Archive for January, 2013

January 31st

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

Take a wild guess at who came into the shop just as I was trying to close it last night; I’ll save you the trouble – it was Andrew. Needless to say, I told him we were closed and pushed him out to lock the front door. I ignored him as he stood outside, watching me finish up the last few bits of cleaning and finishing the daily paperwork. I even ignored him as I set the alarm, exited the shop and locked the door from the outside. He was trying to talk to me, but I pushed his words out of my head and I kept walking as though this was any other closing shift. He was a ghost to me.

It wasn’t until I went to unlock my front door that he grabbed my wrist. That was a big mistake on his part, especially since the last thing to grab my wrist ended up trapped in a dumpster. I ripped my wrist out of his hand, the force of which nearly knocked him down the front stairs. I finally asked him what the hell he wanted, and told him to make it quick, because I was only going to listen to him for a minute before I would slam my door in his face.

He started going into this story about how he didn’t think I wanted him around and how he’d been offered a place to stay by one of the guys at his work. He said he didn’t know the dumpster story had anything to do with me. Nothing that he yammered on about seemed to shed any light on why he just left without saying a word to me, nor why he would leave my house at risk by leaving it unlocked. I was mad as hell, and his minute had more than passed, but I felt the overwhelming urge to ask him about both of these points.

“I was moving my things and expected to be back to say goodbye before you got home. When I returned and the lights were all on, I knew you were already back and couldn’t face you.”

I lost it. I didn’t care if anyone heard me yelling at him. I told him that I felt guilty about him being out on the streets, and that he made me feel like I was completely worthless and he was just using me for lodging. I let all of the hurt just spew out of me, and before I could stop it, I told him something I had promised myself not to say out loud, ever: “I liked you, I trusted you, I let you be the first person to ever kiss me, and now I feel like a complete idiot for thinking you might like me, too.”

I can’t quite describe the look on his face, partly because it was a combination of a few different emotions, and partly because I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes so I escaped through my front door and bolted it before he could even think of following me. There was no way on Earth that he was going to see me cry. I came directly upstairs, foregoing dinner, and flung myself into my new room. I let it all out, and feel right to sleep when it was over. I heard him knocking on the door over the sound of my sobs a few times, but I decided it was way better to go back to ignoring him than to allow him to keep scratching at the scar he’d helped to create. I don’t need anyone in my life that is going to make me feel like I felt last night. No good can come from anything that makes me feel so lost and upset and alone and bitter and hurt.

He’s probably laughing about it with his work friends right now. I hate him.

Always,
-Miriam

January 30th

Posted: January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

My dinner last night turned out to be more eventful that I initially thought it would be. After I received my meal (burger and fries – I’m a simple lady, sometimes), I started to overhear another conversation about my antics of the previous night, except this time, one of the voices was oddly familiar. Not only that, this person was talking about how it was probably all made up. I knew I shouldn’t let idle chatter bother me, but it kept going until after I was finished my meal. Then I heard, “Whoever she is, she probably just wanted to feel like a hero and got the guys to tell the story her way instead of saying that they did all the work.”

I’m not usually one to brag, but hearing someone completely discount my efforts and say that some big, strong men had to take care of my problems for me definitely pissed me off. I rose out of my booth, turned around and announced, rather loudly to the mostly deserted and tiny dinner, “I spent my time making sure that thing didn’t get out of the dumpster, not fabricating stories of heroism.”

I don’t know if I have ever heard the dinner so silent. Even all of the machines in the kitchen seemed to stop making noises, and I suddenly had a pair of eyes looking at me from behind the counter, and three pairs from the table on the other side of the room. I doubt that anyone besides the owner knew I was there, since I was sitting with my back to the group in the booth, and my head doesn’t clear the top when I sit comfortably. I connected with a pair of emerald eyes at the far table, and realized why the voice that had basically called me a coward sounded so familiar.

Andrew. So, I guess he’s not dead, but at this point he’s pretty lucky, because when I realized it was him, I felt like hitting him as hard as I could. Who was he to gossip about the attack on me from the dumpster? Who was he to disappear and make me worry about him?

I had already left the money for my bill on my table, so I grabbed my bag, strode right up to the table, with all eyes right on me, and bent to deliver my final verbal blow, really quietly, so everyone moved closer to hear me: “Besides, the last time something needed to be killed and you were around, I saved your ass and killed it myself. Maybe I should have gone off fabricating stories and left it to devour you.”

I left. No one said a word. As soon as I got outside, I felt like the world’s biggest bad ass. Nothing like that has ever happened to me. I’ve been in situations before where I have wished I had something witty to say, but my mind drew a blank and the time. Hours later, I’d have at least ten things floating around my brain that would have worked well. For once, I found the best thing to say right in the moment.

