I seriously hate packing. I always feel like I have too many things, but I can never figure out what to get rid of. It takes so much effort, especially when I don't feel like I'm going that far, just to take it all back out again. Moving is just tiring.
Laughingly, I told my boss:
"I've signed into an apartment, and I'm scheduled to move in on Friday. I guess it depends on how much work you throw at me! And by the way, I'm definitely hoping for more--I need to be able to pay for the place, you know!"
He wrote back and said:
"Realistically how many hours a week would you need until things really ramp up?"
NOT the answer I was looking for.
I'm job hunting again. I'm looking for part-time right now, maybe to off-set the absolute lack of money coming from what I thought was my ideal job. But if I can't find part time, it'll be full time, and then what? I'm an underpaid college graduate bumming my life away in suburbia, hoping to get a break someday? Hoping to pay the bills rather than hoping to find joy in pursuit of my passion?
I hate moving out. I hate packing. I don't mind moving in, I don't mind unpacking. It's just this, right now--the state of flux. It doesn't help to have all this uncertainty surrounding me--will I be able to pay for my new apartment? It's not looking like it!!
I don't know what I want. I have friends and relationships here, in Salt Lake and in Utah, relationships that I cherish more than anything else in the world. But what do I want? I have grad school interviews this weekend--I get excited about grad school more than most things left to me, but to what end? Am I even going to pursue theatre? Suburbia has opened its mighty jaws and is attempting to swallow me whole. It won't be long before rent becomes a mortgage to pay.
I'm terrified. I'm depressed. Tonight, I'm lonely. I know everything will look better tomorrow, but today, complaining to my blog is what suits my needs.
Today life just sucks.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has provided inspiration and leadership to a generation. He is *my* prophet--the prophet I will always claim, as my parents claim Spencer W. Kimball. He is the first prophet I remember well, his words have guided the most tumultuous parts of my life. I am glad he is now with his wife, and surely proclaiming the gospel far and wide in the spirit kingdom.
President Monson has already claimed my heart, in a different but wonderful way. He has been prepared by President Hinckley to take the reigns of the Church, and he will be an amazing prophet in his own right. My prayers are with him.
If this blog meant nothing to you, please check out this link:
Have you ever seen the movie "Logan's Run"? It's this crazy-weird sci-fi flick from the late '70s--if that doesn't give you an instant clue, you're too young to appreciate it anyway. (I think I might be too young, technically, but that's okay.) Picture psychedelic scenes with terrible special effects and overly-dramatic romantic characters in a post-apocalyptic universe where no one is allowed to age past 30 years. Pretty sweet ride. But watch out for the naked people
This weekend I went to Cedar City with Chris and Dixy. We had a great time. We visited some peeps, I got my hair cut, we nearly froze at our house until we discovered that Gregory's old room was warm. Chris and I went to see "Jared Hawthorne: Marriage Counselor to the Stars", the Stage II show written by Derrick Duncan and directed by my chica Jillian Pagan. Afterward we went to the techie-strike party at Nick and Vince's apartment. It was amazingly good to see everyone. I hadn't realized how much I miss my theatre peeps!
And did you know, apparently Vior's has dollar-pastry bags? They're day old pastries, a dollar a bag, and they usually have a bunch of pastries in them. Who knew? Wish I had when I was still in town!
MYSPACE. It used to be bigger in my life, but Facebook has almost completely replaced it. I check Myspace maybe once a day, just to see if I have any messages or anything new. There's just a lot more to do on Facebook, a lot more people, and less crap.
I sometimes criticize people in my head for caring about the "Top Friends" feature on Myspace. You get to list your "top" however-many friends. But sometimes I catch myself caring whether I'm a top friend. Especially when I move in rank. I catch myself analyzing why I moved--especially if I'm moving down. Is it important? No. But it might indicate something that is important.
I think it's a statement about our society. Flirting happens via Superpoke on Facebook. You know that you're broken up when your significant other changes their relationship status. Some socializing happens only via Myspace or Facebook. And this is not abnormal. It happens every day.
So maybe it does matter. But should it? I don't know. What a silly way to handle relationships! But that's life today.
It's just one of those days.
Today I signed the lease for a house--my friend and previous roommate DixyAnn lives there already, so I've been in the house and liked it a lot. And liked the girls a lot too, which is a plus. It's in Taylorsville, and I move in February 1. Good thing.
Bad thing: Will I be able to pay for it? Hope so, hope so.
Good thing: I bought new shoes today. Sketchers, some cute little black flats. I like them a lot, and they're very comfortable. I like Sketchers.
Bad thing: My cousin's newborn daughter isn't doing well. Elaina may not make it.
Good thing: My family and some others are going to Primary Children's tomorrow to give Elaina a name and a blessing.
Bad thing: I'm almost over on my minutes on the cell phone, and the phone company called my parents accidentally, so I got ratted out.
Good thing: I downloaded the music for "Pachelbel meets U2" by Jon Schmidt, and I'm going to learn it.
Bad thing: My parents told me they want me to start paying my cell phone bill next month.
Good thing: I got some great advice from Dean Bill Byrnes today concerning URTA (on a matter closely related to "The Great Debate", as shown below. I got to discuss it with Nick, and we're feeling good.
