August 11, 2018

We're Not Who They Thought We Were


The other night I went to the dimly lit, uneven floored, smelly old grocery store by my place in search of something to eat while watching some favorite old movies...The Third Man, Sunset Boulevard, and Dr. Zhivago...all classics...at least half of the fluorescent lights were burned out like some of the customers were or flickering like they were transmitting Morse code to ships at sea, and the uneven broken heaving tile floor invited twisted ankles and face plants...anyway when I got to the checkout line, I noticed that tonight, my cashier is Jennifer...except she isn’t a cashier...she’s an actress who is as they say in the business, is currently between parts...all her life, she had dreamed of making it to the big screen and being a big star, but now she tells me she would be happy with a walk-on role, or she’d even settle for some kind of TV commercial...she keeps going to auditions and they tell her they’ll call her, but they don’t...yet, she’s always got a smile on her face...I guess she’s one of those people who takes rejection well or something...I know I’m not...she knows I’m a writer and asks me to write some part for her, and I smile and say nothing...I’m not a screenwriter but I tell her I’ll put in a good word for her if I meet a famous director...I know a few directors, but they ain’t famous...I turn around and I look behind me and hey it’s the lovely Misty...Misty with the long golden blonde hair that works as a waitress at a restaurant down by my apartment, but she really isn’t a waitress, she says she’s a model; that is when she isn’t holding down a full time job waiting tables...I don’t know the last modeling shoot she was on, but she’s always running around the city, in search of a modeling gig...I first met her at a local pizza place and my first thought was not of the pizza I was picking up, but that she was much too beautiful to be working behind the counter at a fast food pizza joint...yet somehow she has not hit it big yet...I keep thinking it must only be a matter of time before she finds success but then again maybe I got a broken watch...the other day I saw Angel...she’s a wonderful artist, a little eccentric but that goes with the territory...I should know...she also happens to work at the check cashing place and the convenience store...she holds down two jobs so she can buy paint and canvases...at the check cashing place, she’s a little loose with the rules and that’s alright by me...sometimes you’re in a tight spot and you need a friend like that...her apartment is one giant studio...you have to be careful where you sit or you might sit on a tube of paint and wind up with a cobalt blue ass...Angel has an artistic vision but she is the only one who can appreciate it now...she laughs that when she’s dead, her paintings will be worth a lot of money...I playfully ask her if I can push her out the window of her ‘cozy’ studio/apartment and find out...then there’s me, a poet and writer who just had happens to spend a lot of time at some old, dirty, hot warehouse with the big metal fan blades spinning like category 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean displacing hot air with more hot air...eight hours a day of lifting boxes and plastic totes that don’t even say thank you, and an aching back that can verify my story...but of course that’s never been my real job, I’m a writer/poet or so I tell everyone so they don’t think I might be something else...it’s funny sad how most of us aren’t what we really are...the job ‘experts’ tell you to do what you love...that’s fine, but what you often love doesn’t pay the bills, so you have to take a job doing something you don’t love...in the battle between doing what you love, and doing what you have to, the job you have to do usually eventually squeezes out the one you love like the cinnamon toothpaste you use every day...when you realize that, you sadly put your dreams in a scratched and dented rusty old file cabinet that sits in the basement with a top drawer that doesn’t quite close all the way.