And now I can completely forget about that Andrew jerk. No more possible guilt about him getting attacked. No more wondering why he left. He left because he’s an idiot – nothing more than that. I’m so glad I never offered for him to stay permanently, because that would have been a huge disaster. I’m also glad that I had the key when he decided to just leave my house and take some of the clothing from Mother’s junk stack with him. I assume he didn’t take anything else, although it would be impossible to tell unless it was something of mine. I feel so delighted with myself that I think tonight’s sleep will be very peaceful, once I finally get home from this mega busy shift. Gotta get back – my break just ended and the boss is getting slammed.

Always,-Miriam

January 29th

Posted: January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

I’m exhausted, but I did it. Everything cleared out of the bedroom (except what I wanted to keep there) and I moved my things in. The only problem is I still have the closet and the en suite bathroom to go through and I ran out of weekend. I have another day off three days from now, so hopefully I’ll be able to tackle those tasks then, not to mention clean up my old room. The more I think about renting out my extra rooms, the more it seems like a good idea, although I don’t know if I’m just romanticising the idea: picturing great people who will clean up after themselves, not cause any drama and pay their rent on time. Knowing my luck, I’d have people forgetting to lock the door when they leave.

Work today was really busy, and I finally found out that the boss did do a lot of advertising while he was out of the shop. It looks like most folks didn’t even know we were there, so he started plastering the town with posters and even handed out flyers around the neighbourhood. He thinks that convenience foods are going to make a come back, but I don’t think they’ll be that convenient (not so quick) if we don’t figure out a way to either make smoothies faster or spread people out through the day, instead of everyone rushing in at once. We might need another person to work with us, and I can only hope that they want to run the cash register so I can go back to just making the smoothies instead of the small talk. It is okay with the boss is there, but we can’t be there all day every day – especially when I have hobbies that I am trying not to neglect.

The rain made a run after work seem like a pretty horrible idea, so I came straight home to a pretty empty fridge. I hate walking home from the grocery store in the rain, so I’m treating myself to a meal at the dinner. I figure I deserve it after all my hard work over the weekend – not to mention capturing that zombie, which everyone in the dinner seems to already know about. I heard a few people talking about it as I came in the door, but it doesn’t seem like they know it was me. It is fun to overhear stories about yourself when people are excited and impressed by what they are talking about, instead of some horrible gossip (not that I’ve overheard any of that about myself, but I assume it wouldn’t be much fun). It felt a little bit like I had a secret identity – as though I was hiding a super power and listening to stories about myself without anyone knowing.

Only for a second, though. I’m probably just imagining all the heroic sounding parts. Mostly, I was terrified, but at least I act quickly when I’m attacked. And I didn’t lose another knife this time, which is always a bonus.

It seems like there have been more breaches than usual in the past little while, but I don’t know for sure, since I don’t keep a calendar of these things. That’s probably someone’s job at The Council; they record what dates there were breaches, how many people were injured, where the breach occurred in the barricade, that type of thing. It might make for some interesting data if it wasn’t so gross, and didn’t have to do with some many people being scared and getting hurt. I wonder if anyone is worried about our population decreasing. Sure, a few neighbours have kids, but it doesn’t really make much sense for that to be a priority in my life when they could be taken away at any moment by a stray zombie. Not to mention, I’m pretty sure it’s not something I can just do on my own, and since that’s my current state of being, there’s not much use thinking about it. Oh, here comes my dinner…

Always,
-Miriam

January 28th

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

I took more bags of donation items to the Centre, and found a dumpster to toss some of the garbage bags into, instead of having to keep them in the house for a couple of weeks. I’m nearly done the cleaning process, and hope to move onto moving my things into my new room this evening.

The part that I’m not telling you is how I found something interesting in the dumpster that I tossed Mother’s actual junk into. You don’t really expect anything in a dumpster to move, let alone grab your arm as you are heaving a bag inside. It was a zombie, and I narrowly escaped getting bitten.

I’m sure my screams could be heard from blocks away. As I lifted the lid with one arm and tried to drag the very heavy garbage bag up with the other, I was a little preoccupied and didn’t seem to register the weird growling noise. As I pushed the last corner of the bag through the thin gap I was able to create by bracing my arm against the lid, a bony, rotten denim-clad arm grabbed around the wrist holding the lid up. I immediately dropped the lid, which severed the hand and part of the lower arm. Tearing the offending piece of putrid corpse off my arm, I quickly checked to make sure there were no scratches before the zombie started banging on the lid, no doubt trying to escape. I quickly grabbed the next garbage back with both hands and flung it on top of the lid. I had a total of three bags with me, and had fortunately decided to toss the bag with the hole in the bottom into the dumpster first, which means I had two full and weighty garbage bags to put on top of the lid. Still, the zombie kept bashing against it, threatening to knock the bags off and the lid open, so, while still yelling at the top of my lungs for help, I climbed on the dumpster and added my weight to the lid.

