Outside the Oubliette

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isolated silver letter at white background

This is not a secret, but I’d rather not mention it.  Still, the nature of this beast is that I really don’t have anything else to say.  I’m sure there’s something, but what I want to record for posterity is that I have a job interview.  This is not for the job I’ve mentioned most recently. This is a job I applied for because I thought it would fit and then, life with its current panoply of other jobs and little crazed kittens and its spate of 2016 tire fires continued, and I forgot about it. It actually is on this side of town,

I do feel my share of guilt that I’ve ridden this roller coaster for a year and now that we’re getting ready for the biggest loop-de-loop, I’m opting out.  Or, well, that is to say, I’m perhaps mildly confident that I will be allowed to opt out.  The boss is not feeling well, and I have shitty feelings about this that I regret, but can’t rid myself of completely.  I busted my hump today cleaning and didn’t feel like I did as much as I needed or wanted to do.  I am trying, but dread feels as though it shrouds everything and I want out.  I deserve out.

I possibly will still apply for the other job I mentioned yesterday.  The excitement for it, however, is sufficiently diminished.  I was so gearing myself up to handle it and this position that I’m interviewing for has a far easier grade on the learning curve.  It isn’t a whole new trade to be picked up, and while the difference in pay is significant, it sort of depends as to where I’d sit on the range, and at the most generous point here and the least generous there, it’s the same salary.   For what I’d gather to be a lot less on one single person’s shoulders.  For an admin job versus a specialist who has to be generating information for public reporting meetings, etc.  In an area that has meaning to me, in a place that’s likely to have people, but people of a quiet, non-aggressive sort.  Generally.  And benefits that are about the same.

How odd the difference of the bird in the hand versus the few thousand more in the bush.  In this matter of birds and bushes, I actually hold neither beyond some fresh newspaper to clean a cage with.  I just really have the skillset they’re looking for, so I’m hopeful.

Tonight, we had our traditional family meal to avoid the trick-or-treaters.  It’s necessary for my parents, whose seeming unspoken agoraphobia means they have zero interest in handing out candy.  For us, living up a flight of stairs in a complex with nearly as many stairs to climb as doors where there might possibly be a treat, the doorbell never rings.  But it’s dinner, so we all turn up and talk about relatives and beer flavors and other minutiae while we collectively try and fill out a football bingo card.

It staves off something in my mind and starts something else.

Half and Half

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So, there is no way to know if my portion of knowledge is large enough in comparison to my portion of ignorance until I test it.  I can only test it by asking the people how they see it.  Submitting myself for an evaluation, an interview.

Do I know how much electrical juice is required for your standard city block?  No.  Would I know what the proper or reasonable fee for laying down a fresh sidewalk would be?  No.  Do I know how to conduct a public engagement event? Not precisely.

But I do know how to figure it out.  One question at a time, I can figure it out.  When not being pressed into service hauling paper to the trash, I would probably have time to suss out answers to the questions that seem so oblique.

This will be another failed effort, but nevertheless, I find myself making an exorbitant list of things I would buy or improve or treat myself to or take care of were I to get this job.  I am sitting here, watching Poldark on mute, and daydreaming about corsets and pink hair and things altogether incompatible with a city job where everyone’s got a judgment on how you behave.  Still.  I could travel.  I could travel! I could get myself back up to par.  I could spend money on healthy food.  I could, maybe, I don’t know, date or something.  I could find the werewithal to remove all of the equivocation from that statement.

I could be deluding myself.  I find that happens a lot these days.

Stability.  I could just feel stable.

+250 words of cover letter

I Am The Only One Now

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The watched pot has yet to boil. Despite the salt, despite the steady heat.  It just shimmers with impatience. Seriously, dude.  I mean, seriously.

I am coddling a headache along my temple walls.  I’m letting the kitten bite at my ankles.  I had coffee ice cream.  Maybe one scoop.  I feel odd.  This is not new news, this is nothing to wake up the children over, this is just a thing we say to bring the more interesting things to the fore.

I don’t care the stringency of the rules, I just want to play the game within them.  I just want to stop playing keepaway, and play, well, whatever the amusement comes from.  It doesn’t, at this point, come from the waiting.

I am going to dream wildly tonight.  It’s my one day for it, my one breath of astral life, and will fly.  No more climbing slippery stairs tat ascend hundreds of feet in the air over airport terminals.  No more struggle dreams.  A warm dream, a prophetic dream, a peaceful bliss, that’s what I want.  None of this exhaustion between wakeful exhaustions.

No more I wants.

I had planned to be able to use my words up elsewhere.  That does not appear to be the case and I am yawning aggressively, ready for sleep, and not for the offer that was made this morning and kept me fluttering and chattering all afternoon.

The coffee ice cream has worn off.  I am worn down.  I am able, through this small, dirty window, to see the bigger picture.  Of being used, regardless of what use you are getting in return, and of the stuff that gets stripped away in the process.  Of deserving a soul that will explain, that will free, that will declaim as it disclaims that I am no longer bound or needed.  I do not think it is possible to shift the paradigm at this moment, but I am aware of how it can chafe.

