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It's been an uneventful friday here at Chez Meg.

I had a frustrating time at the DMV today and learned that California has some weirdass ideas when it comes to registering a truck. WTF is up with commercial vehicles, eh? But I used my mad customer service skillz and the nice lady took pity on the fact that I haven't lived in this state for 8 years and had no idea that registering a truck would be any different than car.

Now I just need to get it smog certified and head back to the DMV before my temporary registration runs up in November.

I was going to go grocery shopping today, but after the DMV and driving around trying to find a place that would do the smog thingy, I just wanted to go home. I did stop by Old Navy to get a sweater and a jacket. It rained today and made me realize that hey - I DON'T OWN A JACKET. I have my navy peacoat, but dude - that's meant for sub zero weather. Besides, like all my other warm snuggly clothes, I frikken swim in it.

I made banana bread. It's very good and my cohorts will love me. Or at least I hope they will. Ah shucks, I know they love me already.

I was supposed to go to dinner tonight with our sous chef to Brick, but our plans got cancelled. At last week's party I met the assistant pastry chef to Brick and he told me that because their executive chef just left, if we really wanted to sample their cooking, now is the time to do it. Richey and I will try again next week.

I watched Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy tonight.
UB - oh man, heart breaking. Absolutely heart breaking at the end. Some really great story telling though, and I love how they play with the whole tele novella theme. They are keeping to form and I love it.

GA - I don't know. Mer's sister is already getting on my nerves. I know - I KNOW - it's only one episode. But she seems to much like "my character is pasted on! yay!" I hate to say it, but despite the fact that every single one of the characters on that show is PRETTY (we're talking obscenely pretty here. It's like they won the meat lottery of pretty) they all seem to be Mary Sues and Gary Stus. Perhaps they are hoping the prettiness will make up for that (I'll watch TR Knight anyday of the week, okay? I love the puppy dog eyes).

I wrote the following tonight (procrastinating as always) for class tomorrow. We were supposed to take a minor character from a previous work - someone we are interested in but haven't gotten to know. I decided to dredge up my screenplay from senior year and write about Todd, Death's personal assistant. We were supposed to put that character in an intense situation. Every situation is intense for Todd. I rather like the piece I wrote, so I'll share it with you all.

