Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Skanky Housecleaning and Goldwingers

I've recently been toying with the idea of cleaning/organizing houses during the off-season. Last winter I worked in a bar (not really my style). Apparently, this is who is "training" me in the fine art of scrubbin' floors.

I am standing in front of a tall, slender, pale girl with long straight dark brown hair. She's beautiful. (Skanky-beautiful).
She's wearing a white one piece mini skirt dress that looks like a "naughty  nurse" costume that is two sizes too small for her, the fabric is pulled so tight it's nearly transparent. She can't close the top around her large fake breasts.

She's wearing thigh-high blue and gray argyle stockings with a black garter belt and shiny black stripper heels. She is looking through black-rimmed eyeglasses and has her hair up in a claw clip.
Her legs are long and slender and they make me more aware of my shorter physique.

Time Travel

I now have the "uniform" on (the white nurse/housecleaning dress). My outfit fits me better than the girl who is training me.
I'm wearing one of my semi-transparent button up sweaters that I wear over tanktops at work when it's hot out (I can't show my tattoos). I ask the girl what she thinks out me showing my tattoos to the clients. She says I should "feel each client out to see if they offend them."

Time Travel

I'm on my hands and knees on a white tile floor in a large, lavish, chandelier-lit entryway. I'm scrubbing the tiles vigorously . My sweater is on.
There is a man dressed in a white collar button down and black slacks with black shiny, square toed shoes standing about 15 feet behind me. Watching me work.

Time Travel
I'm walking into work through the back door in the service department (where I always come in) and I wave to the "Goldwingers" in the customer lounge. (I come in everyday and wave to the old men in the room.)
I'm wearing the naughty nurse/housekeeper outfit.

I look through the window and see a pretty sexy man in his late 20s or early 30s. He's got pale skin, dark brown short spiked hair and piercing blue eyes. (He looks like a man named Chad, a customer of mine with whom I've had quite an extensive retail history).

I lock eyes with him as I make my way  past the window and as I walk around the corner into the room, I feel embarrassed to be wearing something so scandalous in front of my elderly friends.
I walk into the room and "Chad " is kneeling in front of me, looking up.

Then I wake up.

Playing Fetch with Chris Johnson and Paranormal Activity

I'm on a beach. The sand is white and pristine. The water is crystal blue with just a thin line of white foam separating the two.
I'm standing with my back to the water and Chris Johnson is facing me. He's holding an overly large tennis racket in his left hand and a bright tennis ball in his right.
I look at my hands and I've got a racket too.
He serves the ball gently. Lobs it to me. He's kind of far away (think half of a football field). He hits it and I try my best to return the fuzzy yellow ball but I miss and it flies behind me into the blue water.
It travels farther than it would normally (In real life) and I have to really chase it. I'm quickly jogging through the water which has no resistance. I finally get to the ball and turn to go back to shore and the ocean floor feels more like mud than the sand that was under my feet before. I look down and the water has turned murky but I can still see the floor. It looks exactly like Clear Lake.
I'm walking and my feet clumsily stumble on the slick water-weathered sticks and rocks just under the mud and milfoil. The water is waist level and is proportionate to my distance to the beach.
Chris hits the ball several times and each time I miss and have to wade out and retrieve it. It reminds me of a dog. A golden retriever.
Time Travel
I'm standing at the wall facing the bed from Paranormal Activity (exactly the position where the camera is in the movie). All of the room's characteristics are identical: the dim, warm lamp light reflecting off the maple colored wood floor.I'm watching them talk to each other. There is a golden retriever by the door and Kate is petting him, leaning far off the high bed.
Suddenly the dog bolts from the room and I can hear his nails slipping on the wood as he sprints fearlessly down the stairs.
I hear a loud SLAM and the dog screams.
Time Travel
I'm back on the beach. I'm in a hut/shed/shack. The walls are seasoned wood and there is no glass in the square window facing South. There is sand on the floor. I look down and see my painted toenails  with tiny bits of sand around my cuticles.
There is a kid (probably 19 or 20) and he's wearing a Shift trucker hat (one that Austin had on earlier in the day) and a light gray One. Industries shirt with a high visibility logo on the chest.
He's standing to the right of me near the glassless window.
Austin is in some sort of a water competition: Wakeboarding or something. (Not 100% sure).
I can hear the announcer reading off names from a significant distance away. The kid and I are talking and he has a very condescending tone. He makes me feel like I'm not welcome. I think to myself, "I'm too old to be here."
Then I wake up.

