Toss

By: Alex Clarke

Throwing around the idea of a future trapped in a room of dependence. With someone constantly holding her hand and feeding her the answers, she didn’t realize she was still a baby that needed her bottle and diaper? It’s time for her to pick herself up by the bootstraps and realize what she’s made of. Certainly no one else will.

Up North comes the reoccurring tale of Maya Lane Jensen and her migration from Sacramento to the big city of none other than San Francisco. The Clouds are surfacing, the sun shines when it wants to and the California drought takes its unbelievable toll. Vegetation is limited, farmers are losing important crops and Maya lost her teaching job and is on the hunt for a new one. “Hmm! Where’s the waitlist?” Maya contemplates to herself. “I can’t survive on mom and dad’s paychecks forever!” “For sure I won’t find it at the Unemployment agency where everyone gets paid once a month to sit on their butts, that is, making sure they’re not abusing the system. That would be wrong.” As Maya ever so patiently processes her options, to the temp agencies and further on.

As Maya gravitates towards the REMX (Really Egotistical Misogynistic with an X-Ray) agency, they shut her out like the rookie they believe her to be.

During the most brief interview in history:

RECRUITER

You should probably change you words per minute from 60 to 38-48.

RECRUITER

I just don’t want you to put yourself in a situation where you’ll embarrass yourself.

MAYA

Well, I’m obviously not good enough for you and your agency, so thank you for the interview and have a good day.

With that, Maya storms out like a typhoon. She had never been so insulted in her life. Oh well, maybe next time, perhaps not?

Being fired from her job was not exactly what Maya had in mind. Have all this time on her hands has created more weight than a boulder. Drastic measures needed to be taken and fast. The first order of business, ditch those sorry excuses for temp agencies and go straight for the big guns i.e. the companies with actual hiring managers that do actual hiring, like CBS Radio for example. If she schedules that interview, then her once and lifetime dreams could come true. There’s just one problem with that dream, “I’M AN ENGLISH TEACHER DAG NAB-IT!!!! I’M NOT A STUPID DESK JOCKEY!!!!” Maya fumes at the top of her lungs. She didn’t suffer through a certificate program to succumb to this and there’s too much going on in the world to be at a stalemate.

Schools everywhere would be begging to hire her. She has a work ethic like no other. Learning one thing, doing her best, Maya tried to not take anything for granted, for if she did, she would find herself unemployed until she was nice and gray. That’s the life of a cat. Nothing is worth getting to that lifestyle. Good luck Maya! Everyone is rooting for you. Well, everyone except your former employers that is.

Maya couldn’t believe she got turned away in such a mean spirited/condescending way. She’ll show them one day. She’ll be the envy of every other teacher around the block. Yep! That’s for sure. Start filling out those applications.

Her fingers bled, her tears became made of icicles as the dreaded after Graduate Block clams up. After all, everyone loves a good “Freeze Frame” right? Not really; now the next step, perfecting that resume and getting that interview. Maya starts tossing out the homework and making room for the real world. The time has come to show off the real Maya Lane Jensen. She puts the pop in “popular”. She can do anything and everything. Now about her parents, how will they discontinue the gravy train so she can feed soup, steak and potatoes to them at the retirement home? With extra love and reversed financial support. That’s how. The best part about being an adult, bringing home a paycheck for the first time and making sure to make every penny count. It might not be there one day. Plus Maya remembers, “Mom and Dad aren’t ATMS”.

The best part about having pride is that nobody can take it away from you. Maya used her pride to be the best she could be. Onward and upward was her motto. She was fierce. Absolutely. Now what to have for a midday job-hunting snack? Chips and cheese would be nice? How about sour cream and onion?

Eight months have now passed as Maya stares aimlessly at her computer. Until that fateful moment she heard her e-mail sound go off. It was Thousand Oaks High School requesting an interview. She couldn’t believe what she saw. That had to be one of the top ranked schools in the country and they want her? What a twist of events! She waists no time getting prepared and picking out the right outfit. “This could take me some time!” Maya thinking inside her brain, “I can’t let this opportunity pass me by!”

