Cattle

November 30, 2016

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I should have known when the last guy besides me to enter the jam-packed T car stood back to let me in first. That wasn’t a courtesy. It was survival!

Sandwiched between a tall man with bad breath and a sniffler on the other side of me, my phone’s battery died. WHY DIDN’T I ROLL OVER AND PLUG THE CHARGER INTO BEFORE FALLING ASLEEP. How could I have been so lazy? There was nothing to shield or distract me from halitosis and post-nasal drip.

A single tear of snot began gradually rolling out of my nose. My Kleenex purchased for just this purpose (“ON THE GO!”) was in my backpack. That particular bag was on the floor between my feet and I could not get to it without disturbing three or more people. Bad Breath took HIS phone out of his pocket, bringing it up and around to his front and smacking me in the side of my head as he did so. The Sniffler sniffled. Repeatedly. He was reading Marcus Aurelius in paperback (only Hannibal Lecter reads Marcus Aurelius!) and his sniffles sounded like a sucking chest wound.

“Oh, sorry,” Bad Breath said absent-mindedly.

“No worries,” I lied. I lied because the tear of snot that was now touching the top of my facial hair was causing me to panic internally. What did I care about being prodded in the head when I was about to be hideous to everyone? I was going to have to use my hand to wipe it before it became apparent. And I was going to have to remember to wipe it with the hand not holding on to the pole because that would put my snotty hand on a public pole. And if there was ENOUGH snot removed from the top outer rim of my goatee, I was going to have to wipe it somewhere. Probably on my coat. And I had to be as stealthy as possible with this entire operation or forever be imprinted on someone’s consciousness as The Gross Snotty Guy On The T On Wednesday Morning.

Eff it; I went for the Kleenex in my backpack. Apologies to Bad Breath, The Sniffler, and Woman With The Longest Arms In The World Who Was Managing To Hold On To The Same Pole As Me Despite Standing In The Center Of The Car. Actually, forget The Sniffler. He seemed like a twit.

At Andrew, I listened as Entitled Girl entered and slid her way behind me.

“Um, yeah, can you, um move aside so I can fit?”

There WAS a tiny bit of room so now I was ass to ass with some rando chick, and that’s not my speed. The least she could have done was buy me a drink first. She was tall and thin and it was grossing me out because I tried to move forward so her buttocks would no longer caress mine and SHE SEEMED TO GO WITH ME. Perv. Using the deductive powers of my ass, I knew that this woman was tall and thin and that I had more than enough fat to body check her into the next car. But no, I would remain pliant. And permissive. Confrontation is unspeakable to me. Unpleasant thoughts of Requiem From A Dream occurred to me and I was thankful for what my ass also deduced was the many layers of her winter coat. I could feel her fur lined hood tickling the back of my head. DO I HAVE A SIGN THAT SAYS GET ALL THE WAY UP IN MY SPACE BECAUSE I’M SLIGHTLY CLAUSTROPHOBIC? The attempted psychic coercion of Bad Breath to turn and pollute in her direction as punishment was to no avail. The Sniffler kept sniffling and reading his pretentious book which had already once rubbed against my brow. He didn’t apologize. Why was I the shortest person on this car?

The train lingered for a moment or two at Andrew and Entitled Boy showed up. He had the air of someone who was disembarking at South Station to work in finance. He was a straight-up prick.

Entitled Boy: Could you move in, please?
Entitled Girl: Um, there’s really nowhere for me to go.

You could go off my ass, I thought.

Entitled Boy: Yeah, there is. You could slide that way so I can…look, I’m coming in.
Entitled Girl: Fine, but there’s really not enough room.
Entitled Boy: Sure there is.
The Sniffler: Jesus f**king Christ.

Suddenly I was a little less dismissive of The Sniffler. You read all about coveting first the things we see every day, Clarice…I mean The Sniffler. Go forth!

Disembodied Voice From Somewhere On The Car: We’re packed in here like f**king sardines, dude!

