Working all day doesn't bother me. It really is just a mere, what, three-four hours more? Just grit your teeth together and go, you know. Most of the job is just repeating the same trite lines over and over:
"Is this a gift?"
"____ are very nice/lovely/colorful/popular."
"Do you want a handle, or are you wrapping this later?"
"Anything for yourself today?"
"Do you need tealights with these?"
"Bathroom is in Starbucks. Just cut in the corner and all the way to the right."
"Do you want to pick this up at the back door?"
"These are on, like, every Wedding Registry."
"The colors this year are so perfect."
"Did you find everything okay?"
Continue ad naseaum.
I felt like crying all day, I could feel the tear bubbling in the bags under my right eye. I kept thinking about the "situation," and where exactly I stood in it all. Then the self-anger kicked in, and I realized I bring Nothing "to the table" when it comes to a relationship. Yeah, a few jokes and witty comments, but nothing Real--as in money, style, taste, an ability to care for a child since I'm such a mess myself, good looks, culture, intelligence, equity, creative achievement. All I bring is hugs and jokes, and who wants that. When I'm down, I see Nothing in myself.
I go to lunch. I can't fathom the thought of walking through a crowd of people, paired off and laughing, living and wearing fucking pink (enough already!), so I slouch to Marshall Fields to pay for an overpriced meal. I stand in a long line with my pre-made foodstuffs, waiting an eternity, when Sam, this worker that seems to recognize me from times before, waves me out of line to another register. Cool.
Even though it's cloudy and breezy, like a Morrissey song, I sit out by the Fountain as I often do. I like watching the kids play with the water shooting out of the fish mouths, and run around and climb on the metal Lion Statue. I think their innocence comforts me and reminds me of a better, younger me. And the laughter of a child helps ease my misery.
But today there is no one there, just the fountain shooting water into the spitting rain. I sit alone and stare at the Lion. I repeat the mantra "...I am in a good mood, I am in a good mood..." over and over slightly outloud, hoping some mind over matter thing will kick in. It doesn't seem to do anything.
My sandwich tastes like paper pulp, wadded up paper mache balls choking down my throat. I wash each bite down with a sip of Nantucket Orange Mango that seems to help open my constricting throat. Deep breathes.
People walking by sound like cackling, screaming monkeys in a concrete jungle. The shush of the wind and fountain is broken, and I flinch slightly, by a spastic eruption of high pitched adult laughter and gobblety-gook noises. I don't understand any words. A couple walks by holding hands, he offers to lift her up ontop of the Lion, she declines, laughing. He is white and she is Indian.
I go inside 15 minutes early.
I sit in the kitchen and talk to S.R. He invites me and three other coworkers to his party on Saturday. He graduated from a baking class. I want to invite a fourth.
Only 7 hours to go.
Later, I discuss the policy the company has on fulltime employees with the Designer, N.P. She has worked at two other stores, and said yes, there is such a thing as full time sales associates. Another Boss Frantic lie! She then tells me that her and the Boss have discussed me. That they think I'd be good as a Furniture Associate because of my commitment and patience with customers. And that the boss, supposedly, feels bad about dropping my pay to newbie status and that she actually likes me and would not like to see me go! WTF?!?!?!
N.P. suggested I talk to Boss Frantic about setting up a transfer to a furniture store downtown.
For some reason, the conversation puts me in a somewhat better mood, and I pick up my interaction with coworkers and customers. The last few hours drag, but I'm only in a half miserable mood. I don't take another break, but push on to close.
I get home. Eat a leftover McDonald's apple pie, and fall asleep on the too-small-couch during David Letterman before the Top Ten.