As I stand staring out the open door of my quaint Park Avenue store, I can't help but wonder who, if anyone, will ever read this, this memoir of sorts. I suppose I'm writing to myself to pass the time as a syncophantic pattern of eighth notes plays overhead, but I think that I must also be writing to my friends, my family, my contemporaries, because I'm taking great care to insure parallelism and maintain intrigue. Isn't that, after all, the job of a writer, to guarantee rapt and hungry readers will indeed remain rapt and hungry? Or, I wonder, do I owe my characters, my Elliot Zuckerman's and Mr. Quigley's, a greater service of being their Alpha and Omega? True, I created them and will ultimately decide their fates, but does the reader not, at least in their own minds, determine their paths? Am I anything more than a reader with a pen?
I hesitated above to say "voice" in place of "pen," but decided against it because we all have a voice. A man and his family just walked past the store, chattering happily, their joy obvious in facial expressions and body movements. Is that not as moving as a line of great prose or paragraph or amazing insight? I ask a lot of questions and at eighteen still have little in the way of answers, but I think I like it that way. Everything is a mystery.
The first hour of my day has passed quickly enough, with little getting accomplished. I should clean, learn the product, do something to enhance my performance, but instead I sit here and write. My right leg is propped up, my body slung low in my chair; this i hardly the desired posture of an in tune, dedicated worker. I am both of those things, in tune and dedicated that is, just not with or to my job. Perfume sales is not the position for someone who can't sit still for more than seventeen seconds.
My boredom exists on several levels, the least debilitating of these easily remedied by a book or television. However, there are instances of such complete and utter mundanity that I am wishing sooner for death rather than another hour of paid torture.
Today is one of those days.
I have been for an hour and twenty seven minutes and will remain for another three and thirty three more. I a one of the lucky ones, though, in the world of bad jobs and dissatisfied workers; I'm getting out. Just like Charity said, "There's gotta be something better than this!"
I'm almost a Sophomore in college, on my way to being a kindergarten teacher with a Master's, a picket fence, and my very own sycamore tree. I promised myself a long time ago that I would not do a job I hated, not for a living.
Let's just get this out there: I hate my job.
It's no fault of anyone's, not really. I enjoy being alone, only if I have something to do, people to imagine, something to remove myself from the current situation. I can gaze out summer kissed windows and dream of boys named Andrew and snow caked front yards. I whistle nonchalantly and spout nicely crafted anecdotes about anything and everything. At the end of my five hours, I go home and become a different person, free of whimsy and full of joy.
I've lived a pretty privileged life. At six, I took an overnight train with my grandmother to Virginia for the Tucker Turnout. At nine, I drove to Colorado with my mom and brother, stopping at the Mississippi River and the Arch in St. Louis. My point is this: my place in life is not staring out a picture window in Winter Park, Florida.
You know Winter Park. Calm and smooth, disgustingly wealthy. Your first job in town is either waitressing at the cute little bistro or standing alone in a boutique all day. For instance, I know of at least four Winter Park High School graduates who work on Park Avenue, and at least double as many Rollins students.
Winter Park was everything I needed during high school, a living, breathing town, with opulence and life. Still at night, the rows of trees creaking about the sidewalks, the town would burst alive as soon as the sun crested the horizon. This city, with all its West Egg appeal, fits the Rockwell mold my mind had sequestered for it.
I loved high school, sincerely. My friends were amazing and I was never privy to the drastic rudeness portrayed in movies (Mean Girls? I'm talking to you.) I loved everything about it.
When did life stop being like high school?