Things are going well for me. I've been having dinner every night- which doesn't sound like a victory, but over the past months, I've been getting by on ramen or vending machine fare for lunch and that's about it. The occasional dinner during the week, a meal on weekends. It's amazing- the pants I'm wearing were a perfect fit a week ago, but now their starting to get small.
After this, I'm going to go run off and give the living room a quick touch-up with the vacuum, sweep the kitchen and bathroom, and generally try and keep the cleanliness I've got without trying to win more tonight- I really don't like cleaning, and can definitely use a break.
Today was payday, and for a week's work, I landed $700, which is a nice, comfortable sum. I'm still waiting on my check from Harrisburg- it _should_ have been paid out today, which means I should get it in the mail in a day or two. Here's hoping- that $2000 could be rather handy.
I've decided that I am going to go spend New Years in Pittsburg. Most of that week probably. Y'all will have to trust me to be on my best behavior and not do anything foolish. At least, anything foolish that I might regret- I don't think a day goes by without doing _something_ foolish.
Tonight I got a ride home with one of my students again, which is really cool of her. Considering that she generally doesn't seem to like the instructors, is a very _very_ demanding student, and well known about the center as a pain in the arse, this is rather pleasant.
Now, I promised you a story, and it's very rough- the end needs lots of polish, but I present for you
The day after New York vanished in a nuclear blossom the ash started raining down to the east, over Massachusetts. When Sally first saw it, she thought it was an early snow, these tender greyish flakes were obviously stained with pollution from New York. Perhaps that first impression was accurate, if by "pollution", one meant the buildings, cars, cats, dogs, and _lives_ that had inhabited the city until twenty-four scant hours ago.
Then the news reports came in, and Sally realized what was happening. The newscaster warned everyone to stay inside, sealing their windows and doors, lest the radioactive dust slip into their homes and kill them.
But Sally was home alone, her parents had been in New York City, and her babysitter was probably hiding at home from the falling death that gently covered the grass and weighed down the trees. And really, "Don't go outside" wasn't a command, it was an invitation to rebellion.
Minutes later, snow suit, boots and gloves, Sally was outside. As she ran from the house into the woods that surrounded her home, she realized that she should make _some_ attempt to be careful, so she carefully wrapped her scarf around her face, thus protecting her against the ashes of the world's largest cremation.
The dust was not nearly as fun or interesting as Sally had imagined. It didn't pack like snow, it didn't melt on her skin like snow. But she was determined to enjoy this moment of disobedience in the face of what must be the strangest thing she had ever seen.
The woods were quiet, and all the birds had fled. The sky collapsed down, impaling it's black bulk on the tree-tops, bending the trunks at strange angles. The ashes trickled down through the branches, catching what little light slipped through the clouds at strange angles, creating above her head a latticework of suspended light.
Suddenly, in a child's sudden burst of inspiration she realized that she was being surrounded and covered by _New York City_. She whipped her scarf from her face and breathed deeply, coughing as New York entered her lungs, and her lungs protested at being invaded by millions of lives and cars and blocks of pavement. But that bit there, that snowdrift- why that must be Donald Trump! And that cluster of falling ashes? That was a cabbie named Habib! Everywhere she looked, New York had been transported to a small patch of pine woodlands which got swampy whenever it rained.
And it occurred to her that if Donald Trump and Habib where here, then so must her parents be! Gasping, sores already starting to open on her mouth and near her eyes, Sally ran off, deeper into the woods, deeper into the darkness, determined to find those two small piles of ash that were her Mommy and Daddy so that she could take them back home.