Bad thing: I didn't get to see Chris today. :(
Good thing: Gregory might be coming to Cedar with us this weekend!
It's just one of those days, I guess.
In ten days, Nicholas and I fly to Chicago for the conglomerate nightmare, URTA. For those of you who know not of this exciting event, URTA is a place where young, eager theatre grad-student-hopefuls gather to place their lives on the line before the recruiters from the hoped-for grad schools of choice. Actors come to audition, designers display their portfolios and hope to grab interest, while directors, theatre managers and--you guessed it--stage managers interview with prospective schools. Next weekend, I will be there, praying and hoping and sweating out two days of this madness.
So, the great debate this thus: what to take to the interview. The guidelines are unspecific in this matter, for stage managers such as ourselves. Nick wants to take a laptop to display his digital portfolio. I'm more in favor of taking a prompt book from a specific show. Pros and cons:
Pros: It shows off a greater range of work. It shows technical/technological skills. It includes photographs (mine does, at least) that give an idea of the scope of work.
Cons: It's awkward--you have to gather around a little screen, do you or the interviewer control the mouse? Do you give a running commentary? What do you talk about while you're setting up? It's just awkward. You may have technical difficulties. And it doesn't give a deep, process-oriented showing of your work.
Pros: It does give a deep, process-oriented showing of your work. It shows your paperwork, blocking/calling notations, and organizational skills. It's easy to show off, with little chance of technical difficulties, and lessened awkwardness.
Cons: It only displays one show, and none of the technical skills. You have a more awkward entrance into the interview--big bulky binder, where do you put it while you're talking, etc.
I guess in my mind, my ideal situation would be to take a prompt book to show off in the interview, but also to have a portfolio, on CD, to give the interviewer if they ask or if the opportunity's there, so they could take it and look at it later, if they wanted, which would--conveniently enough--help them to remember you.
Aah! Any ideas?
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are having a snow day. This is the view from my basement bedroom window, and it makes me happy. In Orem, we have about 6 inches, more or less. However, I hear in parts of Salt Lake valley, they've got a foot or more! It's really dumping today.
Outside in our cul-de-sac, our next-to-next-door neighbor has a snow plow attached to his four-wheeler, and he along with some eager Scouts have been clearing the road and the sidewalks; otherwise, I imagine we'd be snowed in. Our cul-de-sac is a little treacherous with snow. Thank heavens for Scouts!
Seriously, folks, it's a beautiful day today. Do something fun. Build a snowman. Make a snow angel. Throw a snowball at somebody. Just enjoy the day.
Saturday was Asian night. We started out with a trip to Asuka Japanese Sushi & Steakhouse, in Provo. Nice place--not too loud, not too quiet, pretty authentic. The best part of the place--physically--in my opinion, was the booth. There are mostly regular tables, but along one side, there are booths that appear to be traditional: they are raised off the floor, wooden floored (you take off your shoes), and they look like you should kneel at the table, as you would in Japan. In fact, the table is sunk into the floor, so you are actually sitting normally, but the feeling is still cool.
Ashley is picky about her food, so she ordered salmon teriyaki. But Sam, Kip and I each ordered all-you-can-eat sushi--it's not on the menu, you just have to know. :) But seriously--all you can eat, for 15 bucks. I swear to you, we each must have eaten $50 worth of sushi! An absolute steal.
Now, I lost my "sushi virginity" last fall. I had sushi for the first time at Ninja, the new sushi place that opened in Cedar City. The first time I went I had a California roll, the second time a Philadelphia roll. I enjoyed both, of course, but I wasn't really very satisfied by the experience--it nearly broke my poor college student's bank just to get a single plate of sushi at Ninja! And I felt so limited--I wanted to try everything. So at last, I finally had my chance.
I think we shared about ten different kinds of sushi. Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, crab, I even tried eel for the first time (and liked it!). That one had caviar on top, which I didn't realize until Kip explained its identity. My favorites were the Vegas roll and the Ernie roll (both very Japanese-sounding, right?) and though I can't quite recall what was in either of them, I know they had a mixture of meats, were deep fried with cheese on top. Not traditional, but mmm-mmm good.
I also learned that I'm not nearly as proficient with chopsticks as I once assumed. :-/
Asian night continued with the Yoshida Brothers, and a good game of Munchkin Fu. For those of you familiar with Munchkins, this is the Asian-Martial Arts version, and just as funny. For those of you unfamiliar with the Munchkins universe, they are the most hysterical games of all time--Munchkins makes fun of fantasy/role playing games, Munchkin Fu the martial arts/ninjas and that kind of thing. I haven't played Star Munchkins or any of the other derivatives, but I imagine them to be just as good.
All in all, a well spent evening.
I just have to write a blog on this. :)
This weekend, my friend Dixy and I, in company with my boyfriend, some friends and her roommates, created a system of measurement for romantic relationships. Dixy was trying to pin Chris to where he thought our relationship stood. "On a scale of 1 to 10, where does your relationship fall?" Chris being himself, he had to have specifics, thus was born the System, as follows:
0-Strangers. You just don't even know each other.
