I'm prepared for just about anything, I'll give myself that. I have jeans on under some ski pants, I have a shirt under a sweater under a jacket under a coat, I have gloves under some mittens, I have socks under socks under shoes, and I have under wear under where? None of your business.
I have a sack lunch consisting of a sandwich, a Red Bull, a 5-hour energy, and an energy bar. I also have some jellybeans.
The line finally starts to move and I find myself entering a dull, white room lined with rows of metal folding chairs and rows of metal teeth. I curse myself for forgetting my grill. (Not the Mike Tyson kind, the Flava Flav kind.)
I also curse myself for not tattooing a tear drop on my face before coming here. I want this people to think I'm hard. To think I'm a killah. I want them to be afraid to drop soap in front of me. Yes, I want them to think I have a penis. I need something to grab as I walk around that room. I need something to grab as I sit in my folding chair. Damn my clean, ink-free face and my penisless crotch, damn them to hell!
I take the first seat I see, one next to a man.
That's right, bitch. I'm not scared of you. I don't care if you have knives. Because I have spoons. Spoons that could scoop your eyes right out. And I have sporks, too. Oh, you've never heard of a spork? Didn't think so. And believe me, you don't WANNA know. That's right, bitch. I'm not afraid of you, you mother f---
"You can't sit over here, lady. You gotta go sit over on the women's side. This is the men's side."
I knew that, bitch. I just came over here to make sure you knew who's runnin' this shit. I came over here to show you that I'm so hard that I can sit wherever the FUCK I wanna sit. That's right, bitch. Men, women, it don't matter. If I want this fucking folding chair, then I get this fucking folding ch---
"Hey, you gotta go sign in at the front before you sit down."
Of course I do, bitch. You don't think I already knew that? I was just settin' down my shit first. I ain't gonna go sign in when I got my shit in my hands. That's right, it's a paper-sack lunch, bitch. I don't give a fuck. I can pack my lunch how I want to. And yeah, this brown paper bag has my name written on the front. I don't give a fuck. You people need to know who I am. Maybe it's not even my real name. Maybe I'm just trickin' ya, bitch. Cause maybe that's just how this mother fucker rolls. You better---
"Hey, you're supposed to go out to the van with the other girls now. You can't stay in here with us."
You don't know me, bitch. You don't know whether I'm supposed to go out to da van or not. Shut the fuck up. I can do what I want. Yeah, I'm getting up to go outside. But that's not because you said to. That's cause I was going to ANYWAY, bitch. Just eat your fuckin' Nacho Doritos cause this is Nacho business.
So after proving how much of an internal badass I was, I walk out to the van where 12 other girls are being handed vests. Vests? Really? That's what us convicts get? Where's my gun? Do I not get a gun? A bag of crack? A fat sack? Hot Cheetos? I thought this was a place for criminals, not Girl Scouts. Get that fuckin' vest outta my god damn face, bitch.
Luckily, I was handed an orange one!
And that, boys and girls, is called sarcasm.
However, I soon learned to be thankful for my pumpkin costume because the only other choice was a neon green vest, and only certain people got to wear those. Those are the ones that, written in huge, black letter on the back, stated:
I AM A DRUNK DRIVER.
Notice the "am" as opposed to a "was." A little misleading, if you ask me. "Am" makes it sound as if this person will not drive unless drunk. Because of this printed lie, these people get things thrown at them throughout the day by people driving past on the highway. If you don't want a Wendy's cup chucked at your neck, don't wear clothes that state anything that connects consumption with operating machinery. Such as:
I AM A FULL CYCLIST.
I AM A HYDRATED PEDESTRIAN.
Just stay away from these. In fact, stay away from all clothing with writing on it. If you want people to look at things on your body, get a tattoo. Or ditch the clothing altogether. We don't need to be little walking advertisements. Billboards are distracting enough - the last thing we need are ones that walk and talk.
Point being, I was glad to get an orange vest that was free of ANY personal information. What would mine say, anyway?
I OPEN COP CAR DOORS.
That's retarded. That would also have ruined the rep I had gained back in that room. Lookin' like a hardass, actin' like a hardass, convincing everyone I was a hardass, then they see my vest and say, "You open doors? That's your crime? Knob-turning? Handle-pulling?" and I'll say, "Look, bitch, I also open back doors so if you don't shut the fuck up I'm gonna open yours with my dick." Thankfully, none of this had to "go down up in that bitch."
