It’s the title I’m putting on this post and I don’t know how to do it, but maybe if I assert that I already do know, I’ll figure it out.
I know that I have to suddenly become prepossessing. I have to be able to be in charge. I can’t dither, or dally, or leave a comma where it need not be. I have to move mountains and light years and I’ve been given the direction that I should really have already pulled Fuji a few feet to the left. Bare minimum.
I know this and I know I do not know how to do it. I have been given kindly words by kind souls who believe or purport to believe in my skills, but I don’t know that those skills actually exist. Maybe all of the lead-up to being in this job has been some sort of fever dream and I am awoke, ass on the pavement, blinking myself awake as though I’ve just been born.
What I thought was simple is not simple. What I think is complex is meant to be the mental calculation of a moment. It is humbling.
So I sat in a room and described how I felt I could do things better and one of those things is improving my connection to this level of work by improving my wardrobe and getting my hair cut. I said I would do that, so I trotted out and spent a lot of money to have hair I like (though not the sort of hair that were I financially free I would choose.) Tomorrow, because the places I went today seemed to have inadequate quality fabric (though the sort of things I’d be perfectly happy to wear were I not shopping to look like I wanted to be employed where I am currently employed), we will go out into the world and buy something that upgrades some bit of old awful that I used to wear.
In the middle of this, J. is drifting in and out of consciousness on the phone with me as I encourage him to both sleep and eat at the same time because he hasn’t been doing either in a consistent way. And he sounds pitiful and endearing and maybe a few hours earlier he’d told me I was beautiful so I think this is a good time to ask him to Thanksgiving.
I’d been thinking about this a while, but I still couched it in tentative terms. Like, I know it’s forever away, and it’s so unlikely and dumb, but I wanted you to know that…like, the holidays are awful and hard and I don’t even know on the getting…but you’re invited to Thanksgiving.
An immediate thank you returns my volley. An immediate “But I have to work the day after Thanksgiving.” I say oh, okay. There’s a few more encouraging blurts before I hang up the phone to go find the confident clothes that are going to transform my life.
I end up finding nothing.