1-Acquaintances. You met at Wal-Mart, thought s/he was cute.
2-Casual friends. You see each other in classes, at work, casz parties, etc.
3-Good friends. You hang out, you talk.
4-Interested. There's definitely some sparks there, but no action as yet.
5-Dating. You're going on dates, but you're still seeing other people
6-Third Date Stage. This one's tricky: it doesn't necessarily fall at the third date. It just means that you've gone out a few times, you like each other, and you've decided to move forward with things.
7-Serious dating. You're going out steady, only with each other, and often.
8-Engaged. This means a ROCK on her finger.
9-Pre-wedding. Everything's planned, you're raring to go.
Dixy frequently adds an 11, which is the wedding night, but I like to think that 10 is where the buck stops. :)
At any rate, this system allows for a quick and relatively easy DTR, and it's fun! You can't talk about this system without a good laugh! At least, we couldn't. :)
I have a job! At last!
I've been hired as an Executive Assistant to the producers of an independent film company, at their subsidiary in Salt Lake City. I'll be doing some secretarial duties--keeping the schedule, budget, itinerary--but also a lot more involved things like writing project proposols, building project presentations, and correspondence with all the company sponsors.
And in case you were wondering--I'm totally stoked! I really like the producers: I've met two of the three and they're great, they seem really fun to work with, and they're really excited about what they're doing, which makes me excited about what they're doing. :) I think it will be a lot of fun.
My plan is to move up to SLC, probably the Midvale/Fort Union area, here in the next couple of weeks. Stoked!
After spending far too many days reading, watching movies, and otherwise wasting time, I decided I needed to find something relatively productive to do with my time, when not job hunting, interviewing, or mourning my idleness. Yesterday, I came up with scrapbooking. Now, its not really productive, but it gives me the idea of productivity...at least my hands are doing something.
There is something infinitely satisfying in scrapbooking. Sometimes I mock the hobby--the huge sections or entire shops filled only with scrabooking supplies. The intricate details. But on the other hand, I kind of like making the pages balance, just so, getting the colors to work, finding the right patterns to go with the pictures. Some of my pages are better than others, but it keeps my mind occupied and I enjoy it.
So, in the process, I have taken over the family room, as shown--this big table, filled with the associated products. My other-mom, Jenny Walles, gave me a big kit of scrapbooking stuff for Christmas, and thus I have put it to good use.
In contrast, this is how my little brother spends his days. He should be working. He claims to have had an ear infection...for the last five days...and so he sits, watching movies far too loudly. It amazes me that he does not weigh 300 pounds with all he eats. Next to him, I positively feel like the most active person in the entire world. :)
Last night I went to an informational/volunteer meeting supporting Utah For Obama. There was a big crowd (a lot bigger than I expected for a democratic campaign in UTAH, early in the primaries). We spent the first hour talking about how to support the Barack Obama campaign, in the Nevada caucus this weekend, and just here in Utah. Making phone calls. Talking to people. Door-to-door canvassing. A presence at Sundance this weekend. Making more phone calls. We talked about Barack Obama too--the talking points, and also his politics, him as a presidential candidate. Then, we sat down to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate, from Las Vegas. Seriously good stuff.
My friends: I don't care if you care about politics or not. This is seriously--trust me--a historic year for politics. I don't care if you are Republican, Democratic, or Independent. If you're a Republican, I don't care who you vote for. ;) But the primaries are coming up, and they ARE important, and I want you--as my friends--to go out and vote. If you are in Utah, the primary is on February 5th, in your local precinct voting area. If you are not registered to vote, you still can, you just have to go to your county clerks office to register, you can't mail it in. Also, you can--right now!--request an absentee ballot, which can be postmarked any time up until Feb. 1. If you have other questions, ASK ME, or google it or whatever. Just please--please you guys, come on!--go vote in the primaries. This is important, and you will be proud to be a part of it.
Incidentally, check out Barack Obama. He is a strong candidate--he has good politics, good ideas, and a great capacity to bring people together in way that nobody else has. If change is going to come in our system, Obama is most likely to bring it. Just go watch his videos and read his issue ideas, and see what you think. That's all I ask. BarackObama.com
The only thing that makes life bearable right now is Chris.
I'm still working on a job--I found an apartment ad today that looks good, right near the office of the place I want to work, if they'll get back to me like they said they would. Life could, potentially, be turning for the better here soon. Who knows. But once I can be truly productive again, then things will be better.
Here's the thing: The lack of stress in my life eventually equates the lack of productivity whatsoever.
I live off stress. I thrive in stressful situations, when I'm not getting enough sleep because there simply aren't enough hours in the day. I love a semester when I have 20 credit hours, two jobs, and five hours of rehearsal a night--where I don't see home but once a day, and that's when I'm coming to crash in my bed for six hours before I have to get up and do it all again. This is my ideal lifestyle.
The last couple of weeks? Poop.
I'm still job hunting. I expected to have been at a job two or three weeks already by now, but here I am, still living in my parents house, hunting over the internet for jobs and housing, in the desperate hope that I can move out of here sometime soon. This is not my way to live. Some people might enjoy the time to relax, the lack of responsibilities. Not me. It's driving me crazy!
