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I've never had a blog before--I didn't really know anyone who would read it, and I didn't think my life was very interesting. Never had any journals, either. I tried, a couple of times, when I was a kid, but I couldn't think of anything to say, and they just ended up collecting dust under my bed.

But now I wish I'd gotten into the habit. Journals, scrapbooks, home videos--there's something to be said for a real, concrete piece of evidence that you existed, that you grew up and did things and met people over years and years of your life. And I've been looking for those things, and I don't have any of them. My parents didn't own a video camera. I don't remember them being particularly gung-ho about family photos, either. I can't find my high school yearbook and I can't remember where my parents put my diplomas. There's nothing.

I'd ask my parents about this, but it's a few years too late for that. Car crash. I'd just gotten my first apartment.

Both my parents were only children, and both sets of grandparents died when I was just a kid. I can't even remember them.

But I never noticed any of this before. So what if we didn't have photos? I didn't like staying still long enough to take pictures anyway. Diplomas? Just pieces of paper--my parents kept them somewhere, I'm sure, but I didn't want to carry them around with me wherever I went. And like I said, I never did know how to keep a journal.

I should probably get to my point.

Here's the thing: I'm a waitress. A damn good one, actually; no one can wrangle a stack of plates like I can. And I work at a pretty good restaurant, so I see a lot of people. I don't exactly keep track of them, but there's a few regulars, people whose names and favorites I remember, that sort of thing. Familiar enough to have a little chat with them when I sit them down, you know?

A while ago, I'm talking to one of these regulars--a middle-aged guy, usually brings his wife and kids, except this time he didn't and I was asking about them--and he gets this look on his face, like he's not really sure what's going on, and he just shuts down. Like, cuts the conversation off, gets all terse and unfriendly. I figured he was just in a bad mood, maybe didn't want to talk about it. Except he was talking about, he was right in the middle of saying something about his kids' school and then he stopped. And like I said, we knew each other. It wasn't like I was a total stranger asking random questions, you know?

But I shrugged it off and went back to work. And the next day, well, it was really busy, I was practically running from table to table to get everybody's orders. So I finally finish getting all of them and I think I can relax for a minute when one of my tables flags me down, tells me they've been waiting ten minutes and nobody's asked for their orders yet. I'm all confused, because I just took their order a second ago, and I tell them as much, but they get all annoyed and say that's just not true. Whatever--I take their order again. And then another table. And then another table.

Every day for the past couple of weeks, at least one of my tables forgets I took their orders. A few times, the chef's forgotten I gave him their orders, and he's known me for almost a year. People just...don't remember me. It's scary. It's really, really scary and I'd talk to my friends about it except it's suddenly occurred to me I don't really have any friends outside work. I don't hate people or anything, I just don't find the time to get out much, that's all. And my family's been dead for years. And the people at my job don't remember me. And I don't know what's going on.

I never could keep a journal. But now, I think I have to, because it feels like I'm running out of proof that I even exist, and--what happens if I start forgetting? I don't want to find out.

So. My name is Hope Hodgson. I live in Capitol Hill, Washington state. I'm a waitress. I'm 26 years old.

And I think the universe doesn't want me any more.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 6th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
June 23rd? That's never a good day. To start anything. In any year.
It's always been one of those days when the weirdness of the world breaks thru the standard every day.
Especially when it's Monday, June 23rd...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


old book
Hope Hodgson

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