This is supposed to be like a memoir chapter
| I’m pretty sure my life revolves around guilt. Guilt about coming home on time, doing my work by its due date, going to fencing practice every day, pretty much the basis of most of the things I do is because I don’t want to disappoint. I suppose that’s why when I tried to cast my guilt aside I went full out.
The cast, clapping and swaying to the applause hold out their arms in thanks to tech, to lighting, and to the audience. Curtains close and there is a mass of people as everyone leaves the stage. I meet my friends, some who were in the play, some who watched, and one who stayed backstage tracking a mouse by the costume room. We are getting hassled by lethargic security guards monotonously grumbling, “Come on people, you need to get out of here.”
Once we left, my friends and I do our typical Friday hangout routine. We head to Café Amore and I get my friend to buy me a slice of black-and-white cheesecake. We sit there, chowing down on pizza and cake, talking about important teenage stuff. You know- world peace, health care, Egypt, how to properly stuff a veil into one’s costume to make them look pregnant, the whole nine yards. After calling a bunch of people, we locate some other friends and meet them at Gee Whiz. They are finishing up and I figure I should probably head home soon.
I find myself waiting for the uptown A/C train. I was going to go home, but I’m with my friends, I’m pretty sure my mother hates me, and it’s a Friday. So, the train comes and we get on. There aren’t any seats close enough to continue our loud, obnoxious conversation and we split up. I sit at a window seat with two of my other friends sitting on the other side so that we are back to back. Sitting like this wasn’t as great of an idea as I originally thought; in fact, it’s pretty uncomfortable. The situation doesn’t get better when, a few stops later, this guy gets on. Now, no offense to the male gender, but I feel very suspicious when some man who I don’t know (most of them) gets on the train by himself. Years of Spanish men speaking español, el idioma de amor, strange Indian men staring at me nonstop, across the train, tall men commenting on my shoes and asking if I, “date black guys,” and multitudes of more than awkward crowded train rides have made me very…aware of their presence. So of course, this guy sits next to me. I don’t want to make eye contact. Let’s all just pretend that he doesn’t exist. This seemed to be working well, except then I see his reflection in the window and he’s, well, staring at me. I try to reassure myself that it isn’t creepy at all; after all, I don’t want to say something just to be humiliated because he actually is just sitting there. That would be bad. He’s just minding his own business and, when I feel his hand against my leg, it’s just because he is resting it on his own leg that just happens to be next to mine, right? 103rd street comes and I hurry off the train.
“Oh my God, did you see that?”
“That guy sitting next to me!?!”
“Oh yeah, I saw that. He kept staring at you.”
“His hand was, like, on my leg! It was so creepy! Ahh, why do the strange ones always go for me?”
“Ha, I know. That’s so creepy though”
We get to the house and I flip my phone open. It’s about 10:30 P.M. and I have 2 missed calls and one voicemail. Well, golly, I wonder who it could be
“Your message has been deleted. To undelete, press one.”
It was my mother. The thought that I should probably call her and be a good child by informing her of my location and the fact that I intend on sleeping over does occur to me, but then I remember how she yelled at me. As loving as it was, I didn’t quite enjoy being told (very loudly) how she wished she had had an abortion or how I should best be given to my father now, and so I decide to let her live a night in carefree, childless bliss. I turn off my phone
After watching a movie and having a really pathetic “dance party” (it is, after all, a Friday), we all go to bed. I lay there, looking up at the ceiling, wondering if I should call my mother, but I then recall that my phone is in the other room and turned off. Well, that would just take too much effort. I can’t possibly bring myself to actually walk all the way to the other room, slump over while waiting for the damn phone to turn on, clack my PIN and password in, speed dial her number, and then wait for her to pick up. Besides, it’s supposed to be her night off, right? I sort of feel bad about it, but I fall asleep.
Not that going to sleep actually helps as I wake up to a diligent, bright red 7:23 A.M. Ugh, waking up early is honestly such a pain! I wait there, silently willing myself to fall back asleep as the bad feelings I had the night before begin to fester once again in my mind. Crap, I should have called. Now she’s going to bitch at me. How long is damage control going to take this time? She’s going to send me another email. Crap!
My semi-slumber (that took about 45 minutes to achieve once again) is interrupted around 8:45 when a friend wakes me up to shove a phone at my face. It’s an unknown number, but that tells me so much. I don’t even get out half of my groggy “hello” before I drop the phone away from my ear so I can listen to my mother yelling at me from a greater distance. Something about going home immediately is mentioned and I lift the phone up to give a response along the lines of, “Are you crazy?! I am going to sleep and don’t want to hear this. Did you hear? I have a show tonight and coming home now wouldn’t make any sense. Hello? Hel-lo? HELLO!” She hung up.
After realizing that my logic sort of did make sense, I conclude that I should crash at my other friend’s house until the show so I could get some homework done. Surprisingly, my couple of hours there are pretty productive. I could not remember the last time I had gotten most of my homework done on a Saturday. Before leaving, we get treated to chocolate dumplings (mind = blown) and then we head back to school for the last show. The call time is 2.5 hours before the show. In other words, everyone backstage will be eating, talking and playing with the magnet-flashlights that I had bought for backstage coordination (actors apparently can’t just not bump into loud things while a show is going on) for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The show goes well and everyone is pumped for the cast dinner/party at Gee Whiz. I split my order with 2 other people. We order a quesadilla split three ways and an appetizer platter. When the order comes, we are a bit confused when we end up with 3 quesadillas split 4 ways each. Nobody claims them when we call out, “CHICKEN QUESADILLA!!! Who ordered this?” That’s when we realize that they are for us. The waiter had gotten our order wrong. Oh, joy! We call over the manager and work out that he is sorry and we will pay for 2 of them.
Once everyone is done eating and the massive bill is paid, a few people wander outside to smoke pot. Out in the open, where anyone could see. I wonder momentarily why they are being so stupid, but then that though drifts away when we figure out that someone has an open house for the cast party. At this point, I really think that I should head home soon and while enjoying everyone’s company and laughing at how they are coming up with a way to disguise illegal activity by calling it “taking calculus,” I contemplate which route I should take. Once again, I find myself waiting for the A/C uptown train. The 6 glasses of water I drank at Gee Whiz are starting to make my bladder to explode.
As we approach 34th Street- Penn Station, my stop, pair of young men comes to the door I am talking to friends at. I am a bit aware of this, but my stop is coming up soon and they aren’t actually doing anything. Until that is, one of them holds on to the pole. His hand slides down to meet mine. Now I don’t want to make him feel bad by saying something, he probably just wanted a better grip to balance himself with, right? I slide my hand down, his follows. Ahhhh! Penn Station arrives and I say a quick goodbye while hurriedly walking away. I hear the two boys laughing. I look for a bathroom.
When I get home, my mother is asleep. A paper detailing the process of forgiveness and apology is taped to the mirror. I take it down. When I check my email, I find one with the subject line, “ARUSAAMATUSTE, KONFLIKTIDE jne. EDASILYKKAMINE -- CAUSE & AFFECT”. I move it to my “ema’s stuff” folder. There is a Facebook message detailing my sister’s complaints about being woken up late at night by my mother. I ignore this. I go to my home page and put in my status update. “Why is it always me?!?! Lilja Walter Lucy Wushii-Face Emily Martin ps my bladder feels great!!!” I log off and go to sleep, bracing myself, mentally, for tomorrow.