Hollie gave birth to Elaina Jean late last night. I went with my parents and Ben to visit her this evening. She's struggling, because Elaina is underdeveloped and needs surgery, but even more so because she just wants to hold her baby and feel like everything's okay.
I haven't wanted to hold a baby so much for a really long time. Of course I was thinking about Ian, but also about the future, the future children I hope to have. There is truly nothing like motherhood. There is no similar power in all the world, and even we mothers underestimate it far too often.
Ben is in tears right now, because he misses his mother. This is the third night in a row he's slept over at our house, and he's probably got another two or more ahead of him. He misses his mom. There is nothing more pure than the unconditional love of a child for his mother, and nothing more tender.
Ben's sleeping with me tonight.
As I sit here in my chair, I appear to have been stood up for the second time by the Production Stage Manager of PCPA Theatrefest. We were supposed to have an interview before Christmas, it didn't work out, so we rescheduled. And now it appears to have happened again.
Do I mind? I'm not sure.
I have another interview scheduled this afternoon with a theatre in Chicago, as an SM, not a peon. We'll see how it goes, or if I get stood up.
Here's the thing: I really want the job I interviewed for on Tuesday. They told me they'd get back "in a couple days", whatever that means. It's been three days, I haven't heard from them. I sent a confirmation email this morning, just saying, "Hey, what's up, are you going to call or what?" but you know, in polite-speak. I know that despite my best efforts, I did get my hopes up about this one. I didn't want to be disappointed, yet again. But I do, really, truly, actually want this job, more than any I have applied or interviewed for.
So obviously, it's with a little less than full enthusiasm that I'm interviewing today. I mean...these jobs would be cool too, they're just not what I really want right now. And with the other job still up in the air...it's hard to be that sad about being stood up again.
Who knows what will happen?
This story was published in The Kolob Canyon Review in the Spring 2006 edition. I don't know why, but I picked it up today and it kind of struck me funny. Enjoy.
Life of the Invisible
Jason and Tyler’s apartment was small, and felt yet more cramped by the
comfortable couches, bean bags, and large entertainment center crammed into the front
room. An empty pizza box lay discarded next to one holding a single slice of
congealing cheese. Half-eaten bags of popcorn and Doritos were scatter on the
furniture. Cans of soda were within easy reach of the three people avidly involved in a
desperate game of Super Smash Brothers.
“Hey! I hate it when you do that!” Tyler shouted as Danielle’s Yoshi slurped his
Ness into an egg.
Jason met the Ness in the air with his own Samus, and Ness was thoroughly
zapped. But coming to ground, as Jason was about to attack again, the Ness leapt out
of the way before he could even twitch at the controller.
“No cheating, Tyler!” he growled.
“I’m not!” Tyler responded, shooting fire at Samus.
Their time expired, and with much groaning on the others’ parts, Ness was
shown as the winner. As Tyler stretched with an exaggerated yawn, obviously gloating,
Jason reached for his Pepsi and reiterated his belief in Tyler’s cheating.
“Just because you lost...” Tyler shrugged, draining a Squirt and reaching for a
“It’s hard to tell sometimes, Ty,” Danielle interjected. She popped open a can
of Pringles and offered it to them both. “I mean, can you blame us?”
“Just because I can read minds doesn’t mean that I do,” Tyler responded
defensively. “Playing games is hard to read anyway, decisions come so fast, and I
have to play my own characters.” He grinned. “Card games, now, that’s when it can
come in handy.”
Danielle threw a cushion at him, which he blocked deftly; it just missed
knocking over Jason’s drink. “Oi!” Jason protested. “Watch it!”
Tyler knelt in front of the Nintendo set and started rifling through the games.
“What do you guys want to play next?”
Jason shrugged and Danielle made a non-committal sort of noise. She shifted
positions with a groan and looked over her shoulder at the clock. “Oh, I really should
be asleep. I’m going to pay for this in class tomorrow.”
“But it’s worthwhile to spend quality time with your old high school buddies,
right?” Jason said.
She rolled her eyes. “Dork.”
Jason raised his eyebrows. “Oh, that’s mature.”
“You’re one to speak of maturity,” she shot back.
“Oh yeah?” he said, reaching out to tickle the bottom of her foot.
“Hey!” She whipped her foot away.
“Hey what?” he teased, tickling just above her knee. She thrashed, and he rose
to his knees and proceeded to tickle her in every available spot he could reach, past her
futile attempts to block. Suddenly she reached out and tickled just beneath his arm.
He yelped in surprised and abruptly turned invisible.
“No fair!” Danielle shouted. Her hands reached out, trying to fend off his
continued attacks. He pressed on mercilessly until she was curled into a fetal position,
breathless and nearly in tears.
“Now that is cheating,” Tyler commented.
“Mercy!” Danielle gasped out. Jason rocked back on his heels and let himself
fade back into sight. He grinned triumphantly as Danielle slowly sat up, still breathing
fast, but with a twinkle in her glaring eyes.
“So, who’s up for Mario Kart?” Tyler said dryly, turning back to the television.
“I really better get going,” Danielle replied regretfully. She rose to her feet, and
Jason followed suit, watching as she retrieved her jacket.
