When your Crust is Stuffed (Part 5)
I hate the fucking holidays. The objective is to spend time with people you don't want to spend time with.
My energy is wasted making pallets at the warehouse. I sprain my knee.
I cry to my mom on the phone while driving immediately from the warehouse to my shift at Pizza Palace. I don't have time for my body to tell me I'm spreading myself thin. Instead of adding more hours of work to my schedule that night, I go to the doctor.
The sprain is a blessing. I'm allowed to work until 2 p.m. and can only lift cookies, crackers, and rolls of toilet paper. When the women in the warehouse passive aggressively ask me about my injury I act shattered.
“I just wish I could do more, you know?”
I write a cover letter to a production company in Minneapolis. I write that I live in my mother's basement, but I'm fearless and adaptable. They interview me while I drink English breakfast tea, and pretend to be organized.
I meet up with the boy who has a beard and dresses like a professor. We hook up in the bathroom at a bar. When he touches my boobs, he says, "Oh my goodness." A complete understatement.
I take him to a show at The Guthrie. We both look sexy and yet we have nothing to say. I like to think it’s because we’re both in awe of how hot we are. I rest my head on his shoulder and he wraps his arm around me as we watch Blythe Spirit.
Christmas is my one day off, and I’d rather sleep and do nothing than spend time with family. My sister and I get drunk on Gin and Tonics and I give multiple Grinch impressions because that is what I do during the Christmas season.
If you so utter one syllable I’ll hunt you down and gut you like a fish! If you want to fax me press the star key.
Two days after Christmas, the boy who says "Oh my goodness," when he touches my boobs texts me to tell me we shouldn’t see each other anymore. I spend the rest of 2017 crying in the baking aisle of the warehouse.
New Years Eve is spent with Jesse doing Tarot and listening to Beyonce. New Years Day is spent with the boy who dumped me two days after Christmas. I read him a letter about how I feel. I always read men who don't love me letters about how I love them. I hope my use of words trigger his hidden love for me. I leave with the bra I left at his house in my hand. He sends me money for my other bra his dog chewed up.
Ah, January. The Monday of months.
I cry in my car every day after work for a week.
I listen to “Strangers” covered by Lucius.
I don’t eat anything because I’m too lethargic.
I get tired of lifting cases of soup onto a pallet. A woman cuts me off at the warehouse and acts like it’s my fault.
I put in my two weeks at the warehouse, because delivering pizzas is the only thing bringing me joy. I practice non-attachment and read a book on buddhism. I write a script about falling in love with the wrong people. I do Tarot and buy a Himalayan salt lamp. I use essential oils to heal. I learn how to meditate.
My thighs freeze up during my long walks in the cold. One afternoon, the temperature is 30 degrees. I walk on the frozen creek in my backyard. I lie down on the ice like they do in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I think about how cool branches are. I think about getting a tattoo of branches on my arm.
I go to a yoga workshop with my friend Jenny. We dance in a circle and thank the universe for our feet. The heart opening postures make me feel dizzy. The instructor tells me it’s because I'm in the process of letting things go. I start to forget about the boy with the dog that ate my bra. That's the hardest part, allowing myself to forget.
I start my internship at the production company. I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know any of the Mac keyboard shortcuts and feel like a goddamn idiot. On the bright side, I don’t smell like pizza and get to wear normal people clothes paired with any lipstick I want. It feels just as good having a successful first day at a job you're passionate about as it does kissing someone you like for the first time.
I go on a date with a boy from a dating app. I don’t really want to go because I’m lazy, but decide to do it anyway. His name is Sam. He has curly dark hair and large eyes, and dresses like one of my high school teachers. We both love Fleetwood Mac and music from the 70’s. He taught in another country so he understands what it’s like to feel displaced. I talk too much, but he listens. I stop myself to ask him questions. He asks to see me again and I say yes, even though I’m not sure I’m ready for something like this.
I see him the day after Valentine’s Day. We drink wine, play ping pong and dance in front of each other. I like him because he’s unapologetic and unembarrassed.
“Can I read you something?” I ask. I never let anyone hear my stories.
We play the songs we like. He plays Led Zeppelin and I play Stevie Wonder. Sam says he's boring because he doesn't like movies or getting drunk at brunch. We make out on the floor, and I stay over because I drink too much wine.