I turned (as much as I could without impaling an eye on the corner of Bad Breath’s phone) to glare at Entitled Boy. Was he smiling? He was smiling. AND HOLDING HIS PHONE UP TO WATCH A VIDEO. Have the decency to keep your arms at your sides for two stops, you mullet. The Sniffler sniffled some more. I became dismissive of him once again.

As we rolled along in misery, I thought of my husband. And our car. We are a one car family. He gets it every morning because it’s easier to get to my place of business via public transportation than it is his. He leisurely drives to work in Dedham through Blue Hills, amongst the sun-dappled leaves and assorted lovely scenery. He listens to the soothing strains of the classical music station. Once he mentioned that his commute gets lonely sometimes. I am of cattle every morning. Sometimes I picture our car exploding. And I’m not talking about the MBTA car I was currently suffering in.

Gunge Gob > Minion™

September 2, 2016

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Every Friday night, my brother takes his two sons for Pizza Fry-Day. Pizza, fries, general Harvey boy destruction. This Friday, the majority of the Harvey clan attended, minus Uncle Bear (my better half) and Poppa Joe (my mom’s).

Henry Harvey is two, full of wonderment at the world, and wanting to experience it. He is also super-conniving. He will burn the restaurant down to get what he wants. The Papa Gino’s on Beale St. in Quincy has one of those brutally-grab-a stuffed-animal-with-the-big-metal claw machines. Henry wants to play. No one ever wins at these things, but he’s two, so I’m not going to destroy his world with that info. Plus, it will keep him occupied. An occupied Henry Harvey makes for a safer experience for us all.

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J. – Uber: I Hit Someone With My Car

October 8, 2015
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The fare was at Berklee. Getting to this person involved a labyrinthine GPS-led journey amongst the twisting streets of that section of the city. It’s a section that I have never been jazzed about, even when I was a student at Northeastern and kind of nearby. The only thing worth looking at besides Berklee students smoking on the sidewalk is the Christian Science Center temple and that’s old hat by now.

My quarry was at the very end of a very narrow one way street, hampered by construction and opening on to Mass Ave. This is around 11:00 AM. Cars are behind me, traffic is a solid block in front of me. Do I swing around somehow on to Mass Ave. and then bang a U-ie to pull up in front of this dude? Or do I pull up on to the corner and hope A) people can get by me and B) the dude is going to be right there? Well, the answer to A was “no” and yes, I pulled my car up on to a corner. I know, I know. Look, I’m not the most collected person.

BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEPPP. Mind you, I have pulled on top of a street corner. So I am halfway in a crosswalk. I have officially flown my IDIOT BOSTON DRIVER flag out of the back of the M&M. Berklee Dude wasn’t around. BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP from behind me. There’s nowhere to go because pedestrians are surging around my tiny vehicle, and traffic was, once again, a solid line of metal in front of me.

I place a desperate call to my fare. A shredding guitar blows out my ear drum and “Joey” lets me know he’s too busy “rocking” to answer the phone. Instead of leaving a message along the lines of “Hey Joey, your voicemail message is ridic, and you can go **** yourself for not being where you’re supposed to be,” I prep to send a text.

There’s suddenly a tapping on my window. A grinning young person with disheveled hair waves. I roll down the window.

“Joey?” I ask through gritted teeth from my iridescent green go-kart.

“Yeah, man,” he says nonchalantly, and climbs in the back with a short compatriot.

Both have an aura of having been lucky enough this early in the semester to have located and used the really good weed that only Berklee students can acquire.

They’re in. I’m off. No, I’m not. Traffic is moving. I could slip in and be off this street corner that my car is on top of like when the MIT students assemble a car on top of their dome or whatever. I couldn’t go because a young lady was sauntering in the crosswalk. It wasn’t a crosswalk walk. It was an “entering the club, all eyes on me, if that’s your boyfriend, he wasn’t last night” walk. I’m not sure for whom she was preening. It definitely wasn’t for me. She sort of paused when I revved my engine.

I didn’t mean to rev at her. I was trying to beat her into the crosswalk. But I think I may have parked on a sort of strangely textured part of the sidewalk (for blind people?) or maybe I was REALLY on top of the corner so one of my wheels wasn’t touching? Who knows. You can rest assured that nothing I plan ever turns out correctly (well, the wedding did but that was it), so yes, my tires were spinning as if I had parked in a snowbank. My car was not advancing. I had two passengers, mass havoc around me, a haughty woman in the crosswalk and BEEEEP BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEP behind me. Boston.

In preparation for when I would be able to somehow extricate myself from the street corner and drive, I used a hurrying motion with my hand towards the budding temptress in the crosswalk. Not smart. Ooo, she didn’t like that. Her eyes narrowed and she paused for a split second. I immediately though “oh, oh” and wondered if it would be too much if I suddenly ordered everyone in the car to lock the doors. What? She could have had a knife or slapped me really hard.

She went about her pursed lips way, and I tried to move the car again. Spinning tires. Nope. BEEEEEEEEEP. Pedestrians had now flooded the crosswalk and moved around me like a school of a**hole fish. I realize that I was actually the a**hole in this situation, but pedestrians in the Hub are the worst people you will ever encounter. They all deserve to die. I’d rather a drunk passenger puke in my car than have to deal with haughty and/or mindless pedestrians. You fools. You hellish fools.

Well, I backed the car up to see if that would work. Like when you’re stuck in snow! Because I was panicking, (I’m a panicker) I had temporarily forgotten about the car behind me who I’m pretty sure was pushing his car horn with enough force to make his hand bleed. Yes, I almost reversed into him. Because my car was freed! I didn’t know car horns could actually change in tone and timbre and sound even more bulls**t at the pinhead in front of them. This one did. It had gotten shriekier. That was ok, though, because we were off! The crosswalk was clear, traffic was moving, we were free! FREE AT LAST!

The runner who had just run into the crosswalk figured he had the right of way. I can not tell you if he had the walk signal or not. All I know is that we both struck at the same time and he bounced off my car.

To indicate to you how distracted I am by stressful situations, my initial thought was “he’s GOT TO MOVE, the guy behind me has had to WAIT FOR SO LONG. Why is he TOUCHING MY CAR?” It didn’t occur to me to worry about the man who I had just hit in the hip with my car. It’s always a first come, first served deal with me. When I’m annoying/hampering/trying to kill multiple people, I always want to appease the first one that I enraged. See, I can be organized.

I didn’t run him over. I immediately stopped. He gave me that runner’s look. The bicyclists have it, too. They’re not being recognized as existing by the fats who need to drive places. I’m physically fit, behold! It was withering, and he also did sort of a weak little push at my hood like he was going to roll my car back? If I was calm, I would have chortled and rolled my eyes. But he could have been killed or had me arrested. I wanted to die. This psychodrama in the crosswalk beside Mass Ave. was too much. I wanted to find the nearest fast food drive-thru and eat my terror and guilt. Fortunately for the horn maestro behind me, he was able to swerve around and yell something nasty at me that I was fortunate enough not to catch. The runner ran off, and didn’t sue me. No cops were called. I’m guessing city runners are used to the occasional car hitting them?

A little while later, I’m driving “Joey” and Joey’s shorter friend to “this little skate shop, man.”

Me: (trying to decompress) So, did you see where I hit that guy with my car?

Laughter from the backseat.

Joey: Yeah, man.

Boston.

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J. – Uber: Tough / In Praise of Southern Gentlewomen

September 30, 2015

It was pouring. The city was just canyons of rain. Angry horns screaming to GO GO GO before the light changed. It was wet. Everywhere. It was early Wednesday morning and the city was angry.

My previous fare had regaled me with tales of his father’s dealings with the Winter Hill Gang. You run into a lot of these people in Boston. Everybody knows somebody somebody Whitey-adjacent or formally Whitey-employed or Whitey-murdered. His matter-of-fact monologue mainly consisted of body counts with heavy amounts of the words “f*ck” and *like” thrown in. Admittedly and sadly, I use those two words on the daily. But he had a quota.