“Do you want a ride home?” Jason asked.
She smiled at him over her shoulder. “No. I think I’ll fly.”
Jason shook his head. “Sometimes I forget how naïve you are.”
He saw irritation flash through her face before she shrugged nonchalantly. He
briefly wondered if he really had offended her, or if it was annoyance at something he’d
been saying for years.
“Good night, guys,” Danielle said curtly.
“Night,” Tyler called, his eyes glued to Mario Kart.
“Night, Danielle,” Jason said, opening the window for her. She stepped out
onto the tiny balcony and with a slight breeze, she was off into the night.
Jason stepped inside and shut the window. As Tyler completed the current lap,
Jason grabbed a handful of popcorn and a fresh Pepsi. He plopped down beside Tyler,
finished off the handful and grabbed a controller. Without comment he joined in the
As though he was reading Jason’s mind, Tyler dodged Jason’s every attack,
beating him on every round. Jason didn’t even bother to accuse him of cheating.
# # #
Climbing the stairs to the second floor of his apartment building, Jason’s
thoughts were wrapped up in his physics exam results, received earlier in the afternoon.
Physics was never Jason’s strong point—he just expected things to happen, with no
personal expectations regarding the mechanics of it all.
The second story was dim; one of the fluorescents was out near the stairwell,
another in the center of the hall. The aesthetic lack of appeal didn’t really bother Jason;
the rent was cheap. As he started down the corridor, Jason reached for his keys in his
“Who do you think you are, you little idiot?”
Jason’s steps slowed, and he saw a crack of light leaking out of an apartment
several doors down from his own. He hesitated before he slipped his keys back into his
pocket, turned invisible, and crept closer to the open door.
“Dragging our family name around in the dirt like some filthy hippie!” a strong
male voice slurred. The smell of marijuana and beer streamed through the door to
Jason’s nose. “As if you didn’t have anything better to do with your life but hang out
“Dad, I swear I haven’t been—“
“Shut up, you son of a bitch!” Jason heard something large hit the floor. “You
disgusting drug addict, you crap-smoking loser! Shut up!” Jason nudged the door
opened a little wider just in time to see the father in a white wife-beater backhand the
teenage boy cowering, half-risen off the floor, a chair broken near by. The sound of the
connecting flesh echoed horribly in Jason’s mind, and it was all he could do not to cry
“Do you think we are made of money, Jason?”
Jason turned to face his father, suddenly fifteen again. The towering figure was larger
than he remembered, dressed in a business suit, the pressing all but gone after a day at the office,
the top buttons of the shirt undone. A little wine had gone with dinner. Adrenaline raced
through Jason’s veins, but he could not stop what he knew was coming. Then, or now.
“Well, boy? How do you expect me to keep paying for you if you don’t show anything
for it? You are wasting everything!”
“Dad, I swear I’ve been trying—“
“Your test scores are a disgrace! What the hell do you think you are doing?”
“The teachers are really hard, Dad—“
“I’m not going to keep paying for you to mess around! You have better things to do
than screw around with the little whores! Stop slacking off—“
“Dad!” Jason cried out urgently, knowing that he couldn’t stop it now, “ I haven’t
Jason’s father rushed forward, throttling him around the neck. “Shut up, you son of a
bitch! You listen when I’m talking to you!” Jason was thrust to the ground, receiving a sharp kick in the ribs. He cried out, but there was no one to hear him, no one to help him. There was never anyone to help. The blows continued to fall, and Jason didn’t even think to hide from them.
The drunk man before him raised the broken chair into the air, about to smash it
down upon his young son’s head. Emotion filled Jason’s chest, and he knew that this
time, a son would not be left alone, with no one to help him and defend him from his
father. Invisible, Jason’s foot was already moving into the room when the son abruptly
rose up, wrested the chair from his surprised father, and knocked the older man down
to the ground.
“Damn it, Dad, stop blaming me for your problems!” the kid shouted, tossing
the chair away. “Just because you smoke pot, quit thinking I’m doing the same idiot
crap! Mom didn’t leave me, she left you!” There was a pathetic moan from the floor,
and the boy kicked his father in the ribs. Without another word, the kid stormed from
the apartment, barely missing Jason, who stood, stunned, just inside the door. After a
few moments watching the groaning drunkard on the floor, Jason too left the apartment
and headed for his own, feeling more powerless than he had in a long time. Since the
night he had escaped his father for the first time—the night he found his invisibility.
# # #
Jason and Tyler sat in their apartment on a late Saturday afternoon. Tyler was
tinkering with parts Jason couldn’t recognize if he tried, and was putting them together
into something Jason couldn’t quite discern, but which he assumed would serve some
sort of gaming function. Jason himself was putting their vacuum back together, having
broken it earlier that month.
Tyler, in the middle of polishing a chip of some sort, abruptly giggled, quickly
stifled. Jason looked up at him. Tyler had a far-away look that Jason easily recognized.
“What now?” Jason demanded, turning back to the vacuum belt. “Who are you
“You really don’t want to know,’ Tyler replied smugly. He abruptly snorted and returned to polishing.
“It’s really disgusting, you know,” Jason commented.
