So I have not much new to add, because I've just been super busy with work work work :) It's great, and not at all slave-like, like my old workplace, but sheesh! It never rains but it pours.
We've had all sorts of issues, from competitors stealing our thunder, big delays from all sorts of directions, to our Printer getting surprise-bough
Josh and my work was affected pretty badly, as we always try and prepay our printing rather than run on credit except for huge jobs. I wont go into detail but a small but urgent job just took TWO WEEKS longer than our original pick up date, with "oh it'll be ready today, it's already printing" and "oh actually we can't seem to locate that special paper stock" and "which job was that? It doesn't seem to be in our system..." the entire way through. As they had our money (and weren't giving it back anytime soon, especially when the record of it "disappeared") we didn't really have any choice but to leave the work with them.
So it was a pretty retarded couple of weeks for us, with our own angry clients to deal with when their work wasn't ready for the generous deadlines we had. Especially the restaurant that had run out of menus in the meantime!
Hefty sigh. It all seems to be smoothing out now though, and I've just spent half an hour on the phone with our NEW printer who is an absolute champ and as one of the staff fired from our OLD printer, is more than willing to undercut them in price after this hostile takeover.
I wish I could just be a housewife some days. I'd be fucking awesome at staying home all day and not dealing with this crap ;)
Nothing else much to say, I thought I'd share something I just came across when cleaning out my hard drive. It's the beginning of something I was writing for Writer's Co (if this place is dead, that place must be decomposing by now) around the time I dropped everything and disappeared. I'm not too hot at writing but thought I might as well share, given the common "disappearance
Don't critique me too bad!
I knew him. In the past 6 years it had taken me a long time to get my reactions to people under control; if I saw a face twice I sometimes couldn’t remember whether they just shopped at my supermarket or if there was something more to it. I’d had to learn to go with my instincts most of the time, and right now my instincts were screaming at me to panic. It took me a long second to process this, and arrive at the conclusion that I was screwed. Of course, that might have been because I was about to hit the pavement.
My bike slammed into the ground sideways and I skidded, skin slipping off my thigh and knee, my hair whipping in my face and getting in my mouth. I knew I was screwed, and as my shoulder hit the ground I squeezed by eyes closed and waited, my head softly bouncing in its helmet, willing nothing to break, willing a clean getaway. Only to open them again when the second impact never came. The car had stopped. Which meant I was still alive, and I was fucked. Because I knew him, and my heart wasn’t jumping up into my throat and trying to choke me because I’d seen him once or twice in the checkout line. I knew him.
I heard the car door click open into the sudden silence, and amongst the distant traffic noises and the soft cries of some startled cafe-goers who were starting to rush towards the scene all I heard was the slow crunching as I saw his foot hit the bitumen, just in my line of sight past the tire. And then everything sped up again, because he was out of the car and lifting me, straightening me, pushing the hair out of my face and pulling me away from the bent and twisted bicycle. One wheel and my other leg were underneath the front of the car, just missing it. I realised my helmeted head was lying right up against the gutter, and when I thought about it I could suddenly feel the difference between the smoother concrete and the bitumen of the road, digging into my shoulder.
And he was talking. Looking into my face, and oh, this was going to be it. He was going to recognise me and I’d have to run again, slipping away from this life and back into the furious race to find a new one. I thought briefly of the grey cat still curled in the sunny rectangle by the balcony window, and the half finished book lying open on the floor by the couch. I thought of all the bits and pieces accumulated in the six free years I’d had, and I thought about punching him, about kicking him in the jaw from where I lay, and whether I could scramble out from under the bent mess of my bike and into his car before anyone could get to me. I shifted my trapped leg slightly and gasped as the raw flesh ground against the slightly loose gravel of the road. Suddenly I heard the words he was saying, and my brain skidded to a halt.
“Are you ok? Oh fuck, fuck, I didn’t see you, you’re ok aren’t you? Tell me you’re ok?”
His arms were around my shoulders, pulling me into a closer embrace than I’d been in for years, like a lover. I could feel his breath on my cheeks, and I could hear more people sort of shyly half running, half walking up. I saw a hooded teenager coast to a stop on his skateboard and pull out his iphone to start taking pictures. I nodded slightly to the man and let my hair fall forwards to cover part of my face, not meeting his eyes. He was going to recognise me, and I needed to be ready to run. I really was ok, so far as I could tell. Nothing broken, except a few large expanses of skin by the feel of it. My leg was burning. I’d been wearing long jeans but they were flapping loose around my thigh and bunched up underneath me where I’d skidded, grazing all the skin in one long line down the side of my leg. I winced as a spotted the blood soaking into the torn edges and a glimpse of raw, grated flesh. Perhaps slightly less ok than I thought; even infections could kill.