Fast forward. 2 more months have passed and the unexpected FINALLY happens. Maya finally gets her break with more and more interviews pouring in with out of state schools fighting to get her on board. She’s flattered that English Departments are contacting her from all over. The next step is making sure she has time to go shopping for that outfit that sets the tone. What will it be?

Today’s the big day, scrambling her brain out, she gets ready for the best day of her life. She makes her way to the office and the interview has begun. Making that first impression is key. She can do it. She knows she can, because being an English Teacher is everything to her. All the kids will love her. No doubt about it.

The time has come for Maya to receive a tour of the schools and get a feel for her surroundings. She can already tell that will stop her itch to get back into teaching and it’ll make her feel better. Certainly. Every playground, classroom and lunch area has never looked so appealing. It’s been a long time since she saw any education system that she jumped for joy when her fellow educators surrounded her. Never feeling happier, she shakes hands with the principal and it made her life. The kids already adored her and she made her way to her possible classroom. Her desk, her nameplate everything called to her and told her to stay. She couldn’t wait to get started. Now that she’s been properly acquainted, she’ll have to wait at least a week before somebody calls her about starting work. That’s a call worth staring at her phone all day for. Nothing beats getting that ring. When she gets that call, she receives the news of a lifetime. She got the job. “Finally, my prayers have been answered.” Maya thinks to herself.

It’s now been over 18 months and Maya is over the moon to have finally gotten her dream job back. Agonizing over emailing resumes and trying to make it absolutely perfect as well as her cover letter, and then cold calling all while being iced-out by the security guards. She can’t wait to get started. The kids are anxious for their new teacher and now’s the time to start filling young minds with knowledge. The best part is bringing out the textbook and going to that one page that will provide growth and understanding. Even the unnecessary pop quizzes and tests put a smile on her face. The best of the best have made Maya feel like royalty.

Now for the age-old question, where is she going to live? In order to be close to the school, she has to live somewhere close by. Ideally with roommates she can split the rent with. Time to hop on craigslist to she what she can find. There are many possibilities, but no prospects. The worst part would be getting stuck with some nasty roommate and that wouldn’t be any fun. Writing down phone numbers, Maya starts making the calls and booking appointments to see the possible rooms she could move into. All she needs is a “Sugar Daddy” to help her pay the rent. If not, she’ll have to insist she move into a convent and pledge her life to “no more money and men, no more problems”. “Now official tossing my “little black book” out the window”, Maya crows sarcastically as she confidently looks for a place to live. She can do it, because she’s fearless and she takes no prisoners.

3 more months have now gone by and Maya now has a room, a landlord and 3 roommates. Living with them is a completely different story and she already can’t stand them. One doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut and the other barely says anything. She tries to be civil and do her part, but already there are enough complaints to knit a scarf. “How will I survive?” “What have I gotten myself into?” These questions are made possible by instant pressure for decisions regarding living headquarters. It will take a whole lot of digging for Maya to get herself out of this one. Her home is supposed to be a quiet space for her to grade papers and prepare lesson plans, but instead, it’s become a battlefield. All the house needs now is a declaration of World War III and it’s solid.

Out of all the chaos, there must be some way she can get along with everyone and still keep her pride? Um! Fat Chance! There’s no way in this life she’d want to get along with them after the way they’ve been treating her. She would rather stick needles in her eyes and flush herself down the toilet, before that would ever happen. Maya can be a little ditzy at times, but she’s also reliable, trustworthy and caring. Nothing can ever take that away. Her roommates need to find a way to get to know her. Life would much happier for all parties involved. Even the landlady is getting frustrated, who inadvertently tries to keep the peace every single day. That certainly doesn’t make for a pleasant routine. Everyone is entitled to a peaceful coexistence. If not, good luck and see you, wouldn’t want to be you. “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out!” Maya thinks to herself. I just have to get their junk out somehow. Anyone got a bulldozer? Not for long. Maya also needs the Jaws of Life. They do, Maya’s seen them eat.

