In The Meantime

I have a future, damnit, but I'm stuck in the drive-thru window until I get there. The road to the future is paved through the present, and my present is pretty shitty.

I could, you know, not work in drive-thru. I could quit, and spend the next six months… I dunno, knitting? at home. With my mother. No, I'll take drive-thru. At least I get paid for my pain.

The Future isn't getting here fast enough. I want to go now. Maybe I have the patience of a three-year-old, but I can't wait for it.

Oh, I've broken one of my rules. I hate pronouns without antecedents, and I've just said "it" without really specifying what "it" is. I imagine you'll probably take "it" for the vague notion of "the future" and yes, "it" is in "the future," but I'm still being vague and wishy-washy for the sake of suspense. Would you be reading this sentence if you knew what "it" is and what I expect "the future" to bring to my doorstep? Probably. Perhaps you wouldn't enjoy it (and in this case, "it" is not referring to the vague thing to happen in "the future," but this story) quite so much. So. If you didn't know what an antecedent was, I hope you gathered from the context what antecedents are. Lesson for the day.

It, would actually refer to boot camp. Yes, I'm looking forward to boot camp. And If you were me, you would too.

In the meantime, I'm working at a fast food place in drive-thru. And these are the continuing adventures of being in the meantime, neither here nor there, waiting for something, but wanting it to come faster.


In school, maybe in the sixth grade, my class was talking about the form fiction takes. We were trying to give names to the different parts of a story, something a little more descriptive than "beginning, middle, end." I tried to convince someone that the beginning, often the most boring part of the story, was also the most important, because it exposed the characters, their circumstances, maybe part of their boring everyday life, in order to see a little into the why and how of their attitudes and actions. It gives context, character, and setting. Usually, anyway. You've already be exposed to one idiosyncrasy, my fetish for using the the right word for the right job. I could've told you that, but it was much more effective to jump on my own mistake and start throwing around words like "antecedent."

But this story, I suspect, will be rather episodic. Each little story will likely have its own little cycle of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, all leading to one big climax. And I didn't realize until now just how like the formal parts of a story are similar to the stages of sexual excitement.1

Heh, climax. heh.2

The Shape of One's Character is Determined by Their Actions

I think that people talk about what they think and believe in, but the real measure is in what they do and say that isnt directly related to what they believe in.

I was watching a movie, and my mother came into the room and told me that she was going out. I lightly acknowledged her, and she stopped and watched part of a scene:

A black man calls a (very very skinny) black woman from jail. She is short and cold with him, and he isn't particularly forthcoming — when she asks what his problem is, he repeats that she should pick up their son from daycare, and drop him off the next day.

"Darkness!" she shouts. I turn around to face her. "Filth, garbage! Don't you dare show this to my son!"

I'm a little confused, having seen the scene in the context of the movie. "What are you talking about?"

"That!" she yells, pointing at the now-paused movie. "Your mind is so clouded with darkness you don't even know what you're watching!"

I take a breath, trying to keep calm, and think for a moment. A black man in jail, he can't be innocent, or there on a misunderstanding. He must've raped or murdered someone (even though his hair and clothes are spotted with paint); after all, it's a movie. Can't she see what a racist conclusion she's made by just watching thirty seconds, tops, of a movie? "What's this scene about?"I ask as levelly as I can manage.

"Darkness!" she shouts again, this time using jazz hands as exclamation points. She smirks as she leaves; hse looks really ugly when she smirks. I wonder if she feels ugly when she does it. "Darkness!" she shouts one more time before slamming the door.

The movie is The Pursuit of Happyness and the scene is after Chris Gardener is arrested because he has too many unpaid parking tickets, and then he finds out he has to stay in jail until the check he wrote clears. The woman he calls is the mother of his child, who graffitied nasty epithets on his apartment walls and he had been painting them over when the police had come. I wouldn't call anyone in this scene innocent, though it's a far cry from sacrificing babies to the devil.

And so, we see the shape of her character…


If you ever join any branch of the military, or the Coast Guard, they're going to take you down to the Medical Entry and Processing Station, or MEPS for short. They're going to ask you a lot of questions, some of them silly sounding, some not so much. Such as (and this is after they've done the physical) "Have you ever seen a doctor?"

I was annoying at MEPS. Every time they told me to read this document, I would — out loud. Every time I had to sign something, I did the same or (in the case of medical records) I'd ask what it was for, and wouldn't sign unless I got a satisfactory answer. I imagine I annoyed a few people, but I decided to put on my upbeat attitude while reading and asking questions. Man, can I give a dramatic reading of the medical questionnaire.

Anyway, I stopped when I read this question:

Have you ever been injured in a car accident?

How easily "yes" could've been the answer…

I was seven, riding in a van with others in my Brownie troop. We were driving down the highway; the truck in front of us had a 2 by 4 sticking very far beyond the end of his car, and without a bandanna tied on it. Apparently, his break lights were also not working.

I'm not sure why, but he slammed on his breaks, and the driver of the van didn't realize it in time. She got impaled by a 2 by 4… I remember screaming, putting my head between my knees, and feeling and hearing blood spatter.

I really don't remember anything after that. I'm told that the car flipped over twice, and landed on its side, and that the 2 by 4 had ripped through the driver and her front seat passenger. And I was pulled from the car, still screaming, but unhurt.

I can talk about it without feeling sad or scare now, but I did use to have nightmares. And although it sounds like a non sequiteur, I don't like eggs because of it.

Have you ever cracked an egg so its white splattered out of the shell? Yeah, imagine that happening to a human. Ick.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.