The Impossibly Introverted Zadie Ocean

I slid my metro card quickly through the machine, but it wasn’t working.

"Damn!" I spat out.

A little girl in hand with her mother smiled up at me, tugging on my messenger bag to get my attention.

"You’re doing that wrong lady," she pointed out, "Its the other way around."

I turned the card around and slid it through. Passage was granted, and I was overly embarrassed.

Duh Zadie,

I thought.

If I was late for work again, Xander would definitely start in on me again, and there was nothing I hated more than one of his six thousand hour lectures that drifted from the original topic two minutes in and usually resulted in an explosive argument about original versus cover songs.

Luckily, I glided in five minutes early.

"Oh look who decided to show up on time. Can we guess?" Xander said with a fake smile. He was blasting the B 52s in the store again.

"Stuck in the eighties much, Xan?" I laughed, as I threw my bag behind the counter.

"Excuse me Miss Cool Person, but I’m in a mood. Don’t mess with it," he glared.

"Okay, but if we are going eighties, lets put in some Devo," I said, reaching for a record.

"Play Gut Feeling," he suggested.

"Its like you read my mind," I said selecting the album from its messy home on the shelf behind me. Xander gave a smug look when the song started to play and I glared at him when he turned his back.

I sat down on the stool and pulled out my camera, opened the back, and started to tinker with the insides, cleaning them with the edge of my tee shirt.

Only the usual customers came in. I watched them to pass the time while Xander rearranged the albums for the three hundred and eighteenth time this week.

There's Simon, a ridiculous middle aged man with a graying mullet and a fake Australian accent who likes to hang around the eighties section. Really, I think he secretly pleasures himself by the Marilyn Monroe cutout in the corner. I've never tried to actually prove this, but I'm not sure that I really want to. I have my theories.

Richard wears a day-glo fanny pack and a red bandana across his forehead. He likes to tell people he's into martial arts. I'm not really sure that I buy into that because once he tried to impress Xander and I with what he claimed were his "professional skills" but ended up having to go buy some ninja bandages from the drug store down the street. We still joke about that sometimes.

Then we have Paul. Paul is a self-proclaimed Gen-Xer who thinks that everything he says should be worshipped because he was 'in the scene back when it was cool.' Whatever that means. He's one of those idiots that wears band tshirts of bands he's never even listened to. I consider that a sin.

And finally, there's Creepy Porno Guy. We've never actually figured out his name. And I'm not really sure I care to know. He likes to dress up like characters from Lord of the Rings and he's in Xander's Dungeons and Dragons club that meets in the back of the shop on Wednesdays and Sundays like clockwork. I refer to him fondly as the Creepy Porno Guy because he wears this cheesy fake handlebar mustache reminiscent of seventies porn stars. And once he asked if he could touch the front of my tee shirt.

Xander has strict policies about bludgeoning customers, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

The End

1 comment about this story Feed