Have I clearly communicated that I now work at a different hotel than I used to? One closer to my apartment? The boss is the same. The money is the same. The clientele is very different (but that’s for a future post – one entitled, ‘I met two prostitutes on my first day at work.‘) My shifts are going to be all over the place; each week I’ll have one in the early morning, a few in the evenings, and an overnight or two. (Apparently I’ll do anything to avoid a potentially nasty winter commute.) I finished my training at the new place last week, and Saturday night was my first full shift completely alone. It went fine. I received a small, partial paycheck for my training hours, which I tucked into my purse.
When I got home at a little after midnight that night, I thought of setting the paycheck out so that my husband could deposit it in the morning while I slept, but I didn’t. The next day, I woke and looked for it, but couldn’t find it. I asked my husband if he’d snagged it, but he hadn’t. I looked everywhere for it before finally admitting to myself that I’d either lost it or left it at the hotel.
I asked the dog if he wanted to go for a ride. (He said yes.) The two of us drove the three required minutes to get to the hotel. Thankfully, my boss pulled my check out of a drawer as soon as he saw me. He handed it to me, along with the sweater I’d also left behind the night before. When I got home, I wanted to sign the check. I looked in my purse. I looked in my pockets. I looked at the dog. (He suggested we go back down to the garage to look in the truck. Or maybe he just wanted to go for a longer ride.)
Yes. My paycheck was under the sweater, which I’d left lying in the truck.
I am a terrible waker-upper. Alarms don’t phase me. A ringing phone is useless. When I have to get up early, someone has to actually come tell me to get up. (It’s not that they have to shake me, or yell at me, or anything. Sometimes, all they have to do is walk into the room.) This Monday morning, my husband was on wake-up duty, because I had to be at work by 7:00a.
Going to bed early on Sunday night wasn’t an option, because our whole family was studying for my son’s first test in his college science class. (Hey, he’s also still a high school junior, and home schooling habits die hard.) We finished up at around midnight and the men-folk went off to bed. Me? I was too wired to sleep yet, so I found the most soporific TV recording I had, and laid down on the sofa. (It was Little Ice Age: Big Chill, which I record and watch every time it airs on the History Channel.) I’m pretty sure I fell asleep by 1:00a.
I dreamed of things (like alarms) and people (like my son) and semi-people (like my dog) trying to wake me. Of course, I didn’t open my eyes because I knew none of them counted … my husband would come to me when it was really time to get up.
When he finally did appear in the living room, I was surprised it was still so dark. Then I reminded myself that it is now past the autumnal equinox – and that dark mornings will soon become the rule. I assured my husband I was awake, and told him to go back to bed. I extracted myself from my quilt cocoon and got up.
I used the bathroom. I grabbed a cold can of Diet Pepsi. I returned to the living room, sat in the recliner and lit a cigarette. It was then that the television asked, “Could a 21st century ice age actually ignite this apocalyptic chain of events?” Not until that moment did I look at the clock. It was 2:57a.
I went back to sofa and slept like the dead until my husband actually awakened me at 6:30a. I had to touch him when he came to me, to make sure it wasn’t another dream.
Reality is slippery for me right now. The world I lived in for more than a decade has become a fading collection of old blog posts, diary entries and photographs. My new world feels simple and clean and small, but also dangerous and gritty and terrifyingly huge. My life revolves around work which can only be described as surreal. I am tired.
Do you know what is saving me right now? The paranormal. It is the one thing – the one interest – that has been with me for my whole life, in every phase of my life. All those years of seeking out all things eerie and beautiful and strange have schooled me well. Thanks to my love affair with the paranormal, feeling disconnected from, (outside of, parallel to,) normal life is nothing new to me.