Bury My Bicycle and Slangin' Motorclothes in Italy

I'm in the Panda Express parking lot on 164th St.on the East side of I-5 in Lynnwood. I've got my bicycle and even though the kickstand is down, I can't get it to stay upright. It just keeps falling over.
An older woman (someone who came into my store yesterday) comes over and starts to try to help me by giving me "tips".
She's wearing a white Scorpion jacket (like yesterday) and holding a helmet.
We decide that the only way to keep the bike upright is to dig a hold where the kickstand is so it can be lower. We start digging. Through the asphalt and into dark brown, gravely, moist dirt. We are digging with our hands and I can feel the cold mud between my fingers and under my nails.
I stop several times to check to see if the bike will stand on it's own and can't seem to get the right angle. I keep digging deeper until the hole is about 3 feet deep and I just set the bike in the hole.
Time Travel
I'm helping  two ladies in my store get some gear. They already have bikes and gear but they say they like me so much, they'll buy more.
We're in a room with yellow walls and a white tile floor and we're just talking about random motorcycle stuff when Chase walks up and asks me, "How's the bike deal going?"
"No one told me this was a bike deal, Chase."
I'm mad.
"No one introduced me to them and there was no "customer path."
(When I worked at Harley, we had a very organized system in which a new bike owner would be walked to each department: Apparel, Parts and Service and would be introduced to someone as a "contact" in their department. Brilliant!!! Not so much at EPS, although I've mentioned it a handful of times.)
Kim Boltz is sitting against the wall on the tile floor and she says, "There never was a good working "customer path" and "people would always 'fuck it up'"
Chase and Thad are annoyed and that makes me even more pissed.
Time Travel
I'm in some sort of city, reminds me of Italy. There are cobblestone streets and stone buildings with awnings jutting out over little round tables near the curb.
I'm sitting on the back of a motorcycle and my friend Marshall is driving. Justin Cayou is walking in the street towards us and he waves us to a stop. I introduce him to Marshall, telling Justin HIS name is Justin too.
We start riding. We make a tight right turn and head down a very narrow alleyway.
Time Travel
I'm driving a car now. Same location. There are two people in the car with me (not sure who, I never see them, I can just sense them.)
We come to an impossibly tight right turn and I know I can't make it around but I try anyways.
I'm inching (literally) back and forth until I'm completely stuck.
Time Travel
Marshall, Alyssa and I are leaning up against a bar that sits above a candy shop. Mike Leibold is there and he's holding a rectangle plastic container with pastel colored marshmallow candies on sticks (like lollipops). He offers Alyssa and I one and clearly hesitates to give one to Marshall. After an uncomfortable few seconds of silence he relents and says to him, "What color do you want?" and he holds out his hand where there are three orange slice shaped gummy candies: Red, Purple and Green. I reach for the red one but I know that Alyssa would want that one so I take the purple one and Marshall takes the green one.
Then  I wake up.

Amazing White Deck and Austin with the Babies

I'm walking around an empty house. It feels like someone is giving me a tour, like there's someone watching me from as I walk from room to room. The floors are a glossy maple color.
I walk toward a window. The sun is shining brightly through the glass and the floor has a golden glow. I walk in slow motion.
Time Travel
I'm outside on a deck. There is a crossed trellis above my head with grape vines threaded through the sunshine lit diamond cutouts. The light shining through the purple grapes makes them almost transparent.
Austin is there, standing in front of me. There are crying, crawling babies wearing nothing but white diapers. They look almost mechanical, like crawling dolls.
I say, "You Ok?" and he responds with a very confident "Yeah, I'm cool."
All I can see is crying, diapered babies. Crawling in circles at his feet.
Time Travel
I'm on the deck still, and I ask Austin if he knows how to change diapers and he goes, "Yeah." I then respond with, "Just make sure you wipe the girls front to back so you don't get poop where it shouldn't be."
Then I wake up.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chase's Superman Costume and Mexican Food

