P u b l i c D i s p l a y s O f A f f e c t i o n

2700 is getting to me…

2 7 0 0

S hut U p A nd D on't H ave A N ice D ay.

(xxvii)

"What's up with you, man? You don't seem to be having a nice day… "

"And that fucking noise coming out of your metal mouth, isn't helping." I mutter irately under my breath, turning around and leaving my broad back to face my fellow worker, Terry.

I just know he has a shocked look on his face, eyes widened behind those fucking emo glasses of his while he watches me with a wondering but maybe even slightly hurt face. Notice the detail, here? I'm guessing you did, and to answer your question; yes, this does happen a lot of the time, thus me knowing how the guy's going to be looking. It's all routine at this point, he pisses me off when I'm in an already bad mood, I tell him off, and we simply go down hill from there. Moot point stricken out of my book, it seems.

I obviously don't give a flying fuck because that's me. And hell! I warned him when I came in that I wasn't in the mood for idle chatter; especially his chatter. But I'll admit, I didn't mention it to those specifications. Only because, you know, I thought he'd have figured it out by now, but I guess not…

So, in ignoring Terry and his infuriating ways, I continue to stack and properly place the DVD's in their rightful place. And yes, I'm stacking videos and DVD's here, which can only mean one thing… I'm working! Surprise, surprise, ne? But yeah, lucky me… it's Monday afternoon… and this is where I am. Working my three to nine shift, from Monday's to Thursday. It's not too bad of a job, actually… pay not too bad, I guess, and hours are fine also. I get the weekends free on top of no work on Friday, can't get any better than this…

… well, it actually can, but just ignore that.

By the way, this fine establishment that I work at, is BLOCKBUSTER. Yes, the BLOCKBUSTER, the one in which, late fees have been abolished. The same one where, people jump in glee and crowd the front of stores, in celebration of this newly founded 'THE END OF LATE FEES' rule. In my opinion, it's some helluva' scam, I've got to admit. Think about it, how many people actually read the fine print, here? Barely. And the one's who do… god bless their little conservative hearts.

As a BLOCKBUSTER employee, I know these things, and so… why don't I help you out?

Movie and game rentals are due back at the date and time stated on the transaction receipt. There is no additional rental charge if a member keeps a rental item beyond the pre-paid rental period. However, if a member chooses to keep a rental item more than one week after the end of the rental period, BLOCKBUSTER will automatically convert the rental to a retail sale on the eighth (8th) day after the end of the rental period (the "sale date"). BLOCKBUSTER will post to the membership account the selling price for the item in effect at the time of the rental, which is either: (1) the retail price charged by that BLOCKBUSTER store for the product if sold as new, if the product is not available for sale as a previously-rented product at that BLOCKBUSTER store at the time of rental; or (2) the selling price charged by that BLOCKBUSTER store for the product if sold (and available for sale) as a previously-rented product at that BLOCKBUSTER store at the time of rental. The selling price will be discounted by the amount of the initial rental fee paid by the member at the time of rental. If the member returns the item within 30 days of the sale date, BLOCKBUSTER will credit back to the membership account the amount previously charged to the member's account, as applicable, for the selling price of the item, but the member will be charged a one-time restocking fee of $1.75 per unit plus applicable taxes. Available at all BLOCKBUSTER Canada stores. BLOCKBUSTER name, design and related marks are trademarks of Blockbuster Inc. ©2005 Blockbuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Translation, anyone?

Here's the summed up version of all of that, for those who didn't catch it the first time: BLOCKBUSTER is prepared to steal your money if you don't return the rental, forewarning to those who think they're smart enough to keep it for over a week and expect no consequences in return.

Simple, enough? I hope so; I don't feel like getting all technical on you guys, I'm not in the mood to be honest. Not only because it's Monday though, it's just… things have been really messed up lately. I doubt I have to go into a whole recap of what happened during the weekend, I'm pretty sure you guys remember, sadly enough.

Have I gotten over it, you ask? What do you think?! If it wasn't something as serious as, oh, I don't know… rape! I might have been fine with it…

But of course, I haven't. And most likely won't be… for a long while, if not forever. That's just the way things are though, and I have the right to feel that way. There's no turning back, no way anyone's making me feel any different.

"Uh, Blaine… ?" Terry's fucking annoying quiet voice squeaks out from nowhere, something tapping me on my shoulder at the same time. I turn around swiftly, still clutching onto a DVD – Fellowship of the Ring, if I remember correctly. But I digress.

I watch him steadily, glaring all the while and quirking my eyebrows – waiting.

"Yes… ? You rang." I quip.

