Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cold Clean Up

I’m sitting alone at Olive Garden… fucking Olive Garden.
“Would you like to try our eggplant parmigiana?” the waiter asks for the fourth time in three minutes.
“No I don’t want any of your greasy garlic food Mr.….Elliot.” I said impatiently.
“Uh well excuse me.” The waiter said with disgust.
He then takes a piece of garlic bread out of his pocket, defiantly ripping a piece off with his teeth and marches back to the kitchen.
Not sure whether to be offended or amused, my attention turns to the front door as Sir Carter James comes strolling in.
“Hey there! No worries, you’re only 45 minutes late. I was just leaving.” I say as I start to walk out the door.
“Wait, Jackie. I’m sorry, I got caught up at the office. Please let me make it up to you.” He says, following me out the door.
Turning around, about to say some rude remark and walk off, I look into his eyes and see that he genuinely is sorry.
“What did you have in mind?”
He smiles…

“Ice cream in January huh?” I say as we walk through the park holding waffle cones.
“It’s never a bad time for ice cream.” Carter replies with a grin.
Suddenly something rustles in the bushes.
“What was that?” I say startled
“I’ll go check it out, stay here.” He says hesitantly walking over.
A man in rags emerges…
“AHHHHHH!!!!” Carter screams.
“AHHHHHH!!!!” the rugged man responds.
“Wow how courageous of you to protect me.” I say with a smirk
“I was just…uh defendi-“
“Hey is that you Man Low?” I say squinting in the dark at the strange man.
“Uh why yes, I’ve been called that in the past.” He says stumbling to the ground and letting out a drunken hiccup.
“You know this guy?” Carter says?
“Yes..well sort of.” I say
“He used to live at the Victorian but Ms. Davis kicked him out after not paying rent, he fell off the grid after that.”
“What will come will come/Even if you shroud it all in silence!” Man Low says with a cry pointing at me. Then shuts his eyes, slumps over and begins to snore.
“Fell off his rocker too I suppose.” Carter says.
We keep on walking and get to Rainbow River.
“How did you know that guy?” Carter asks
“I know everyone at the Victorian.” I say
“And all their secrets too.”
Carter looks at me questioningly
“Oh yeah, like what?”
“Well, Elliot Varane keeps garlic bread in his pocket at all times.”
Carter laughs
“Well everybody knows that.” he says
“Okay well did you know that Harvey Potter is in love with Ellen Davis? I sometimes look through the letters he writes but never gives to her when I clean his desk. Also, Jamie Medina has a crush on Sasha Tary but Sasha doesn’t feel the same and is a little creeped out so she got Wren Henry to punch Jamie in the face…

“Haha well that’s all interesting but what’s your secret Ms. Jackie Wackerman?” Carter asks.
“No secrets here.” I say quickly.
We walk in silence for a bit and I gaze into the river, looking at my reflection. For some odd reason I can still hear Man Low’s drunken prophecy in my head…
“What will come will come/Even if I shroud it all in silence.”
Looking closer at my reflection I see wings coming out from my back. My hearts starts to beat faster and I’m transfixed by the water. I lean closer and closer, reaching out to touch the reflection.
“Jackie!?” Carter says
Suddenly I lose my footing, and plunge into the river.

Hypothermia is a bitch. I’m not sure I have it but if it’s worse than what I’m feeling right now then it must be one hell of a bitch.
“Hey, my house is right across the tracks, I can take you to my place and get you some warm clothes.”
I get a sudden chill down my spine not from the river but because of the railroad. We pull up to the stoplight at the railroad tracks on Ellis Crossing…the last time I was here was in the second grade leaving town for the first time with my mother. After that night it was known as Killer Crossing and I had never left the city since.
“No that’s fine, if you could just t-t-take me home that’d be great.” I stammer.
“Oh please I insist. You don’t have to stay” he says as the light turns green.
The car inches forward.
“NO!” I scream
Carter slams on the brakes.
“What’s wrong? I’m sorry I won’t push it I’ll just take you home.”
I begin to cry
We get to the Victorian and I jump out of the car and rush inside.
“I’m so sorry Jackie, I didn’t mean anything by it!” Carter yells

