Maiju’s Teacup 7.1.2018 – Small things

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I had a few rough days because I’ve been feeling under the weather.  The tasks set for the past two days were really interesting, involving a family portrait, but I didn’t have time to blog about them and I want to keep to the date. I’ll probably get back to them though,  because they resulted in ideas that I’ve had for years and never really properly set down in fiction.

Actually, on Friday I would have had time to blog, but instead I spent the evening watching (even participating a little) a webinar about creativity. I didn’t even realise how much I crave for a creative community, before I watched the webinar. It was a pep talk by StoryCraft that I would really recommend if at all interested. Story is a conference about creativity that my friend Amber has attended for a few years now and she swears by it. I can understand why now. It would be awesome to be able to attend this year, but the timing is a bit off. I would have to be able to afford to book the tickets and flights now when they’re still cheap, and I can’t afford to do that. Or I might be able to do that, but then I’d have to work more this Spring than I’d like to which would cut back on my writing time and be pretty counterintuitive. I’m going to aim for next year though, since I have more time to plan and save.

Anyway, I’m filling my diary with ideas and realisations I had attending that webinar and may get back to it later. Now to the task at hand:

Today’s prompt wast to think of the past week and remember what was something strange or wonderful that happened. This morning I couldn’t come up with much. The cold has had me pretty exhausted all week, so that timeframe doesn’t work for me. But I’m widening my net. Because, not only is the week ending, the job I had at the store as a clerk ended yesterday too. I’m going back, but it’s not entirely sure when or for how long. Sooner rather than later, the boss said and didn’t even remove my keys or work clothes, so I believe her. But as I looked back on the nine weeks I worked at the store, so many wonderful things come to mind that I wanted to list a few of them.

My absolutely favourite thing about the job was that on the way to the dressing and break rooms I passed through a stairwell that was on the other side of a wall from a pet shop. I could hear the birds singing in their cages every time I passed. While not a fan of caged birds, it did add an otherworldly quality to the stairwell. That patch of tropical forest in the middle of the mundane.

I loved people who hummed while they packed their groceries. When I lived up north that was a much more normal occurence. People sang or hummed while walking on the street and talked to strangers more than here. The town I live in is bilingual and I think it has something to do with the fact that people don’t speak to each other as much. They’re afraid of the other person not understanding them and thus feeling ridiculous. Or that’s how I think it affects the locals. And as a result people who talk to strangers (me) are thought a bit nuts.

I really liked the last young kid at the counter in a group of teenage boys. The store is next to two schools so there’s no lack of kids buying candy on their breaks. Every once in a while there’s this group of 3 – 7 boys who come in and talk loudly and buy loose candy and soda and don’t look at you over the counter except for a nanosecond and only talk at you to tell that they don’t need the receit. The last little boy in this crew, however, is usually the sweetest one. He’s polite and he talks to you and when you wish him a merry christmas or a happy new year, he thanks and wishes it back.

Another kind of customer I really liked were those middle aged people who stand in the line looking as if they’ve swallowed a barrel of lemons but when they get to the counter they are sunshine itself. I like the overly polite and kind older ladies and gentlemen and the man who shook my hand while wishing me a happy new year. And also the shy people who look at you shiftily but are polite and you can see there’s so much going on in their mind and you might be the only person to whom they’ve talked all day and you try to be kind but not too invasive because you’ve once been them yourself and know how they feel from the heart thumping in their ears to the cringe when they remember later that they forgot the milk and are too exhausted to go back.

I liked the rapping, clinking sound that comes after the day when the evening shift counts their cash when the store is empty. And the stuttering sound of the old calculators when they print the numbers on the strip of paper.

All in all, I’m glad to be off but I’m really looking forward to these things when I go back.

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