Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Piss-Yellow Letter

Random Stories After Wondering if a List is Still a List if It's a List of One

Story #1

It's Autumn now, which means it's finally time for jacket weather. Wow, that was a really boring sentence. What I'm trying to get at here is that I grabbed a jacket from my closet this morning that I haven't worn since last fall and decided to wear it. I thought nothing of this decision until I was sitting in class and suddenly noticed a pungent smell. Now, when most people are unexpectedly struck with an unpleasant aroma, they turn left and right to look for who's to blame. I, however, immediately assume the stench is coming from myself based on a brief list of things I do and do not have.

What I Do Have

1. A cat

What I Don't Have

1. A washer and dryer

Knowing this, I immediately buried my nose into my shoulder and realized that I was correct - the smell was coming from my jacket. I revealed this to the next group of people I saw as we all sat outside at a picnic table swapping stories.

"My jacket smells," I said, burying my nose into my shoulder and taking a few deep whiffs. "It smells like...kitty litter."

"Do you have a cat?"

"Yeah, I'd be much more worried about my clothes smelling like kitty litter if I didn't have a cat," I said, deeply inhaling the sleeves of my jacket. "It smells like...onions."

"Is it a male or a female cat?"

"A male, why?"

"Well, he probably marked it."

"Marked it..." I repeated, suddenly removing my nostrils from my arm. "You mean...PISSED ON IT?"

"Yeah, male cats do that."

"So I've been sitting here inhaling fumes of urine this whole time? Great. Awesome. Wonderful."

"Sorry! Why don't you just take your jacket off?"

...this may seem like a valid point, but the damage was already done. I left the jacket on and told myself that I was wearing a scarlet letter. Except...you know, less "scarlet" and more "uriney." More like The Piss-Yellow Letter.

Story #2

Conversation with the Indian Cashier at the Gas Station

him: Allo Nachasha! I have been waiting for you...tell me, you have boyfriend?

me: No, no, no time for that!

him: You make time for me though, yes? I be good to you, Nachasha. I buy you Jews.

me: You'll...buy me...what?

him: Jews! Jews! Like rubies!

me: Ohhhhhhh JEWELS...right, right.

Story #3

I go to Walgreens everyday. This is not an exaggeration. In fact, it's probably an "underration" (yeah I'm making that a word now), because I probably go more like twice a day, which I've been doing since high school so there's no point in changing my routine. What? I'M AN ADDICT. My point is that because of my frequent-shopper-miles, I know most of the employees who work at the one I frequent. And because of that, some of them feel okay with bursting into tears as they're talking to me. I guess. I mean I didn't really know this until yesterday.

Yesterday's Conversation with the Walgreens Cashier

"You smokin?"
Translation: Are you purchasing a pack of cigarettes today, miss?

"Yes, ma'am!"

"Can I just say somethin?"
Translation: You have no choice but to listen to me because I haven't rung you up yet and the future of your Walgreens purchases lies in my hands.


"My son missed the bus today so I was an hour and nine minutes late to work."


"And my manager has the nerve to tell me that she's sorry I have a child, but I need to figure it out and can't be late anymore. I am doin' my best...my. BEST."

(This is when she started to cry.)


"I am not goin' back to where I was. I ain't doin' it, I tell ya! I am a good worker and I am doin' my best."

"I'm sure...you are...um---"

"And for her to tell me that she's sorry I have a son? She don't know nothin' about bein' a mother!"

"I bet...she...doesn't---"

"And I'll tell you what, I ain't goin' back to the life we were livin. We were livin in a complex where we was in danger, and then we were homeless for two months. Homeless. I was homeless."

"I'm sorry...well---"

"And I just figured I could tell you this 'cause you're young and won't judge me."

"No! I'm not judging you at all! I'm sorry your manager---"

"She just don't understand at all. At. All. I mean I am doin' my best and I was homeless."


"She is just the meanest manager. She just don't understand."

"At all."

"At all."

"So your manager...was she the manager last year?"

"Yeah, she's been here for a good while now."

"Ah...yes...I spoke to her once when she had my car towed."

"So you know who I'm talkin' about?"

"Yeah...I uh...I called her "a bitch with acne" and she told me that if I didn't leave her store she'd call the cops on me."

"Did you really?"

"Yeah, I said some other stuff to...this was a year ago and I had been kinda drunk so I don't really remember what I said...I may have called her "some fat cunt" and uh...yeah. MY POINT IS that she is an awful woman and you don't need to listen to her. She's just gonna try and bring you down because she's miserable and wants everyone else to be."

"Well! Looks like I told my story to the right person! I ain't told anyone that today, you was the first one and I'm glad it was you!"

(This is when she started wiping her tears away.)

"Well GOOD. Good good good..."

"You have a nice day, honey!"

"Thank you! And uh...your day will get better from here...uh...fuck bitches get money!"
Translation: I'd make a horrible psychiatrist.

Story #4

(ding dong!)

me: (answering my front door) Yes?

two little girls: Um hewwo, we are twying to waise money for the homewess and the animals...can you hewp us?

me: I don't have any cash but I do have some change you can have, here you go! (hands over coins)

little girls: (running off after I've closed my door) Yay! Now we have money for ice cweam!

...I just got hustled by Kindergartners.

Story #5

I was at work tonight when some people came in and asked for a table for three. It was an older man and a boy and a girl who looked to be about my age.  I immediately recognized the boy from earlier today when I had been walking home. His face, facial hair, and hat were all familiar. He had been at a stoplight while I had been waiting at a crosswalk. Nothing creepy here - I was staring, yes, but I was not gazing. There's a difference. What else am I supposed to look at when I'm waiting at a crosswalk, huh? Anyway - that's not the point. The point is I made the mistake of trying to tell him.

me: Here's your table! Your server will be right with you.

them: Thank you.

me: (looking at the boy) Do you drive?

boy: Yes...?

me: A car?

boy: Um yeah...

me: I think I saw you today. Driving. A car.

boy: ...

me: I was walking.

boy: ...

me: NEVERMIND! (walks off at a very fast pace)

...way to go, Natasha. Way to sound like a stalker. Let's just make things as awkward as possible, shall we? And then, once we've successfully done that, let's scream 'nevermind' and practically run away. Just to clarify, I mean run on your feet, since you also felt the need to clarify that what he drives is a car - since there are SO many other things that 20-year-olds drive. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Fuck bitches get money.

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