Tuesday, January 10, 2006

let's pretend we don't exist

For a long time, if someplace like a library or a video store sent me home with one of their items, or if a business accepted a check from me, or if a phone company let me have a phone or the city let me have light, my feeling was:

You're a sucker.

Or it was something slightly less malevolent and slightly more totally stupid, like:

I live in a magical world where everything for me is free! (or very close to it)


Nobody requires anything of me, ever!

Really, it was a blend of the three.

In a future post, I am going to be very classy and blame my mom. But look for that another day. And in the meantime, imagine how awesome I am, that that will happen.

Rain City Video was one of the sucker-entities that I crossed paths with back in the day. And in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen-Hundred and Ninety-Seven, when my level of personal irresponsibility was waxing strong and getting ready to peak, they allowed me to bring home this movie:

Have you seen it? It’s great. John Cassavetes. Rain City Video has it, if you want to go rent it. I mean, they have it NOW. They didn’t for a while.

It was out.

I really enjoyed watching it. And when I was done, I put it back in its box. And when it was back in its box, I put the box down someplace close to wherever I was standing. And that transaction, in my view, was complete.

I got on with my life.

Rain City Video had my phone number, and they used it a lot in the ensuing days and weeks…could it have been months? I don’t know. I was busy living. And what Rain City Video didn’t seem to realize was that there’s no law that a person has to answer their phone. And when you get messages, it’s so easy to delete them that a baby could do it. A baby DID do it. A baby did it a million and a half times.

Kristina, this is Rain City Vid-DELETE
Kristina, this is Rain Ci-DELETE
Kristina, this is Rai-DELETE


I was at home one night, blissfully ignoring the phone, probably reading one of the magazines that I never took out to the recycling the whole time I lived there, as that was a task. This resulted in a situation where, when I finally moved out of that apartment, I had to make SIXTEEN TRIPS* to the recycle bin with HEAVY BOXES OF MAGAZINES. I was under the impression that at some point I was going to make a collage.

*A huge, big, ginormous task, yes, you know it. I was not what you would call a good predictor of the future**.

**And clairvoyance runs in my family. So that's sad.

Loodle doodle doodle, I am reading about celebrities or dresses, phone, I cannot hear you. I cannot heeeeear yoooooou. Blooodle doodle doodle dooo…..

And then my apartment buzzer rang.

Hmm. Who is here? Maybe it is the world delivering me some charming item that I deserve simply for having been born! Maybe it is a friend of mine, who grew weary of my never answering the phone or listening to my messages or returning phone calls, but somehow magically didn’t grow weary of my very friendship!

Who will it be?!




-It’s Rain City Video




-Oh, um, uh…

-Look, we’re not mad. We’re not mad at you. We just would like to have the video back.

I buzzed the two nice young men in, trying to keep my face from melting off while I rummaged around for the video. My face was so hot, you see. So hot, so red. Never so red nor so hot. Hot red face.

Here you go, fellows. Hot, hot. Mind my face, there. There you are. There you go, there. Off you go.

It will have been soon after that that my phone service was turned off.


Eve said...

Again- somehow, you make these "unsavory" traits seem adorable! My own procrastinating and laziness is gross, and yet yours is endearing and hilarious! Dang!
So very funny! hee!

la Ketch said...

ha! you got off easy! remember the story of how i was visited by two police officers when i was in college for not returning the movie "Toys"? I was ticketed and had to show up in court. It is a mistameanor to not return leased property, which is what a video is. i had to pay restitution to the video store plus a fine. All in all it cost me about $120 and I didn't even get to keep the movie. I gave it back. The clincher is that I had to have a Parole Officer until I paid the fee in full. I was on a payment plan. She was the only one who had a sense of humor about it. It was all so truly ridiculous and it remained on my record for 10 years. Every time I applied for a job, I had to answer that I had a criminal record and explain it to them. Of course this story is nothing compared to your jail story but tina tina tina! we are girls cut from the same cloth aren't we? thank god for netflix...

Reb and Heidi said...

I just paid $60 (they cut me a 50% off deal) for not returing The Lady Eve to the video store ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE. Also, I still have Serpico from that cute little place on Pike Street.

My karma, though, is that now that I sometimes work freelance, I don't get paid on time or peoples' check to me bounce. For example, I cannot call you dear GM (no long distance, no cell phone) because I'm waiting for a check to be sent from a small arts newspaper that was supposed to have arrived oh so long ago. And until that check comes (and clears) I can afford neither phone cards nor groceries. I am around today, however, so please call if you can!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god. I'm kind of horrified for you! I probably would have said something like, "oh, sorry, different person with the same name" (makes static noise) and moved.

dup said...

That is RICH.
Also I remember being over at Brinkin's Seattle digs and seeing Serpico lying there -- I'd like to say when she FIRST rented it but now who's to say? It could have been a year after.

Anonymous said...

If the cute little place on Pike you were talking about was Video Vertigo, they closed about a year ago, due to financial difficulties. My friend Rob ran the place. The only thing he would ever talk about was how everything would be going fine if he only had that copy of Serpico.

Reb and Heidi said...

oh my god i feel terrible. i loved that place and i loved Rob.

Forgive me Rob.

bladio said...

i hope pete does not read this post. our video account is under his name and i am always late with videos and he is worried that the cops will come to the door to get him. i was like "that would never happen!" but now i know it can happen. i will work on returning videos on time.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you can keep the movie without worrying about the police. There is a bright side to everything!

cherry bomb said...

OH monkey!
I sooo remember that apartment.
I feel like we grew up together in that apartment. well, not that we lived together but that is where our friendship started as young little ladies.
good times, great oldies.
Oh those darn magazines!

Adam Szymkowicz said...

wow. My friend, we'll call him ZZ Pizzazz, used to work at a certain university library say five years ago. ZZ has about 100 of their books in his apt that he has never given back after getting fired. They once asked for one of them back but he just ignored them and they haven't asked about any of them since.

Anonymous said...

Libraries are the only places where anyone can learn anything they want without interference, judgement, or indemnification from any authority that might harm her or him. It is the treasure trove of the poor, the only authentic democratic organization in the world. For one person to keep resources that should be available to everyone who might want or need access to them, especially out of spite towards former co-workers or employers, is fucked up. It's doubly fucked-up in an era when insidious forces seek access to library patron records in the interest of national security, not to mention an era of increasingly shrinking library budgets and rapidly rising library resources and technology costs. Fuckin shameful. (No offense to the messenger.)

Stop it! said...

Hey, where you been? I miss my gallivanting monkey fix.


Stop it


Stop it! said...

I'm such a dork. I meant



the beige one said...


where are you?