Archive for fainting

The Heights

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Sara Lilly

Peter Hedges’ comment inspired me to read his new book. I downloaded the e-book version to my mom’s Nook and then went to Borders and bought my own hardcopy.  I hate e-books. After a class last semester known among its students as “English Boot Camp” I am incapable of reading without a pencil or highlighter. I can’t pencil or highlight an e-book so paper is the way to go for me. My mom and I run a very informal book club between the two of us. We collectively enjoy the work of Russo, Nabokov and Khaled Hosseini. She has a love affair with the writing of Ian McEwan–I have yet to even read Atonement. I’ve discovered that she hates the British humor that I enjoy (Evelyn Waugh) and I don’t have much of an interest in detective agencies in Botswana. We’re a good match the two of us though.

Anyway, to get back to my original point. I drift a lot from topic to topic because my brain thinks faster than my mouth lets me speak or fingers let me type. Okay. Really, this time, I’ll start writing about what I set out to write. The Heights by Peter Hedges. I’ve only gotten to page 40 or so between last night and fifteen minutes ago when I sat at the counter at the Park Avenue Borders with my cold veggie burger, office-snatched Gatorade and 100-calorie pack of Cheez-Its. So far I’m surprised/impressed by a couple of things:

1) He’s like a chameleon with narrative voices. Aside from random moments here and there, there’s not  a breath of Gilbert Grape in the first person consciousness of either Kate or Tim.

2) It has a light Revolutionary Road aura. I loveeeee Revolutionary Road and The Heights is already far more comedic than Road was, (for those who have not read the book nor seen the movie, it’s a depressing tale of the pitfalls of suburbia) but something remains in it that constantly reminds me of the absolutely amazing Richard Yates novel.

3) The author has something about big age differences and sexual tension. Gilbert Grape had three notable hookups: one involved the title character who was 24 with a 40-something woman. Another was the title character with a 15-year-old and the last was a 16-year-old with a 27 (or 29?) year old. They’re all a little weird but it’s interesting–it’s like a moral dilemma. It’s a, “This is wrong but I can’t stop reading,” kind of thing. *edit: Why does this strike me as weird–I wrote an entry about me and a 28-year-old.

That’s all for now. Like I said, it’s page 40. I enjoy it so far though. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Oh, so in tradition of my last post “I Think I’ll Feign Fainting,” I started a short story called “How Max Mitz Feigned Fainting and Brought Down an Entire Corporation.” It’s the most ridiculous, absurd thing I’ve ever written. Maybe it’ll turn out well or maybe it’ll just be ridiculous and absurd. Who the fuck knows?



I Think I’ll Feign Fainting.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Sara Lilly

I’ve already said I’m a miserable cashier at a fucking grocery store for half the week. The other half, I’m a slave to a multi-millionaire literary agent. While neither job is particularly satisfactory to me in my going-on-20-degree-seeking-student stage of life, if I had to pick just one to do all summer–I’d pick slave. Does this show how much I truly hate being a cashier? How much it makes my skin crawl? How I want to leap over the counter and punch some customers in the face and the only thing that keeps me in my place is, “You’re getting paid. It’s shitty but, you’re getting paid.”

The front end is run by a group of young people who thrive on making their cashiers’ lives miserable because they realize that they will never have another opportunity in their life to be a boss. To be fair, (because that sounded harsh) I directed that last statement to a select three people whom I’d like to ask every now and then, “Hey, what is it that you DO exactly?” The group of young people, particularly three who I have in my mind, make it their duty to enforce the long list of absolutely absurd rules:

1) No drinking on the register. (But it’s a 100 degrees!)
2) No leaning. (But I’ve been standing here for 7 1/2 hours!)
3) There is no reading on the register. (But it’s 7 AM. There’s no one here.)
4) Stand in front of your register. (What. Really? C’mon.)
5) No purses behind the register. (Huh?)
6) No unrelated work conversation. (…there’s no one here.)

None of these rules apply to the group of young people who run the front end. They are free to drink their water, go on coffee runs, dinner runs as they read through things and laugh about unrelated work conversations.

I’m going to purposely faint one of these days. I’ll sigh and go down to the floor and when they ask how I was feeling I’ll say, “I needed water. But you wouldn’t let me have any.” I’ll then call the local media and have my workplace exposed as a sweat shop posing as a grocery store. Mwahaha.

The end.

Oh. One last story about the front-end running kids:

I’m also a flower girl at work. I cover the permanent florists’ vacations and go there on holidays and whenever I’m needed. I worked full time there before I quit for the past semester. Anyway, on Mother’s Day, you had better believe the floral department was packed. My co-worker and I got there at 6 AM and by 10 AM, we ran out of flowers. Literally. We were out. They had to run to the other store 10 miles away to pick up more. Amidst five girls (2 of whom knew exactly what they were doing), tissue paper going everywhere and rose petals, the phone was ringing. We’re all stripping roses, curling ribbons and wrapping daisies. The phone goes unanswered. Twice more it rings before I finally pick up the phone.

“Floral department,” I say, exasperated.
“Hi, it’s me,” says catty voice from the front end. “A lady has a question about flowers and she’s yelling at us because no one in floral is answering. So can you learn to pick up your phone when someone calls?”
Oh God, I’m not someone for cursing out anybody. I took a deep breath and said,
“Go ahead and tell her it’s Mother’s Day in the floral department. Goodbye.”
I hung up. Yes.