my weakness are my shots.

i didn't have much time to blog earlier. the seattle public library only allows non-library members internet access for an hour. this rule is upheld, i assume, to discourage vagrants like me from using the computers all day long. the same reason they painted the restrooms sea-sick green. they don't want anyone in there for too long. it was strange to see the library again. when i first visited, it was brand new and everything looked super sleek. now, though, a few years have passed, and it's a little dirtier, a little more used up. there are streaks of black on the green escalators, and lots of people were at the computers. lots of them. i felt like a rat in an experiment, as i joined them, staring at screens, typing and clicking, clicking and typing.

yesterday, jacob and i played basketball at judkins park, the park near where meagan and i used to live. i like that park. we shot around and tried to emulate nba players like tim duncan, steve nash, and stojakovic. later on, a little black kid approached us and asked if we wanted to play a game. by then, we were already playing horse (i had an "h"), so we just let him join us. each time i made an amazing shot (behind the backboard, reverse layup, etc.), the kid was able to follow through. either he was lucky, or he was hustling us. it was just too bad for him that we weren't playing for money. during the game, we discovered the kid couldn't perform a self-executed alley-oop. basically, i throw the ball against the backboard, catch it in midair, and then put it in the hoop.

he couldn't do it. so, once jacob was out, i just kept doing this until the kid was at h-o-r-s. then, i thought, what the hell kind of a person am i? instead, i just started making simple shots, which the kid could make as well. finally, he made a layup and i missed it. i was at h-o-r-s-e. he asked me, "do you want to prove it? or should i?" i was hungry, and i wanted to get out of the central district before dark, so i said, "you prove it." the kid made the shot, and won the game. he was awfully cocky throughout, though, saying things like, "my weakness are my shots. my strengths are your shots." he would also say, "thanks for missing." i know i'm supposed to be understanding and i'm supposed to be a mature adult, but i never acted like that when i was his age, so why should he able to? maybe i should've just proven it.

afterward, jacob treated me to dinner at fort st. george in the international district, so that i could finally understand the greatness of his spicy fried chicken. he told me that there's usually a tall, hot japanese waitress who works there. "and now i'm brining you along," he said, "so it'll look like i'm down with asians." unfortunately, though, she wasn't there. i asked the non-tall, non-hot waitress if there was a restroom, and she directed me to the restaurant next door. "come on," jacob said, waving me along. two guys leaving for the restroom at the same time? i thought only women were allowed to do that. the asians at the bar eyed us suspiciously. "we're not gay," i wanted to say, "and we're not gonna do coke or anything in there..." as it turned out, it was a single-occupancy restroom, even though there were two stalls, so i let him go first. i waited outside, straight, straight-edge male that i am.

i had my job interview at triangle this morning. i decided to stay over at meagan's, since it was would be less of a walk. i showered in her shower, and i used a dab of joey's anti-dandruff shampoo. i tried to put the bottle back the way it was, to make it look like i hadn't touched it, but i couldn't remember if it was placed upside down or right side up. i went with upside down. after i dried up, i tried putting my clothes back on, but it felt a lot like chris farley changing in the airplane. it's a small bathroom, yes.

on the way to the interview, i listened to the earth is not a cold dead place. i don't know why i chose to listen to that. i probably shouldn't have, since the album makes me feel really dramatic and explosive. i got to thinking, do i really want to live in this city? emily put it best, and even though she was only describing west seattle, i think it applies toward the entire town: uppity white women wearing patagonia. i really feel like i need to take up smoking and get a tattoo and think of myself as really fabulous, really special just to live in this town. people shouldn't have to feel that way.

so, i got a little down while walking. people in seattle either look really hip and attractive, or really down on their luck. there are no in betweens. and they're all super thin, thin from working out and doing pilates, or thin from not being able to eat at all. in my tie and only good pair of corduroy pants that match my only good pair of shoes, i made an attempt at looking like i fit in here, that i could be a potentially good employee for this environmental agency. i started feeling down, too, recalling that emily had said there was another girl they were really interested in. i don't really want to compete with her, or with anyone for that matter. competing for jobs is just an awful thing to me. plus, if i were the employer, i would most likely hire a young, energetic, attractive girl over someone like myself. what do i bring to the table? sad bastard music and a blog.