This afternoon there was a rally in town from one candidate, described by the old co-worker who was there, as excellent.  I read and viewed the pictures with disdain, I calculated rebuttal and cruel, cutting comments that I would like to post in response.  I did not post them – in part because of the thought that the job I am working on means that I will be rattling around with the rest of these marbles in the frying pan and in part, the greater part, because I just don’t have the fury tonight.

After the rally, there was a smaller political gathering happening in the building across the street from my shop and at some point, a woman went out in the street and started screaming.  My vantage point did not give me the who, where, or the content of her message – only her unbelievable rage.  The customers and my coworker tried to talk over it, tried to ignore it.  It was not really possible to ignore it.

I have to surrender what space is in my heart, mind, and soul to fight and just let myself hear the screams.

 

You could feed me all of your fears

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And if there was a magic cast, it was a wild magic, so that it did not land precisely, and where it landed, it did not do what it was meant to do.

I am contemplating this job.  The job would be back in the same town I grew up, working with the same circle of people, albeit from a different perspective, as the job I spent eight years struggling at before leaving before this new job that has been so wildly detrimental to me and my life.

If I can allow myself to float past the idea that on its face, I don’t have the precise requirements they are looking for and just move into the idea of what it would be like to be in the job itself, it is hard to imagine myself as capable of doing it.  Sort of.  I don’t know.  Each individual piece is part of a puzzle I was working on, too.  I know the acronyms, the faces, the area, the issues, the struggles, the gossip.  I know the bitchy complainers and the people who pitch in and help wildly. I have friends in most directions.

However, I know that there’s some poisoned relationships I’d now be on the opposite side of.  I know that in the years since I’ve been gone, my job has been vacated twice and people are grumpy and displeased with my boss’ replacement.  I would be working in concert with the person in my old boss’ role, the person who has been spending the past few years trying to get things organized after my time of struggle and learning.  I don’t like the idea of sitting across the table from people who have not had an easy time of it and that’s because of me.  I ran like hell to get out of that situation.

I guess I feel a little bit like Typhoid Admin, that every job I exit seems to have increasing levels of desperation associated with it when I go.

Each individual part of the job feels like I could do that.  But in sum total, without the degree in the field, just my 8 years effectively standing with my foot in the door, maybe that’s just asking to fail.  It’s a job where I will have to be assertive, a self-starter, a person in charge of other people.  Can I do that?  Today, today, I think I can.  It feels in my mind like what I would say when I feel pressure to please regardless of whether or not it’s true.  But everyone says that it’s only for me to set up my qualifications and say I’m a fast learner and ready to go.

And for that money, a comfortable place to work and get to, health insurance, where I don’t have to start from square one.  It’s worth a shot.  It’s worth getting laughed out the door.

+300 words elsewhere

The Containment of Multitudes

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Come on, Fred.  Come on, and make your presence known, please!

I wore the witchy poncho today.  I didn’t think anything in particular about this beigey chenille, fluffy, blanket style poncho, until a former co-worker said it made me look like a witch.  I was thinking about that adjective today, as we are on the eve-ish eve of Halloween, and I am entirely sans costume and really, sans any sort of spooky spirit.   I was thinking about it and a memory I’ve held closely, the memory of the girl in the mist.

I only saw her once, I think, and she sat in the middle of a very suburban park.  She was, in the terminology accessible to me today, probably just a vegan who was into grunge.  I remember she had a plaid shirt tied around her waist. But as a 2nd-grader with an endless imagination, the college-aged girl who had a pan flute and sat cross-legged in the park was some sort of nature spirit.  Lithe, thin, pale, with wild hair, she sat in the middle of the green playing this eerie, magical music as the mist moved around her.  Who was she?  Where did she come from?  Was she real?  I remember being very clear that when I grew up, it would be necessary to my happiness, to approximate that aesthetic, that state of esoteric relationship to the world.  To expressly not spend my time at any sort of desk.  To be free and immune to any brand of cultural conformism.  To evoke magic with my being.

I wanted that.  There was no part of me that found it laughable, or anything other than the highest, truest, most holy calling.  It is hard to sit here on this couch, cats rambling and banging into walls with their raucous fighting, all the while thinking about the day I had loading vans full of vast tubs of paper to be shredded, the grumpiness that appears as fact, the stress that is invading my body, and dream. To luxuriate in dreaming about being barefoot in cool, dewy grass, wearing flowers and gauzy fabric and talking to the moon.

