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i woke up and went to class with molly. on the way back from class, somehow, she brought up christine. i forget what she said, but i said that she hadn't been in for a long time, and my theory is that she's really gone. she wanted to know how i came up with that theory. so i started with explaining how i came to the conclusion that she was dating the black girl-about her baby coming. as i explained, i could tell molly was confused. it took a while before she realized i meant baby like the dating kind, not baby like an infant. she wrinkled up her nose and said 'ewww.' she says maybe she meant a real baby. i said no becuase i know she doesn't have a real baby becuase her sister is going to, and she's bothered by that. she wants to know how i know this so i tell her. as i continued to calmly discuss it, it came up again and she gave an opinion, with a look of disgust on her face. 'that's weird to think about. i mean, do what you like, but stay away from me...' (this wasn't intended to be directed at me, of course, but at the gays of the world.) i wonder if she means stay away from her like really stay away, or just stay away like don't try to get with her becuase she won't fuck with girls. i don't think i'm ready to find out, or at least not using myself as the guinea pig. but i'm glad that christine is a nice way to get into this subject. maybe i can feel around a little more, and see what she meant by that. so i give her the rest of my theory-christine was here for school. she quit school, but she still had a job here, so she stayed here. now her job is gone, so she's got no real reason to stay here, especially since 'her baby' lives 2 hours away. so she left with her baby and isn't coming back. i don't mention that i'm really bothered by this theory becuase i want christine to be here... molly has no input, except for to mention that christine came in all the time with that girl at night, and they didn't really act like a couple. they don't, but christine always looks happier... i guess i could still be wrong and they could just be friends, but i don't think so...

umm then i went to work. this would have been ok but we were short people and some people called off. so they called some people in... some people like terrie... she was there when i arrived, on register. i went up to get a drawer from tasha, but she was swamped and she was the only one back there. i got tired of waiting, so i wandered off. i was going to help bag, but my choices were terrie or the express lane. express never gets a bagger. i am scared of terrie. i chose the express lane. but there's not much to bag on express, so i got bored pretty fast and wandered back up to wait on my drawer. terrie asks 'loser!' i turn to face her. 'are you waiting on a drawer?' i nod. she says 'well bag.' she wasn't mean or nice. just neutral. sorta friendly sounding, i guess. so i bag for her and the whole time i'm afraid to breathe. i can't even remember exactly why i'm scared of her, but i know i am. the five minutes i bagged for her felt like forever. i was freaked out like i can't explain. everything was going in slow motion and i kept coughing. i'm not sick. and it was the only time all day i coughed. i am really really scared of her. like i think i might have a serious mental problem becuase you're not supposed to be this scared of somebody, especially when you don't even know why you're scared. becuase she might be a lesbian? that's not scary. becuase she might think i'm one? that's a little scary, but i thought christine knew that too, and i was never this scared of her. becuase christine might have told her that i asked why she asked why i didn't like jim? maybe, but that's not worth this much fear... because she was mean to me once? i hardly think that's it... i have no idea what causes me to panic every time i'm near her. but when she's far away, it's ok because she's hot and i sneak glances at her.

tasha gives me a drawer and i go on register and i turn to look at the clock and i see christine's black girl. i turn a little more and there's christine. my god, she's back from the fucking dead again... i need to stop killing this girl. but it wasn't as bad as the last few times. in fact, it was different in a lot of ways. i still thought she was really hot. i still wanted to be close to her. i still wanted to talk to her. but i no longer felt like my life depended on it. before, in my mind, my future was in her hands. now i've taken it back. i don't keep it for myself, of course. i think now it's split up between jim and terrie. but it's not with christine. she is still fucking hot. she had on these comfy looking baggy grey pants, made out of sweatpants type material. i looked at them and marveled at how comfortable they looked. and i found myself thinking that i bet it would be pretty comfortable if i got inside them with her. she was up getting a paper and i went up there for change for $100. she says 'hi loser,' like she's making a point of saying hi to me. people have to make a point of saying hi to me or i won't speak to them. it's part of me being 7. i look at her and smile and my 7-year-old says brightly, 'hi!' then i tell tasha 'i need some littler moneys,' and hand her the bill. christine leans over to get something by me. she's so fucking close. then she stands back up straight, but she's still right next to me, like a foot or two away. i want to touch her. i want to lean against her. i want her to lean over again, only this time, i want her to brush against me. this is torture. i take my change away and glance at her ass a few times before she leaves with her black girl.

