My stomach’s surpassed a knot and twisted straight into an event horizon that’s sucking all my inspiration and saliva down through this giant hole the size of the one the corporate administrative world debauchered (just made it up) through my frontal lobe. I’ve got holes all over me, like that Sigourney Weaver movie where she has poison painted on her nails ‘rattlesnake venom‘.
I’ve been looking for another job lately. The lawn mowing gig is as green as ever but to be perfectly honest, I need more money- either so I can save more and spend less or the other way around.
I hit up a temp agency on Wall Street that I referred to. And I bombed it.
I came in and I sat and I looked around and I felt as if my entire body was being attacked by carpet- just like, being all rubbed on me and ripped out from under me at the same time. The walls were white and Fox News was playing and the lady next to me was sucking on her teeth and I was wondering why- I filled up the W4 and the I-9 and all the stuff in between and suddenly, I saw why she was sucking on her teeth.
A writing, vocabulary, and math test.
I felt a lot of things. Like I was above it, at first. How the hell could I have possibly ended up in a position where somebody wants me to complete a vocabulary exam, my friends down the street are all working at a novelty shop with organic magnets and I’m stuck here? Here I am sitting down and my chinos are already stretched out so they’re going straight into the hamper and wash when I get home- my lime t-shirt is starting to sweat from the absurdity of it all and my hair is starting to frizz at the idea that a private university student would have to complete a damned 25 question placement exam? A huge chunk of me, in fact a really big chuck of me, maybe my left ass cheek or both of them at the same time, they just wanted to hustle it out and cry to Mama at the Pret a Manger across the street.
That was until I realized that above all else, I was terrified.
I like words, sure. But they also terrify me, and I only get excited t use them when I go an entire page without a single grammatical or spelling error. I’m also one of those guys who is convinced that muscle memory has a lot to do with how you project to spell a certain word so naturally, of course, I got that going for me too.
But spelling words out? On paper? With a pen? Jesus.
You might as well smite me.
So of course, because of my ignorance and stubbornness that was convincing myself that the only reason I was scared to take the test was because they had successfully insulted my education to the point that I had become afraid and fearful for a mere fraction of a second, I took the test.
So often I just wish I could’ve looked at my phone, use the T9 or whatever program would allow you to think for nothing.
But I didn’t.
So, that hit me in the gut. Harder than falling on something hard, I’m guessing. A pseudo-wanna-be playwright unable to spell words is kinda like a penis that can’t ever become erect- it’s miserable, as respectful as possible, I mean hell I’ve been there too, sometimes it just can’t happen.
But to not know how to spell, especially in a position where I’m supposed to love nothing less?
I dunno. I’ve always known I wasn’t the best writer when it came to spelling. I convinced myself that what I know are people and not words and so long as I know them the words will come just fine.
I feel like shit.
The interviewer called me into her office for an interview. The room is huge with huge windows looking at huge buildings with huge windows; Four other women were working nearby and the chair I sat in faced the whole lot of them. They were going to sentence me, if it would be possible to do that at all. I gave in my resume to the lady who was assisting me and within minutes-
-‘You write for Washington Square News(?), Everybody has written for the Washington Square News, I wrote for it too until they found out I didn’t go to NYU, I showed them.’
-‘nobody cares that you were a drama teacher get rid of that’
-‘you don’t have any real office experience?’
-‘you’re one of those actors aren’t you, well, wanting to be an actor, huh?’
-‘oh, okay, same thing then.’
-‘what’s Notes from the Underground Boy?’
-‘A play I had produced at several theatres in New York and Miami.’
-‘Yeah, yeah, nobody really cares about that.’
-‘go home and type me up a real resume.’
-‘Thank you for your time.’
Suppose I don’t feel to well about the way that worked up to me. I stuffed enough air into my mouth to form a smile and booked it towards Rockefeller Center, where hopefully another opportunity lay with a food service type job.
The man I interviewed with was very kind and handsome and had a really good product.
But it was commissions only, and so I heard him out, and rushed over to the JMZ where I found myself back to my place.
Now I’m sitting here, writing, having gobbled down my good friend Tristan Mother’s food- tuscan soup with spicy sausage and kale and a creamy broth beside a heaping hot plate of spaghetti with meat sauce. of course it’s delicious. But it has sunk down to my gut already, pressing my stomach down along with my head and lungs and back and shoulders and gut.
People always tell you that you have what it takes. But then you find out for yourself that maybe you don’t. And then you start to doubt the validation of those who told you that you’d have a chance. You love them more I think, because you close your eyes and sigh for that moment to come back to you, you long for it and nearly feel it like suddenly, it’s resting its arm around your shoulders and neck. But then, maybe, at least for me I mean, I shake my head at them, speechless. Chances are I’ve been told that I had what it takes because in some respect, those who told me believed that I needed to hear it. To believe it or to fall into an illusion of it. So maybe I’ve proved them wrong by being the one to tell them that I was the one who got told ‘no’, and who got told ‘independent salary entirely’, and who got told, ‘nobody really cares about that’.
I used to be in a position where I felt invincible. Partially because I was naive. But also because I was doing shit that was working.
But now. Hell.
I’m posting this up now. I don’t feel the need to edit it. I don’t want to. I suppose that could be the irony of it all.