Call Me Spielberg
So it turns out that life isn’t like the movies. I know. This is some groundbreaking stuff.
But seriously, if I’m being honest with myself I’m waiting for my montage to kick in. You know how movies go? You’ve got the opening credits and exposition, the dilemma and then the music montage where the main character finds her stride, all to some upbeat song that communicates how successful she is about to be. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the not-so-feature film of my life will not have a bumpin’ soundtrack. I’m tellin’ ya man, post-grad life can be a real buzzkill.
However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned on this earth, it’s that the truth is more interesting than fiction. Here are some 100% true scenarios of my life. Movie-worthy or not, this is the real deal.
Scene: Rachel is on a park bench in Arlington, VA. She is eating a sandwich and goldfish. Our main character tallies up her bank account and realizes that her Master’s degree has not guaranteed her any sort of financial stability. She begins to panic. Tears come to her eyes. She realizes that she is probably the biggest failure in the history of time. She finishes the sandwich and walks straight to a secondhand clothing boutique near her work and asks for an application for a part-time job to supplement her income. Rachel realizes that three months ago she was doing her Capstone and consulting for the Congressional Research Service. She panics again then goes back to her cubicle at her full-time gig.
Scene: Rachel is tanning on the roof of her friend’s awesome row house in Columbia Heights. Rachel is talking about the woes of being a paid intern and also asks her friend for help with a blog topic. “Write about how you went to get an application from a clothing store because you’re still an intern. That’s some poetic shit.” Rachel feels slightly better about her misery. After all, misery loves company, and Rachel is a social person.
Scene: After working an 11 hour shift, Rachel goes grocery shopping. Safeway is having a sale on wine. Rachel grabs a bottle off the shelf. She puts five more bottles in her shopping cart (it is a buy-one-bottle-get-another-bottle-for-ten-cents sale). She wonders what the cashier at the register would think if she bought six bottles of wine, ten yogurts and more goldfish crackers. Rachel’s pride and Southern propriety get the better of her. She puts the wine back and decides that maybe right now isn’t the best time to become a burgeoning alcoholic. However, tomorrow is another day.
Scene: Rachel decides to make a healthy decision and go for a run through Rock Creek Park. She gets lost and cannot (per usual) follow Google Maps. She is stuck in Rock Creek Park for two hours. Her neurosis kicks in. She convinces herself that this is where she will die. She comes to terms with this fact. She reaches a previously untapped level of clarity. Her chakras feel nearly aligned. She considers yoga but remembers that she will probably die in Rock Creek Park and forgoes this option. Rachel emerges from the park only to find herself at the zoo in northNorthNORTH DC. She considers calling an Uber but remembers that she is probably capable of finding her way back home. Another hour passes. It is dark. Rachel emerges from the park and realizes she knows where she is. Rachel pats herself on the back for being “adventurous” and decides to tell herself that she wasn’t lost she was just exploring the uncharted territory of the woods. Rachel is like Lewis or Clark. Rachel is all about manifest destiny.
Scene: Rachel and her friends go on a weekend road trip to North Carolina. On the way back they stop at a Dairy Queen Grill-n-Chill/gas station. They claim one of the few tables in the establishment as their own. Huddled over fries, blizzards and chicken fingers they recount stories of days gone by and laugh loudly until tears run down their faces. The other DQ patrons look over annoyed, the teenagers behind the counter do not seem to notice. Outside, daylight is waning; the girls have work the next day. They do not care. They smile until their cheeks hurt, they laugh until they choke. Washington, DC seems a million miles away. The soundtrack to this scene is the speaker in the corner that only plays static. It feels like opening weekend, the movie is a blockbuster, an absolute and total success.