a few minutes later, joe (the customer who liked christine) comes in. he says 'hi loser. hi loser.' i say hi. he asks 'how's christine?' i tell him he just missed her. his face falls and he asks 'really? was she really here?' i say yeah and he asks why. i tell him i don't know. he asks if she has a job. and how she's doing. and all this stuff. and all i can say is 'i don't know.' and i tell him she bought a paper. he says 'i'll catch her next time. yep. i'll catch her next time. tell her i'll catch her next time.' i say ok. then he goes through the store, and about 20 minutes later, he's on his way out. he says 'bye loser.' i say bye. he says 'tell christine i'll catch her next time, ok?' i nod and he repeats 'tell her i'll catch her next time.' so i'm thinking if she comes back, i'll make sure to tell her that, not so much for joe as for me. i have nothing to say to her but i'm dying to talk to her. he just gave me something to say to her. i just have to remember it...

i go over to self-check. it's boring so i go to look at the break schedule. it's sitting at one end of the service desk and terrie's at the other. i'm still reading it over when she comes over to my end for the next customer, and she looks at me and asks 'did you need something, honey?' the 'honey' part does funny things to my insides. i tell her i'm just looking and she helps the customer. later, i'm roaming around being bored, and she calls 'loser,' and i go over there and she hands me a roll of paper towels and says to take them becuase she's got too many back there. so i do. and that's all i interact with terrie for 6 hours. i avoid her like crazy. i am fucking scared. but i still watch. she is still hot.

billie comes in to work. she worked the morning too, but they need somebody to help jane close. the schedule got all messed up today. billie is hot too. it's different though. billie is hot like you glance at her and when you look away, you want to look back again becuase you realize she looked good. terrie is hot like you glance at her and your eyes get stuck on her becuase she's so hot. christine is hot like you glance at her and your whole body yearns for her and you want to run to her and tackle her to the ground and feel her body against yours and... yeah. that's enough.

christine comes back, with her black girl again. it's been 6 hours since joe was here, so i've forgotten about him, and i can't remember a thing when christine's in front of me anyway. they go through self-check and i'm running it and instead of saying something to her, i act 7. i climb around and jog to get some lady an ad and try to act cute for her becuase i can't think of anything to say, and i act like i don't even see her, but hope she'll decide she has something to say to me. i am like her with tyrone. or tyrone with her. i am being dumb and i know it and i can't stop myself. they buy cookie dough. and something else too i think, but i don't know. they leave and i'm thinking. why couldn't i have remembered to give her joe's message? i wonder if she's ever going to come back. i wonder if she's talked to terrie about me. i wonder if she even remembers that i asked her that. i wonder if she's going to go home and have sex with that black girl while the cookies bake.

helen and alyssa are here and we talk some. alyssa is still friendly, and i like helen. i mean, just a regular like, i promise. she's like my mom's age and she's not hot and it's just a plain old regular like, sorta like i liked jim before he went psycho. they bring up gina to run register when we are short people, so it's not all that exciting for me, especially becuase i'm still stuck over on self-check. alyssa was supposed to do this tonight.

the policelady is here again. jane asks her about her partner and i get excited for a minute but then i realize she means police partner. and it's a guy anyway. i thought it was just terrie that was all friendly with this lady, but then i saw her all friendly to michelle the other day. and today it looks like jane is tight with her too. and when cheryl was still here, she was all friendly too, and nobody around here likes cheryl. i guess everybody knows this lady but me. she talks to me some tonight. she seems nice enough. i wonder if christine liked her. i hope christine comes back and i remember to give her joe's message.

so then jane sends me out to get carts and i run register a while and i leave. when i get home, i check my email. jim has answered. loser goes insane.

I am interested in hearing your long story. Perhaps I don't have all of the facts concerning what you said to Jane and Terrie. All I know is that Terrie told me that you asked her if I knew that you only wanted to be friends. I feel that if you had this question, you should have asked me. But, as you have said, that may not be how it happened. What is the deal about Terrie and when you came up to me those months ago and asked me what she thought of you? Please clear the whole thing up for me if you can.

