Uptown Rantz

Don't Wanna Be No Uptown Fool

The Movie in My Head

The small mail drop built-in to the front of my house could hardly contain all the mail and magazines. It looked like a giant mouth spitting out giant Chiclets. The letter carrier resigned to wrapping my mail in a rubber band and leaning it against the front door. The snow made it wet, heavy and useless.

I was well into my second day of training in California when I realized I neglected to put my mail on hold. I paid the cab driver and dragged my rolling suitcase up the walkway to my pitch-black bungalow house where I haven’t been for two weeks…a week in Austin and another week in Southern California. I grabbed the mail, opened the door, turned on the living room lamp and saw that I keep a really clean house. I laid down on the Asian area rug that I bought at Target almost 10 years ago and that feeling of being alone and feeling lonely crept into me like an all too familiar, and all too unwanted roommate. I was too exhausted to fight it.

I didn’t want to open the soggy stack of mail resting on my chest. A small, handwritten, pink envelope caught my eye. I opened it, and it was from Jeanine…an invite to her party. A text when I was in Austin, an E-vite and now a handwritten invite. She really wants me at her party. I don’t want to go.

Then, the little six-second movie started playing in my head again. It used to be in color, now it plays in black-and-white.  Not even my Ipod on the plane could drown it out…Amanda’s frustration-fueled words when we were still together: “You need to grow up and earn a real salary!” It was on a sunny spring morning in my old Uptown apartment. It was the result of my then-constant limited cash flow and my noisy, tiny apartment. When I played little league baseball, I got beaned at the plate a few times. I ran to first base with tears welling-up in my eyes, but I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. That’s what her words felt like…like a baseball from a 10-year-old arm striking me on the shoulder.

It was the one and only time that I ever heard her speak in an angry voice. It’s been on repeat in my head and it resonates like a cough in church. She has no idea how completely different I live my life now. I finally have what she expected me to have, and I can’t even tell her. When I found out I landed my job, she was one of 12 people I e-mailed in my fury of excitement. She’s the only one who didn’t respond.

Some people spend a lifetime seeking approval from a disappointed parent.  Am I destined to spend my life seeking approval from a disappointed ex-girlfriend? Everything these past few months – the new career, new car, new wardrobe and new tax bracket…it all feels like a pile of poker chips. Being able to tell Amanda would turn the chips into real money for me.


Single Post Navigation

One thought on “The Movie in My Head

  1. Hey fucker. we do know who you are, you with your smirk walking over and into the C Cafeteria with your shit shoes and irregular outlet clothes. How’s work? Why did you shaft everyone down in Eagan?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: