Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Lost and Found ~GBE2 #3

Hiya! This is my 3rd blog done for a group called the GBE2 .  It's an informal group of bloggers, each week on Sunday we are given a word or phrase, a suggestion.  Then it is up to each blogger to take that trigger and go with it.  Short, long, serious, silly, poetic...  It doesn't matter.  A lot of the fun is seeing where each blogger takes it. The group is located on facebook and is a closed group but if you ask to join you will be accepted. So go ask by clicking here.

I am all sorts of excited about this weeks GBE, because I made the topic suggestion.  Yay!  Thanks for choosing it Beth.  It's lost and found.

Here goes!

My name is Jill. I am the coat check girl at the Crimson Glade Country Club. I've worked here since I was sixteen. I am now three weeks shy of turning twenty. Almost four years and I bet you I could count on my fingers the number of members who actually know my name. Or even have made genuine eye contact with me for that matter. To them I am invisible. No worries though. I can handle it.

I take their coats, bags, umbrellas, sometimes packages and I make a big deal out of matching paper tag to paper slip before handing it over. You see if I don't make a big deal about checking to make sure they match, some members, mostly the ones who see themselves as The Elite, get a little anxious. As if I will toss their stuff in a big pile and forget who's designer wrap belongs to who. Whatever. Well that and the fact that it gets me tips.

They live high on the hog and I am stuck here part time, minimum wage with zero benefits. Meaning insurance benefits. There are other kinds of benefits here.

One, the biggest one, is the lost and found.

I'm a good girl. I swear to you I am a good girl. I don't do drugs. I rarely drink. I've only gone all the way three times and one of those doesn't really count (I think). Anyway, ummm... Well my paycheck doesn't really keep up with my expenses. I have to pay mom (yeah I said mom) rent money. I have to pay insurance and gas for the hunk of junk car I drive. Seriously people it's 2011 and I am driving a 1986 Ford Escort! The car is older than ME! Ugh. So anyway, I also have to pay for part of school and all of my social life. There's where the trouble started.

But seriously the stuff these people leave behind... What's a girl to do when there is a diamond bracelet sitting in the lost and found cabinet for over three weeks? That was the first thing I "found." It was hard to take. Not physically hard. I have full authorization over the cabinet and it's content. Hell no one else who works there even cares about it. They just bring the stuff to me and I put it away to wait and see if any one will claim it. The hard part was just doing it. Morals and all that ya know. I honestly didn't mean to keep it. But still that first time even borrowing was hard and scary.

I had a dinner to go to, it was more uppity than my normal crowd. I wanted something special to wear. I splurged on kick ass heels to go with a white and blue maxi dress I had borrowed from my bestie. But all my jewelry looked cheesey, mostly because it was cheesey. I wanted, no needed to make an impression. And that bracelet was the real deal. Gorgeous and perfect.

So after a few days of wrestling with my inner girl wonder. I decided it would be ok as long as I took it back. So the night before my dinner I was scheduled to work closing. Perfect. As I cleaned the coat room and all that happy horse shit I made sure I needed to put something IN the lost and found. Then while placing the imaginary lost item in I casually dropped that bracelet into my pocket. Whoa! It felt like stealing. But I was going to bring it back. I was!

It felt like a brick in my pocket as I walked out of the building and across the employee parking lot. I hopped in my car and practically tore up the asphalt as I jerked the car into gear and headed home.

I ran to my room, slowly sat down on the bed, grabbed the lap top and told Bridget, my bestie, what I'd done. She was stoked. Weird. I thought she'd yell at me. But she wanted to come over and see it. I said ok. Then laid back on the bed and waited. I couldn't bring myself to pull it out of my pocket. But it didn't seem so heavy now.

So anyway Bridge was completely stoked and fired up. She loved it and wished I could keep it. But no that would be stealing. I was just borrowing. She said nope not stealing "finding."

That word stuck in my mind.

The dinner was a success. I didn't feel out of place at all. I placed the success of it on the bracelet. I know that was stupid but having something of "class" felt good and gave me to confidence to hold my head up and feel as if I fit in.

Until the ride home. My stupid car coughed a few times and died. Right there in the middle of the road. One hundred and seventy-five dollars to have it towed, I had to ask Mom for the money. Then the mechanic informed me the next day that it was going to be upwards of three hundred to get it fixed. AUGH! Seriously!? The car wasn't worth that much, but I couldn't afford a different one.

Mom couldn't help me, she'd already paid for the tow! I was stuck. Bridge was the one who suggested selling the bracelet. Holy crap! Selling it? No way. Oh my God! We did it. On eBay. Six hundred ninety-nine dollars!

I got my car fixed and gave Mom a little money each week in repayment for the tow. I couldn't give it to her all at once. She'd wonder where it came from.

That was it I was done no more "finding" anything. I sweated buckets each time someone came to my counter to ask about something they'd lost. But no one ever asked about the bracelet.

