I’ll be the first to admit it: I consume a lot of entertainment. It’s more than just a way to wile away the hours for me; experiencing the magic of story through books, television and movies is my oldest and most passionate hobby. I love delving into narratives and immersing myself in their waters, surfacing afterward to ponder and discuss and marvel. It’s the primary reason I was an English major in college, and I’m never happier than when I’m extolling the virtues of a story I’ve just experienced to a dear friend. (If you’re interested, you can check out my running list of what I’ve consumed so far in 2013 here, and see for yourself just how many things I read and watch.)
I bring this up mainly because I’ve found myself battling a question lately, one that has done more mental damage than I’m willing to admit: with so many other things I could (and arguably should) be doing, why do I spend such so much time “lost” in other worlds? Shouldn’t I be out experiencing this life to the fullest right here and now instead of coming home from work, making dinner and reading a book or watching a movie?
As part of my duties as assistant editor at Hobby Farms magazine, I am responsible for making weekly to semi-weekly runs to the local post office to pick up mail and send out back issues of the magazines, etc., which means that I have to frequently wait in line. Because I’m perpetually analyzing my surroundings, I’ve come in contact with quite a few characters in my time at the post office. These are their stories.
She’s the quickest worker they have: middle-aged, but always at the top of her game, dark hair pulled back into a loose ponytail with a 90s-style scrunchie. She can prepare a package for delivery in mere seconds, her slightly weathered hands moving so quickly that they seem a blur in the harsh lighting, shaking the computer’s touch screen with a flitting intensity. Her whole body is tense, brimming with an inexhaustible energy that manifests only through her quick, accented speech and rapid movement. Eye contact is beneath her—if she spent time looking at your face, she would add a few seconds to her average interaction time. That’s not to say she’s unfriendly or standoffish; rather, she graces you with the occasional thin smile or peeks at you from beneath her bangs while she puts a sticker on your parcel, and she always uses an appropriate honorific to address you: “Hello, sir. How may I help you today?” Continue reading
Here’s the thing: I am terrified of spiders.
I know, I know, you’ve heard it a million times from a million different people:
“I am SUCH an arachnophobic person!”
“Spiders are, like, THE WORST.”
“I just can’t even deal with spiders. They’re, like, so gross.”
But, seriously, y’all, let me talk to you about spiders and how they make me feel. Continue reading
It’s early. I blearily steal a glance at my alarm clock, which obnoxiously glows 5:46. Why am I awake? I feel a rustling under the covers and pull them up slightly, only to be met with a pair of wide, furtive eyes and a tentative meow. This mobile, feline wake-up-call returns to gently batting at what has so captured his attention: my, uh, how you say, family jewels.
Cut to another morning this week. It’s early, of course. I’m awoken by a quiet mewling and the ginger pressure of a kitten paw on my arm. I open my eyes to see the culprit stretch in annoyingly cute fashion, stand up, and do a full turn inches from my face. He settles back down after making himself comfortable, places his butt right in front of my squinty morning eyes and lets out a big, airy fart.
He got pushed off the bed for that one. Continue reading