WANTED (Kind of like a Craigslist Ad…)

**Thanks to those of you who signed up for the 2014 Book Challenge!  I’m excited to start The Last Lecture.  Have you gotten your copy already?  I’ll be sending out an email shortly with discussion questions and timeline goals for the next few weeks.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click over here!**

because i can’t write a blog post, without a picture.  and: she’s the boss. seriously.

WANTED IMMEDIATELY (CALL ME ASAP IF YOU MEET QUALIFICATIONS.)  1-800-IHAVENO$$$:

  • Full-time dog hair picker upper.  Willing to aggregate dog hair from the oddest of places including, but not limited to, cushion cracks, the space between the rug and the rug liner, the air suction space between my refrigerator door and the rubber thing-a-ma-doodle that keeps it sealed shut when closed, the entire interior space of my car, every inch underneath my bed, the two centimeter space between my dresser and the floor, my dog’s skin, clean laundry, dirty laundry, the washing machine, the floor underneath the washing machine, the space between the washing machine and the floor, the detergent capturer cup thing in the laundry machine.
  • Working Clone or Sugar Papa.  Candidate must possess the ability to complete my job duties for the rest of my lifetime.  Flexibility to work varying hours each week depending on the client’s hopes, wishes and the ice cream flavor of the day, preferred.  Priority given to candidates who will, better yet, pay off all future clients into liking absolutely everything that I do and approving my need to work remotely from the beaches of Hawaii.
  • Private Chef.  Referrals for James Beard Award nominees accepted.  Must be willing to work flexible hours depending on hunger pains.  Ability to adjust menu to various, and weird, cravings including gluten-free toast with strawberry jelly and salami, bowls of chocolate and peanut butter mixed together and nutella crepes directly from Paris, France, required. Candidate should also double as a body-guard protecting me from myself. Example provided: Candidate will use bodily harm (e.g. slap wrists) when, or if, I try to purchase a Big Gulp Coke and King-Size Reese’s for $2 from the local 7-11.  This is a precautionary item.  Not like I’ve done it before.
  • Chauffeur.  Must possess own car.  Car must be a pimped out, tinted Bentley.  Must be willing to dispose of my current car (cracked bumper, interior covered in dog hair, etc.) by any means necessary.  Filling this position may limit hours required for the Full-time Dog Hair Picker Upper.  Sorry, I’m not sorry.
  • Fitness Double.  Job duties include performing as my toned, really-good-looking, super in-shape body double.  Exceptions include that I don’t want you to actually be my body double.  I want to experience everything in my life, as normal, except with my fitness double’s body transposed onto mine.  This may require high-tech science-tology that has been, or has not been, developed yet.  TBD.  More to come.
  • Dog Barking Reprimand-er.  Must be willing to scold my dog for misuse of barking (some barking, when appropriate, is OK).  Note: It is hard to tell the difference between appropriate and the misuse of barking.  Strong, apologetic communication skills (especially with small children in the hallway, children’s parents and random handymen on the street below) is preferred.  Candidate should NOT scold dog through physical force, verbal commands or barking re-enactments.  In fact, dog miming may be required in an interview for entertainment purposes only.
  • Man to serenade me with John Legend’s new song.  This could or could not be my boyfriend.  Willing to look at options.  Just look.  Jeez, Louise.

Priority given to those applications that come with a box of cupcakes, flowers and verbal affirmations.  Applications accepted in person (especially with cupcakes).  You can find me on the beach… in a different country… because apparently America is not ready for summer, let alone spring, yet.

I am an equal opportunity employer… for people with cupcakes.

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The Night Train

It purrs softly in the dark of the night.

“Hurry!,” A. shrieks as I press my foot on the clutch and shift into third gear.  We’re a half mile away from where the pavement curls up to meet the wooden and metal tracks that divide our town equally in half. The lead foot in me wants to beat it before it starts howling.

“Did you see Ryan and Marissa’s fight last night on the OC?” A. shouts over the screeching as I slam on the brakes.  We fail to hit the safety gate by inches.  I let out a slow exhale.

“I missed it,” I say.  “I was working on a paper for AP European History.” Why, again, did I take AP European History my senior year?

“Oh,” A. responds.  “You have to see it – Marissa just can’t understand Ryan’s past and forgive him for that comment he said in last week’s episode!  I just don’t get it.”

Truth be told – the OC has been a favorite of my group of friends for a while now.  Most weeks, we gather at one of our family’s houses to watch it together.  The show’s drama, the clashing personalities, the underage mistakes all feel eerily familiar somehow.

The train is billowing past us, at this point, as I look off to its smoke in the distance.

I can’t help, but wonder where it’s going.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

**

Seven minutes later, we find ourselves parked in front of A.’s boyfriend’s friend’s parent’s house.  A distant relation we sought out for a night of acting far beyond our age.  His parents are either away for the evening or highly ignoring the situation on the first floor of the home – details worth avoiding, for now.  My heel stabs a crinkled beer can as we exit my dad’s red candy apple sports car.

We step into the house softly as a wall of stale Natural Light and lingering cigarette smoke smacks us in the face.  I recognize about 5 of the 26 youth packed in  like sardines around the living room table.  Half empty cans, strewn about the family photos and fabric floral displays, decorate the room surrounding them.  One of the familiar faces wraps his arm around me.  “Hey, so glad you guys could make it!,” he whispers, far too energetically, into my ear.  Did he even know we were coming? I think. But, I take the compliment, anyways.

A. holes up in the corner with her boy as I realize I’m in for a long night.  A few failed attempts at meaningful conversation and finding a beer pong partner later, my mind starts drifting.  At home, stacks of college pamphlets wait for me on my bedroom floor. They’ve been there for weeks, but I hardly tend to notice.  I’ll look at them someday.

The reality is that I’m terrified to read them. I want so badly to stand still in this moment, and let the world circle around me.  I want to refuse to leave the familiar.  I want to refuse to let go of everything I’m holding on to in this hometown of mine.  Who can let go of episodes of the OC and random people’s houses?

One of the strangers stands up shakily.  “I think I might be sick,” he mutters as he slips out the back door.

**

I drop A. off at home and steer my dad’s car back to our home a few blocks away.  As I turn on to one of my hometown’s busy roads, I hear its whistle.  Another one purring in the distance, just a little more seductively.

I enter my parents’ front door and make sure to dead bolt it behind me.  A custom ritual never forgotten.  As I glide past the stack of college pamphlets near my bed, I grab a couple to look at in the morning.

When the next train comes to town, I want to be ready for the ride.

Got a moon and a billion stars
Sound of steel and old boxcars
The thought of you is driving me insane
Come on, baby, let’s go listen to the night train
~Jason Aldean

**

The Spartan Race and protein powder giveaway winner is entry #5.  Jordan – please look for an email from me!!