Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

let's pretend we don't exist

For a long time, if someplace like a library or a video store sent me home with one of their items, or if a business accepted a check from me, or if a phone company let me have a phone or the city let me have light, my feeling was:

You're a sucker.

Or it was something slightly less malevolent and slightly more totally stupid, like:

I live in a magical world where everything for me is free! (or very close to it)


Nobody requires anything of me, ever!

Really, it was a blend of the three.

In a future post, I am going to be very classy and blame my mom. But look for that another day. And in the meantime, imagine how awesome I am, that that will happen.

Rain City Video was one of the sucker-entities that I crossed paths with back in the day. And in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen-Hundred and Ninety-Seven, when my level of personal irresponsibility was waxing strong and getting ready to peak, they allowed me to bring home this movie:

Have you seen it? It’s great. John Cassavetes. Rain City Video has it, if you want to go rent it. I mean, they have it NOW. They didn’t for a while.

It was out.

I really enjoyed watching it. And when I was done, I put it back in its box. And when it was back in its box, I put the box down someplace close to wherever I was standing. And that transaction, in my view, was complete.

I got on with my life.

Rain City Video had my phone number, and they used it a lot in the ensuing days and weeks…could it have been months? I don’t know. I was busy living. And what Rain City Video didn’t seem to realize was that there’s no law that a person has to answer their phone. And when you get messages, it’s so easy to delete them that a baby could do it. A baby DID do it. A baby did it a million and a half times.

Kristina, this is Rain City Vid-DELETE
Kristina, this is Rain Ci-DELETE
Kristina, this is Rai-DELETE


I was at home one night, blissfully ignoring the phone, probably reading one of the magazines that I never took out to the recycling the whole time I lived there, as that was a task. This resulted in a situation where, when I finally moved out of that apartment, I had to make SIXTEEN TRIPS* to the recycle bin with HEAVY BOXES OF MAGAZINES. I was under the impression that at some point I was going to make a collage.

*A huge, big, ginormous task, yes, you know it. I was not what you would call a good predictor of the future**.

**And clairvoyance runs in my family. So that's sad.

Loodle doodle doodle, I am reading about celebrities or dresses, phone, I cannot hear you. I cannot heeeeear yoooooou. Blooodle doodle doodle dooo…..

And then my apartment buzzer rang.

Hmm. Who is here? Maybe it is the world delivering me some charming item that I deserve simply for having been born! Maybe it is a friend of mine, who grew weary of my never answering the phone or listening to my messages or returning phone calls, but somehow magically didn’t grow weary of my very friendship!

Who will it be?!




-It’s Rain City Video




-Oh, um, uh…

-Look, we’re not mad. We’re not mad at you. We just would like to have the video back.

I buzzed the two nice young men in, trying to keep my face from melting off while I rummaged around for the video. My face was so hot, you see. So hot, so red. Never so red nor so hot. Hot red face.

Here you go, fellows. Hot, hot. Mind my face, there. There you are. There you go, there. Off you go.

It will have been soon after that that my phone service was turned off.