...I said to Patrick from the kitchen side of the counter. I can see the image of myself plainly. No, I didn't have an out of body experience. Phil, or Patrick, I'm not sure which, filmed me from where they were wallowing on the floor. I was completely unamused. Now, from where I see it in my mind, I laugh out loud at the sight. At the time though, I paid it no attention. It was just me.
I didn't care that they were drunk, or that it was after midnight. It was Patrick's job to do the dishes, and to take out the trash. All the dishes were done except for a lone skillet that had been left on the stove. I was disgusted. Why couldn't he complete the simplest of tasks successfully? Were my thoughts harsh? Maybe they were because I was just getting home from work. Not only was I just getting home from work, but I came home to two squinty eyed and slurring boys, one of which that didn't even live there (thank goodness). More than coming home in the middle of the night, and to two squinty eyed and slurring boys on the floor, was that I hated my job. I hated my dumb job, and Patrick...was a drunk college student.
It had been my decision not to go to college. I had no idea, whatsoever, what I wanted to go for. I'd heard over and over about people who had gone, and didn't use their degree. Or, they did use their degree, but landing the job they'd spent four years preparing for was enough to teach them that it wasn't what they wanted to do at all. They would ultimately go back to school.
Maybe that is all fine and good for some people, but not for me. I wasn't a huge fan of school in the first place. I seriously cannot tell you what my high school GPA was without looking it up. I can tell you that I got As and Bs for the most part, but it was just to get it done. I enjoyed socializing more than anything else about school. But, really, I'd just rather have slept.
The one constant regarding the infamous What do you want to be when you grow up? question, was that I wanted my own ______. What filled the blank over the years has changed dramatically, but it was always a shop of some sort. The first was a skate shop that would have had an indoor skate park in the back. Oh yeah...I was a skater chick, or maybe wanted to be more than I was. But, I loved skater boys from seventh through tenth grade, and I did use a skateboard as a form of transportation in eighth and ninth grade. I wasn't a poser entirely. I could skate to get somewhere, and I could ollie, not high, but I could do it. My favorite bands were Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I wore wide leg Levis and JNCO Jeans with fitted t-shirts and tank tops...some from Goodwill. One of my favorites was pale blue, with cap sleeves, that read curl up with a hairdresser in scrolling orangey-red text that turned into an illustration of soft, and implied sexy, curls. I loved that shirt. My finger nails were long and I kept them painted in pastels. I also loved the idea of learning how to play guitar. But, it ended up that I'd only pretend because I refused to cut my nails. They were too long for me to press the strings down properly. If I did press straight down with my finger tips like I was supposed to, my nails kept the tips of my fingers from touching anything. If I angled them back a bit, to try and hold the strings with the pads of my fingers, my nails would get in the way of the strings above. I got an A anyway. The teacher was a happy guy, and would send me on coffee runs during class, to the Circle K a block away...extra credit I guess.
In ninth grade my dad and I learned to snowboard, too. My favorite bands turned into Sublime, No Doubt and Eve 6. I had an obsession with Fly Girl sunglasses. My clothes stayed baggy and, in tenth grade, I'd borrow my parents's grey Nissan Sentra with a snowboard rack instead of skating anywhere. I had a crush on Brian, our twenty year old next door neighbor, and who worked at North Shore, the skate and snowboard shop in the Citadel Shopping Mall. It was only natural then, that my skate shop dream had morphed into a skate and snowboard shop.
The shop dream progression would continue, but here I was, age nineteen, working at Blockbuster Video in the ski and college town of Durango. You would think that I might have noticed that I had an interest in business. I could have pursued business in College. But remember that I'd rather have slept through the years I was supposed to be thinking about that? Well, I sort of did. I took lots of naps during, and after, high school. Some teachers tolerated it and some didn't. By the time Patrick started driving me home from school our junior year, and if we were off from work, we'd nap until his hockey practice at my house. I can remember visiting with a high school counselor one time pertaining to pre-college talk. I doubt I told her anything about my shop dreams. I'm sure I just wanted to get out of her office and on to my next nap.
I didn't seem too concerned with the future, which isn't exactly an abnormal trait in teenagers. But, I was concerned about starting my life off in debt paying for school, and especially when I wasn't sure what to go for anyway. Scholarships wouldn't apply to me, and if they would, I didn't know about them. I figured I'd just open my shop when I opened my shop.
Patrick's parents paid for his school. If they were happy about our living together in anyway, it would have been that I helped keep him in school. Though I only worked at Blockbuster, I was the store assistant manager. I had far too many responsibilities, in my opinion, for my measly salary of seventeen-thousand dollars a year. My job was a joke, and I encouraged Patrick regularly to finish school at all costs, and since it really cost us nothing. But, he was a distracted freshman, and he didn't have to live in the dorms. He had even more freedom than most students his age did, which he took advantage of.
"This is a dish, too"...
"This is a dish, too"...
"This is a dish, too"...
I stood in complete seriousness in the bright kitchen that looked like a white rectangle coming in and out of focus in the cell phone's video. My hands laid flat on the dusty blue counter top as I looked down into the dim dining room. Patrick's gorgeous teeth were sitting in a sincere and youthful smile as he laughed until his sides ached. He held his stomach while he laid on his back trying to recover from his fit of laughter, and as Phil rolled back and forth on our salmon colored carpet in as much pain next to him. They replayed the video again. I finally smiled, but just a little, and while shaking my head as I went to get ready for bed. We were living very different lives.