May 28th, 2005

USAF SG1

I've had insomnia of late...Even for ME.

Last night I came home and was exhausted...stripped an crawled in.
Didn't even turn on the Blinky Box.

To no avail.
I lay there, staring at the TV...PBS
COPS
The Family Feud...

Tossing and tossing.

I got up and made a nice bowl of udon noodles
around 4 am.
Usually that helps.
(the kitchen calms me)
Diced in some green onion, serrano, juliened
some snap peas, topped it with sunflower sprouts
and a dose of srracha sauce.

Munch munch, slurp slurp...
Yawn.
Back into the futon.

Toss toss toss.

I think around 7 am I dozed off to Tele-Tubbies....
At (i shit you not)
exactly 9:31 am--the phone rang.
I said hello?
And a woman's voice said "Oh, sorry!"
and hung up.

I almost cried, I was so miserable.

But I finally drifted off again.

Then at 11:45 am it rang again....
My sweet Kathy--calling to tell me she would be visiting Austin
soon.
Anyone else--ALMOST anyone else, would have received a lashing.
I was BENT tired.
I was polite, and told her I was very much looking forward
to her visit--I miss her very much.
But needed to sleep...

Eyes burning, body sore.
No sleep for days.

At 1:30 pm my ALARM went off to NPR.........
I started to scream into my pillow and kick my feet
under the covers.

Crawled out and washed my face, brushed my teeth...
rubbed TEEN SPIRIT BERRY BLOSSOM under each arm pit...

and stared into the sunken eyed face looking back at me.

I smiled.
IT looked weak.
I put my new lipstick on and tried again.

A little better.

I unplugged my White Jewelry from my Blinky Box...
where it had been charging....

put on my socks, found clean undies and a bra.
Buttoned up my black tuxedo shirt and slipped into my black slacks.
Tugged on my very ugly but very comfortable black oxfords
without undoing the laces.

Made faces in the large mirror over my table, by the door.
Clicked on my White Jewelry..."MEANINGLESS"--by
The Magnetic Fields, began to play.

I laughed.

Put on my cat-eye shades....

And ventured out the door to meet the day, to catch the bus.

The rest is a sticky blur.

9 hours of HUSTLE...I clocked out for lunch because I MUST...
but didn't actually sit down and HAVE one.
We were short handed.


Good things happened, there was laughter...
I love the people I work with.
But it wasn't until the last 30 minutes that I felt--
actually FELT
anything.


We were closed.
Registers closed.
Machines clean.

And someone was sitting in the drive through.

I tried not to look.
I didn't HAVE to look.

I looked.

A young man...with a lot of stuff in the back of his car.
The cap from a MARINE dress uniform
sitting on the dash.

*sigh*

I leaned out the window...that had been locked.
Whadaya need, honey?

Are you closed?

Yes. What would you like to have?

Umm...
he was confused.
I was tired.
I smiled at him.

A caramel frappuccino, two of them?
he winced.

No problem, be right back...

I poured the goo, into the pitchers, filled them with ice and syrup.
Hit PLAY--poured two Venti Caramel Frappuccinos.
Topped them with whipped cream, and drizzled them with caramel
sauce....Snapped the dome lids on.

I leaned out the window and handed them to him.
He handed me his Military ID and credit card....
Had I looked at it--it would have told me he was maybe 20.

I shook my head as I said What's this?

But I have to pay you...

No, all the registers are closed. This one's on Us.

He paused for a moment.

I'm a Marine...
the skinny little boy started--and I cut him off with a nod to his dashboard,
I know. I saw the cap.
I smiled.

He looked at the cap and then at me...and began again.

I just drove from California...I just got back from Iraq,
I'm coming to visit my Family for the weekend.

THIS is why I love TEXAS.

Stuff like this doesn't happen in California.


Happens a lot in Austin. Welcome Home.
Have a wonderful weekend with your Family.
And...
Thank-You.


He smiled.
I smiled.

He drove away.

I walked around the corner where no one can see you...
and covered my mouth and shut my eyes.

My wet eyes.




Enjoy your long weekend Folks.
Spend it with Family.
Whoever that means, to You.

I will.


And remember to remember.
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