's raining. the only people who go oustide for breaks when it's raining are smokers. smokers and people who are avoiding jim... i sit next to brad, who blows smoke in my face. i'm out there for a few minutes, and marie comes out and sits next to me and smokes. she asks why i don't want to date jim. i feel like a broken record. i say 'becuase i don't like him like that.' she asks 'well who do you like like that? i'll hook you up.' i tell her i don't know. she asks 'do you like brad like that?' she knows he can't hear her. i think it's awful to talk about deaf people like they're not there, even though they'll never know. but i say 'no.' she asks 'is it becuase he's deaf?' i just shake my head and tell her 'you're awful.' she laughs like i meant it as a compliment. then steve comes out and she's sort of talking to him and leaving me alone, but then she turns towards the door and says 'hey, jim!' like a greeting. i jump a mile and turn to the door. she cracks up. he's not there. she's just playing with my mind, and her and steve and even brad are laughing and i feel my face turning red. i bury my face in my arm and with my other arm, i punch her in the arm. she laughs and says 'loser, you're hurting me.' i know i'm not, so i punch her a few more times for good measure. she laughs. then, i'm still looking towards the door, and i see christine. i do a double take and stare. marie reads my mind and says 'yeah, that's christine.' she came from the other side of the lot, so she didn't walk by us. she just went straight inside. i stare at the door she walked in and say the first thing that pops into my mind-'she doesn't work here any more.' marie agrees. i say 'you told that man that she went to giant eagle.' she says yep. i say 'trent told him the truth and he didn't believe him.' marie shrugs. i've had my fill of marie and i want to see christine. i get up and go inside.

i wait by the service desk for my drawer. christine is also waiting, but in the line with the customers. i hate being the first to speak. but this little voice inside of me is saying 'look loser, christine is right there... you had better say something. now. turn around and do it.' so i take a deep breath, turn to look at her and blurt out 'wet.' becuase she is wet. becuase it is raining. and becuase my stupid mind was so busy convincing myself to speak to her that it forgot to think about what to say. she smiles and says 'yeah.' she asks me 'so are you going to stay in school?' instead of answering the question, i tell her proudly 'i didn't skip a single class this week!' she smiles and says 'good, see, i told you.' and then teena gives me my drawer and sends me away and i'm not done. i meant to tell her that i plan on going part time next quarter. i walk away with the drawer and remember what else i meant to do. i meant to tell her that i was thinking about what she said and that's why i'm not quitting school. i put my drawer in. i meant to tell her it's becuase of right now, not becuase of my future. a customer gets in my line, and then i remember what i really meant to do. i meant to ask her about terrie. i meant to ask her when terrie asks why i don't like jim, why does she ask that? that's what i really meant to ask. i had planned that out a few nights ago. i had decided that if i ever got the chance to talk to her again, that was the best way to get into it. it was a strange enough question that she would pay attention to it. and i really wanted to know the answer. and it was as direct as i would ever get; as close as i could come to just flat-out telling her that i'm a lesbian, which is how i really want this to end up. but by the time i remember that i meant to do that, i'm ringing up the customer. i have to hurry. i have to get her before she gets what she needs there. i look over and she's to the front of the line, talking to teena. i will her to go slow. i tear through the groceries. i look over there again. teena's handing her something. i go to take the money from the customer. he says 'wait, i might have the change,' and digs through his pockets. i look over there frantically. she's resting her foot on the shelf and talking to teena. keep talking, christine... he picks out his change, coin by coin, and when he's done, he re-counts it. christine takes her foot off the shelf. i punch in the amount, throw the change in my drawer, and hand the customer the reciept. i look over there and she's still there. i back out of my cashier station, and as i turn to head over there, she heads to the door. i pick up my pace and i make it to the service desk as she walks out the door to the store. i want to call after her. every part of me wants to chase her outside. i had to ask that question. i meant to. i was going to. my god, if she had talked to teena for two seconds longer, i would have honest-to-god asked her. this i know. sometimes i say i'll do stuff and i really won't, but this time i was going to. i was. i felt it. this wasn't a hard question to ask. and in light of all the jim stuff that had happened today, it wouldn't have even been that out-of-place (although christine wouldn't have known that). there was no convincing me involved in this one. i was already convinced. the words were right there, but by the time i got there, christine wasn't. i am soooo frustrated. i had a question. i had my opportunity. she was in line and i wasn't doing anything but holding a drawer. nobody was waiting on me to get to that register. if i had just fucking remembered that i meant to ask that question, i could have absolutely done it. why couldn't i have remembered it? why couldn't that have popped into my head instead of 'wet'? i want to punch something. kick something. bite something. i fucking blew it. again. i suck.

so for a while, i sit there hating myself, and still acting friendly to all the customers, and to marie because i am scared of her. i ask her if she knows if jane or terrie talked to jim. she's confused at first, but then she says 'oh wait. he said somebody (i think terrie) told him that you just wanted to be friends, and he said that he tried, but now if you want to date him, you'll have to ask him, becuase he's giving up on asking you.' i tell her that's a fine idea, but does he have to give up on speaking to me too? she doesn't know. i didn't expect her to know. she asks teena if she can show me some more self-check. she likes showing me stuff. she likes it even more when i pick up on it, and i can do it myself, becuase then she can leave me doing it, and go flirt with the stockers. i don't mind. she whispers something to grant, and he wrinkles up his nose and says 'don't tell me that.' she giggles. he says 'i'm serious. i don't want to hear about you having sex and getting high.' i didn't particularly want to hear that either. grant is a nice guy. (that has nothing to do with anything, but he is.) ummm then i'm feeling fidgety so teena lets me get the trash and collect returns and work on them until sara and josephine go home, and then i come up and run resgister for a little and then i go home. and that's the end. except for it's not becuase i can't get christine out of my mind. i meant to fucking ask her. i was going to fucking ask her. i am a fucking loser. what if she doesn't come back? sometime, she's going to stop coming back. she's had reasons every time. what if she has no more reasons? what if she never comes back again? i would fucking kill myself. she could be out of reasons. she had to get ann to fax some stuff. to talk to tyrone (but she didn't). and this time, i don't know, but she definitely had a purpose becuase she wasn't here for long at all, just to do whatever she did. except she was here long enough for me to fucking ask her, if i had only remembered the question at the right fucking time. and then jim... why the fuck does he have to be so difficult? i suppose today i can cut him a break becuase i don't know how i would react to marie screaming my name across the front end. but i know he's going to be the same way tomorrow. and he was the same way tuesday and thursday. what's his fucking problem? i am fucking frustrated. not just frustrated. fucking frustrated. i want to break shit. fuck.