“Invading peoples minds just for kicks.”
“Haven’t you ever been tempted to turn invisible to do stuff just for kicks?”
Brief memories appeared in snippets: sneaking into a professor’s office. Getting
into a concert without a ticket. Walking into a meeting late, not wanting to be noticed.
“No,” Jason said aloud.
“What about that time in high school? The girls’ locker room?”
It was a dare that he was too prideful not to take. “Go on!” Tyler encouraged. Jason
knew it was just a memory, but even then, he had been reluctant to move onward. His high- school self turned back to look.
There was Tyler, looking idiotic with a mullet, so new and excited in his telepathic
powers. Behind him was little Henry, their morph, dead now three years. And next to them was Zack, the one with super-strength who had made their high school years so much fun. Eventually he had found the boundaries of his strength, though, so he was gone too. Jason’s memory didn’t show Max, who could control electricity, maybe he hadn’t been there. The military had him now. “Jason, go on, man!” Tyler hissed. The others made gestures urging him forward.
Jason’s feet moved a few slow steps down the hall before he briefly concentrated (it had
been harder then, he remembered) and disappeared. He heard Tyler cackling gleefully as Jason put his hand on the door and pushed his way swiftly and quietly inside.
It took quick stepping to avoid a chattering group of girls on their way out. Nervously
Jason moved further inward, past lockers he had expected to be different from those in the guys’ locker room. A few girls remained after the gym class, but they were mostly dressed already, and Jason caught no more than glimpses of midriffs and thighs. Relief filled him, then embarrassment that he was relieved. He thought about turning back and making something up to satisfy the guys, but then he passed the last row of lockers.
Her back was facing away from him as she reached up and tugged her shirt over her
head. He couldn’t help looking as she pulled up her tatty blue jeans over some flower-print panties. He thought for sure that she would sense his watching presence as she stuffed her gym clothes into her locker and packed her things back into her bag, and he held his breath, his heart pounding in his ears.
Jason jumped at the same moment as Danielle, and whirled to see three tall, senior
blonde girls block off the path out of the locker room. “Any more weird stories for us today?” one asked. Jason tried to fast-forward the memory in his mind, the girls pushing Danielle into the lockers, throwing her homework and then her drawing notebook into the running showers, stealing her backpack with all her things, all the while calling her horrible names guys would never think to call a girl. He tried to look away as Danielle crumpled after their exit, but he hadn’t been able to look away then, either.
“What good is being able to fly?” she shouted to the empty locker room, her face red
and puffy from the lockers and crying. “You can’t fly from anything!” She dashed her tears away, and slammed her locker shut. “I’d rather be normal,” she whispered to it.
“I don’t even remember what happened that day,” Tyler said with a laugh. “Didn’t you see Jill Stiles’ boobs or something?”
Jason did not reply. He rose abruptly to his feet and made for the door, ignoring Tyler’s questions as they followed him out into the deepening dusk. He set off down the street, having no particular destination, only the need to be moving away.
Invisibility was a guilty power. You can’t do good things with a power that doesn’t let other people see you. There is no honest purpose. It’s only good for escaping from things. It had been cool, in high school, when their group had used their powers in various schemes. It had been fun to get away with things. Every once and awhile, he had tried to be a do-gooder using his powers, but it never quite worked out right, always leaving him feeling stupid, just like he had the other night.
What good is being able to fly? You can’t fight bad guys with it, you can’t be a bad guy with it. Superman had super strength, too, and a determination belonging to a god, not a man. But Jason didn’t want to be a superhero; he just wanted to be a decent person, something invisibility didn’t really fit with. Now, as the three of them remaining tried to lead normal lives, Jason used his power less and less, and only around Tyler and Danielle. Yet, even to this day, he couldn’t help feeling like invisibility had given him a firmer grasp on life and the real world. Flight was a naïve power, and Jason always had associated it with Danielle, so she was naïve in his mind, too.
But maybe I was wrong.
Suddenly filled with an overwhelming need to talk to Danielle, Jason turned on the spot and started walking briskly for her apartment. Upon reaching it, however, he found that it was dark and empty. Puzzled, he tried her cell phone, but got only her voice mail. He hesitantly scanned the skies, but it was still light enough out that he didn’t really expect to see her. Starting to feel a little worried, he jogged quickly across campus to the library, where he scoured the rows of desks and computer terminals, to no effect. He out-and-out ran back to his apartment, where he burst in to find Tyler still at the table with the controller parts.
“What’s wrong, man?” Tyler said, looking up at Jason.
“Tyler,” Jason said urgently, “Where’s Danielle?”
Tyler’s eyes hazed over, and for what seemed an eternity they remained far
away. Then he paled. “Oh, no.”
# # #
The two of them ran into the classroom building without noticing the looks that the janitorial staff gave them upon their wild entrance. Jason nearly rammed a guy into the wall in his rush to get down the hallway, but didn’t stop to apologize. The two of them tore into the locked office door, but with a little encouragement, it gave and they immediately rushed behind the desk and knelt, their hearts in their mouths.
