Bloody Transcripts

Sable’s on the upper east side in Manhattan has incredible EVERYTHING. The sable (duh), the lox, the salmon trimmings (WHOOOOA), salmon salad, and I’ve heard the lobster salad is their signature shit. I can’t eat it, and not because I’m a good Jew, but I’m allergic. So, incidentally, digestively speaking, I’m a little bit of a good Jew. 

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I haven’t written in a while, and I’m not sure if listening to Todd Rundgren is a great idea right now, nevertheless: it’s happening.

imgres A dream does go on forever, Todd. Damn it all.

I finally found myself a sideline job taking care of a diabetic dog, and I’ll be moving into a new sublet on July 4th, so that’s all incredibly exciting and time consuming. I also decided while researching for a script I’m writing, that I wanted to pursue higher education and get my master’s degree. Earning my bachelor’s was such an asset in securing a happy and healthy life, I thought another half-decade in school would be a sagacious investment!

images-1 Yes.

What I really need is a fucking hobby. I spend most days preparing to tape an audition by memorizing pages of dialogue that I’ll never utter again for a tape that probably will never be seen, and recording voice over auditions in various apartments for a number of commercial and industrial products. It becomes frustrating for an assortment of reasons that I can and do go on about into the wee hours of the night. I lament in my journal, or to any poor soul that happens to be close to me, including “Puddin'”, the emoji poop pillow.

I used to read for hours on end. Being sent to my room for not eating my peas was a delight because that was my favorite place to be. Even after receiving a 5 on my AP English test, I chose to take a handful of literature and poetry classes in addition to our conservatory’s demanding schedule.

But then I just stopped. After I graduated, I threw myself into auditioning and reading script after script. And for the most part, they’re unpalatable. I would rather eat oats in curdled milk than have these words thrust into my eyes and out of my mouth. Since I’m a silver lining kind of gal, it inspired me to write again. And writing led me to to research, which led to reading, and I realized that my brain had a lot of rust, mildew, and black mold in its fissures.

“I am going BACK to school!”

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I knew I wanted to go back for something that would help me be a better advocate for mental health: social work, psychology, analysis. And I would sign up for non-matriculated classes so I could make a well-informed decision based on what subjects interested me, and then apply for a specific program.

Okay, first thing’s first: I need a transcript. Let’s start there.

I Google “University of Cincinnati transcript”. The miraculous world wide web takes me right to the University’s website where it frankly states how to get my transcript. I just log in to my UC email, AND THERE’S A FRIGGIN’ BUTTON JUST FOR THAT! Easy as pie. Wel, it would have been if I remembered what the hell my username and password was 8 years ago. Luckily, these clever S.O.B’s were a step ahead of me. Since they know a thing or two about a thing or two, there was a number for me to call to set up a new password, log in, and get started on my PhD in Astrophysics.

I call the number, and in minutes I’m logged in. It’s as simple as they promised it would be!

I click on the link to request my transcript.

“We are unable to complete your request due to an outstanding library fee.”

Turning the color of the angry red font denying me entry into the glory of the tassels and sashes of knowledge, I sigh.

I know exactly what this about.

In November of 2007, I was walking across the street in the pouring rain to pick up two boys that I was babysitting when I slipped off the curb and into the street. As I stood up, I was hit by an SUV going 35 mph. I had a severe concussion, broke my pelvis in five places, shattered my coccyx, and cracked my ribs. My skin had been torn away from my shin and my ankle, but I survived. I couldn’t walk for 2 months, and when I finally could, I was using a cane for another month. I sat on an inflatable donut, and I watched a lot of movies and bad TV.

January 1st, I was using my cane. My mom bought it for me, my favorite colors: red and black. It was in a tiger print and it shimmered. It was pretty fucking rad, I have to say. Almost as rad as the DVD collection at the University of Cincinnati. That week, January 8 2008, I rented a handful of movies: as many as they would allow. Among them were Black Christmas (1974) and The Sea Inside (2004). I would never return those two DVDs.

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Until now.

I called the library and sheepishly asked what my fine was. “$350.”

I’m not fucking with you. Now, the most amusing part of the story is that I still had those DVDs. Not only did I have them in my hands during this phone call, I had moved with them over the last eight years. These are all of the residences that quadriplegic Javier Bardem and 1974 Olivia Hussey occupied:

  • Joselin Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Raintree, Uniontown, Ohio.
  • west 168th street, New York, New York
  • North Canton, Ohio
  • west 125th street, New York, New York
  • west 70th street, New York, New York
  • west 110th street, New York, New York
  • Polo Grounds Towers, New York, New York (yes, I accidentally lived in the projects for a month)
  • west 48th street, New York, New York
  • west 50th street, New York, New York
  • west 214th street, New York, New York
  • St. John’s Place, Brooklyn, New York
  • Brooklyn Heights, New York

I told the man on the other line, “I actually still have the movies. If I return them, will that help reduce my fee?”

He responded, “Oh, yeah! That’s what we want! We just want the movies back.”

It was pointless to explain to this man the outrageousness of a $350 charge on two DVDs that I could buy again for $20. But I was happy just to be done with it.

I mailed in my hostages, and waited for the confirmation from USPS that they had arrived safely to their childhood homes. No doubt they would recount their adventures to all of their friends in the “Award- Winning Foreign Language” and “Classic Thriller” sections.

The notification arrived in my inbox, and I called the library.

“Hi! I’m calling because I’ve been trying to get my transcripts, but I had an outstanding fee for some movies I rented eight years ago. I saw that you received them, and I wanted to know what my balance was.”

He asked for my “M” number and date of birth.

“Ok, Lauren, yeah we got them. Looks like you had a balance of $350, it’s now $191.”

Normally, I would have dug up some fightin’ mud and smeared it under my dark orbs, but this time, I let them win. Some things aren’t worth it, and I really wanted those transcripts. I handed over the money, and got my transcripts the next week.

Just as I was about to send in my application for Social Policy, my manager called: I booked a film that begins shooting this fall.

I’ll just have to wait for the spring semester.

Author: Lauren Ashley Carter

Lauren Ashley Carter is an actress, producer, writer, director, mystique, bagel-eater, lover of all things red. You've seen her in The Woman, Jug Face, Pod, Darling, The Mind's Eye, Law and Order SVU. You will see her in Imitation Girl.

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