A slightly older woman was standing about a meter away by now, looking pale but purposeful in an expensive looking, tan coloured trench coat, juggling a cardboard coffee cup with her mobile phone. She had probably been on her way to work, Emily realised. She looked out of her depth, but was going with it. The woman met her eyes, and glanced away again quickly, her own eyes too wide. Her voice shaking and thin, the woman started speaking to the man holding her. ‘Don’t move her,’ she said, her voice quick and edging on panic. ‘I’ve called an ambulance, they’ll be here any minute.’ She stiffened slightly and glared harder at the man, ‘I’m calling the police as well, I witnessed the entire thing. I’ll be willing to speak for her.’ Well now. That was something, this stranger willing to go out on a limb for her. But oh, oh no. An ambulance, police, oh fuck. Feeling traitorous, because the woman was facing up to a strange man on her behalf, she turned her head slightly back away from her.
Leaning into the man she knew, still unable to place him, she put every ounce of mental will into her only escape route, with a crowd beginning to gather around her and a distant siren that could have been on it’s way just for her. Silently begging for psychic powers to be real she focused on him hard, and as a backup pressed her chest against his lightly. ‘I’m ok. But no hospitals. No police either, if you can get me back to my place. I -’ Her voice just stopped then, and swallowing against the dryness in her throat she risked a glance up into his face, only inches from hers still, and in the sudden confusion that passed across his eyes she knew him this time. Andy. Not a close friend, but he’d known her. He could identify her. There was no time though, and no other alternative so she pressed ahead. ‘Get me out of here please, I just need to get home. No hospital.’ She turned her head sideways, her cheek almost pressing into his throat as she felt his arms tighten about her reflexively, and stared into the older woman’s eyes with as much purpose as she could muster. ‘I don’t have insurance. I can’t go to hospital. I’m really ok, it’s ok. You don’t have to worry.’ The woman looked back at her without speaking, lips thin and eyes taking in the way the man held her, this apparent stranger. Emily guessed that she saw a vulnerable girl, but there wasn’t much she could do with the victim refusing her help.
After that things happened quickly again. She found herself bundled into the back seat of his car, the bicycle padlocked to a bike rack out the front of the cafe. She saw the teenager eying it off and hoped he’d come back later and take it, one less loose end to worry about. The older woman stood at the door, as the man finished gathering up her backpack from the gutter, and the few things that had spilled from it. He hovered indecisively for a moment waiting for the woman to move to he could close the car door, looking suddenly so familiar that she couldn’t believe she hadn’t recognised him. She’d seen him putter around her friend’s kitchen looking just like that; slightly awkward as he waited for his housemate’s friends to get out of the way. She had always gotten into his way on purpose, she remembered.
She watched as he tried to slip some pages that had torn loose back into her book, then gave up and pushed the entire lot into her backpack roughly as the sirens suddenly jumped in volume. They were close. In that moment the woman darted in close to her, leaning in the back door of the car across her stretched out leg. She was holding a business card, and startled Emily into looking up and meeting her shockingly blue eyes, staring intensely into her own. She spoke softly but quickly, as if not to be heard. ‘My name is Angela Kingsley. I don’t think you should go anywhere with this man, but if you’re going to, you should at least take my card.’ Breaking the eye contact she glanced sideways to where Adam was just rounding the front corner of the car to get into the driver’s seat. ‘Be careful.’ Shocked, Emily only watched as the woman picked up her limp hand, careful to avoid the scraped knuckles, and pressed the card into it. And then she was gone, closing the car door behind her with a soft click and walking quickly away back to her coffee, and her every day, ordered life.
Andy was sliding into the drivers seat, her helmet bouncing off the passenger side seat onto the floor as he started the car quickly; reversing and then jumping away from the curb as he did up his seat belt, the sirens sounding only a street away now. ‘It’s 12 Bellmore. Round the corner, on your right, there. Up a couple blocks. The apartments with the green letterboxes.’ They passed an ambulance coming the other way, and he noticeably slowed down. Nothing to see here, just an ordinary, every day drive. Yeah. Right. She lay back watching him, and saw that the back of his neck was a tense, straight line, and she could see the sweat on his skin. But it was panic of the sane, every day world, not the darker one she lived in. He hadn’t recognised her, with her darker hair, and tan skin. She was safe. ‘I’m up in apartment 12. Keys are in the zip up front of my backpack. You’ll have to get me up there, I don’t think I can walk.’ He slowed the car and turned, started to say something to her. His voice slipped away and she couldn’t quite understand what he was saying.
Emily let everything hurt then.