Danielle lay crumpled on the floor, her flesh a mass of forming bruises, her clothing torn in several places where it was still on. Jason noticed a ring around one of her wrists and one of her ankles, as though a rope had burned into her skin. She cracked open one eyelid as far as it would open; the other was already swollen completely shut.
“Who was it, Danielle?” Jason demanded softly. Tyler pulled off his sweatshirt
to cover her exposed parts. “Who was it?”
Her eye closed again, and she shook her head with a soft moan. Jason fought the urge to shake her. “Danielle, who was it?!” But when again she would say nothing, Jason grabbed Tyler’s upper arm and shouted, “Tell me who it was!”
“Jason, without her permission-“
“Damn it Tyler, somebody just raped her! Show me who did it, you bastard!”
With a look of reluctance on his face, Tyler placed a hand hesitantly on the top of Danielle’s head, and the other on Jason’s chest. With a disorienting lurch, Jason was suddenly in Danielle’s mind. He felt the blows, felt himself fall to the floor, struggle to get up. He felt a surge of power with himself, and felt himself rise a little off the floor. But he was knocked down again. He turned to face his attacker, wishing with all his might that he could turn invisible and run away.
The face stared at him from two places—the baleful glare of a man shoved into a hallway wall matched the greedy face wrapping a rope around a thin, pale wrist and looping it around a door handle to keep it down to earth. What good is being able to fly?
“Jason,” Danielle coughed. “Jason, you aren’t a superhero. Haven’t you wanted to live a normal life?”
Jason hesitated, then answered, “Yes. Haven’t you?”
“Yes.” She coughed again, and a little blood spattered her lips. Her eye closed again. “This is as close as I have ever gotten.”
Jason felt his heart trying to tear open. He briefly grasped her battered hand, and for one instant, felt very human. But then his rage took him. He stood, heat coursing through his entire body. He could feel his fists clenching and unclenching, but could do nothing to stop them, even had he desired to. He turned abruptly and made for the door.
“Where are you going, Jason?” Tyler asked.
“I’m going to find him.”
# # #
Along with the rage and murder filling Jason’s brain, there was also guilt. Danielle would have been fine if she had invisibility. That thought drove him onward, drove his desire to kill. He darted down streets, past parked cars, following the taillights of a vehicle etched into his mind, little caution left to him. Even though flight was a do-gooder power, the power of the innocent, he, Jason, had the power to protect the innocent, and certainly the power to enact justice. He had to use what he had to protect the guiltless, those who couldn’t protect themselves. After years of using his power only for selfish reasons, petty reasons, he finally realized what his true purpose was.
Jason had to become a superhero.
Starting with Danielle’s attacker. The first nemesis.
Jason had followed him to his car, and the car led him to a house only a few blocks away from campus. A professor’s home. The windows were cheerfully lit, a drastic contrast to the cold dark outside and in Jason’s numbed heart. He crept up to the house, and slowly reached up to peer in the window.
“Go!” a shout cried out.
From bushes around the house and its neighbors, police and men dressed in black with weapons burst out into the open and invaded into the house. Jason watched, stunned, as Danielle’s attacker was arrested, dragged from his home and his wife and his children and forced into a police car. “We’ve been after this one for a while,” an officer told a distraught neighbor. “Known rapist.” Sirens blared in Jason’s ears as he stood in a stupor on the front lawn of that suburban home, feeling all emotion fade from him as he watched the task force drive away.
Jason was not sure how long he stood there, but as the night got darker and colder, eventually he woke to a reality in which he was still a normal person, still a college student with no blood on his hands. His powers meant nothing. He haltingly took steps away from the battered home, where a wife was in tears on the phone with relatives, trying to make sense of what couldn’t be real. Jason walked down the street, wondering if any of it had been real.
As if in a dream, Jason retracted his steps towards Danielle, going back to how he had been, living the life of the invisible.
On the way home from Dixy's house tonight, I got caught up in this really reflective mood. As I passed Lehi, I couldn't help staring at the temple. You can see it for half of the valley. I had already been contemplating driving somewhere, because that was the mood I was in, so I took a detour and drove up to the temple.
Life's a little better. No less confusing, no less stressful, no less distressing in both its fullness and its lacks, but it's better. I'm content tonight, for the first time in ages.
Everything's going to be okay. I'll get a job eventually, and the right one. I'll get married in my own good time, to the right guy, at the right time and place. It's not complacency, don't fear. Just contentment.
Looking at the eternal perspective has a way of making everything seem okay. Definitely better.
I really need Melissa for this...I just confuse myself. But she's watching a movie right now, and stuff.
I feel like I rush into things. All kinds of things. I do it all the time, really--I rush headlong into things at full-speed-enthusiasm. And a lot of the time, it smacks me in the face, sets me on my ear, and then laughs at my humiliation.
Jobs, for instance. I get so excited just at the prospect of a potential job. Like this interview I had today...I am gung-ho excited about it, but I keep trying to quash my hopes because I know myself. Sure, it was a good interview. And you'd better believe it would be a fantastic job for me. Will I get it? I have no idea. My instincts are totally unreliable in this matter.
I'm glad I trusted my instincts last week, and turned down the job offer. It definitely wasn't right. That's prolly one of the few instances where I didn't follow my headlong-rush pattern.