Maya and her roommate Jen have not been getting along. She doesn’t know what to do? Jen is the biggest slob she’s even met in her life and wonders why she can’t clean up after herself. Oh well! Time to break out the mop and the broom.

MAYA

JEN, GET YOUR BUT DOWN HERE AND DO YOUR DISHES ALREADY! (screaming from the bottom of the stairs)

JEN

I’ll do them later Maya!

JEN

Jesus! (rolling her eyes)

MAYA

Give me a break Jen!

JEN

I’m going to class.

JEN

BYE!

Her living situation won’t bring her down, because she has an awesome job to go to everyday. The kids adore her and she knows how to woo the Principal and the PTA. She’ll be legendary in no time flat. Even though she’s not a celebrity, she sure could be treated like one if she so chooses. The luck of the draw is what they call it and Maya would say she’s very lucky. She even plans outings for her and her new coworkers. Pizza and wings might sound a little boring, but it’s one of the best ways colleagues get to know each other. Maya ‘s never felt this way about any job. If she didn’t, she’d probably look at herself as just another bum on the street trying to mooch off of others. Definitely nobody wants that. If they did, everybody would be lurking on the streets. Theoretically speaking of course.

The Squabble

Not to be confused with scribble, squat or squished. Maya really has gotten into a fight with her roommates. It doesn’t seem it’ll be resolved anytime soon. Like roosters in a cornfield, they peck at each other like nobody’s business. Let’s just hope they don’t have to be put in the cage. Will they at least get free last meal before they get kicked out? Maya doesn’t think so. They are completely incapable of coming to an agreement. All of a sudden, “TIME OUT!!!!” yells Judy. She just broke the sound barrier with that one.

Maya has been summoned, now she must suffer whatever consequences come her way for her part of the fight.

JUDY

MAYA! What do you think you’re doing?

JUDY

I let you move into my house and you’re going to pull this with me?

MAYA

Sorry Judy!

JUDY

Look Maya, this behavior has gone far too long.

JUDY

If this keeps up with the rest of the girls, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave.

MAYA

Well, it’s all Jen’s fault!

(enter Lorelei)

LORELEI

Actually Maya, it’s your Fault. You’re such a Goody-Goody!

MAYA

Lorelei, stay out of this!

JUDY

(chiming in)

You two be quiet or I’ll kick all of you out!

(enter Taz)

TAZ

Maya, Jen’s not the problem, you are!

(enter Courtney)

Yeah Maya, it’s kind of true!

(ganging up on Maya)

MAYA

Wow! I don’t even know why I moved in.

Now Maya has officially reached the top of Ultimatum Mountain. It’s sky-high to be exact, and reaching for the sun and moon. Population Her.

Here at Ultimatum Mountain, it’s either “do or die”. She’ll either cave in and compromise or continue to act like a spoiled brat and make everyone around miserable and be miserable for the rest of her life. Well then, this means Maya will have to learn how to get along with her difficult roommates. No matter how eye gauging that may be. That’s like asking water to get along with fire. It just can’t be done. The Problem: Jen, Lorelei, Taz and Courtney. Action: gather 4 baseball bats. Resolution: she attacks while they sleep. The Solution: attack them individually while they sleep. Pretty tacky, but something had to be done. The house must be protected. Activate, now Maya has established her survival technique. Let’s hope Judy doesn’t catch her. This just became real life. If not, Maya must have insisted she was in a dream. With fluffy clouds and lots of sheep. Bah! All this conflict is taking its toll on her sex life of lack there of.

3 months later. Killing all three girls with a baseball bat wasn’t exactly successful and things between them hasn’t improved all that much, but that’s okay. Maya’s learned how to tolerate them and vice versa. Dividing the house seems to be the most effective strategy. They’ll probably never be the best of friends, but at least they won’t be the worst of atom bombs.

 

 

 

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