Since it was below freezing, we weren't legally allowed to go out and do actual community service. My first 3 hours there were spent sitting in a cramped van. Yes, they made us stay in there. The amount of time it took James Cameron to sum up the entire sinking of the Titanic was equivalent to the amount of time I sat squished in a van.
Once it warmed up, we had five hours. Five more hours of being shipped to different shoulders of freeways to pick up trash. Sounds dangerous, doesn't it? Walking along a freeway with cars zooming by you at 70-80 miles an hour? Well, it sounds dangerous, but really IT IS FUCKING DANGEROUS. Not to mention when Driver Woman (who I actually grew very fond of), would sometimes say something like,
"Okay, cross the freeway when you're done and then I'll pick y'all up."
And then she'd drive off. Probably cause she knew that if she stayed any longer, she'd hear multiple responses of,
"CROSS THE FREEWAY?"
And as we stroll down the highway of hot potatoes, we continuously get honked at. Why? Beats me. (Or should I say...beeps me? HA!) But for some reason, people see us, and they want to make loud noises. And they say we've evolved...
The way this monotonous routine of ride-walk-trash-ride-walk-trash gets a little spruced up is that each time we get dropped off on a new life-threatening stretch of road, we have to walk with a partner. A partner who tends to change each round. I won't hide the fact that when it comes to misfits, I play favorites. On Day One of Community Service, my favorite garbage-partner was a 60-year-old woman with missing teeth, a high-pitched cackle, and swishy pants.
Swish swish swish.
(The sound of the pants.)
BEEP BEEP BEEP!
(The sound of an asshole.)
(The sound of my partner calling that asshole an ass-ho.)
"HEE HEE HEE HOOOOOO!"
(The sound of my partner cackling at the fact that she just called that asshole as ass-ho.)
She did this every time we were honked at. And I loved her for it.
While she understood the concept of yelling at people who deserved it, she couldn't quite comprehend the idea of holding the trash bag right-side-up. As she was walking along a median, her upside-down-trash-bag did the only thing an upside-down-trash-bag could do: obey the laws of gravity.
"Hey, uh, all your trash just spilled out of your bag. There's a...yeah...you see it now, that long trail...of trash...yeah, that's yours."
As we collectively gathered the trash and put it in the bag again, Newton was proven right once again.
"Hey, uh, it's all falling out again...yeah, that trash behind you? Yeah, that's the same trash from before..."
After retrashing the trash, I made sure to show her the correct way to hold a trash bag: from the top, not the bottom.
"Thank you fo' showin me dat!"
"You're welcome! It's no problem, really. Just a handy trick I picked up from da streets."
"And I thought yous was prejudice!"
"Well I thought yous was prejudice! I saw yous, yous was lookin' fo' a seat and yous started tuh sit by me until you saw me and then you changed yo mind cause I was black and you went and sat by yousself."
"No, no! I just wanted to sit by myself. I'm shy. And from Nashville."
"OH, yous from Nashville? Well no problem, dat dere explains it! Now I see why yous was prejudice fo' a second."
Um...okay? I had no idea Chattanooga residents thought us Nashville dwellers still want the front seat of the bus.
"No, really, I'm not prejudice. AT ALL. I didn't sit next to any white people, either. I just was tired and wanted to sit by myself."
"I see that now, gurl! I'm glad yous isn't, I see now that I was wrong abouchu. Yous a nice, nice young lady."
No I'm not! I'm a HARD ASS. You hear me, bitch? A HARD ASS.
"Thank you! You're nice, too."
This is all part of my cover, bitch. Allllllll part of my cover. I may not have teardrops on my face, but that's because they're on my DICK.
The day ended with the sun out, a few of my jellybeans left, and my male companion and I being reunited after a long day of shit-collecting (We got arrested together, we do community service together. Romance of the 21st century). All in all, it was a good end to a bad beginning.
Bad like me, bitch. That's right, you think I'm done with you, bitch? I sure as hell ain't. Cause I'll be back for mo'. I got me 2 whole days left in this joint, and I'll clean the mother fuckin shit outta it. Cause I'm hard. Damn hard. And I'm representin' for all us hard-asses, which have all been rolled into one: ME. I don't just trash-talk, I trash-WALK. That's right, bitch.