The views between Palm Springs and San Francisco are incredible. Rolling hills. Towering mountains, clear blue lakes spotting the scenes. Tiny houses and squares cut out of the surrounding deserts. I love Deadheads.
Deadheads are flights crew members are on as passengers in order to relocate the passenger for a work assignment, not to be confused with commuting. Commuters (also referred to as non-rev) are people who fly from all over the place to their city of assignment in order to START work. Deadheads are paid assignments to relocate a crew because they are needed in a different city.
Before people start getting bent out of shape that crew members are paid to deadhead - keep out pay scale in mind. We are trained extensively to keep many people safe every day. We know basic first aid, CPR, how to use the AED (heart attack machines) and have already held exit doors in our hands. We know how to open every door on the plane. We know evacuation procedures and commands. We are treated like nothing more than a glorified waitress who doesn't earn tips though, even with that amount of training - and we get paid even less. That's right. We get paid less than a waitress. We don't do the job to get rich. We do the job because we love it. When doing my taxes last month, I discovered that I made about 12k, and that's BEFORE taxes. That's no typo. There's a lesson to be learned here somewhere. If you figure it out let me know.
I've thought once or twice about hanging up the towel. I can't survive on this job alone. I need to do something to pay the bills. I knew someone who wanted to help me because I needed help, but when people start getting too wrapped up in something or someone, if the other person doesn't keep up, the plugs are pulled, projects are washed away and dreams are crushed. That happened to me just recently.
I'm a writer. It's what I've always been. It's been a large piece of my identity since I was a young kid. I've never published anything because I never thought I was good enough. When my book was pretty much shoved into a toilet, forced I to the pipes with the handle of a plunger and flushed away like a dead spider or goldfish (figuratively speaking, of course) I almost gave up. For a split second, I crumbled. For a fraction of a moment, I thought that I would never be published. I would fail and flounder the way I had at basically everything in my entire life up to that point. I wept.
I failed in my life with Pete.
I failed in my attempt to move to Scotland.
I failed in my attempt at college.
I failed at so many things.
But I was also a success. A survivor. A fighter!!
I survived being kidnapped.
I resurrected a relationship I thought had long ago died.
I learned so much about the real world on my own. More than books could teach me.
I've travelled the world!
And I've survived a year on a 12k income in Los Angeles.
I've done so much. How could I see myself as a failure? I picked myself up from the foot of the bed, smiled, wiped my tears and set fire to the past. I watched it go up in smoke. Cinders. Soot. Ash. Bright red licking flames of a brand new fire. And that fire came from within. A tornado swept across the emotional expressions of my face. A hurricane bubbled beneath the surface. A typhoon washed away the mystery and self pity in one great wave. And earthquake shook within my hands as they clenched in an outrage that someone I trusted had betrayed me. And a new book was born.
Thirty Synchronized Woodpeckers (all rights reserved, Woodpecker Tales LLC) will still be published, and it mentions the title of my next book - The SLO Game. That book? Yeah. It's gonna be a good one. It's a story about betrayal of someone trusted. Someone a young woman depended on. Someone who tried to crush a persons soul, never realizing that, to some people, words are only words and nothing more. It's a story about a young woman who fought the odds all her life and somehow always came out ahead. And it's TRUE. Well. Mostly true. I'm not even changing the names. I'm just not using last names.
I hope they (the powers that be) make The SLO Game into a film. I hope everyone involved goes to see it. I hope people realize that they were long ago forgiven for everything they did and didn't do, for the promises they broke, for the anger they felt and for the hatred they threw like paper airplanes, trying desperately to jab an innocent girl in the eye with a pointed tip.
And remember - always be careful, or you might end up in my novels.
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