#Charlie by Clara D., Corning-Painted Post High School

A Day in the Life of Charlie White

6:20 am; last time at the grindstone this week. I dragged myself out of bed, wishing that it was 5:00 pm and I was speeding down the highway away from the Los Angeles Times. Throwing my tank top and shorts on the mountain of laundry on the floor, I pulled on my journalist uniform: black dress pants, a white blouse, and my blazer from private school. Who needs to eat or put on shoes? I walked out to my building’s garage and hopped into my Mercedes-Benz SL. Disregarding all of the road signs, I sped down CA-110 from Pasadena at 80 mph with the convertible top down, letting my black hair fly like the dust under the wheels. Why is it that everyone obeys the speed limit when driving fast is so exhilarating?

After grabbing my high heels out of the trunk, I went to my cube and logged into Twitter. Ten new followers for me, a hundred new followers of the LA Times, and the hashtag #LATimesNow is trending; I’m doing my job correctly. It’s not easy to keep the newspaper on the grid of the digital age; I have to constantly scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and any other social media and make sure we’re trending/being followed. Wait, our top story is about how milk may not be beneficial for teens? Today is a slow news day.

“Why can’t teens drink milk?” It’s Jonathan, peering over my cube wall and reading my tweets. If he weren’t my best friend, we would probably be office rivals and I wouldn’t follow all of his social media platforms. “Is Miss White going to spend all night working, or is Charlie going dancing later with me?” He did have a point; I’ve been busy writing as much as I can. I graduated from UCLA last year, and there’s no job security for many recent graduates like Jon and myself. However, I know that my boss is pleased with both of our work, so I wouldn’t imagine that either of us would be fired.

“I think that someone is lonely,” I said, “and needs a friend to go chase boys with. Fine; we’ll go dancing tonight.” Jon acted as though I had offended him with my jab at his love life, but I knew that he was happy about not going to the club alone. Now that I was kind of excited for our night on the town, every feed that I scrolled through seemed to drag on; the tweets were more boring and Tumblr was less entertaining than usual. By the time 5:00 rolled around and I was driving back to Pasadena, I had gone through nine cups of coffee and flipped through five magazines.

A drop of water splashed on my face. I woke up in my leaking apartment in the slums of Los Angeles and knew that I am not Charlotte White. I detached myself from that part of my existence long ago.

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