|Why Didn't I Bring Deodorant?
Author: cdf320 PM
Andy decides that the direction her life is headed is locking her into a future she isn't quite ready for. With just a backpack and a sense of humor, she decides to see what the world has to offer before it's too late.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,289 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-01-12 - Published: 06-27-11 - id: 2927709
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I quit my job today.
Now that I've said that, a thousand reasons why I've quit are flowing through your mind. Maybe she quit because she was bored. Maybe she was working crappy hours and not getting paid enough for it. Maybe her coworkers were pissing her off. The answer to these questions, at least, looks like this:
I sure wasn't bored. I loved the people I was working with, the people I was working for, and everyone in between.
My hours were great. If I ever had something come up, my boss was always willing to adjust everyone else slightly to work around it. Not that I ever really asked for time off.
I kind of already answered this one, but I'll say it again just in case you weren't paying attention. My coworkers were awesome. They were always friendly, happy people that I actually looked forward to seeing when it was time to go to work.
I'd gotten the job at Barney's Sandwich Shop when I sixteen or something, or maybe I was seventeen, I can't really remember. Either way, I remember walking into the interview room all nervous, wearing some awkward professional clothes my mom had thrown at me from the depths of her closet. It looked like the skirt hadn't seen daylight in at least twenty years, and the top I was wearing was some reject shirt my mom wore once and forgot about. I was the one who found it, tucked behind a large banana costume my dad wore for Halloween when I was eight.
My first impression of my boss, Scott Galvaston, was that he was young. Here I was expecting some older guy with receding grey hair and a tucked in shirt over a belly that poked out just a little too much, but instead there was just some guy with messy brown hair and an Iron Maiden t-shirt, of all things. When he saw me he grinned, shook my hand, and introduced himself.
"My name is Scott, but most of the crew here refer to me as Scotty, Boss-man, Killer G, or Him. Pick whichever you like. You must be Andy, right?" I nodded, and Killer G gestured to a folding metal chair propped in front of his… desk. At least, I think it was supposed to be a desk. It was just an ordinary table with a lamp that looked older than my great-aunt Martha and a Mac. Stacks of paperwork were leaning up against a filing box on the far side of the table, and in the center were the remains of some sub sandwich that the man must have been eating right before I walked in.
"Sorry about that." He said with a laugh. He rewrapped the sandwich and placed it into a mini fridge that was holding up the table, and I could not believe my eyes. It wasn't the craftsmanship of the table, which looked pretty sketchy to begin with, but the grace and speed with which Boss-man wrapped the sandwich. It was like a work of art, something clearly fit to be placed in the Louvre, right alongside the Mona Lisa. All I could think was, hell, they're not going to hire someone like me.
"So, you're hired." Scott said, leaning back in his chair and reaching for a pile of papers held together with a bright blue paperclip. "All you need to do is fill these out, and we can start you on orientation."
"There's no interview?" I asked nervously. My hands were shaking slightly, a clear sign of how amazed I had been at Scott's sandwich stowing skill.
"Nah. When I saw you walk in, I knew that you would be excellent for this job. Besides, when I looked over your application a week ago, you seemed pretty legit. Plus, all kids need a first job, and why not here? We've got great staff, free lunch, and we pay minimum wage. You can't beat that."
And I couldn't, not at the time. I worked there throughout the rest of my junior year, my senior year, and my freshman year of college. I'd never exactly needed anything more than that, until now.
If I was to say when the desire to leave first hit me, I would probably pin it on when I read Walden for my college English class. Now, my first impression of Henry David Thoreau was that he was kind of a pompous asshole, always telling the rest of us how inferior we were to him. He spent too long discussion how much it cost him to build his stupid little shack-house-thing, as if he was just waiting for the crowd to go "ooh, ahh." As if. In Walden, Thoreau expresses how we are living based on our wants and not our needs, which is the only thing that should drive us. As long as we have food and shelter, and not much more, we should be able to survive and live fulfilling lives.
That guy was crazy. For one thing, he tried to isolate himself from society, and ended up building a house a few miles away from the city, and people came over to visit him all the time. Half of the things he stressed made no sense to me, especially since he didn't seem to be doing them for the right reasons. It felt like for the entire book, he was really just bragging at how successful he was compared to the other families he watched around him.
Strangely enough, though I hated the man who wrote the book, I started to see some sense in his ideas. Throughout my entire nineteen years of life, I had been limiting myself to a single way of life, the most optimal plan for my success. Monetarily, that is. I'd set my heart on becoming a surgeon, and so for the past five years of my life I tried to follow that goal, thinking that it was too late to make any changes. I'd put too much into this one trail of my future, and turning away from it would mean five years of hard work was all for nothing.
But did it really? Was all that work really for nothing? Or was it my IB standard analyzing skills that helped me understand what Thoreau really meant when he took off into the woods to make a living for himself, and himself alone?
In reading Thoreau, and seeing his life, I realized suddenly that not everything is set in stone. Thoreau went to college, and was all set up for a grand future career as- eh, I can't remember. But he chose to give it up. Instead, he did a one-eighty and totally changed his mind about what he wanted to do. For some strange reason, Thoreau was the one who inspired me to quit my job, take the money I had earned out of the bank, and go off to make something of myself… whatever that something may be. I plan to take with me only a few things:
My driver's license. If I need to drive, I don't want to be burdened down by the law.
Two pairs of jeans
One pair of shorts
Three pairs of underwear
Three pairs of socks
My lucky black t-shirt, which is only lucky because I bought it Friday the thirteenth last April and I really haven't had any luck-good or bad- with it since
My flowy hippie tank top I plan to wear just for the hell of it
Old Navy sweatshirt
A button-down dark blue t-shirt, just in case I need to wear something presentable sometime
My backpack- large enough to fit a life into but small enough to make me look like a normal person rather than a strange bum-girl
My journal and a pen, so I could write this all down and tell you about it
My cell phone.
The last thing is totally not me. My mom wanted me to have that, and since she doesn't exactly approve of me taking off and seeing the world, I guess I'll keep it with me. Besides, you never know when you'll need to call someone. It isn't like there are pay phones anymore.
As for the rest of my personal belongings, you might ask? Well, I've sold most of them so far. My bed is gone, the blankets off to Goodwill, most of my books, clothes, trinkets, jewelry, figurines, old school supplies, makeup, video games, footwear, furniture, and everything else my mom didn't stuff in the attic are gone. It's just me and my backpack now, and I think that's how I'm going to stay. At least for now. My mom is convinced that this is just a phase, something that will wear out eventually once I realize what it's like to no longer be sheltered by a house or a family.
"Where are you going to go? Where are you going to sleep? Good Lord Andy, what happens if you get raped?"
My mother says these things like I'm leaving the quarantine zone to chase butterflies. And hell, maybe I am. So what if I come home in three days, battered and bruised? I'll have at least gained an appreciation for the things I've been living so comfortably with all this time.
Hell, maybe I won't come back at all.