Transplanted Life
Friday, June 04, 2004
So I hate being a waitress
It's not just the being on my feet all night, or working for tips I don't like. Though, honestly, the tips thing is worse than the physical part. It makes me feel like some kind of scavenger. The rest is annoying, but it's a subtle kind of humiliation to basically be picking up the extra leavings of what people who have real jobs, where they produce something or do something of value. It's kind of funny to see the guys who come in without wives/girlfriends leaving me a larger tip than the others. Okay, I've got a nice body and might be considered cute, but sometimes I look at the tip and remember how the people at the table looked at me and I wonder if they were trying to make a good impression, as if we'll meet up outside the restaurant and I'll remember, hey, you were a good tipper and I'd love to go out with and/or sleep with such a kind, generous man.

What gets me is that even if I didn't think of myself as being thirty, I'd still be among the oldest people on the waitstaff at 25. That's okay, it's supposed to be a transitory job - heck, the people running on the place count on it, so they don't have to give raises - but it's a reminder that my life is on hold. Well, not on hold, but out of my control, and behind where it should be.

It's paying the bills, though, so I guess I should be grateful for that while I look for something better. I feel a little bad about not stopping my job search now that I've got a job, since even if a chain place like I'm working at expects a lot of churn from its staff, I never liked feeling like I've wasted someone's time. They went through the effort to hire me and say that there was no longer a vacancy, so even if I know they've got a box of applications, I don't want to put them out. It's a stupid, oversentimental outlook, but I can't shake it sometimes.

Carter's got no such problems. As much as spending twenty minutes watching a supermarket training video galls him, he knows we need the money, so he's going to do it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
I thought I'd seen anger
Really, you haven't seen impotent rage until you've seen someone who double-majored in computer science and physics, earning bachelor's degrees in both, then served his country in the Air Force for five years, told that he probably wouldn't get a menial retail job because "she" doesn't have a high-school diploma. Telling Carter that he could probably ace the GED test in his sleep didn't help; while he's not stupid and recognizes the need to take that test on a practical level, it's deeply humiliating.

And it went downhill from there. As soon as he got that bit of news, he was on the phone the the FBI right away, demanding to talk to Special Agent Jones or anyone who knew what our situation was. When Khalil Jones finally called back today, Carter asked if there were some way the FBI could get us new identities, like witness protection. It's possible, he said, but time-consuming - the Attorney General's office would have to get involved, which would mean letting more people in on this sensitive information (Carter looked a little less excited at that). He also pointed out that Witness Protection is meant for witnesses whose involvement with a case was more or less complete, and that the two of us are involved in an ongoing investigation. The system is not set up to handle that, and Khalil doesn't have the authority to set up a sort of parallel system for what is, as far as we know, five people, one of whom is in a coma, one of whom is a fugitive, and one of whom Interpol is having trouble locating.

Agent Jones said that he wants to help us out, but points out that if we receive anything from the DOJ, it could come back to bite us later when they catch Dmitri's supplier. The agents who know about us are racking their brains to find some way to help us out without compromising the investigation, but...

So Carter was even more frustrated when he hung up the phone. He asked if Doug had gotten anywhere on finding a way for us to reclaim our old identities, or at least credentials, and when I said not very far, he asked what I was fucking him for. I tried to point out that I wasn't, but he just said he needed to let out some steam and went for a run.

And to add insult to injury, by the time he got back, I'd gotten a phone call saying I was hired. It's a measly waitress/hostess job, but the base salary is almost minimum wage (yes, we're in small favors territory here). Carter made a crack about how much I could augment that with a low-cut top, and I said damn right. We need the money, and if my breasts want the soft brassieres, they'd better earn their keep. Besides, it'll leave my days open most of the time, so if I can find an office job, we might make enough money to upgrade our living quarters a bit.

Monday, May 31, 2004
So, what's stopping you from having friends?
Last night, Maggie calls to say she's got a pair of Sox tickets, because a game that was rained out in April was rescheduled for Memorial Day and her friends had plans. I asked why she didn't ask that guy at work she liked, and she said she didn't have his home number and she just found out she could have the tickets. Makes sense, I say, and I'd love to go.

I no sooner get off the phone and Carter's giving me a dirty look, and I know what the argument's going to be about before it even starts. Look, I say, this jealousy thing is really not cool. Mags and I are friends, we're going to be friends, and we will, on occasion, do things without you. We're that "just-friends" kind of girlfriends, just like you and I are. Carter gets mad at being referred to as a girl-anything, and it's downhill from there. I get reacquainted with the floor.

So, today I meet up with Maggie at Boston Beer Works before the game and tell her about it, and she's sorry she didn't include Carter, but I tell her it's okay, it's not like he's my boyfriend any more. We're not joined at the hip, and at some point we've got to have individual lives. It's good to have someone to let it out to, because Carter can really be as needy as the kid he appears to be, but he insists he's not. It's frustrating, because he was so practical and honest about his life before, but now he can't seem to accept that this is the rest of his life, that he's not going to wake up and find himself back in his original body. That ship has sailed. I don't want to tell him how to live his life, but just to live the one he's got.

Mags, of course, wished she could help; she said she'd try to find ways to involve him in stuff. We spent a bit of time hanging around outside the ballpark, looking through the souvenir stores. Maggie thought one of the new pink Red Sox T-shirts with the player names on the back would look just darling on me; I pointed out that I might not be Carter, but I still don't do pink.

The game itself was just ugly - we had decent seats out in left field, which got a little chilly by the time Derek Lowe was just losing it in the sixth inning. It's been so long since I'd gone to a game that I forgot that while it might be good shorts and t-shirt weather outside the park, somehow the grandstand structure creates this wind tunnel effect.

We stayed until the end anyway, just in case, and I arrived home just in time to get a call from Kate, who wanted to know if I felt like hitting the Brattle for the Dietrich double-feature. I asked Carter if he wanted to go, and he just glared at me. I figured he was already in a mood, so I might as well go without him. The he gave me crap for just doing what I felt like without regard to him, but, geez. I mean, it's not my fault he doesn't feel he has a fulfilling social life if he doesn't even make an effort.

I hate fighting with Carter. It's like having a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, and brother/sister combined. Heck, I even took the long way back from the Harvard Square (out to Park Street on the red line, back to the Harvard Street station on the green line) just to delay any confrontation. He was asleep when I got home, but I'm afraid we're going to have it out tomorrow.


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Note: This blog is a work of fantasy; all characters are either ficticious or used ficticiously. The author may be contacted at