She never came back down, though.
The sun was shining when she woke, was it three days later? Less? She did not know, nor did she recognize where she was. She stood in a city, but the streets were unfamiliar, and the buildings loomed precariously. A rust red building with shaded windows? What had happened? Where was she? Was she late? She was late. Why was she late again? It seemed so hard to remember what had transpired, but somehow she felt certain that she had been drugged, and upon realizing that only a few people in the world were close enough to her to have accomplished such a thing, she felt outraged. How dare they deprive her of days? She could never go back and claim the hours from the empty memory, there would never be anything there.
I finally finished reading the tome on the atomic bomb that counted amongst my resources for my "Perceiving Pain in Photography" paper of semesters past. (At the time, I only needed it for the images contained within, but purchased it with intent to read through one day.) Continuing my recent trend for "WTF You Call That Voluntary!?" type reading, I have switched over to a book about the development of America's consumer culture, which (of course) got me to thinking. Could one reason that I am so pissy about working retail be because my low income prohibits me from participating in the consumer culture that I have been born into/acclimated to? Pondering still more on my limited wage, I arrived at a gamer-iffic epiphany: my financial style needs to be adjusted so that it is more like it is in Legend of Zelda games, and less like my tendencies in MMORPGs. In LoZ, I eschew purchasing items in favor of questing or picking them up on my own (in effect, bargain shopping), all the while saving up rupees, so that when rupees are needed for something, I have more than enough to buy the item and continue on with other things. In MMORPGs, I see something that I want, am unable to afford it, work my ass off 'til I have exactly that amount, then spend it all and though I have the item, I am also back to square one, broke. Because I am so aware of my lack of savings, I don't really purchase much in the way of entertainment, clothing, etc. in excess, but my bad habit for some weeks has been obtaining sweets whenever I go out grocery shopping or while on break at work. Therefore, to fit in with this new plan, I must cut back on my chocolate consumption!
The department store saw fit to return to me my name; despite the fact that my handwriting makes "J", "S," and "5" all look alike, the badgepeople properly interpreted it and so my name is correctly spelled, every letter squeezed onto the rectangular pin. I have accrued nicknames as well, and am frequently referred to as "Sweetheart" or "Little One." I have begun to reassert my individuality via loopholes and/or vague wording in the dress code and currently lax observation by continuing to wear my odd socks, and I have started to deliberately ignore customers who do not seem to be in need of anything or are not within five feet of me. I successfully wasted a good fifteen minutes today by "colorizing" shirts ... a mere quarter of an hour only because a senior employee finally noticed that I was off in a corner by myself, and set me to a more vital task.
When a customer began shouting to get an associate's attention, I dropped what I was doing to locate her short personage and speed to her assistance. Unfortunately I did not know or have what she was seeking, which further irritated her. Mrs. Slipper, the saleslady who did know and who they asked for by name, was unavailable, on her mandated one-hour lunch period. Short Personage and her friend then asked for a tailor to look at the jacket. It was a reasonable request, though they were unnecessarily snappish with me when I went to go ask someone how I called the tailor. Fate had a laugh: the only one in the building was also on lunch. So, they then proceeded to complain about (the lack of) service, which irritated me, as I was doing my best and wish hard though I might, I would forever be incapable of magically teleporting people who had gone out for a sandwich. But instead of holding everything in, I respectfully informed her that there were honestly too few people to cover the floor, so although it might seem as though we were ignoring her, we were all actually trying our hardest to make sure everyone got what they needed. (A voice in my cranium added a "So would you just be patient or go look at housewares or something, you old bat," but I fortunately did not articulate this.)