Wind and shadows

Today on my torso, I wore a t-shirt and a shirt shirt and a sweatshirt and a jacket, but it was still chilly, cloudy, shivery handing out flyers in front of the shop. What little sunshine there was disappeared from our side of the street by about 4:00, and I was standing in the brr until 8. Whatever direction I faced, the wind came from that direction to hit me in the face.

I don't understand how the cold and flu work, but the old wives' tale is that the chill on my chest will bring something bad. Tomorrow I'll wear every sweatshirt and sweater I have.

And my frigid fingers get numb after a few hours in the wind and shadows, but when I tried wearing the gloves I'd cleverly brought, it was impossible to peel through the flyers one by one, so the gloves had to come off.

♦ ♦ ♦

All you do is bitch and moan about everything, Holland. Talk about something interesting, why don't ya?

Sorry, there is nothing interesting. This was my today. Maybe it'll get interesting tomorrow.

♦ ♦ ♦

Bad news at the shop. LeeAnn says they're "cutting back" on the flyering out front, and they're installing a new, bigger sign instead. She said it as an aside, not like they're cutting my hours today and firing me next week, but hell, there was a guy measuring the front of the building this morning, and Stevi was telling him where the sign should go and what it should say.

I'm being replaced by a sign — ha! 

If they let me loose, it's probably not a crisis. I'll switch to handing out my own flyers all day, "anything legal," and there'll be enough work to keep me fed. People always need somebody to do shit work for shit wages, and that's my specialty.

♦ ♦ ♦

Also, a bit of drama in front of the shop. LeeAnn and Stevi's shop is upstairs, hard to see from the street, which is why they have me handing out flyers on the sidewalk all the time, trying to get people to come upstairs. There's a different shop on the street level in the same building, selling similar merchandise — antiques, collectibles, clothing, etc — so they're our competitors. That's kind of odd, yeah. 

To get people to climb the stairs, I say "Upstairs" a lot, and "Go up the stairs," etc. A week or so ago, I got someone to look toward the building, but he was looking at Geraldine's shop instead of ours, so I said, "No, you want to go upstairs!"

Moments later, Geraldine snuck up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, scaring the heck out of me, and said, "If you ever, ever tell my customers not to come into my store again, I'll call the police." Then she darted into her shop before I could think of a clever or combative retort.

That was the very first time we'd spoken, and of course I instantly hated her. When I told LeeAnn and Stevi what had happened, they told me not to worry about Geraldine. "She's a bitch," Stevi said. "Everyone knows it."

She really doesn't like having me in front of her shop in my green cape and insect head. When she steps in or out of her shop, with an employee or with a customer, she's usually talking about the low-life scum they hire for the shop upstairs. 

And obviously, that's me.

Today she stood in the doorway of her shop, watching me do my routine, and loudly repeated what I said, in a mocking tone. "Delightful new shop, upstairs," I'd say to someone walking by, and Geraldine would say the same words in a dipshit voice.

Sort of childish, if you ask me. Am I supposed to be embarrassed? Sorry, no. I work here. I'm doing my job.

Sometimes I have fun on the sidewalk, twirling in my cape or hollering "Upstairs!" even when there's nobody to hear me. When I'm pacing the same stretch of sidewalk all day, day after day, I might sing, "I have often walked down this street before," from My Fair Lady. Might roll my R's when I'm telling people about the rrrrreasonable prrrrrices at the shop upstairs. Wearing a cape and handing out flyers, it's best to leave your sanity at home.

When Geraldine makes fun of me, though, now I crank it up a notch. If she thinks I'm ridiculous, by golly, I'll shout about the delightful shop upstairs. When I did that today, she shook her head, walked inside, and closed the door behind her. Success!

The last few minutes this evening, she was outside her shop watching me again, so I aimed my spiel about how great the shop upstairs is directly at her. "Visit the cool new shop, upstairs!" I said, with my biggest smile and goofiest tone of voice. And again, she walked back inside her shop.

You want childish? I can do childish. It was cold, I was grumpy, and she's been getting on my nerves for a week, so I'm no longer content to accidentally bug Geraldine. I am going to bug her on purpose.

From Pathetic Life #11
Thursday, April 20, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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