7:30a – Wake, in current attempt to wake up at same time every day to combat continual lethargy. Allow myself one snooze on timer before opening flurry of texts sent by my mother from previous evening.
7:39a – Hop out of bed. Take my hair out from braid in light of bathroom mirror. Marvel at cleanliness of own hair, marvel at how it falls just so when on so many days it doesn’t. Toss it this way. Toss it that.
7:44a – Make breakfast of sausage and eggs. Realize sausage has gone bad and I failed to cook eggs fully, because all things are inherently imperfect and I am unable to contribute anything otherwise at times. Throw out rotten breakfast. Make toast instead, which is what I wanted all along.
8:07a – Read today’s allotted Listening to Your Life by Frederick Buechner. Kelly texts me moments after I finish with picture of same passage. Feel warm knowing we are waking up and reading same thing, far away as we are from each other.
8:14a – Read section from one of five scenes that needs memorizing for Chekhov class. Am pleasantly surprised that I know some of it. Read it again. Try to let it just be words and not all feelings that accompany it. “Where is it? Where did it all go?”
8: 42a – Finish up writing Just the Facts. Am shocked that it’s second hour of day and have managed to not fall behind. Enjoy watching Bruce Springsteen music video at 9am, and that it’s thing I get to do.
10a – Begin freelance publishing work. Spend whole hour wishing I was packing up my car to head out on more exciting part of day. Remind self of bank account in order to rally.
11:33a – Pack up various outfits for film shoot per Annie’s instruction. Pack bag, pack up Annie’s stuff left at apartment from overnight stay, pick up check from Boss #3 from mailbox downstairs. Walk 3 blocks to where car is parked because it’s what I have to do on Tuesday nights.
12:04p – Head to first Kohl’s. Listen to Showstopper podcast, because it is my ideal job. Enter Kohl’s for first shopping trip for Boss #1. Uneventful, but notice how much fun I have doing this particular job, which is objectively absurd.
1:12p – Put in second Kohl’s address in Google Maps. En route, am arrested by sounds of Dog Days Are Over playing from radio. Am always struck afresh by jubilance of said song. “Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back.” Have known that feeling. Is miraculous.
1:17p – Stop at gas station because it’s right there and, well, I need gas. Head inside to maybe grab bottle of water, but store portion is roughly 20 square feet and has no water bottles, only bottled Starbucks frappes. Finish pumping. Back en route.
1: 32p – Enter second Kohl’s. As I search for cart, old man working at register calls across foyer to me, “Welcome back!”, even though I have never set foot in here before. He is in middle of transaction with other customer, but follows up with, “You light up the whole room!” which is arresting both in loveliness and unexpectedness. Simply smile back in wonder.
1:37p – Am accosted by two old women in toy section, who ask me what appropriate clothing size is for 3-year old male toddler. They clearly are aware that I don’t work here as I have cart, but ask me with full confidence as if I know answer. I don’t.
2:22p – After locating what I came for, get in line. Am helped by woman named Raj, who insists my coupons aren’t real but scans them anyway. Look at her nametag and see that she has been working here since 2006. Ask her where good place nearby is to get cup of coffee. She conspiratorially tells me Whole Foods is nearby. Best news. Coupon kerfuffle forgotten in wake of coffee camaraderie.
2:34p – Head to Whole Foods. Hear Whatever You Like on radio. Love radio version, because actual version makes me blush. Am hopeful to be subject of hip hop song at some point in life. Am doubtful. Wonder how many songs are written from experience versus wished experience.
2:38p – Arrive at Whole Foods. Have exactly 20 minutes before needing to leave for call time on set. Head in, in search of Nitrobrew. Am stalled by Califia Farms stand with Peppermint Mocha cold brew, which I promptly decide to buy on way out (and subsequently marvel at complete lack of self control that always comes over me at Whole Foods). Find coffee stand. Am directed to refrigerator. Locate Nitrobrew. Pretend to have debate with self over absurd cost of coffee (exacerbated by fact that favorite cup of coffee is found at Fresh Market for literally fifth of price) all while knowing I will of course buy it because I came here for it and I feel slightly glamorous at prospect of going to film set. Stop by cookie table, which I also never let myself do. Pick up mysterious cookie that looks beautiful. Make purchases. Head to car.
2:52p – Attempt to open absurdly expensive Nitrobrew, only to find I need bottle opener. March back inside. Am aided.
2:57p – Take bite of treat. It is treat to end all treats. Is comprised of hardened icing exterior, thick layer of caramel atop thin crisp chocolate cookie crumble atop mixture of cake and cookie dough. I decide even I can’t eat it all in one go, and instead eat it one bite at a time for next half hour on way to set.
3:04p – Listen to actual version of Whatever You Like. Blush.