It felt like forever, but eventually two men came around the corner to see what I was yelling about. I told the first man to call the Recovery Team and then strongly encouraged the other man to find a chain or rope – something to put through the locking bars so it would be more secure and I wouldn’t end up being catapulted off the lid while we sat around waiting for the team to arrive. He found both, so he wrapped the chain around a couple of times and then tied the ends together with the rope. I had him triple check the knots before I gingerly jumped off the front of the dumpster. By now, a small crowd had formed at the end of the alley; people wanted to see what was going on, but didn’t want to be in striking distance. The chain guy and I decided that the Recovery Team could check the other dumpsters, and waited a few feet inward of the crowd, knowing that the Recovery Team would need to take our statements.

The team arrived and told everyone to get back inside their houses. Most of the team went to work loading the dumpster into the back of a truck and checking the rest of the alley and surrounding areas while an older Recover guy took us to one of the Recovery vans and took our statements inside. When that was over, the guy who phoned and the guy who found the chains (I think they were named Allen and Jeff, but I can’t say for sure if I remember, because my heart was still pounding in my ears) were escorted home by another officer while the older guy drove me home. It was only a few blocks, but I was glad for the service, anyway.

Needless to stay, I am even more motivated to stay inside tonight and finish everything up, instead of going out for a run. I might even be able to sleep in my new room, and christen it with new nightmares.

Always,
-Miriam

January 27th

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

To be honest, I don’t know what time I finally went to sleep last night. I kept telling myself just one more junk pile, but after I had sorted that pile, I just kept moving on to the next. I probably would have slept in there if Mother’s bedspread wasn’t completely gross from being there all those years.

Anything that is either books, made of paper or movies has been put on the bookshelves (which I cleared off first). I still need to go through the papers in detail, but at least I have a process now. I’ve tossed a lot of ratty clothing that I hadn’t seen my Mother where for years before her death into the laundry before putting them in donation bags. I was right, too – I seemed to remember a small tv with a dvd player, and when I tested them, they still worked. It looks like I can have a home theatre right in my new bedroom.

Even though I was up late, I still woke up around 8am. This called for coffee, which was sadly not one of the supplies I stocked up on last night, so I treated myself to pancakes and coffee at the dinner. Once I was more awake, I thought a run might be a good idea, but when I came home to get some sweats, I veered back into the master bedroom instead and lost myself in there until well after lunchtime. I still have about half of the room to go through, but I have filled lots of garbage bags with either donation items or garbage. I just got back from taking a few more bags to the Centre. If I’m not careful, they’ll soon know me by name. The girl who always seems to be there when I drop things off must think I’m robbing people, or something.

I’m going to finish sorting anything that is able to go through the laundry tonight, and get it all clean dried before I look through and decide if it is worth keeping. Mother did have a few nice pieces of clothing that I might be able to salvage for myself, and if I can get the musty smell out of the bedspreads, it will save me buying a new one, considering the one of my bed won’t fit. I forgot that Mother had a king size bed. I poked at it a little (after stripping the bedspreads and sheets) and I think it is going to be extremely comfortable as soon as it is clean and covered in my pillows.

While the laundry is on, I’ll try to tackle the windows. I don’t think I have the mental aptitude to look through the papers tonight, since I’m mostly running on caffeine and excitement. Once those are done and all the stacks are sorted, it’s going to be a huge chore to clean the walls and floor (who knew dust built up in such a gross layer of film like that?). I might consider painting my new room, depending on what colour the walls turn out to be under the layer of gross.

I feel like I’m ahead of schedule, although if I want to move all of my stuff in before I go back to work, I might be lagging a little bit. I’ll see how this last push goes, and who knows – maybe doing laundry will keep me up long enough to get the place looking habitable before the sun comes back up.

I wonder why I didn’t have this much ambition when I was clearing a stack here and a stack there in other rooms. Maybe I just need a clear mental image of the end product, and what it could mean for me, and I’ll be able to attack the other rooms on my new few days off. Maybe I could start renting out rooms, assuming there’s anyone who needs one, and we get along.

Always,
-Miriam

January 26th

Posted: January 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

Work was actually busy, and at some point I’ll try to figure out the mystery behind this upturn in customers. However, I have the next two days off and am going to make it my goal to clean out the master bedroom and move into it before I return to work.

I dragged a couple of large bags of donation items to the centre this morning on my way to work. Hopefully there are some items that other people will find useful. I also made sure that all my rubbish was out for roadside collection, as the truck came around today while I was at work. I picked up more cleaning supplies and garbage bags on my way home from work, and now I’m just waiting for dinner to finish cooking so I can eat it and get down to business.