"I-I just wanted t-to ap-apologize for my behavior… I know you haven't felt well lately, so… I'm sorry. I didn't mean to irk you -- "

"Terry… what did you think you were going to achieve with this? Did the thought that this may make things worse, ever come to mind? For if they haven't – they should have now." I state, clinching my teeth and haphazardly slipping the DVD into its spot; still watching Terry and waiting for his reaction, that trademark look.

And it comes.

His brown eyes immediately begin to shift underneath his emo glasses, eyebrows furrowed forlornly, lips pursed in an awkward hold; seeming uneasy and downcast all in one. It's the same every time! I've gotten so used to it… I could probably sketch it. Half decently too! And that's saying something considering I can't draw for shit! Take it as a compliment.

"Jesus… you tire me out, Terry. Why I have this shift with you… I'll never know." Grumbling this lowly, I shake my head, striding past Terry and back to the front counter, empty basket in hand now.

If he thinks he's going to get pity points out of me… he's wrong. We've been doing this for a long while now and I still haven't felt sorry for him… so why start now? Exactly. In the end, this'll only teach him a valuable life lesson. What exactly I'm not sure… but a life lesson, all the same. And I'm sure it'll be something important and very rarely taught – except by the amazing me. Arrogant? Oh. No, no. Just confident in my skills, is all.

The silver bell of the BLOCKBUSTER entrance chimes, breaking me from my reverie and causing me to look up. A middle-aged man enters the store, ambling down the Comedy aisle and leaving me alone – thankfully.

Hopefully he won't need any help, and if he does… Terry will be there to help! I'll be sure to stay at the counter… somebody has to do it. Terry needs to move around anyway, I've been doing a lot of the customer service for a long time… about time he increased his social skills. And what other way to do so besides helping customers? Yeah, I thought that was pretty intelligent myself.

I place the empty basket underneath the counter, pushing it far back and sighing quietly. I finger the collar of my shirt, pulling at a loose blue strand. With my other hand, I stretch upwards, hefting my belt up and straightening it more in my belt loop. The khakis are looser than usual, a little weird actually considering my belt is tightened around my waist as it always is. My BLOCKBUSTER shirt is in place also, the big, yellow block letters scrawled across the front – standing out for everyone to see, which is seemingly the point. Sad but true. I don't mind the employee uniform too much I suppose, you get used to it after a while and it becomes second nature once you get here; which happens to be a good thing.

"Blaine." Terry calls out, popping his head out from one of the aisles – middle-aged man from before standing beside him. I nod his way, professionalism taking hold of me now – no agitation towards one or another, or at least, outwardly. "Do you know where Shaun of the Dead is?"

"It's in the Comedy aisle – it's a favourite." I say easily, smiling tightly.

"I can never figure out whether it's a Comedy or a Horror… thanks, man." With a curt nod my way, he turns around, beckoning the middle-aged man follow him. "It's… just down here… sorry about that… " His voice fades out after that, swallowed by the rows and rows of videocassettes and DVD's.

In turn, I lean over the countertop, drumming my fingers sluggishly against it. I use one hand to cradle my chin, looking to the side and suppressing a large yawn. I tear up immediately though, fatigue catching up with me.

It's not a pretty sight.

(xxvii)

n o t e: Well. Sweet zombie Jesus on a fudge cake. You would think I would come back with a bam; but instead… I don't feel that I've accomplished anything with this chapter except introduce (pseudo) a new character and the discovery of Blaine's job. What's that? Blaine? A job? Secondly, I have no right to even be typing this now… as if I just hadn't spent four months not updating and coming out with other stories. What a piss off. Believe me when I say, I'd be the first one to kill myself when the time came. But if you feel the need… you may also. Go right ahead. I give you permission – but don't feel obligated to do so. Now. What could I possibly say? Do?! To possibly disclose my extraordinarily large amounts and masses of thank you's I want to give out to you. The reader. Readers. Whatever floats your boat. I was prepared to give individual thanks and am still considering it, except… it may take a wee little longer than was first excepted. A general thanks and much, much love will have to suffice for now. Please. My desperate outcries of thanks and undignified love goes out to: Shaoling (uke-kun(!!!!!) what more can I say?), ddz008 (x2), BrokenDreamz-EmptySoulz (you know you rock, why should I repeat it?), xanthofile (I love both you and your writing, believe me), frizzy (another batch of thanks simply because you're a new reader / reviewer), Gagging Angel (extra thanks just because I love your name so much), xdontlookatmex (I gladly accept – don't mind my uke-kun on the side though), ChibixHolic (I apologize both in advanced and for what's already confused you: bad habit I s'pose), lunisa (sorry for dashing your hopes, I was hoping I'd have more written too – but thanks). Next update undecided. I haven't started it yet but I have it planned out – in my head, o' course. I'll probably get it started though alongside some other stuff… hopefully enjoy what I have up so far though? Pretty please and thank you. All of you rock! Not only my socks – but my bed too!