And slowly I quit worrying about it.

Then someone brought in a beautiful scarf. After it sat in the cabinet for a few weeks I found that too.

Then I needed money for school books. Can someone tell me why a book I am going to use maybe five times has to cost $300? So I found a few other items that were sale worthy.

It was getting easy to find things. Too easy.

Bridge celebrated each time with me. She made it feel like something good. Like we were rescuing these lost items and giving them purpose again.

I didn't even feel bad at all anymore. I even flat out told a man once that nope no one had turned in a gold watch. I did it straight faced with no stammering or sweating. I didn't feel at all bad. That watch looked good on my new boyfriend. Who incidentally I had met at that uppity dinner a few months ago.

Then came the kicker. I had left a pair of Oakley sunglasses at a coffee shop. I knew I had left them there. KNEW IT. But when I went back to ask, the kid behind the counter said nope, no one turned any sunglasses in. So when I saw the kid at the mall a few days later with my Oakleys propped on top of his head I wanted to flip out.

But I didn't.

I had bought those Oakleys with money "found" in a wallet that had been turned in.

I haven't "found" anything since that day. I think now I've found what had really been lost.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

She (GBE2 Success

There she sat. Again. On that old couch which was covered in tattered and torn blankets trying to hide the fact the the couch itself was tattered and torn. Oxymoronic, right. She knew she should get up and do something, anything. But there she sat unmoving, restless, alone. So unlike anything she had ever dreamed for herself. She wasn't always like this, it was just one of those times where the world seemed to be too much. So she just turned away from everything for a bit.

The phone rang. She didn't answer. She didn't want to make excuses to not go on whatever adventure awaited her on the other end of the call. She wanted to go. She wanted to just say yes. She just couldn't, not today. Maybe tomorrow she would. Maybe tomorrow she'd be the one making the call.

That was how it worked for her. Days, sometimes weeks of self-imposed solitude and negativity. Climbing up from those times was hard. The task itself making her feel sad, alone and useless. She'd fight the magnetic pull of the couch cushions with every fiber of her being, only to sink back down on the cushions and dampen them with tears.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow, she'd feel better. Tomorrow, she'd do something. Tomorrow she'd get up and call a friend. Tomorrow.

For now, anger mixed with the sadness. Anger at the world for everything, even though even as she was projecting that anger, she knew she wasn't really angry at the postman for being late. She was angry at herself for being unable to be normal. To be like everyone else who got up and went about their day. Making plans and sticking to them.

She'd lay on that couch and tell herself tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow she would go for a walk. She would do the laundry and dust the living room.

A little voice said do it now. That voice was quickly silenced and the pull of the couch won, again.

Late late at night she finally dragged herself up off that tattered couch. Feeling tired and hopeless. Only actually moving because the one thing she wouldn't do was spend the entire night on the couch. She climbed the stairs, all fifteen of them, and prepared for bed. She avoided the mirror. She didn't want to see what she had become. It wasn't a reflection that she'd ever recognize as who she wanted to be. No what she saw was old, tired and ugly. Unlovable. So with the lights out she'd brush the tangles from her hair, strip off her clothes and climb into bed. Lying on her back she'd look up and feel the tears burning behind her eyes she'd feel them spilling out the corners and rolling into her hair.

"God, thank you for the people who love me even though I push them away. Thank you for bringing them into my life. Please help and guide them tomorrow. Please, help and guide me too. Help me..... to live."

She rolled over, pulled the blanket up over her head and fought the tears, trying to go asleep without thinking about bad stuff. Bad stuff brought bad dreams. And if she had any hope of waking with a bit of hope, she couldn't dream of her failures. But in trying to avoid thinking of them that is all she focused on. Every tiny thing that was wrong in her life. They twisted and grew as she slept. Morphing into great beasts holding her down telling her she wasn't worth her dreams. She didn't matter. She was worthless.

The cat snoozing on the window sill watched her as she tossed and turned fighting her demons through the night. She'd wake up several times choking on tears. She'd get up and without turning the lights on stumble to the bathroom and back. Falling back to bed and fighting once again to see the bright side of anything at all.

Sometime during the night the big mottled brown cat made it's way over to the bed and curled up tight against her trying to soothe her.

It must have worked because she settled down and fell into a deep dreamless sleep.

She woke the next day. Still tired. The cat was on the window sill again. She scratched it's head and filled it's dishes. She wandered to the bathroom to prepare for the day ahead.

Going down the stairs she walked past the couch and into the kitchen. The cat padded along behind, just watching. She opened the refrigerator and pulled out eggs, milk and cheese.

Halfway through making the omelet she realized it had happened. The darkness wasn't so dark today. The sun through the window felt good and her reflection in the toaster wasn't as hideous as she might imagine.

She smiled. Today would be a success. Depression wouldn't win today. She had once again risen above the darkness. But for how long.... Don't think about that right now. Right now relish the sun and live!