I make love to a Big Mac in front of larger crowd than I thought would see me make love to a Big Mac. I invite Sam to watch because I want to see if he’ll get scared. He sticks around for the entire show. It’s nice to know someone supports me even when I rub a hamburger on my vagina.
I go to my first commercial shoot with the production company. I spend the entire day on my feet. I drink six cups of coffee to stay ten steps ahead of everyone.
“Do you need anything? Water? Coffee? Let me know.”
The assistant director wants me to tell everyone else to be quiet when we’re rolling sound. I let people talk for longer than they should because I’m too nervous to say anything.
“Hey guys, let’s just like, keep the talking down please? If that’s possible? We’re rolling sound.” I whisper.
When the assistant director yells, “Rolling.” I too am supposed to yell “Rolling.” The first few times are barely audible. When the assistant director yells "cut," I too am supposed to yell "cut." I force my body to yell these words, even though I worry I'm saying the wrong thing the entire time.
I'm supposed to keep track of the talent.
I lose the talent.
They were in the bathroom taking selfies.
Craft service is a goddamn gift. No one eats on set, so I take advantage of the free spread.
I do yoga once, twice, and sometimes three times a day.
I write in my journal that I feel balanced. I take a flag twirling class. I learn about yoga philosophy and the chakra system. I calculate everyone's rising, sun, and moon signs.
I hate forward folds. Half Pigeon pose brings up irritation when it's not relaxing me. Triangle pose becomes juicer because I learn how to do it right. Tree pose forces me towards the ground.
I get hired as a canvasser at a nonprofit, which means I go door to door and ask people for money. I’m supposed raise $175 to make staff, and I raise $840 instead. Everyone in the office has trigger phrases like, “Very cool,” and “Biggest thing there…” or “Awesome awesome!” Two weeks later they ask me to be a manager. I’m asked to be a manager most of the time, because of my basic leadership skills and false confidence.
My birthday last year, I was playing with water guns on the streets of Chiang Mai for the Songkran Festival. I ate Indian curry and got a Thai massage for less than ten dollars. On my birthday this year, I eat large helpings of Thai food and smell the plants at the Como Zoo conservatory. In the evening, I eat hibachi with Sam. When we drive home I feel like I’m going to shit my pants. He stops at a Burger King and waits in the car while I explode all over the bathroom designated for “customers only.” Later that night Sam gives me a special birthday striptease, and goes down on me for twenty minutes even though my stomach is still unpredictable and queasy. This is why I’m with him.
The weather goes from a blizzard to 80 degrees in a week. Monday through Thursday I get paid to knock on doors and ask for money. On the weekends I knock on doors and give away pizza and wings. The commute from home to the cities becomes more and more unbearable. I wish my time away when I work at Pizza Palace. I'm outgrowing my roots, my safe place.
Jesse and I sign a year long lease in Saint Paul. There’s two bedrooms and a dishwasher, so we say yes. I work three jobs because I hate being dedicated to one thing. I like back-up plans.
The projects I set up for myself are over. The flag twirling class is over. The yoga training is over. The internship is over. The healing is over.
The next step is to mess it all up again.
My mother brings me empty boxes. I fill the empty boxes with my life in an attempt to move it from one place to another. The boxes contain clothes, things from Thailand, notebooks filled with paper, and paper filled with words. Though I'm not sure I'm ready to move my boxes to a new space, I do it anyway in the hope that I'm making the right choice.
Pizza Palace calls me in for one more shift. I shovel out 14 pizzas. I deliver to the Microtel, the Super 8, and the one house on Crestview Lane. I do all the dishes and scrape grease out of the deep fryer. I hand in my shirts and hats. I put my car in reverse. I put it into drive. I look up to see the full moon. The moon is in Sagittarius. A moon that allows us to laugh at our mistakes. A moon that encourages us to make light of the past and spring into what is next.
It's funny how often I wish time away. I wished time away in the warehouse. I wished time away at Pizza Palace. In June I looked forward to September. In September I looked forward to December. In December I looked forward to April. I can honestly say right now, dear reader, as I wrap this Stuffed Crust madness, I'm content having this moment with you, and do not wish it away.