Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The girl that walks by my window

I decided to write a short story about this girl who walks by my windows in the kitchen twice a day.  Here it is.  Totally putting myself out there.  So nervous.  Oh well, you only live once, right?


Adele is so irritated right now.  She is walking past all the perfect houses, with their perfect dogs, and their perfect lawns, and their couture children, and she hates herself for the way that she is feeling, but she just can't help herself.

She is on her way to Whole Foods, which is a sorry excuse for an "organic" grocery, and she has grown to loathe the immitation Midwest hippies at the cash registers, who try too hard to encourage her to use one of their recycled bags.  She always opts for "paper" when they point to their ridiculous displays of hempware, and even THAT seems to disappoint them.  She cannot win.

The housewives with their organic groceries and natural supplements, make her want to punch them in the face, when she allows herself to notice them.  And the food, itself, turns her stomach, as she imagines what tofu would taste like.  But she continues to go there, every night, so that she might become "healthy", whatever that means.

If it means that she will stop hating everyone and everything around her, then it will have done it's job.  But, every night she finds the most unhealthy thing that the deli has prepared, be it organic, or not, and feasts until she can no longer move.  The dish usually involves locally obtained cheese or organically grown mayonnaise or something, and it is her DRUG.  She eats until she thinks she feels better, and then eats some more, to chase the high, and then finishes with one of their impossibly rich desserts that are packaged for a family.

She is miserable and she still lives at her parent's house.  She has a shitty job, surrounded by shittier people, and this pilgrimage to Whole Foods, unfortunately, is the highlight of her day.

If she does not go directly home, she goes to Mel's place, in the apartment complex across the street from her parents' house.  Mel is a divorcee, who's wife left him three years ago because "she could not take his mood swings anymore."

That is all Adele knows, and that is all she cares to know.

Mel is an okay lover, and occasionally she gets off, but more often than not, she is left to contemplate his water-stained ceiling as he snores.

She then, gets up, gets dressed, and walks back to her parents' dark, clapboard, overgrown house, that the neighbors inevitably deem "run down".  There is a shitload of yard art that was popular in the eighties, and the teenage boy who is supposed to mow once a week, is probably smoking weed somewhere, while he fondles his skinny girlfriend in her parents' basement, instead.

All of this makes the "cage-free" Asian chicken salad rise up in her throat ,when she thinks about it, so she pushes it down to that deep, dark, bottomless pit that is her subconscious.

Adele is THROUGH with Melvin, she thinks, every time she has a recovered memory of the actuality of her life, but then she takes a left turn on Guilford, when she is feeling lonely and full, and the cycle repeats itself, over and over, again.

She likes her hair, Adele thinks to herself.  It is thick and wavy, and not an ugly brown, and she takes great care to insure that it is conditioned in the summer months.  "My face is not unattractive," she says out loud, as she stares into one of her parents' foggy mirrors in the morning.  It is not foggy from her shower, it is foggy from age, and this agitates her, and she forgets her affirmations.

"At least I am not a virgin anymore," she says to her reflection in the old mirror as she slams it shut, and downs the anti-depressants the smarmy family doctor gave her when she admitted that she had had thoughts of suicide.

"Adele!" her beloved mother calls to her from inside the bedroom.  "My bedpan is full, dear, would you mind?"  The nurse won't be there for a half an hour.  Adele obediently enters her bedridden Mother's bedroom, and delicately removes her waste.

"I love you, Mom," she coos, as she kisses her on the cheek.  "I'll be home before you know it."  Her mother then loses consciousness, again, as she reaches up for her daughter's kiss.

Adele takes her deceased father's cranberry-colored, Ford Taurus downtown to the Columbus Business First building, which they recently moved into, but the hip, savvy, facade of the "urban-like" structure cannot hide the evil that is within.

She is a copywriter for the Classified department and with each successive call, she wants to off herself, over and over again, in more elaborate and imaginative ways.

The people who call her, cannot TOUCH the people she is forced to interact with each day, and that is what depresses her the most.

There is the editorial department with their self-important swagger, as they pitch increasingly mundane headlines to the assistant editor.  Then, there is the advertising department, with their gay McDonald's headseats on, as they wear business suits that will never see the light of day, unless they go out for lunch.  Finally, the circulation department people seem relatively normal, but no one has ever given Adele so much as a glance, so Fuck it.

I guess to be fair, though, it is not as if Adele gives out a friendly vibe.  She does her work and eats alone everyday at the cafeteria, facing the corner with her back to the rest of the crowd.  No one has ever approached her, and asked her if she would like company, as she is simultaneously reading some Oprah Book Club selection to insure this.  This has gone on for four years.

Her supervisor, is one of those people that LIVES for their job.  She actually BELIEVES that she is going to shoot up the ranks of American Business Journal society, based on her stellar performance as a manager, she guesses, but refuses to acknowledge that she has held the same position for 14 years - because she is a douche bag, who delivers mediocre results in a mediocre market.

Adele needs help.  She knows.  She obsesses about people who neither matter to her, nor engage her, nor offend her directly, in any way.  But still, she cannot help herself.

Adele is contemplating this as she walks, home, yet again, from the wretched Whole Foods Grocery, that she is at odds with, when several police cruisers and ambulances, she recognizes from the Upper Arlington Parade, race by her, and bring her out of her trance.

She has finally given in to the self-important, prepubescent grocers, that humiliate her daily, and is carrying home her tray of organic brownies in one of their hemp-like carrying bags that are meant to look vintage.  She is almost knocked to the curb, by the speed and purposefulness of the emergency vehicles, as they whiz by.

She has a fleeting thought that her mother has perished, and that she used her last final burst of strength to call 911.  She dismisses this immediately, not only due to the physical improbability of this, but because the relief she is suddenly flooded with, is coupled with guilt, which is then relegated to the "dark place".

The cruisers make an abrupt stop, a few blocks ahead of her, and someone is already streaming the yellow tape around "the crime scene."  Adele hesitantly approaches the crowd that has gathered around the house that she has passed a thousand times.  She is shocked and mesmerized and curious and sad, all at the same time. 

After talking with the neighbors, Adele gathers that the woman who is always out in her front yard, who waves at her, if she is not distracted by her rambuctious children, has killed herself in a violent way.

Adele decides right then and there, that she will no longer live the life she is leading and will immediately move to Arizona, which has been her lifelong dream.

Life is too short.  She decides.  And she cannot go on living the way she has, for one second longer.

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