after i finish beating my head against the wall, i still don't know what i think of this. i don't think he's overly friendly. i don't think he's forgiven me quite yet, but he is willing to hear my side of the story, right? but i already told him my side of the story. i have nothing else to tell him, besides the real whole truth. and i'm not going to do that by email. and i'm not going to do that before i find out for sure that he doesn't hate me. so now what? i can't find anything in that email that i can 'clear up' for him, without telling the whole truth. i could tell him exactly how our conversation went, becuase i really didn't ask terrie if he knew i just wanted to be friends. in fact, i didn't ask terrie anything, becuase i'm scared of her. i just asked jane if he still liked me. that was my mistake. and then the rest of the conversation just came naturally, and if i remember correctly, terrie volunteered her views about whether or not he knew i just wanted to be friends. i just said i just wanted to be friends, and she decided to throw in her two cents about whether or not he knew it. but even if i explain that to him, and convince him that nothing was really my fault except for the initial question of 'does jim still like me?', i think he wouldn't be satisfied. i think he's asking for the real reason i asked the question. and the real reason i asked what terrie thought of me. the long story. so do i owe him an email? should i wait to talk to him in person? the next time i talk to him in person, do i give him the whole truth? and hold up... even if that's what's next, how am i going to manage that?
i mean, first, there's the subject of where i'm going to tell him. i don't want to tell him in the break room, where people come in and out at random. and i don't really want to tell him outside becuase (a) it's fucking cold and (b) the smokers come out at random. i don't want to just tell him in an aisle somewhere, becuase who knows who could be listening in the next aisle over? and i don't want to tell him in the front end becuase that place is always busy and there's people everywhere. there is no place that i've ever been with jim that i would feel comfortable telling him. (did that sentance make no sense?) what i mean is that i would tell him if we were... in his car. or at his house. or at my house, if my roommates weren't there. or someplace private. but i've never been anyplace private with jim, and i can't see myself suggesting 'hey, why don't we go back to my place and discuss this?' i don't want to be anyplace private with jim. judging from his email, i think he's gotten the point that i just want to be friends, but still... maybe i could tell him in the freezer... if it's late on friday, he'll be the only one using the freezer... my god, isn't that a great place to tell the biggest secret of your life? in the frozen cooler. maybe we could use the dairy cooler instead. at least it would be slightly warmer. but i can't see myself suggesting 'hey, can we talk about this in the dairy cooler?' either becuase that's fucking weird. the dairy cooler is for dairy products, not serious conversations. so since i have no idea regarding where i should tell him, let's move on to the question of how i should tell him.
i don't know that either. do i just start by flat out telling the truth-'i'm a lesbian'-and then explaining the rest of the mysteries from there? i don't like that. i more like being subtle. like maybe starting with 'remember when you suggested we go on a date, and i said i couldn't. and that it wasn't that i didn't want to, but it was really that i couldn't? well that ties into all this too, so i thought maybe i'd start by explaining that. the reason i couldn't is becuase i can't date guys... i... uhhh... don't like them like that...' and then hope that i don't even have to say the word for him to figure out what i'm talking about. and then hope that he doesn't run away and scream and hate me. and hope that he sticks around so i can explain everything, becuase he does deserve to know, and becuase if i'm going to start telling him, i want to be able to finish. and hope that if he does listen to the whole story and understand it and not hate me, he doesn't go tell the world. maybe i should preface it with 'you can't tell anyone, ok?' and then hope that it works, since everyone here seems to have such a great concept of secrecy... jim tells jane he likes me and she sees no problem with telling christine, who sees no problem with telling me, and together we see no problem with telling terrie. jim sees no problem with telling me (if it's true) that terrie's a lesbian and christine's bi. terrie sees no problem with telling jim that i asked about him. great. well at least all jim's done in that chain of telling private things is tell me about terrie and christine. but that's the exact same secret. if he tells me about them, who's he going to tell about me? terrie maybe. if he's telling the truth about terrie, do i really care if she knows? and isn't she leaving? and god, is it even possible for me to be any more scared of her than i already am? but if he tells terrie, will christine find out? will he tell jane? ok so maybe i just handled how to tell him in that mess. i'll bring it up southside style, and hope he gets the picture. hopefully, i can explain everything without ever saying the word 'lesbian' becuase it honest-to-god makes me shudder to think of calling myself that outloud.
what about when? tomorrow he works and i have to go check my schedule. i was going to skip out of class early, just so i could get out of there before he arrived, but that was before i got the email from him. and i haven't skipped any class in almost 3 weeks. do i really want to skip it just to avoid jim? i'm going to have to face him sometime. is he still going to be ignoring me? if i see him, will he bring it up, or am i going to have to bring it up? so maybe i go there after class tomorrow. i won't go out of my way to see him, and if i happen to not see him, then i'll just wait til friday. but if i do happen to see him, i say something... what do i say? either tomorrow or friday, i'm going to have to say something. unless he does. but i should plan something to say, in case he doesn't. why can't this be as easy as remembering to say 'joe said to tell you he'd catch you next time'?
ok, so tomorrow or friday, i talk to him. if he's still cold and distant and rude, i try to apologize and explain some more without ever telling the whole truth. if i can get him to seem to like me again, then i find someplace... and tell him without really telling him. i am scared. i don't think he's going to be 100% normal to me again until i tell him the whole truth. that's kinda risky. i'd rather tell him the truth when i know he likes me... but right now, things are never going to get back to 100% normal. if i apologize without the truth, he's not going to just forgive me and get over it becuase it will make no sense to him. but if i apologize with the truth, there's no way things will ever be normal again. he will see me as a completely different person, even though i'm the same me as always, except for that i'm telling him the truth. life is fucked up. and it might be about to get a whole lot worse.