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Dry Dump

Have you ever tried to wash a toilet without water? Oh wait, you can't! Ever since the water pipes busted I have been scrambling for all the wet wipes I could find in the jumbled janitor closet, having little luck. I scrubbed and spit and scrubbed and spit on the on the windows of the first floor, trying to busy myself with work until I awakened from this arid nightmare.
Jumping at the startling slam of the door behind me, I whipped around to see Ms. pretty ditty Gaia Lux strutting down the hallway. I went up and tapped on her shoulder and got a "HUWHA!" in response.
"Oh sorry, I was just wondering why you slammed your door so hard, you could have broke it." I said.
Ms. Lux responded with a few snide remarks and complained about the water but before I could develop a coherent sentence in response, she had stomped off. Flustered, I thought to myself how funny it was that one time I had pretended that Ms. Lux's toilet had been clogged for 6 days just so I could sneak those delicious little cookies she stores in a jar in her kitchen. After reminiscing about the succulent ooey gooey chocolate chip circles of joy, I went back to work.

An hour had passed and I had just finished all the windows on the first floor when Ms. Lux came a striding around the corner. Her pretty make-up caked face was in a slight frown but her expression oddly softened when she laid eyes on me.
"Hey Jac-"
"The water is back on," interrupting her and not looking up from my cart.
"Thanks a lot Jackie, hey I'm sorry about how like not like nice I was earlier, how are you doing? Any boyfriend you're not telling me about?"
Considering we hadn't had a conversation that was hardly more than a sentence in months, I was a little taken aback by the notion that Gaia would ask something like that but not wanting to make her feel bad I hesitantly replied,
"No. Not really. I don't like to go out on the town like some of us."
"Oh come on!" Gaia said.
"There's gotta be some cute plumber boy or something that can help clean YOUR pipes."
Appalled I responded with a resilient, "NO! There is no pipes to be cleaned. Thank you very much."
"Whatever you say," Gaia said with a flamboyant attitude.
"I guess janitors just aren't really in the game."
"I can be in the game if I want to!" I barked back, frustrated.
"In fact, a guy just asked me out the other day. Carter James from Southern Living Magazine."
Gaia looked amused.
"Ooooh Jackie, you go girl! Well you know what, I got to go but you'll never get to see what's out there if you hide behind this cart all day. You should go on a date, and who knows maybe one day you can be Jackie James instead of Jackie...Wackerman." she said with a sniffle.
Before I could utter a word in protest she had slammed her door and left me out in the hall, leaving me with a my head buzzing and stomach yearning for some ooey gooey cookies.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

not your routine runs

Rolling out of bed and letting out a tiresome moan, I stand up. Looking at the clock flashing 5:30 I hit it a few times until it stops beeping. Having an argument with my sleepy self on whether or not to get 15 more minutes of sleep, I drift back into bed convincing myself I'm just resting my eyes.
I jolt awake, looking at the clock: 8:30
I scramble to get my uniform on, tuck my hair into a bun, throw a breath mint in and run to the door.
A young man with a clean cut suit and well-trimmed stubble stands in the hallway with notebook in hand. He looks up and his piercing green eyes light up as I open the door.
"Greetings, I'm from Southern Living magazine an-"
"And I'm late." I say, quickly rolling by the the strapping young man with my not so upstanding janitor cart.
"Ummm well I'm here to cover a piece entitled "15 Southern Towns Making a Comeback" and we'd like to get to know the people that live here a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself...Jackie?" the man says as he follows me down the hall and into the elevator.
"How do you know my name?" I ask suspiciously, whipping my head to look up at the gentleman. He points at my breast where my uniform
"Well there's not much to tell about me and not much to tell about this so called comeback town. I think a comeback implies we were once something special so you might be out of luck."
"Well..that's a gloomy perspective...there's gotta be something a pretty girl like you can find to do in a little town like this?"
Taken aback a bit, I stared intently into his eyes trying to detect hints of sarcasm but I found none. I hesitantly responded,
"What's your name?"
"James. Carter James," he said
I was so appalled that he introduced himself like James Bond that I hadn't realized the elevator had arrived at my floor.
"Well Carter James, I've got a lot of work to do so with all due respect agent 007, piss off."
I was halfway down the hall when he cried, "Wait!" as he came chasing after me. With an exasperated sigh I whipped around and was about to shove my mop up his until he said,
"Would you like to maybe get something to eat sometime?" he asked
Speechless as I was to the audacity of this "Southern Living" character, I could do nothing but stand motionless.
"Tell you what, here's my number, if you're interested give me a call." he said and with that he got back in the elevator and waved goodbye with a cheesy grin.
After about 7 minutes of trying to analyze what just took place, I finally gathered my wits and rolled my cart into my first bathroom of the day.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Conventional Crap