Nobody tells you the real story about what happens when you die. This is because nobody has really come back. Once the soul has been processed, there’s no exit, you don’t get to go back to your friends and let them know, to warn them or comfort them, to explain or share the good details. Ouija boards are complete hooey. No spirits are trying to communicate. There’s a reason for this.
Everybody’s afterlife is different. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. There are a lot of similar afterlives but how you get there and what you do when you die is based on the individual. There are a few misconceptions that you need to rid yourself of in order to understand.
Such as, there is no heaven. At least, not in the Christian sense.
Also, hell? Not so much. There is and there isn’t.
There is, however, a choice. And that choice is yours.
And this is how Todd got to be Death’s personal assistant.
Let’s look at Todd. If the choice came down to a leisurely morning breakfast, time to get prepared for the day and double check everything before he left the house or twenty minutes of extra sleep, Todd would hit that snooze button until it broke.
Todd had amazing time management skills. Todd was amazingly efficient. He knew how to take a five-minute shower in two minutes. He knew how to make breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack in fifteen minutes and still have time to check his email before he left the house. He knew the short cuts to work, the timing of the streetlights, which last bus he could catch just to make it on time. Todd spent his life constantly running. Todd spent his life on edge.
Some people if they won the lottery, would never work again for the rest of their lives. They would spend their days loitering on the beach or reading all those books they said they would but never had time for. They’d do the chores (or hire someone to do the chores) that they put off for years. They would sit and soak in the quietness of the world and never rush about.
If Todd won the lottery, he would have no idea what to do with himself.
If the fates combined, if the stars lined up and all that jazz and somehow Todd DID win the lottery, he would go into work the very next day. He’d still punch in two minutes until 8am, hot and sweaty from the rush and go on with his day as if nothing had happen. He would attack his daily duties with speed and fervor so he could spend the rest of the day leaning back in his chair, staring at the ceiling and wishing he were someplace else. But Todd would never GO someplace else. Todd wouldn’t know where to go if there wasn’t the constant rush, the push to get out the door, the adrenaline boost that comes with walking the thin line of time.
This is how Todd became Death’s Personal Assistant.
Death came to Todd like a brick through a window. Actually, death came to Todd like a deer through his windshield. Highways in the Midwest are notorious for them and Todd wasn’t paying attention. He was driving across Wisconsin from Minneapolis to Chicago. He was running on schedule but only because he was going eighty-five. It was twilight, it was foggy, it was also the day that this one buck – this one old buck who had lost fight after fight with the younger males for the females, decided that enough was enough and hurled himself in front of Todd’s car.
Yes, animals commit suicide. But their afterlives are neither here nor there, and definitely not part of this story.
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW!!!” said Todd, surveying the damage. There was a lot of blood and guts and other…stuff…over the front of the car.
“Yep,” said a man in a long black, finally tailored jacket. He stood next to Todd on the side of the highway, casually smoking a cigarette as he surveyed the damaged.
“Wait,” said Todd, “is that…is that my arm hanging out the window by a thread?”
“Actually, I think it’s more like a bit of un-severed skin and maybe a tendon,” said the man, tilting his head to one side, peering through the rapidly growing darkness. The moon was low on the horizon and provided a little light.
“No, but I mean, that’s me, right?”
“Yep, that would be you. Now if you don’t mind, just hold still” said Death. “This won’t hurt a bit,” and he swung a large sword around. The world went black.
You see, the afterlife is a bureaucracy. Sure, there’s lines and queues and things like that, but that’s not the interesting part. The interesting part is the final questioning, in which Todd was sat down and asked what he believed.
“So,” said his caseworker, “what faith do you subscribe in?”
“Well, I was raised catholic,” said Todd. He found himself dressed in his work casual clothes. A sweater vest, a white-buttoned shirt, khaki pants. It wasn’t what he was wearing when he died, he knew that. “But I’ve sort of fallen from the wayside.”
“So do you believe in heaven, hell, limbo, purgatory, the regular jargon?” asked his case worker, a young woman, about the same age as Todd. She looked twenty-five and like she could have worked in the same office he did. She could have been the woman who sat in the cubical across from his, the one he would spend his idle time day dreaming about before his paperwork piled up and he would frantically race to finish it before he left for the day.
“No, not really…” said Todd. “I mean, I took a lot of theology and philosophy classes in college. I also took a lot of drugs. The two things can usually destroy one’s sense of the afterlife.”
“Hmm,” the woman said through pursed lips. Todd was sitting upright, his fingers drumming on the table, his body tense. There was no paperwork for him to do. There was no snooze button to hit, no projects to keep until the last minute. Todd was getting antsy.
“So how does eternity of slacking off sound to you?” she asked. “Your file says that you haven’t had a vacation in over two years. You’ve spent every long weekend either sleeping in or at your friends house, sleeping in. Your holidays have been brief and always last minute. It seems like you could use a rest.”
“A rest?” asked Todd, his eyes growing wide. He never knew what “rest” meant. Rest was what he did between paperwork, between projects, between work days. Rest was only good if you had something to rest for. “You mean that’s it?”
“Well, what do you mean?” she asked.
“You mean that you die and you get a rest? You slack off and do nothing? There’s nothing to do?”
“Well, yes,” she said. “It appears that you have a high level of laziness in your personality. Wouldn’t a nice rest be, well, nice? You’ve been good, no mortal sins, you deserve a rest.”
“But…but…I would be BORED!” cried Todd. His long fingers now grabbed the edge of the table, knuckles white with tension.
“Well, you were bored at work, weren’t you?”
“Hell no! I had ample time to slack off and day dream! But that’s not good if you don’t have that extra push! You said I was good! You said I deserved something nice! Spending the rest of eternity doing nothing would kill me!”
“Good for you that you’re already dead then, isn’t it?” The woman laughed at her own joke, the same joke she would say every day at least once and has said every day at least once for the past eon (if time existed in this plane, that is).
“No, please, let there be something else.” He was practically begging. It was like watching a junkie bum money to get one more desperate and angry fix. He needed his adrenaline. He needed his rush.
“Well, there is another option…” she hesitated. “But you have to be REALLY sure.”
“Sure of what?”
“Sure of wanting an endless existence of working. No days off. No vacations. No sick time.”
“Can I get sick any more?”
“No, but it means you can never call in.”
“Are you sure you want something like this?”
“Is it fast paced?”
“Fabulous. Sign me up.”
And that’s how Todd came to be working for The Company. The world is run by The Company, fate, destiny, death, chaos, everything has its own department. It is populated by the people who could never sit still, who could never rest, or who rested for so long populate them that they longed for something that made them feel productive.
Of course, it is hell for some. But that’s part of the choice, you see, and not a part of this story.
Todd is getting added to the American Spirit on things I will poke you about constantly to write more of. Speaking of *poke* write more.
I know - I know. At least I'm in a creative setting now - I'm feeling more creative as we speak. Even when I feel like I want to curl up and die.
*hugs* You decompress and feel better.
...or who rested for so long populate them that they longed for something that made them feel productive.

yeah - I caught that on the re-read. Just an error - I think I added something in mid sentence and wasn't paying attention. Thanks for copy editing.
It's a natural talent. I pretty much can't read without copyediting. (This also means I can't speed read books.)