My most memorable birthday was 19.
The pattern at work seems to have gone from wildly crazy busy to totally dead. Today was appeared to be a day off, but didn’t happen. But, money comes in when once works, so I took it.
In the middle of a call today, I got the other line: my doctor has moved my appointment from the previous time to quite literally as soon as the place opens. I’m not sure if I should be concerned or not.
It’s been difficult to get into the beat of prose lately. Things have been happening otherwise, not what was planned.
I need to get into gear. And hopefully before I get any crap news from my doctors.
The weather has begun to behave oddly. Storms blowing in but not the kind with the giant whooshing and boom. Minor boom. Too minor. Local meteorologists are a little worried it’s too tame.
This stretch of days off gave me a chance to rest my legs, sure, but there are other issues. Like that mass. It’s causing new problems.
Rather than think about that I’ll focus on my writing, I think.
This is a candid of last night’s Lockout Debacle. There is strong language.
I had a feeling that there was a problem when I reached for the keys and l got a roll of quarters instead. What I didn’t realize was how bad it’d get.
After a significant round of inventing expletives I called work, the last place I remembered having my keys. I attempted to walk the desk through the combination lock but — and this was a shock — she’d never used one before. A guest did it eventually, but… no keys.
I invent expletives for a bit longer before calling in the building president to get the emergency unlock service, and learn two things: 1, the price has tripled and 2, the guy is AWOL. Three other people are waiting for the unlock guy—two since two PM. As I find a live outlet to charge my phone a neighbor offers couch space—which I reluctantly take him up on, I mean it meant no cold hallway.
I realize something is up when he turns the music from classic rap to classic bedroom R&B. But he’s got another neighbor over too so he isn’t planning… Right…?
Apropos of nothing: “That can’t be your hair.” From the other neighbor who was over, an old dude.
With an offended look I yank on my ponytail hard enough to jerk my head sideways a bit.
“Okay, it’s real, my bad.”
Out of nowhere, Neighbourly Guy: “That hair though, what else is you?”
“I’m looking at your ends there and our hair, it don’t do that . You ain’t all nigga is you?”
I try to figure out how one would put “gun” in their tone of voice; edge isn’t going to cut (heh) it. “I don’t see why that has anything to do with anything but my mother was Native American and why are you close up in my head enough to notice the only thing that makes it clear?”
” I unno, jus’ something I been thinking about. Can I touch it?”
I’m going to allow my fellow readers of color the moment of horror here: WE’VE GOT THEM TOO.
I am currently far enough away from my computer that I don’t have access to my “OH HELL NO” cat gif. Just imagine it here.
“I—deh—no you may NOT. WHAT HELL.”
“Well, see, I been thinking bout it and, like, the one dude you have over sometimes don’t be around no more, like now maybe—”
You heard that sound right? The tires screeching to a halt? I’m putting the brakes on.
“No?” He sounded offended.
“I’m not interested in you like that.”
“Well see I was just thinking maybe—”
FUCK ME, I’VE ATTRACTED ANOTHER FAKE NICE GUY.
“I am not interested in you like that.”
“But if the other guy is gone now—”
At this point I’m liveblogging, texting three people, and have sent The Signal to a pair of friends.
“Tell you what. I’m going to go get a smoke, and you go think about it.”
The door closes. I mutter “Shite.”
Three minutes after getting the alert my ride out is here I steal out of the creeper’s apartment. My Vibrams are ninja quiet on the tile—for which I am thankful, as a cursory glance off the corner hall shows me he’s smoking there. I curse under my breath and press myself into the deep dip provided by the elevator door, holding my breath. The damn thing arrives too slowly for my liking, but then I am off and away, unseen.
In the ultimate cliché I jump into the car and shout “DRIVE! GO!” before ducking low until we clear the property.
The key people never called.
The thing about being really poor is that when you don’t make enough money to get yourself something nice for your birthday, it’s a mild disappointment. There is another thing about that fact: when you manage to make just enough to pay off all of the bills that you have that month, you still manage to feel accomplished.
This month is one of those.
I looked at this week’s paycheck and for a moment felt accomplished. I made an amount of money that had a two in the leading number slot instead of a one. I felt like I was getting somewhere. Then I sat down and did the math, and realized that I hadn’t had as much money as I thought.
You know, I actually don’t make enough money to save money for a rainy day—or, really, even a sunny day, most of the time. There just isn’t that much cushion. Especially when you live in such a situation when your rent isn’t even static. Mine’s about to go up for no other reason than it does: it goes up when the season gets better, so that it stays at a rate of 30% of my adjusted income. The little box that I had for my savings is going to be the thing that helps me pay the bills this month.
I’d meant it to be for something else, but that can wait for another day.
…I’d like to do something nice for my birthday, but I just don’t have the money to do so.
And frankly, just getting there and wanting to still be around at that point will be enough for me at this point.