Since I started working at the grocery store I have felt out of place, especially with Jane the cashier. For more than six months she has refused to let me help her in anything and when I ask if I can ‘lend a hand’ she always says no. This week it was an even harsher “No” and I had to figure out what was wrong between us. “There is something about you that makes me so mad and I don’t know what it is,” she said to me. I spent much time thinking about what I am doing to her while I pushed the carts mindlessly back into the store. When you are cart herder much time is spent on wandering off into space because the moment is not important. I can spend hours pushing carts while being a million miles away from where I am. I think that is why pushing carts is my favorite minimum wage activity. Anyhow, I finally started asking questions of her. “It is my legs that make you mad or is it that I am smarter than you are. There must be something about me that instantly makes your animosity towards me switch onto high gear. Last week you wanted to address me in basic dog commands like sit or go lay down. This week it’s gotten to the point where I cannot even look at you without getting those angry eyes,” I said to her. “I don’t know what it is honestly and you do have much shapelier legs than I do. You are more attractive than I am and you are smarter than I am by far. I don’t think that is it all but you make me feel self conscious about my own intelligence and my body image goes to fail when you are near me. There is something about your presences that I simply cannot tolerate. There are many things I envy about you but that arrogance with which you speak drives me up a wall. Oh yeah, the fact that you speak better French than me really bothers me to the core,” she answer. When people around the store have asked me why I don’t date this cashier I shrug my shoulders. There are many different types of relationships in the world and Jane and I would have the kind that burns up too fast. We would be too passionate and the sex would be good but we could not keep up the momentum. I have learned that any good relationship has to have a cold person and a hot person in it. The most lasting relationships are between two cold personality types but there more like dating your sister. There is not a whole lot of physical desire but both parties enjoy each other company enough to forfeit romantic love. Jane finally agreed to let me buy her a tea on Wednesday which I consider a small victory. She had asked me if I would find her that tea earlier in the day but there was none on the shelf. While I was looking for things that customers left in odd places, I found just one of them. It was the last one in the whole store and I knew she would want it badly but sadly she ran out of money. She is always so poor but what else can you say working in a retail job. I don’t know if it was her poverty or her relaxed attitude towards me that changed her mind but she agreed to let me buy it for her. The next day she told me that she felt that any favors I did for her would be held over her head. “My old roommates were like that and I did not understand why people only do nice things for others when they expect to be rewarded. That is not the way I do things so please don’t feel that way,” I told her. She was happy with me for about ten minutes before I said something else she found offensive. I don’t know what it about me that people don’t like but I live in a world without friends and the store is the only place I talk to anyone. I would not want to be popular but it would be nice to have smart people to talk to.
Speaking of smart people that 16 year old bagger that I have mentioned a few times was talking to me about anarchy yesterday. The kid for his age has vastly amazing view on life and this subject seems to trigger that brilliant mind of his. I asked him where would be the best place for revolution to occur in the US and when he could think of an exact location I mentioned Gotham, only to get a pity laugh. While we talked about the shackles of poverty cast onto a major portion of the United States public he mere said, “Your thoughts are very dark and you have little optimism on the subject.” The truth is we condemn countries like North Korea because of how tough their government is and how devaluing their currency has lead to people dying of hunger by 100,000. Those people flee one country for China as a better place. Yet in America we condemn the success of capitalism system as being too greedy. I knew nothing about Korea till today because beyond the Korean War nothing really interested me about it. It’s hard to believe that even in our own country there was time when people fought among themselves for political power and I am pretty sure that the “south will raise again”.
I have no idea what time I went to bed last night but I could tell I was bit hung over when I woke this morning. When I looked for my beer bottles I found them sitting at the bottom of the pool. I am not sure how they got out there or why I felt it necessary to do that. The bathroom smelled like I missed the toilet and I could not find my pajamas I wore last night. The first thing I need was to get something to eat and so I started cooking my discount steak ($3.57). I thought that I might have cooked it up late last night since there was not much to eat in the fridge. Sometimes I don’t wake up in the night to eat and my left overs start to pile up and I have to throw them out. That reminds me, I have frozen shrimp I have to take out of the freezer before I go to bed. Why shrimp you might be asking, simple, the other day the corporation felt it necessary to give the employees 35% off any shrimp product. I guess I should be grateful to them for that and I have never eaten shrimp at home before. Its always been one of those foods I order in restaurants, or back when I could afford to have other people make my food for me.
I finished cooking my lunch and only had a few bites of it. My stomach is so little now that I can be full in few seconds. I am down to about a 27 inch waist and that is down from 33 inch last July. I just looked at the date… its officially my 3 year anniversary of having worked in real job today. It was July 29, 2009 when I got laid-off from the corporate office. I guess that should be a pretty sad thing to say but its not. When I first started working at the grocery store I thought it would be a great opportunity to study the lower class but instead the culture took hold of my mind and started depressing me further and further. The duties of a bagger were not what I had expected. Yesterday when I asked a homeless to “please stop begging in front of the store” he took it as a sign of disrespect and wanted to start swinging at me. My manager came out to see what was going on since he was the person that verbally told him to leave. “In the twenty seconds it takes for me to see that you are getting your ass kicked in the parking lot, a lot can happen. Please don’t try and fight the homeless people again. You have told me many times that your minimum wage is not enough to be doing that,” he said. I don’t know what bothers me about seeing beggars in the parking lot but it really does. I think about myself out there in the heat struggling to survive and they are just asking people for free money.
It took me nearly an hour to get to campus on the free blue shuttles that patrol the city. They are usually extra annoying on weekends and especially during the summer when they become the choice location for every miserable poor person in the city. After I pulled my bike off the front rack and turned my head my roommate was standing right in front of me. it took him five minutes to drive there and my jaw dropped. Life does suck without a car but that is the way things are. He was going to the gourmet sandwich and I don’t have two pennies to rub together. He asked me what I was planning on doing today and I told him, “what I do every single time the store gives me a day off – read.”
The rest of my day was spent in the most boring manner possible. I was collecting quotes of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna and reading the news. I don’t know when I become so used to being alone with my books but it’s a good relationship.