when i got to my potential future place of employment, i was still about twenty minutes early. i decided to use the restroom, but the door was locked and i needed a code just to get in. i was about to ask someone for a code, but i could hear someone scuffling about inside. i heard the toilet flush, and then the water running. i tried my best to look casual, and i tried to make it so that when the guy came out, i would just be coming in, like i wasn't waiting or anything. it didn't really work. my timing was off, mostly because the guy took a long time washing and drying his hands, or else he was giving himself a good, long look in the mirror.

the interviewer, dennis, was late, so emily had me take the microsoft access test. emily said, "just so you don't have to look out the window for so long." i really don't mind, though. i am at that point in my life where i don't mind waiting, as i have nothing better to do. emily gave me a crash course the night before in microsoft access, but i was still a little unsure about the database program. i tried my best, though, and after about an hour and fifteen minutes, i was finished. not a perfect score, but maybe good enough to earn me a second interview. dennis and vickie sat down with me after i had finished.

dennis struck me as a no-nonsense kind of guy. "so, tell me about yourself," he said immediately. i told him everything. i graduated, i interned, i volunteered. "where do you see yourself in ten years?" in so many words, i essentially answered: i'm 25, i really don't have that answer, but i'm trying. i sold them truths about myself, that i had a really hard time post-graduation, that i honestly don't think most employers care about a liberal arts degree. i told them that the public schools i worked for were disorganized, and that they hired a lot of incompetent people who like to waste time and resources. "how did your idealism hold up in americorps?" dennis asked. i told him it faltered many times. i probably came off as a really sad case, a little too sensitive, someone who carries it all. but i think they liked my honesty, my ability to communicate. "good job," he said.

earlier in the day, i convinced myself that i wasn't going to get the job. and even in the off-chance that i did get it, there was no guarantee that i would like it. but that's the way it is with all things. once i convince myself, though, that something is out of reach, the thought becomes empowering and liberating. it no longer matters. i could make a total ass of myself, and it wouldn't matter. because at the very least, i'd still have something to write about. i'd still have some sort of story to tell. and while everyone else was at work, i had a whole city to explore. being unemployed and bored is so much better in a big city.

i went to half price books and read a graphic novel called paul has a summer job by michel rabagliati. it was amazing. in the beginning, he is 17 and he receives a $6,000 federal grant to paint murals of the little prince all over his high school. but because his grades are so low, he's kicked off the project. he argues that he is the artistic director, that everything was his idea. too bad, they tell him. he says "fuck it" and decides to leave school for good. for some reason, i could really understand what that must have felt like.


Daily Logue said...

I liked your story about the career test. At least it gave you some real results. I took a couple of those in high school and they always came out with things like "fbi agent", "cultural attache," "pastry chef"
and other generally random, nebulous and unachievable things.
I like to tell myself that my problem for the past couple years has been lack of money, and not lack of direction. That actually, I have so many interests and abilities that I just can't pick a diretion and stick with it. But I think the reality is more that I've never been particularly thrilled with anything I've done so far, and also that once something starts to look attainable, it loses its luster. It starts to look pointless.
But that won't stop me from trying.

I was hoping as I read the blog that the career test would give you something really off the wall, something you had never even thought of or considered. I think you need something really out or your field of view to try out. I'm not sure what that would be though. Maybe you could be a fisherman.
I think you should start applying for shit like "cultural attache", "personal assistant to Bill Gates" "CEO" things you're totally unqualified for. Instead of stuff that you may actually be overqualified for.

ultrafknbd said...

Such a good album. When I'm contemplative or melancholic it's the ideal soundtrack. So most likely it was appropriate for the odd business of job hunting, a.k.a. selling yourself.