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Life w/ Hank the Tank: Diapers/Playdate

May 15, 2015

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I prefer to call him Henry, but the “thatta boy, Hank!” faction seems to be winning.

Flying about the house, I just about managed to fit Henry’s entire babyscape into one overstressed tote bag.

Caregivers – you bring an expandable playpen, one rolling nursery rhyme cart toy-thingy bullsh*t, an entire box of diapers, three sippy cups, a stroller, two full-sized bath towels, as much food as you would shove into a family-oriented SUV if in the distance the city skyline suddenly burst crimson and began raining death upon the financial district and you just knew it was going to move southward towards you, about five small toys that created rattling noises to distract babies, a roll of paper towels, two blankets, my f**king keys which was a panic moment before I realized I had tossed them in the bag, these super attractive Huggies travel wipes with a jaunty pattern of stripes and a wristlet cord (“you’re fashionable, you’re on the go, you need to wipe an ass!”), did I mention my f**king keys?, a book to read to him, way too much baby cutlery, a PB&J sandwich in a Ziploc bag that would survive the trip but as a sphere, and a glass jar of chicken and something baby food that Henry would never eat in this lifetime with you on a playdate, right? Right?

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Flying Child

April 22, 2015

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I almost splattered my nephew’s head yesterday. If his head hadn’t splattered, he would have ended up with a broken bone at the very least. Before you fly to the phone and call DCF, allow me to explain.

The Other Mr. Harvey and I were making a Wal*Mart run with George. I was terrified.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Temp Diary, Final Day (Conclusion)

April 4, 2015

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This was not something I had ever done. My lack of a spine, especially when I was about to do something that would displease others, had always been notable. Normally, I would have stuck this out. Or sent an apologetic e-mail that evening and wrung my hands over the assuredly curt reply. But I had decided to break with a lifetime of swallowing disrespect down. This would be my crazed stand against tyranny and mistreatment. In this dreary office, in this dreary office park, a revolution of one.

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Temp Diary, Final Day (1)

March 19, 2015

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The man in slush-dirtied Kenneth Cole knock-offs trudged through the industrial park. The Cup O’ Noodles clutched in his angry, defeated, ashamed, rueful hand followed. Or something to that Stephen King’s The Gunslinger series effect.

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Posted in Brutal honesty, But You Have No Idea, Collect your shit and get out, Comical, Deal with me, Effed Up, Feed me, I'm the worst., LOOK AT ME!, Master of Delusion, Not slick, Taking It To The Streets, This Ain't Over Til' I Get Paid, Triumph, Truth, Uncategorized, Wackjobs, We'll get through this somehow..., What child is this?, WHY?, Wild Ass Bitches | 1 Comment »

Temp Diary, Day 7 – Snapshots

March 10, 2015

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The company I am temping for has a branch that is specifically for training new employees. This is where I am based.

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Temp Diary, Day 2: Phones and How My Temping Experience Is Unlike That Of Melanie Griffith In “Working Girl”

March 6, 2015

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Sigourney Weaver hasn’t told me to rethink the jewelry yet. So there’s that. In other news, that hairstyle doesn’t just crest out of one’s head by itself, let me tell you!

Harrison Ford just crashed his plane, so he’s not available for me to bang my way to an office. Actually, I DO have an office. I share it with the scanner and the paper shredder. But it is my own little area to rue the day and what not, even if people are coming in to shred documents that I can almost guarantee no one gives a whit about. Unless someone is embezzling or something. Hopefully. It would add a little color to this desolate corporate wasteland.

Here’s another daily detriment to my dignity. Phones. I occasionally have to “cover the phones.” Now, “covering the phones” and I are not as strangers. In my often odd job history in which I have circumnavigated the typical job track, I have worked as an office manager-type. It was fine. Working with sales people can be trying seeing as they’re a different breed of human and often need scourging. But in general, no problem. Unless you’ve got Ursula the Sea Bitch for a superior and she drives you back to therapy because of all the evil and spite that burst from her womb outward, exiting from her dirtbag mouth…where was I? Right, phones.

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