Written by Samantha Verheyen
‘You did this to me,’ she wanted to scream. Her hair dripped with water, landing into small dark spots on the carpeted floor. For mid-November the air felt slightly warm, but maybe it was her long repressed anger bubbling to the surface. Her apartment was dark, the radiator wasn’t on, and in the distance she could hear her cat Gary playing with her pile high dirty dishes. A slight thunder rumbled from far away.
Just a few hours before Erin had woken to her alarm. It was a shrill beeping from her phone that was always kept at a walking distance from her bed. She had shivered as her blanket was lifted from her small frame. She sat up in bed with a long yawn, and her arms stretched to her pop-corned ceiling. Her pink fuzzy socks covered up to her ankles; her black cat Gary crawled from under the covers.
She woke up feeling normal and bright. Her mind focused on her next interview; giving her high hopes on finally finding a job that gave her more promise than serving coffee to middle aged unappreciative business men, who were always attached to their IPhones, and Blackberrys. She would finally be able to afford the good cat food; the kind with real salmon bits instead of the fake stuff.
She turned off her alarm, turned on her shower, and put coffee grounds into her coffee maker, all while her fuzzy black cat Gary followed in her shadow. She entered her small bathroom. The small, white, circle tiles made her shiver as she pushed her fuzzy, pink socks aside. Her black pj’s were discarded as she stepped into the shower. Small, cold droplets of water hit her skin causing a shriek to fill her tiny insignificant San Francisco apartment. She jumped in surprise as the water hit her caramel skin. Her unsocked feet slipped on the floor of the tub, causing her to land on her ass; her head lightly hitting the side of her bathtub. Her large fuzzy black cat Gary appeared from behind the shower curtain. Its two front paws holding it up to see her laying at the bottom of the tub floor in embarrassment.
She told her large fuzzy black female cat Gary, ‘You didn’t see that,’ as she slowly stood from her wet bathtub floor, grabbing the cotton towel from the towel rack, and carefully stepping out.
She realized she had forgotten to turn on her coffee maker, and had to growl at herself, because one cannot live without coffee in this kind of world. She instead looked for her nice white blouse and skinny khaki pants that she loved to wear for interviews, because she thought it brought out the gold haze in her eyes, but realized that her large fuzzy black female cat Gary, who loved to tear down her clothes from the place they hung, had brought it into her litter box to bury, and it now smelt of ammonia and poop.
She went with a green dress instead, because it made her caramel skin glow more than usual, and with her leggings and some boots she wouldn’t be too cold in the mid-November air. Her puff of curly black locks hung to her shoulders, and the hopes of straitening it quickly faded. With a bumpy morning and no coffee to make it better, she hoped that her frizzled ringlets wouldn’t make the interviewer think she was a lazy millennial that didn’t want to give into social norms, like taking control of uncontrollable hair.
She nearly fell off the F-Line trolley in the Financial District. She did a slight trip off the trolley steps, but caught herself as half of her papers in the manila folder she was holding fell out. She wondered why Chicago was the one to be called the Windy City, as she watched her papers fly down the San Francisco streets; the wind causing her hair to fly around her face, blind to the cars that tried to pass. A slight mud stain at the bottom of her resume made her growl; because that’s something she did now-a-days, and locked the idea of laminating the next print out in the back of her brain.
She sat in, what looked like, a swanky business building from the outside, where she watch people on the inside in their tiny cubicles mindlessly working on their computers. She sat in a foldable chair looking down at her outfit and realizing she didn’t take a lint roller to her dress, and fuzzy little Gary’s hairs snaked in and out of the fabric. In this moment she thought, maybe I’ve been cursed, but before she could find the courage to stand and leave, the door to her left opened. A middle aged man holding his coffee and IPhone walked out.
This middle aged business man asked if she was Erin Cruise, and ushered her into his office. They shared their ‘how are you’ and began talking business. He asked about her goals and accomplishments, wondered where her past experience would apply as a simple secretary, and then finally rubbed the smudge of mud at the bottom of her resume. After she went through her many memorized answers, his eyes laid on her breast for the remainder of the interview. As if he asked this question to every person, he said, “How dedicated would you be to this job?” raising his eyebrows at her, and “Are you in a serious relationship?”
She nearly ran out of the building and the mid-November air slapped her in the face. Tears were hidden behind frustration as she took in a large cold breath; letting her head rest high. She looked down at her manila folder; taking her flip phone, because not all people can live like royalty, and called her work. She said she would be late and she was on her way, but knew that from one to seven in the afternoon it was impossible to get anywhere in the city when driving.
Erin stepped onto the F-Line to make it to the E-Line, but half way there the trolley hit a dog and broke down. The sky was getting darker with rain clouds, and no one wanted to leave the covers of the trolley for the possibility of the rain to start falling. She watched as animal control came and took the dead dog away, only to realize she was going to be a little more than late.
She realized it would be faster to run there than sit next to the weird San Franciscan people on the E-trolley going two miles an hour up a hill. Instead of getting off at the next stop, she went through the back door onto the balcony, jumping off the steps, and letting her right boot land in a large puddle. The dirty water sank into her sock and as she stepped to the sidewalk; every other step gave a quite squish.
She realized it would have been faster to stay on the E-line trolley, because she moves half a mile an hour up the San Francisco hills.
Erin arrived two hours late to her shift, and she was already wet since the rain started one block away from the coffee shop. She peered through the window and watched as the employees worked through the afternoon rush, and felt that deep down in her heart she didn’t want to go in. The rain kept falling through her uncontrollable fuzzed hair and both of her socks were now soaked to her toes.
It was just then she turned away from the door and walked to her apartment just five minutes away. She realized that she didn’t want to work today, because for some reason she wasn’t feeling it. She thought about how she needed cat food, and just as she finally reached her apartment door she heard her large fuzzy black female cat Gary meow at the door as her keys went in the lock.
She saw that Gary had thrown up on her living room carpet. A large flash of lightning went through the room and she looked out the window. Her reflection stared back.
‘You did this to me’ she wanted to scream at herself, because who else would be to blame for her incredibly bad day, as she heard her stupid large fuzzy black female cat Gary eat her scraps in her pile high dishes.