I'm waiting tables in a Mexican restaurant. The setting is extremely familiar. I'm in the kitchen with the "order up" window at eye level in front of me. The metal shelf is covered in fingerprints. The cooks I'm familiar with (from 6 years ago when I worked at the Mexico Cafe) are busy in the kitchen. Sounds of grilling and steaming and dishes touching are all around me. The air is hot and oily.The cranberry red tiled floor is glistening with random greasy smudges.
I'm dressed up in a Superman costume. Stretchy lycra one-piece. Blue from shoulders to ankles with baggy red briefs around my waist. Chase (my coworker @ EPS) is with me and  he tells me it's his costume. I pull at the loose fabric on my stomach and comment about how big it is. Chase let me borrow it.
I'm carrying 3 plates: One large white oval shaped dinner plate, a small dark blue plate with refried beans and on my left forearm I'm balancing a red container with tortillas steaming inside.
Time Travel
I'm at my Grandma Pat's house. Laying just outside the doorway on the rough, brown shaggy carpet. I'm still wearing the Superman costume and even though I'm clearly at my Grandma's house, there are still little reminders, little hints of the Mexican restaurant.
Turner Stires, a former coworker of mine at the EZ Rider Cafe walks in my Grandma's front door and kneels down beside me, greeting an old friend, and goes to kiss my cheek like the British do and we have an awkward moment trying to figure out the correct and traditional custom.
Then I wake up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Mom, do you see the Moose?"

My mom and I are driving out into the country. We get off the Anderson Rd. exit in Mt. Vernon.

Time Travel

We're heading north on a gravel road, surrounded by evergreen trees. The lighting makes me think it's around early afternoon. We are traveling and someone (not Mom or me, maybe just my thoughts narrating) is telling us about this park, kind of an attraction, where people can go see old buildings/houses in the forest.
As we drive, I can see just past the tree line, a row of houses. They remind me of the  migrant worker homes near where I grew up in Burlington. The small shacks are colored with deep burnt red paint and have single pane glass windows with yellow tinting the corners. A few windows are cracked but not as damaged as I would have expected and I'm disappointed that they might not be as interesting and scary (which is the only reason I would ever want to go to a location like this at all!!--Like, Northern State Mental Hospital in Sedro-Woolley--If I'm gonna drive out there, I wanna see some scary shit).

We pull up to the park entrance and Mom turns the car around so the front faces South. She parks so close to the car in front of her. Their bumpers less than an inch apart. Mom is driving her old light blue station wagon. The car she parked so close to looks like Austin's navy blue subaru wagon (but Austin's not here).

Time Travel

Mom's car is now facing the opposite direction. We're standing behind it under the hatch back door, stuffing our purses under coats and blankets already in the trunk and taking out our cameras.

Mini Time Travel
(Like I only  moved a few minutes forward)

We are walking on the pathway (about as wide as the gravel road, but covered in brown, dead pine needles) and there is a group of people standing, frozen, staring in to the forest to the right of myself.
The people are dressed in stereotypical tourist gear: white tees tucked into khaki cargo shorts, socks and sandals, khaki fisherman hats and large lens cameras hanging from thick straps around their necks.

They're looking into the trees and one whispers, almost inaudibly, "Do you see the moose?"

I look down and see Mom's white tennis shoes stepping from the pathway onto the softer forest floor. It is almost spongy and absorbs her light impact. A fine dusting of dirt and brown needles sprinkle on her toes. I lose myself in the slow-motion of her shoes for a moment and remember the dangerous creature lurking nearby.

My eyes raise slowly and as my pupils adjust to the darker lighting, I see a large tree. It's trunk is wide. (Think two refrigerators side by side.)
There is movement, barely, a vibration in the forest. Then I see a large moose face peering around the tree base. The size of just his head scares me and my brain starts searching for information regarding the proper techniques for avoiding an aggressive moose: I don't put my  hands up and try to look "bigger" to scare it off--that will challenge it. I can't look it in the eye. Do I get in fetal position or is that just for bears? Do I run?
I look to my left and my mom is walking ahead of me, barely, at a slow and casual pace. She's looking down at her camera and fumbling a little with the strap. "Mom." I whisper as loudly as I can through my teeth. She keeps walking. "Mom, there's a moose." A little louder. No response. "Mom, there's a moose!!" I scream, terrified. The moose's stance goes from "alert" to "I'm going to fucking kill you" and it stamps its front two hooves simultaneously with locked knees and charges, hot breath being forced from his giant nostrils.
I turn to my right towards the car and both front and back doors are wide open. An inviting safe haven. There is nothing blocking the entrance, no seats, just an empty shell (it makes me think of a cargo van). I think of Mom as I jump into the car (but I don't see her get in with me).

Then I wake up.