sometimes i think a thing about girlhood or maybe a thing about my girlhood specifically is the lurking sense that your time does not really belong to you. yesterday i left work after having worked six days straight and i walked out into the sunshine with a little cup of fig ice cream and sat on a bench and rested. stapled to a lamppost beside the bench was a paper flyer advertising lorde at the greek theater on friday night and i watched it flap in the breeze and thought about how much i like her, princess cut from marble and all that, you know, and how much i might like to see her. this morning which is the first morning for six days i have not had to get up and go to work i instead woke up to an email from a coworker about could i please take her shift on friday night, and i spent the morning with guilt panging at my chest like a fist rapping at a door, like a persistent telephone, like a person calling your name that you pretend you can’t hear. this girl i work with i have never met asked me would i please switch shifts with her and all i could think about was how much i owed it to her, how i was indebted to this person i had never met to take on a burden for her so her life would be a little lighter. she’s a she, so i assumed, you know, she needed it. and it’s true, it is. but also i’ve been at work for six days in a row and my legs hurt and my arms hurt and i want to see lorde. i asked p, so like, what if i went to see lorde on friday night, will you be sad and lonely, because you know, that’s my responsibility also, is what i’ve heard, but he said he would be fine, obviously. i said anyway if i don’t go i guess i should probably pick up this shift at work, for this girl, who i haven’t met, and he said, why, i wouldn’t give up my friday for a person i’d never met. and i mean of course he wouldn’t. he hasn’t been taught to do that. it always sounds like exaggerating when i say this, like something that can’t be real, but i gave up every other weekend of my childhood to drive seven hours one way to see a person that i didn’t like who treated me poorly. i missed birthday parties, i missed outings, i missed long luxurious days at home curled in a patch of sunshine. i read a lot in the car and was told that i was doing a good thing –– but really all it did was train me to sit still for hours on end and assume that my time was something that i possessed wrongfully, something i was supposed to give away to other people to prove my generosity. to go to a friend’s party, though, was selfish, and were i to request such a thing i would need to demonstrate how i could “make up” that time later, as though that were a thing that were possible. i’ve always had trouble switching shifts at work because i assume any time i take off will need to be made up later, like, if i get to have this day now i better work three times as hard later or else i’m selfish and lazy. anyway, i was always going to have friday off, and i just bought tickets to see lorde, and maybe this is what making up time is, maybe i am making up time now, except, you know, it’s my time.
It is very exhausting pretending to care about anything other Mr Brightside
"why can’t i write fiction in the present tense" i howl as i open a text post to blog about it… furiously… in the present tense
here’s a question: how did i ever manage to write fiction in the present tense