Night Shift

Frank DeLaplan hated his job. For seven months he had been working at a local supermarket restocking aisle 13 night after night after night. First were the canned vegetables, then the BBQ sauces, salad dressings, pickles, croutons, salsas, and ketchups. Depending on the size of the delivery, Frank had a certain amount of time allotted to stock his shelves and then to straighten them and make them presentable before the store re-opened at 6am. But tonight, Frank’s back hurt. He had a headache and he sprained his wrist while helping a co-worker lift some dog food the night before. He had had it. Tonight was going to be the last night shift he would ever work. Forget the bad economy, forget the bills piling up on the kitchen table, and forget that he didn’t have a job lined up. No more night shift for Frank DeLaplan.

He had it all planned out. He would finish out tonight since he was already there and it would make that last paycheck a little bit bigger. He would work through his half-hour lunch shift to make a few more bucks and who cared anyway, they could write him up if they wanted to.

 The doors closed behind the final customers and the night workers emerged like insects pushing their carts full of supplies to their respective aisles. Frank worked through the pain, ignored the headache, and smiled to himself with each item placed on the shelf. The next time he picked up a can of corn it would be if he was buying some for himself. Eleven o’ clock came and went, midnight passed by, and while the rest of the crew took a lunch break at half past one, Frank kept working. By the time three o’ clock came around Frank was sweating and his feet were sore, but he could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

He was working so hard that he didn’t notice the Mexican music that blared over the loudspeakers had gone quiet. He was so intent on finishing his load that he didn’t notice that there were no co-workers loading carts in the stockroom. He was so excited and was thinking so much about six o’clock that he never once looked out the front doors of the market at the night that surrounded him.

 Frank placed the last jar of pickles on the shelf, cracked his neck and stretched his back and that’s when he realized that the early morning crew was nowhere to be seen. He pushed his cart to the back and was surprised by the quiet of the delivery room. Aisle One was empty as was Aisle Two and Three. All Sixteen aisles were void of people. Frank walked quickly to the checkout area and all the registers were dark. When he finally reached the front doors he looked outside. It was still dark; the moon was still shining brightly. But it was morning! Where was the sun?

 He pushed on the door handle but the door didn’t budge. He shook the door but it refused to open. Panic started to creep in. Frank grabbed a small wooden bench that was on display nearby and threw it with all his might at the glass door but the bench simply bounced off and came to rest on the floor with a resounding thud. Frank took off running forgetting the pain that seeped through his body. Door after door was locked, refusing to open. He checked them all. Frank threw different objects at various windows but nothing would break any of them. Everything just bounced off.

Tired and exhausted Frank slowly walked back to aisle 13. He walked past the canned vegetables and croutons and sat down on the floor in the middle of the aisle and began to cry. He was trapped, caught in a supermarket during a night shift that would never end. Waiting for a morning that would never come.

endings

Two things in my life came to end this past week: Lost, and my EMT course. Let me start with Lost. IF YOU ARE A LOST FAN AND HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FINALE, YOU SHOULDN’T READ THIS SECTION.

I’m not going to go into a detailed recap or discussion on the meaning of it all, I’m simply going to say…I was satisfied with the way Lost ended. I still have some questions that I would have like to have answered, such as, what did Richard think of iPhone’s? Did customs allow the Ajira Airlines crowd to go through without a problem? Did Desmond ever get to see Penny again? And so on. Despite some questions and general confusion, I really liked how the “on island” story ended, especially how Vincent came alongside Jack so that he didn’t die alone. The bright light, church of multiple religions scene caused me to re-think everything about the flash sideways, but hey, everyone was happy, that’s not a bad thing. And to all you Mr. Eko fans, the actor was offered a place to be in the finale, but wanted 3 times the normal pay so obviously he didn’t get to go into the bright white light.

I watched the first 2 seasons of Lost on an iPod video, then moved up to watching the next few seasons on a laptop, and I watched the finale at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles on a huge screen with 2,000 fans. I moved up in the world. The guys who played Liam Pace and Radzinsky sat 2 rows in front of us which was pretty cool (especially cause Radzinky sports the long hair, bald look which is exactly what I would look like if I grew my hair out!).

So, thank you Lost for 6 seasons of questions, excitement, heartbreak, and happiness. I enjoyed the ride.