Trudging through the door, I waddle into my kitchen, letting the overwhelming amount of grocery bags fall onto the table with a thud. I would've taken two trips to heave the groceries into the building although that's risky business; leaving your belongings outside in an area as sketchy as this.(especially with something as precious as my jelly-filled donuts) Besides, not all of us have the luxury of having a vehicle that...well has doors and can of the many disadvantages of owning a beat up segway. Only walking or biking or really anything that requires exercise could possibly be a worst mode of transportation. Although, the trek from the parking lot to my apartment could be worse. I could have to climb the stairs! Living in the basement is at least good for something. 

As I throw my frozen dinner in the microwave, the telephone rings. 

"Hi can I speak to a Mr...a Mr...Wackerman?" the shrill voice of Ellen Davis giggles. 
-Surprising as it may be, it isn't the first time someone has smirked at the sound of my name. 
"Jackie Wackie Jackie Wackie" is all I heard in kindergarten. Classmates perpetually teasing me through elementary school. Even teachers, when berating me for cutting up in class, would have a facetious tone when calling me out by my full name. It didn't get much better through high school, inevitably the same cycle of students, no one ever seeming to leave this town. The only reassurance I got was my father reminding me during the pubescent stage that "at least I wasn't a boy with the name Wackerman."-
"No this is Ms. Wackerman. No Mr. Wackerman except my father," I replied.
"Oh, well Ms. Wackerman, I would ask about the origins of your name but I won't waste my breath, I'm here to inform you that you have not yet payed rent! Eviction is not to be taken lightly." 
This was only the 8th time this year that Ms. Davis had forgotten I worked at the Victorian; therefore my rent was paid for. 
"Um excuse me, Ms. Davis, I'm an employee of the Victorian so my rent is deducted from my paycheck," I replied.
"Oh right, how could I forget, Ms. Wackerman...what do you do here again?" 
Frustrated and slightly embarrassed to continually remind people of what it is I do, I replied grudgingly, "House keeper." 
"House Keeper?" she asked
"Oh the janitor! How could I forget? Well if you don't mind would you check on the 4th floor? Apartment 309? Hal South ate some thai food and things went south real fast."
"Well actually-
"Okay great! Good Bye!."
And with that the phone went silent. 

With a sigh of exhaustion, I hopped on the couch and turned on the TV. It was 7:30! The Pimpsons season premiere was about to air! 

"BOOM," the windows shuttered and the lights flickered and went out. I scrambled in the dark for a flashlight, after 10 minutes of searching for working batteries I found that the only thing that worked in the house was the toilet(and just barely). Not surprised at my crap luck, I gave up on the idea that I would enjoy my night. Pulling my once frozen, now cold, dinner out of the microwave I ate at the table in silence, brushed my teeth 3 times and sprawled out onto my bed setting my alarm for 5:30am to begin another routine of the runs.