even your emotions have an echo

It's been two and a half years since I first got my hot, hot little hands on a copy of Photoshop. 7.0, in fact, the last real numbered version. It had been out since the previous Fall, and now it was April. The world was staggering back to it's feet, and I had a webcomic, a term I use with much charity. Like so many webcomic authours, I had an arrogant streak a mile long, and no idea what was truly funny. Previously, I had edited my work in MS Paint. I couldn't draw very well, and like so many, thought of Photoshop as some sort of magic bullet, especially given it's enthusiastic espousing by such luminaries as Mac Hall's Ian McConville. So, the second I got a copy, I began abusing it as much as possible.

The funny thing is, I was always experimenting. I tended to use the paintbrush over poorly my scanned pencil and ink work. Farily often it came out like crap. Anyway, the series eventually ended, and I restricted my art to devianART, still experimenting.

One thing I've noted during my time on dA is that good artists tend to change their appearance fairly often. Holly "Zeriara" Ramirez pretty much does something new with her hair every other week or so. One of the best artists I know IRL-and one of the few flaming gay people I've seen in this country-changed his look often, and also dyed his hair pink. I suspect that most spend their teenage years in a search for individual identity. In the case of artists, this search is what drives their work. I wondered why I didn't display this trait.

Then I looked at my art.

Anyone who's been monitoring my dA account knows that I change styles on an irregular basis. I also modify the look of my avatar within the art. This means that I change both the method of digital arting, and my own portrayal of myself, in lieu of actually changing RL my look. Come to think of it, the aforementioned Zer has a loosly defined, variable avatar.

Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

Oh, and my tablet died again. I'm starting to think that there's something wrong with the laptop, damaging it. I'll have to contact Dell Tech Support.
// in so much space

Saturday, June third.

I am sitting at home, alone. My sister, my mother and her friend are all out, I came back from work several hours ago, and my father is out on some errand. I am interrupted in my browsing of porn at our recently reconfigured(somehow, to be less ergonomic) laptop station, when my porn browsing is interrupted by the phone ringing.

"Hello, moto," I answer.

It's my mother, and she outlines the situation in terse, desperate terms. At local bulk retailer. Half-mile away. Car alarm fob battery dead. Spare in sock drawer. Drive up with it in old Metro. Help us, Jonathan, you are our only hope.

To reiterate; yes, I'm nineteen, and no, I don't have my license. I am capable of actually driving alone, but for parallel parking. Now it was time for the acid test.

I put the computer on standby, gathered up my various keys, and drove up. That was it. I am fully capable of driving, except, as I have claimed many times, for parallel parking. I handed the keys to my mother, and drove partway home behind her, until she turned into the shopping center near our house, whereupon I put on a burst of speed, and sped past them. As I pulled in, I sang along with All-American Rejects' "Move Along".
Move along, move along like I know you're due...

Since I had my key, I opened the door, and walked in. My singing stopped when I realized that it was raining, and I hadn't taken the clothes in.

So. Work.

Over three hundred dollars. It's almost surreal, really. I don't feel like I've done anything to deserve this, just stand around, help customers, and get yelled at all day.

About that.

I work in an electronics store. My father taught the owner, and talked to him to get me the job. The most precise description I've been able to get of it is a vague "Sales". Gee, thanks. My duties include the aforementioned customer-helping, standing-arounding, and sorting ink cartridges. They do not, however, include reading the magazines, or using the Internet without permission. The last bit is generally where the yelling comes in.

My manager, whom I shall call "Drake", because it's a cool name, has caught me online several times, and lambasted me within an inch of my job. You're a loose sales rep, Wood, an employee on the edge! One more slip up, and I'll have your burgundy!

Needless to say, I've been on my pins lately.

I recall reading in a Dilbert book that the best way to look busy is to look angry. I've tried it, while pacing up and down in the front of the store, and Drake ignores me. However, the second I stop to, say, sing along with Bud Light's "Real American Heroes" commercials, he gives me a job to do.

One of the creepy things is how he knows the prices of almost everything in the store. And I mean everything. I pull out some disused earphone covers(devices which the younger generation generally doesn't recognize), and he'll glance at it from thirty feet away, while one the telephone, and mutter "$2.99". Then his eyes slide back to the computer, where he is looking at cars.

One of the things that bugs me about the job is what people keep asking me about it. Namely, they ask me how I'm finding it. Jeez, lady, I dunno. I don't have a frame of reference. What kills me is how indignant they get. It's almost as if they can't comprehend that someone might be indifferent on something.

At work, I usually partonize the takeaway next door, or the Domino's a bit farther down. Today, I walked into the place to place my order, whereupon I would wait for it to be made. However, I paused, as on the bench to the right of the door were two young women in suits. In front of them was a laundry basket. I picked up the receipt in the basket.

"I just bought that," said the one in the skirtsuit.

Ah. Another mystery solved.

Turning to the counter, I was confronted by the back of a girl I had once had a crush on, back in, oh, sixth grade. I still thought she was cute, mind you, the flame had just faded. After she turned around, I braced for small talk. I told her where I was working, did not return the favor, placed my order, and went outside, partially because all the benches were full, partially because the awkwardness was stifling. Sitting on the bench outside, I started to work on sketches of a child Captain Kirk for an upcoming mrRB. I was minding my own business, when the pantsuited woman of the two walked outside. I was sitting next to the door, so her not-inconsiderable breasts were at precisely the height of my head. These are the little things one notices when one is nineteen.

"Hi," she said. "What are you drawing?"

James Tiberus Kirk.

"Nothing in particular."

My, but she was cute.

"Can you draw me?"

I'm sure it was more complex than that, but it didn't really sear itself into my mind.

"I don't really draw people," I said automatically, before my flirting unit, an organ thought lost by scientists, kicked in and supplied "But I'd like to draw you."

She giggled, said something now lost to the ages, and went back in. A cool, much-needed, breeze blew in. I began to think about how artists were supposedly more attractive, and I'm allegedly "cute".

Sarah left, with a brief goodbye, and so did the two girls, with no words I can recall. I went in, retrieved my Spicy Chicken Burger—ironically, I ask for no hot sauce every time—and went back outside to eat. The sandwich was largy, tasty, and with plenty of sauce. As I ate it, I thought about maturity, afulthood, and how my job wasn't so bad.
// Could be a night when your life ends