Jun. 29th, 2016

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"If you're serious about getting what you want don't take it so seriously." That's what they tell you. I think I've never known what to want but have taken it seriously anyway. It just always seemed like I might start to any second.

In the dollar store we'd mostly talked about recent movies and how high we were, until it became clear that four of us were sleeping with two of us. After one of the higher stockshelves was knocked over one and one of us were fired and it was just cigarette butts in the cinder block out back for a while. I say "we" but I'd been one of the two abstaining, and had only been high twice or thrice, just to see. When one of the ones and a non-one tried to rob the place one night I was actually inside just wandering staring at things. When I heard the rattle (they were using a jack on our flimsy metal cage) I had to run out the back, across the plaza and down half a block to call from the all-night pizza place, pretending I'd just happened to see them. Since I'd been on closing the police clearly thought I'd been in on it anyway and just flipped out from a panic or teenage jealousy episode at the last second, but they barely cared enough to book the two they had. The pizza people couldn't corroborate my story that I'd been there for an hour but they were all clearly high. My ex-compeer tried to rat me as the mastermind in hopes of a deal, but that was found more hilarious even than robbing a dollar store. When they were gone I was given a free small by the staff who were sorry to have not had my back. I wasn't hungry but ate one slice every time the hour turned to have an excuse to stay and not go home. With all the guns and stares and so many questions repeated twice verbatim I felt residually arrestable, though I couldn't have told you for what. Dawdling probably becomes trespassing at some legally established point, but Ms. Leeder would never have pressed. I was probably the only person within three hundred yards who'd done nothing truly illegal that week and most people could tell that about me. Well, lying to the police, if that could possibly count. Anyhow my night's worth of alibi didn't feel like enough in the morning when I climbed, I think actually shaking, into my bed, but I got over my fears after enough people had called me to get the story. No one cared about me except as the one who saw it. I added details about them getting caught in a ladder they'd brought and accidentally setting a trash can on fire just to keep myself awake. The unfired culprit, by then of course fired, even repeated these details back to me a long time later. I guess they just seemed to fit the spirit of the thing. And why not decorate an albatross?

The most high and frightened boy at the pizzeria had given me his number when the other customers left. The two kitchen girls came out as well but they hadn't said much of anything, just seemed to enjoy sitting and not cleaning. My memory is that we pretty much all watched the one blank wall like it was television for upwards of two hours, but that can't have been right because the boy knew a lot of my more trivial opinions when I saw him next. He's now my ex-husband and knows a second set. I don't mean that in a bad way. It just seems strange that there's someone out there who I haven't seen in ten plus years who still knows all that about me. His memory for things I said was always excellent despite the many drugs. Embarrassingly so, in fact, but not because I'd said anything embarrassing. It was just all so banal. Who would bother being so boring? Not that it's really a bother. I do like simply looking at things. Probably that's the most that had ever happened to me in a single night up to then, but the one part I really like thinking about is that wall we looked at. White paint, green lit. A little peeling in a corner but no real patterns or shapes to it, just wall. Just a wall set up there near the bathrooms. I like a lot of walls. Sometimes you get a sense there's an awful lot behind them, can maybe almost see some of it. Other times it's the opposite and it's like there's only a wall if you look over that way. A wall forever. Every item in the dollar store was a little like that. They were there. What more could you say?

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