But then there's this thing with Chris. Premature? Maybe. Rushed? Yeah. Sudden? Definitely. But that's always kind of how I've done things. (Not that it's ever worked before, mind you!) I fall head-over-heels likkity-split, and then I really fall in love later. I've come to recognize the signs, though, of true love rather than just crush or infatuation. At least I've matured that much. But it takes time. Right now, I couldn't tell you what this is. Give me time. How long before I know? I don't know. Right now I'm just having fun, enjoying a bright and engaging young man, and seeing how it goes.
I just wish I was more temperate. I feel like I'm unpredictable, but I also feel like I'm wishy-washy. How can I know what I really want out of life or anything, if I don't know the day before it falls in my lap?
My sister Danielle went into cardiac arrest about 8:00 this morning, during a swim class at the rec center. She's 17. She's had heart problems her whole life, including surgeries and a shortened life expectancy. But nobody could have expected this.
As of six this evening, she had been relatively stabilized--she had finally started breathing on her own; they established that the valve to her heart was fine (a valve that has been replaced before), and they were waiting on MRI results to determine if there were more blood clots than the one they already know about. She's hopped up on sedatives and blood thinner.
It's surreal, that's all. I don't want to think about it, but every time I stop distracting myself, I can't help it. My birthfather tried to assure me that she would be fine, but he sounded like he was trying to convince himself, too.
I guess all we can do is wait.
Set forth by Valerie at 10:28 PM
Site Specific Theatre. Coolest thing I did all summer.
It's theatre created around a specific location. The space dictating everything else--the script, for one.
One show was based on a rolling, hilly quad in the middle of campus. It became a commedia dell'arte piece with masks, houses, and a demon riding a golf cart.
One show was in a five-foot wide alleyway between the gym and the actual PE building. The alleyway was probably 75 feet long, with five doors on one side, a door and several windows on the other, and a ladder to the rooftop in back. The show turned into a freakshow, sort of. Hard to describe.
The third show was in a lobby with a spiral staircase, and the script was easily the best. It was a story about life expectations, placed in a hotel and written from a compilation of Langston Hughes' writing. It was beautiful.
These were full production. The techies shorted on nothing. There were full, elaborate lighting designs on all three sets--there were actual set pieces, where needed. There were full costumes, and there was real acting and direction. These were three works of art (quality to be determined by the audience member.) It was the location that made them, though, and made them exciting.
This should be done more often. Theatre should not be restrained to a black hole where we try to recreate the playwright's design. Theatre is a living, breathing thing, and if more people could invest in it in this way, it could really become alive. I've never experienced theatre in quite the same way--the summer wind was blowing through my hair as I stared at a high school kid in a commedia dell'arte mask declaring his love with a huge photographic projection playing on the brick wall of the building above and behind him. It was a hellalota work, but I can still feel the magic of that performance night.
It doesn't make sense to avoid happy things. Even when there is a projection of happiness waning, it just doesn't make sense to leave happiness behind prematurely. Especially when you can't clearly define what you're exchanging it for.
What is happiness?
What is contentment?
What is satisfaction?
I've been trying to answer these questions for myself. I've been job-hunting like you wouldn't believe, applying everywhere and anywhere--regional theatres, tours, off-Broadway; seasonal, conservatory, anything that smells like theatre and pays enough to pay rent. To be honest, I'm not having a whole lot of luck. Of course I'm discouraged, though I have the willpower to buck myself up every day and keep looking.
But I question myself. I've been very happy these last few weeks; I've spent a lot of time with friends who I didn't realize I missed so much. Good friends; bless them--guy friends. I've been dating for the first time in months. I'm bored, of course, but that's the holidays.
I could be content here. But could I be happy?
I could get a job--a "real" job, as I've been calling them--I could get an apartment in SLC or Provo, I could spend time with these friends before they all get married and the ones who already are start having kids. There's still time left in this part of our lives, and I could be here to enjoy it.
But could I be happy?
It goes back to the questions--what is happiness? I've always understood happiness to be more of a fleeting thing, but that contentment and peace are more long-lasting. They're what really mean something. A deep-rooted satisfaction is more pleasing that a transitory happiness.
And that leads to a deeper question that I never seem able to answer for myself. What do I want out of my life? It is a question I imagine haunts us all, at one point or every. For me, it comes down to the same question, every time: theatre or religion? Don't judge me! I feel your judgment. ;) It's not a simple thing, but I can ream it all down to that. I can pursue the theatre, my career, my individual life, that set of passions. Or, I can pursue what I see as my religion--a marriage, children, a settled life among friends and family. Another set of passions, though not as strong now, perhaps they could be.
Whitnee and Michael were married today. There was such...joy. Everyone there was just so happy for them. And despite the minor annoyances of wedding-day, they both were so happy. Nothing could interfere with their joy--this was exactly what they both wanted and needed, and they seemed so...fulfilled. Content. Satisfied. And happy.
I fear that I'm losing my drive. I fear that I'll hate myself forever if I don't pursue these dreams of mine, this passion for stage management, the craving for adventure across the face of the nation. There are sacrifices to be made on either side of my little fence. And I have no idea what I want.