It was in the summer of 1996 when I got fired from my very first job. I was thirteen at the time--fresh out of grade school, new to the working world. It was only my second day.
You see, it all started a few weeks earlier when I had spotted a pre-owned SHARP VHS Camcorder sitting on display at our local Goodwill store. I remember standing there--amazed, caught in rapture at the way she gleamed at me, the way she spoke to me in cinematic prose, the way she made my heart thump every time I touched her. And when I looked through her viewfinder, I saw the world unfold before me--an array of images flowed like wax melting from a flickering candle in the wind. An Elton John song played proverbially through my head.
Running my fingers through her buttons, I'd caress her in my arms. At times, I'd lift her thru the air, sit her gently on my shoulder and just listen to her purr to the sound of a VHS tape threading through her internal drums--an orchestrated symphony of gears and mechanical magic making love to the crescendo of my imagination.
Sick, I know. But hey, I was thirteen--going through cinematic puberty. And like all kids, I was willing to do anything to get what I wanted. Anything. So my plan was to get a job--a real job.
With the help of my best friend Ian, I was able to land a job at a nearby tomato farm. At the ripe age of thirteen, I became a tomato picker. Making seventy-five cents for every bushel of tomatoes I'd pick, I was determined to raise the $220 I needed to purchase the love of my life. Nothing could've stopped me--not even the scorching sun that burnt my face or the fuzzy caterpillars that crawled into my pants. Like a true romantic, I tucked a picture of her from a magazine in my empty Superman wallet. When the sun was too hot to bare--I'd stop and pull her out--stare at her and imagined what my wallet would look like with 220 dollars in it. Superman would've been proud.
And then it happened. On the second day of my job, there were no red tomatoes to pick. Little green tomatoes hung rampant on rows and rows of weird looking vines. The farmer had left Ian and I alone for the morning to run some errands, so we had the whole farm to ourselves. Birds chirped sharply in the distance as Ian and I sat there--picking our brain, trying desperately to figure out what to do with all the useless green tomatoes.
Being the baseball fans we were, we decided to kill time by playing a few innings of stick-ball. With a log the size of five baseball bat, Ian stepped to the plate while I pitched. Green tomatoes flew from one end of the field to the other. Slimy neon green seeds rained down on my head as it hovered above me. Spat. Spat. Spat. Home runs all around.
Needless to say, after sixteen innings, the farmer finally came back. My tomato picking days were over. My dreams--shattered like the green tomatoes puréed at the end of the field. Sadly, I never did raise the $220 I needed for that camera. I spent the rest of that summer cutting grass, pulling weeds, and being chased by dogs. In the end, I was $130 short.
To this day I still think of her. I still dream of holding her in my arms, putting her on my shoulder and making movie magic--just the two of us. So here I am, bidding for her on Ebay!
Wish me luck!