Now on to more important, real life things. This past Saturday we had our skills exam for my EMT class. Back in January the class started with 29 students, 13 of us were remaining on skills day. It was honestly one of the most stressful days of my life. My heart was racing and my blood pressure was super high all day. I am thankful to say that I passed. By the time Tuesday night came and the final was over, the dust settled, and 9 students were remaining who passed the class. My next step is to take the National Registry Exam to become a nationally certified EMT.

I learned a lot of things in this class that I know will be beneficial for the rest of my life and the question has already been asked to me, what next? Once I pass the national registry, my plan is to volunteer with the Red Cross and other organizations and use the skills I learned to help other people.

So the chapter has closed on two areas of my life, yet both of them will continue because the Lost theorizing will never end, and my medical training is really just beginning.

127.5 hours

127.5 hours from now I will be a relieved man. I will have either passed or failed my EMT course, survived my ambulance ride along, and after 6 years of commitment, Lost will be no more.

Here is my schedule for the next few days.

Thursday 5/20 – Final EMT class. I take my final quiz then have a few hours of skills practice to prepare for Saturday.

Friday 5/21 – I have my second 10 hour ambulance ride along since my first one resulted in only 1 patient contact in 10 hours.

Saturday 5/22 – My EMT skills exam. This is where the rubber hits the road. If I pass I can sit for the final exam, if I fail I go home with my figurative tail between my legs. The day consists of 6 skills stations (5 we know, 1 random) where we have to perform medical and trauma skills. I’m spending a lot of time studying.

Sunday 5/23 – The culmination of 6 years. The series finale of Lost. I will not be watching it on a tiny computer screen or in the comfort of a living room. I will be joining 2,500 other Lost fans at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles to watch the 2 1/2 hour finale on a huge screen. Super stoked.

Monday 5/24 – If I pass my skills test (as I plan to do) I’m taking Monday off from work to study and prepare for my final.

Tuesday 5/25 – Once again, assuming all goes well on Saturday, I will be taking my EMT final which, if passed, will allow me to sit for the National Registry Exam to actually become an EMT.

So, because of all of the above, in 127.5 hours I will be a happy, relieved man. The only difference is whether I’ll be happy it’s all over, or if I’m happy it’s all over with an EMT certificate and a better understanding of what Lost was all about!

How will Lost end?

A-Z: A list of movies I enjoy

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Back to the Future II

Clue

Die Hard with a Vengeance

Elf

Field of Dreams

G.I. Joe

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Judge Dredd

Karate Kid

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Meet the Fockers

No Country for Old Men

Overboard

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Quantum of Solace

Rat Race

Stand By Me

There Will Be Blood

Up

Vacation

White Oleander

XXX (The Vin Diesel movie)

Young Guns

Zoolander

blessed

Sometimes life can become monotonous (at least for me). Going to work, going to school, everyday blends into the next and not much stands out. Weeks and months fly by and then before I know it I’m another year older. But then I started thinking and reminiscing on the life I’ve lived and I realized how truly blessed I am. I have lived an amazing life and have experienced some amazing things. I still have a good life, it’s just the blessings look different than they did before. So, as I was reflecting, I thought I would make a list of some of the cool things I’ve gotten to do and see in my lifetime because as I made the list it truly made me thankful. I would encourage you to do the same. This list isn’t meant to show off, it’s meant to be a reminder of how blessed I am.

I have swam with sea turtles in Hawaii

I have seen the source of the Nile River

I rode a Greyhound bus from Orlando to San Francisco and back in one week

I lived in Uganda, East Africa for a few years

I saw it snowing in Times Square

I get to go to multiple Los Angeles Dodgers games each season

I am married to a wonderful woman

I drove (well rode on the bus) the Alaskan highway

I traveled around the world with the African Children’s Choir for three years

I grew up with awesome friends (you know who you are!)

I spent one summer touring the East Coast with a drama team performing at church camps

I’ve lived in three states (Maryland, Florida, California)

I’ve gone on a safari in Africa

I swam in the Adriatic Sea

I’ve spent a Christmas in Northern Ireland

I had dreadlocks and my tongue pierced (now I’m bald)

I grew up on a farm (what more could a boy want)

I spent one beautiful day in Paris

I learned to drive on the left side of the road

I proposed and she said “yes”