3:17p – Stop just shy of house to touch up makeup and finish treat, as well as marvel at gorgeous houses. Am rarely this far north of city, and it is literally perfect place. Am rarely in places I would want to live, and decide this is one of them.
3:29p – Arrive at director’s house. Run into Laura on way in. Take moment to watch grey smoky cat lurking in bushes of front lawn. There are roughly 10 cars outside, and when I enter everyone is either on phone or computer. Am greeted by dog named Zara with wild abandon. Am approached by assistant director of shoot who introduces herself and leads me and Laura to makeup lady, Tania. Sit in anteroom while she finishes with other actor. Everywhere I look is either an artifact or interesting object – ancient record player that mysteriously has mousetrap on it, coffee table book on Italian versions of American film posters, nearly 400 records, changing screen made of onyx. Read Italian cinema book while Tania does Laura’s makeup. When it’s my turn, ask her how long she’s been doing this. She started 5 years ago, after living in Minnesota, England, and California in that order. Tells me I have long eyelashes. Puts serum in my hair.
4:17p – Molly appears, tells me what to wear. Annie finally gets off phone and tells us we will be leaving soon for film site. House abruptly grows quiet every time director yells “Action!” from different rooms. Film crew comes in and out, sitting in room but not talking to anyone.
4:42p – Pack ourselves into vans. Camera equipment is everywhere. Dog of director hides in van, firmly under my legs, and must be physically coaxed out by his owner. Desperate for fame doggo.
4:53p – Arrive at filming site, right by train station where candle vigil set has been dressed. Am alarmed by how real it looks. Sun has already set. Stand around freezing arse off while everyone gets mic’ed up and set in place. Am physically set in place by director, along with other 4 extras. Attempt to keep our candles lit as trains and winds pass by. Hear cameraman make ill-timed “That’s what she said joke,” to general chagrin. Annie prepares her lines; I love to watch her act and hate that I’ve had so few opportunities to see it in recent years. She lays her head on my shoulder when they tell her to, but lets it stay once camera has stopped rolling.
5:38p – Call action. Are simply directed to be mournful. Annie leans in for scripted hug. Hear director yell, “Fire! Her hair is on fire!” as others join in with same revelation. Realize it is my hair they are talking about. Is surprisingly large flame. Am interested, but not alarmed. Pat it lamely, to little effect. Director crosses distance between us in three steps and claps it out with his hands. Grabs me by shoulders to ask if I’m okay. A small tuft falls to ground and latches to wax from my candle. After assuring everyone that I am in fact fine, continue rolling. When instructed to hug during this take, lower candle.
5:58p – Annie delivers her monologue in one take, effortlessly, stunningly. She is crying, and I know why. Rests her head on my shoulder and stays there after camera stops rolling.
6:12p – Back in van. Back to house. Read next scene for Chekhov class while Annie finishes final filming sequence outside. Realize it is always easier to understand characters I am not actually playing. Eavesdrop on cameramen’s conversation about their side gigs as sculptors and potters, respectively.
6:57p – Head to final Kohl’s of day en route to drop Annie off. Is faster and more fun to work when accompanied by her. That done, head to Five Guys. Eat fries with my friend Annie, somewhere north of city, while she shows me pictures of cranberry bogs.
8:38p – Time to drop Annie off. Listen to new Taylor Swift album, playing my favorite, Getaway Car, twice. Drive through Chicago with my friend Annie listening to Taylor Swift after an afternoon spent filming, wishing this was how every Wednesday evening was spent.
9:12p – Drop Annie off. Decide I will take her to airport tomorrow to prolong saying goodbye as long as possible.
9:17p – Drive home, listening to Girl on Fire and liking my own joke far more than is attractive.
9:38p – Arrive home. Emma is eating cereal in dining room at table, hair damp and in her green comfort jacket. We exchange stories from set, as she was there filming yesterday, laughing at similar and differing observations. Abruptly walks over to hug me and starts crying, saying she doesn’t know why. We sit in moment, then let it go. Begin talking about set again, and difference between feeling like observer versus participant. Tells me she overheard emotional conversation I had with stepmother previous evening. Am grateful to live with person I can trust overheard conversations with. We sit in moment, then let it go. Begin 45 minute debate about authenticity of Taylor Swift’s music career, replete with off-the-wall theories of closeted lesbianism and Enneagram typing conjecture. Is 3rd debate of its kind since moving into apartment. Do not change each other’s mind, but ground shifts slightly.
11:32p – Time for bed. Take very long time to brush teeth and wash face, for no particular reason. Allow deluge of thoughts kept at bay during day to flood for one moment. Say hello to them, then say goodnight. Read sole chapter of Big Little Lies, in effort to consistently read before bed in order to prepare brain for sleep.
12:57a – Rest.