The Orchid Killer

I am an orchid killer.  I’d like to believe that I’m not, but the evidence is irrefutable.  Every orchid that I’ve ever bought or been given has died at my hands.  I’ve tried to take good care of them and provide the little guys with plenty of sunlight and water, but they always seem to bite it within a few weeks.  I love orchids, especially white ones, so it makes me sad to think that I could have been responsible for their untimely ends.  I had my earned leave this afternoon, and I went to Whole Paycheck Foods, set on finding a healthy-looking orchid to take home and do right by.

When I got to the store, I couldn’t do it.  I spent a few minutes admiring the selection, but in the end I decided that they were too beautiful to take back to my apartment to meet the twisted fate that would inevitably befall them.  I settled on buying candles that smelled like flowers instead.

When I walked out of the market, there were people waiting with clipboards rallying to get signatures for some political agenda.  In the past, I’ve found myself easily stopped and pulled into whatever cause they are fighting for, but now it’s pretty simple.  When they approach me and ask if I’m a registered voter, I politely inform them that I’m a felon.  They are usually so caught off guard that the conversation ends pretty abruptly.  And when they get curious and start asking more questions, I tell them that I’m on earned leave and don’t have time to talk.  They are left confused, and I leave not feeling guilty about evading their plea for support.

I am, in fact, a felon for life, short of a presidential pardon, and as such, I have been stripped of my right to vote.  Thankfully, that doesn’t extend to my right to vote as a member of the Screen Actors Guild.  I love Los Angeles.

275 days to go.

 

 

Watch Men

One of the bar-backs at my work alerted me to some strange activity today.  He approached me during the lunch shift and inquired about my “situation”, indicating to my ankle.  Most people working at the restaurant are aware of what’s been going on with me, but some are still finding out about it through the grapevine.  This bar-back has only recently become privy to it, and politely asked me today if I wouldn’t mind filling him in a little.  He asked how long I’d been on house arrest, and if “they check” on me at work.  I said that yes, my probation officer has dropped in once that I’m aware of, and that she only stood outside of the glass-walled restaurant to confirm that I was there.  I guess that the GPS device isn’t totally fool-proof.  I’ve actually heard of people who are dumb enough to somehow take it off and strap it to their cat while they sneak out somewhere.

The bar-back nodded and asked in practiced English, “So, the guys, they check on you?”  “No, I have two probation officers, but they’re both women.”

He went on to tell me how two men have been frequenting the restaurant directly across from ours.  He works a second job as a busser there, and long before he was aware of my legal circumstance, he noted their behavior as odd.  By his account, there are two white men, one short with a mustache and one tall, who started coming to the opposite restaurant twice a week in November, and have continued their routine ever since.  He said that they come dressed as civilians, but that he has noticed them wearing badges.  He told me that they come in the afternoon, order coffee, and occupy the first table inside that easily looks out across the courtyard to us.  He said that after a few minutes, one of the men always leaves the table to go outside and stand directly in front of the patio of our restaurant, stare silently into the business for about 45 minutes to an hour, and then both men leave.  He said that a few weeks ago, when he’d first caught wind of my situation, he realized that the men were only coming in when I was working across the way, where they could easily observe me.

By no means am I saying that I know it to be a fact that I’m being watched by undercover officers. However, I do know that this co-worker has always seemed very kind and honest, and I would never suspect him of lying.  It’s entirely possible that these men aren’t coming there to be keeping a watchful eye on me, although the evidence suggests little else, assuming that the account is all valid.

Whatever the case, the idea of being watched gives me the creeps…

277 days to go…

 

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings… and Does A Lot of Online Shopping.

 

I’ve been on house arrest for almost three months now.  The 15th will be the official marker.  I’m almost a quarter of the way through my year-long sentence.  I have just over 9 months left to go.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do during that time.  I want it to mean something.  Nine months…  I could have a kid?  I’ve got time.  It’s possible, though perhaps ill-advised at this point in my life.  I’d like to think that most of my misguided decisions are behind me, at least the big ones anyway.

The UPS man in my area has been to my door nearly a dozen times since I’ve been on house arrest.  I’ve gotten into a little bit of online shopping.  Nothing too grand.  Just some random purchases.  I’m part of a cheese club now.  I get a cooler full of three different cheeses with a descriptive pamphlet once a month.  Last month, the delivery conveniently landed on a day when I was depleted of groceries, and wouldn’t be able to go to the store for a few days yet.  I immediately ripped into the delicate package like a savage and feasted on the mountain of cheese, giving no regard to the decorative pamphlet and its recommended wine pairings.

I felt dirty after, but the cheese was delicious.  Such subscriptions are geared, I imagine, toward sophisticated people who will savor every cheesy top note, rather than starved prisoners who will wolf them down like a Whopper.

Another thing that’s been coming to my apt is a steady stream of Netflix movies.  I decided to only rent movies that are on the AFI Top 100 list.  I’ve already seen quite a few of them, but I have a goal to have watched every one by the end of the year.  I am an actress, after all, so it seemed like a productive idea when I first put them into my rental queue.

Now, as much as I know that I’m watching quality, critically-acclaimed movies, I will admit that I’m not always in the mood to watch them when they arrive.  I’m not familiar with them in the way that I am with newer releases, so when they show up I don’t necessarily know what to expect.  A good example is when I turned on Apocalypse Now the other day.  The first 10 minutes of the movie are dedicated to showing, in gruesome detail, a person confined to a room literally going insane, punching in a mirror in what appears to be a paranoid attack, rolling around screaming, then smearing his body with his own blood.  I couldn’t help but feel slightly horrified, given my fears of confinement for the next 9 months.

Whatever sordid movies may be on their way to my apartment, I do look forward to the next shipment of cheese.

279 days to go.