I haven’t really taken a hard look in there in a while, but I think there might be some useful furniture in there that I can clean up and use for any of the useful items I might find – old books or more movies, perhaps? I wonder if there are any electronics stored amid the junk piles?

What I’m really hoping to find is some sort of photo album from when Mother was still around. It would be nice to be able to look back at those times, to spark some memories, since I can’t just ask about stories from when I was younger. Granted, a photo album isn’t going to give me the stories, but I could always had fun making up my own stories based on the photographs.

I made sure to grab a few groceries while I was at the store getting cleaning supplies – mostly things that I don’t need to heat or chill in order to eat, so feeding myself shouldn’t slow me down too much over the next two days. If I’m making really good progress, I might even take a break to go for a run tomorrow, assuming the weather cooperates. I read somewhere that it takes time to build a habit, and since I am still writing in this journal after 26 days, I can only assume that has become habit by now. I look forward to a time where I can think to myself that all the things I like to do, that either make me happy or feel accomplished, have become habit.

I suppose I should get started on the dinner dishes, so they don’t get all hard and crusty over the next couple of days. The ones that are currently in use can soak in the sink until I need a master bedroom break (after I’ve eaten, of course). I don’t know if I should be proud or slightly sad at how excited I am to do this project, but I think it is really about time that I make this change. I’m looking forward to having the ability to walk around my house without the threat of being attacked by a pile of garbage, and it will be nice to have a bigger bedroom. Things just feel more comfortable when you are able to have a place for everything, and space to walk around all the things in your room. Eventually, I’d like to move all of my toiletries to the en suite bathroom just off the master bath, but something tells me that cleaning that bathroom is going to be another day of work; I don’t think Mother used it for its original purpose, but rather for more junk storage. At least, I’m hoping it just has completely easy to deal with, dry items that can be sorted and either kept, donated or trashed without the need for rubber gloves and a gas mask. But, I’m getting ahead of myself – that will be an adventure for next week.

There’s that word again – adventure. It’s been on my mind a lot recently.

Always,
-Miriam

January 25th

Posted: January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear journal,

Still haven’t heard from him or seen him. Stop asking. I’m going to stop writing to you about it.

Work was fine, less boring and busier than usual, which made the time go by faster. I went for a run, but forgot to time the laps. I’m sure I’m getting faster. I don’t feel like I’m in as much pain at the end of my runs as I was on the first few days. Hopefully I can make this a habit. It makes me feel like I am achieving something – it makes me feel like I am going somewhere, even though I’m still stuck in the same town I’ve always lived in. If Mother and I took any trips out-of-town before the wall went up, I don’t remember them. I do remember her reading magazines with buildings and landscapes that are definitely not here, though. Maybe that is part of the reason I started clearing more of her stacks after my run.

The ultimate reason is likely boredom. I think I got used to having someone around to entertain me (although that sounds a lot more exciting than it was – it’s not like he juggled for me or anything). Now the house seems quite, and I’m antsy. I got five more stacks cleared, but didn’t find any of her magazines. Maybe they are in her old room. Maybe I should be focusing on getting that room cleared out first, so I can move in there. It might be good for me to get that process rolling, because that would mean going through all of my old things and getting rid of whatever I no longer need. Anything that isn’t garbage, I donate, so I feel like I am helping in my own little way. Just because I have no need for a lot of this crap doesn’t mean someone else might not want it. Look at those old cloths that Andrew rescued.

I have a couple of days off coming up (one more shift tomorrow), so I think I’ll dedicate that time to getting Mother’s old room cleared out and my things moved in. It might take up the entire two days, but I’m sure I could get it done if I put my mind to it. I could always go the route of dumping everything, but I have a feeling that I’ll find more interesting things in there than in the stacks in other rooms around the house. She would have wanted her favourite things with her, wouldn’t she?

I foresee the need for a lot of cleaning and transportation of rubbish and donation items, so I guess I should hit the store either tonight or tomorrow after work to get some cleaning supplies and garbage bags. Maybe I should take the bags I already have that are full of donation items to the centre tonight, to make room for the new bags I’m sure to make over my “weekend”.

Three or four days from now, I might actually live in the master bedroom of the house that I have had all to myself for 5 years. That is a pretty slow timeline, I suppose, but it is really going to come down to these next few days and putting all my effort forward. I don’t think those windows have been cleaned since before Mother died, either, so it really is going to be a big job.

And after everything is cleaned (and all the rooms are gone through), maybe I should either start renting rooms or get some cats. The place will probably seem way too big without all of Mother’s crap stacked everywhere, and that will make it even more lonely. I’m sure I could make a decent amount of money, assuming I find people who I would rather live with than cats. Maybe I’ll get some human tenants and some feline tenants, or someone will need a place who already has a pet.

I better get some sleep so I can finish planning everything tomorrow. I might as well get started when I get home from work.

Always,
-Miriam