It is hard to accept the true juxtaposition of these things within me now.  But even when do so much as lean towards the Stevie Nicks-loving, flower-chattering, candle-burning side of myself an inch, I do feel better.  I do feel more hopeful and less like everything is so far out of my control.  A witch is a woman who is dangerous and sought after not because she can change the universe from what it is, but because she can make it bend out of its pain.  When things are hopeless, she has, at the least, a path that can be walked.  She is not contained by the appearance of physical laws.  She can make you believe that there is no smallness about you, that your wills are the same as those of the universe.  That where you are kind, the universe is kind. Where you are patient, so are the flowers that lie buried in wait within the earth for the right year of rain.  That where you love, some spirit startles awake and begins the long journey of seeking your sanctuary.

The things you can’t think when you are being ground into powder by what would make the world move easiest for others.  The priestesshood of breath, of force, of self.  Those are the magick spells we have been passed down.  I do not mind being a witch because I never was anything else.

Following the Holloway

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It is possible that if I had my druthers, this post would be five hundred words long about sore tits.  Apologies for the language, but that’s what they are, a pair of croquet balls that wouldn’t flinch if we took a mallet to them.  I might, but these stones would be entirely unbothered.  Ah, yes, I won’t inflict that upon you.  Clue has it as just about the right time for this sort of expected suffering, even if for whatever reason, this suffering feels excessive this time around.

No, I won’t run on and on about that.  Though I could.

Instead, I might just mention that I read today about Steinbeck and his journals written alongside The Grapes of Wrath and how even he, that most highly-regarded of American authors struggled to bring himself to the mat of creative endeavor.  To be good enough to harness his intent and bring it forth in literary form.  To know what might be and what could be and to fight against all of that self-doubt to generate the pages necessary to discover the proof.

So, I do find myself going back and forth as to the necessity of this blog.  I want to use this time, this project and blog, in some way that benefits me tangibly and maybe that’s asking far too much.  It’s just this undressed meat on the slab.  It’s just days upon days upon days of talk, so much to be sluiced out for what might be gold – fool’s or not.

I have all of this material, I have all these stories in various stages of completion, I have all of this intention and goodwill that’s been frittered away.  And I have this question.  What do you want to do with your life?

I want to write.  But there is a map between here and there that is something other than just putting words down.  I am putting words down.  I need to finish. I need nothing more than to finish.

As for other news, well, I feel as though the RP situation remains befuddling…in a good way, in a fine enough way, in a way that I do not need much more control over than that which I currently have.  If it isn’t tonight, maybe it will be tomorrow, if it’s not tomorrow, then maybe a few months from now, I have so many other things to worry about.

Other things such as the job where I floated the idea to my mentor of quitting the non-profit and just job searching while I took a few extra hours at the shop.  It’s not, I guess, the best idea.  It’s a dangerous one, especially when can’t know for sure that the new job will come.  If it was going to be easy, it would have already been resolved.  She is fine with me choosing whatever I choose, so is non-profit boss, but everything has its consequences.

I am trying to have some conversations that convince me to get off of dead-center. I’m trying to corral some hope.

 

 

Cathexis

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May or may not be in the process of making a mistake.


The jury is still out.

So…like, uh, the RP dude is back.  It was very Oprah, in that I really had fully let it go, I had fully given up on that ever recurring, I had really said, okay, it must not have been meant to be.

And then, tonight, I sit down to dinner with my rice and chicken and my Nasty Woman cocktail, ready to admire the 4 month-old kitten who just was microchipped and live life as one does, and well…ding goes the email.

So, I don’t…know.  As the saying goes, whatever you miss out on, you were spared.  So now, it’s like, okay, I didn’t know where this was going before, and it felt dangerous, radioactive even, but it was really well partitioned off from the rest of reality and now….now it has potential to be this big stupid mistake.  Potentially, moreso now that I’ve had this distance and what I want now is not precisely and 100% what I have.  It was lovely in the way it hit the marks, but now I see spelling errors and my descriptive text is not met with the same level of descriptive text to feel like proper RP and gah.  Still.

Still.  I am not complaining and I don’t feel used because I am using right back, but well, how odd it all is.  How very, very, very odd.

A big distraction away from the rest of the day when I woke up feeling 50/50 as to whether or not I’d had more than two or three hours of sleep.  I have to have had more.  I don’t feel wildly tired now.  I had to have because I remember semi-lucid dreams.  I just don’t remember that point of shutdown ever taking place.  I didn’t take a vitamin yesterday either.  So, what, on earth is going on there?  Is caffeine completely verboten now?  Now that I have a buncha coffee ice cream in the freezer?

I have no idea.  No idea save that it happened before and went away and now, I am managing my stress as well as I can, so it is allowed to go away again.

Alright, I had a moment today, that I want to record, when I was driving by myself and running to grab lunch where I felt okay.  I felt a wave of being empowered enough to have food to eat and a place to go and a car to drive.  And the day, even though it was overcast, was still warm and all of this hot, wet sweater of fear peeled off and I was fine.  Still had to go back to work and move 10-21 years worth of art supplies and inexplicable stuff from room to room to room for reasons yet to be explained to me.  But I had that moment of being embodied, ensouled, and okay.  Not up against any walls, just okay.

I need more of those moments.  I need the fabulous life that is somewhere out there for me.