Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Night, Moon. Good Morning, Society.

[from www.automatoncity.com]

I had a job interview yesterday.

So, Sunday night, I went to bed around midnight or 1 in order to feel refreshed when I woke up at 8.

But I laid there. And I laid there. And I laid there. And soon it was 2.

“Why can’t I sleep? Why can’t I sleep? Why can’t I sleep?”

And I kept thinking and thinking and thinking. And soon it was 3.

“Oh, and he could then kill that guy…wow, that’d be a rad idea for a movie. What a plot twist.”

And I tossed and turned, tossed and turned, tossed and turned. And soon it was 4.

“I’m not even a little bit sleepy. I should get a haircut tomorrow.”

And my eyes hurt, my eyes hurt, my eyes hurt. And soon it was 5.

“My body aches. I should probably exercise. My stomach feels heavier than my conscience.”

And that’s when I remembered that the street sweeper may come in a few hours, the day after Easter, as I have yet to figure out holiday scheduling for city employees.

So I burst out of the house and down the street in my boxers in a full sprint.

I started up my car (without brake pads) and fired it towards my house because my cold foot slipped. As I hit the curb, jumped the driveway and landed on the lawn, all I could think was, “Oh my god, is this my lawn? I’m pretty sure this is my lawn. I mean, this is my lawn, right?”

I think my mind had broken when the air-conditioner fluttered around 3:30.

But I sat there, nearly naked in the darkness of my car on the front lawn, thinking, “I have a job interview in a few hours. What the hell is going on?”

I continued to sit there and pick at my nails, trying to figure out what I should do. And not just then, but whenever and forever. There wasn’t much of a debate of going to bed or staying where I was. That was the least of my concern, all of a sudden. After hours of counting backwards and begging some dull emptiness to just let me go to sleep, I finally couldn’t think of anything.

Rummaging through my messy car, I pushed in a mixtape I found under my seat. The Ramones came on. Four guys famous for barely being able to sing and play their instruments, and I was having trouble finding a job after working at a national magazine.

What exactly is drifting anyway? At what point do you start to wonder if your borders and boundaries are no more sturdy than the silver lining of a pretty white cloud?

Groucho Marx once had a good quote about something like that, but I couldn’t remember it then, when my hands were slack on the steering wheel that hadn’t driven me anywhere in weeks. I’m sure Woody Allen said something good too. Bob Hope, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart…I’m pretty sure they all have good quotes about drifting in life.

But, damn, even Humphrey Bogart co-founded “The Rat Pack” in his most aimless era of drifting. I couldn’t imagine boredom killing that guy if the drinks and smokes hadn’t.

So, after “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg” finished, I took the keys out of the hole and walked back into the house. I didn’t notice the stars and I didn’t care about the moon. Instead, I decided that I wouldn’t invest myself in thinking so much. And then I was asleep within ten minutes.

The next morning, I got dressed for my interview and realized that I hadn’t planned very well. I picked up a black shirt off of my bedroom floor that I thought looks good on me. I ironed it and showered. Later, I realized that it only looks good on me because I always wear it with the sleeves rolled up and the collar undone. Well, the collar doesn’t fit around my neck and the sleeves are too short.

And then I thought of that Christmas from nearly a decade ago when I actually got the shirt from my grandmother.

I also borrowed a tie from my roommate who is much shorter than I am. And his tie was shorter than my torso. But I still have yet to learn how to tie a tie, so I figured the best counter plot was to raised my pants up an inch or two.

“This fucking thing is going to be a disaster, isn’t it?” I asked my mirror, as I realized that I hadn’t missed a few hairs when I shaved the other day.

I ended up in Irvine at a place called Innovation Way and suddenly felt like I was in a half-hearted and overdone indie film. The irony was obnoxious and enticing.

After finally deciding that I wasn’t in the wrong building or office, I was approached by a fast-moving twenty-something with a headset cranking. This was suddenly seeming like the beginning to a musical about how busy corporate life is in New York City, I thought.

Jesus, who’s the patron saints of corporate team-building?

Though all were very polite, nobody knew anyone.

“I’m looking for Hunter,” I said.

“Hunter, Hunter, Hunter…I don’t think I know who that is. Hey Kevin, do you know who Hunter is?” the headset twenty-something said.

“I know the name, but not the face,” Kevin replied from his half-cubicle.

I was so confused, that when someone randomly walked by and asked, “Are you Jake?”, my reply was almost, “I think so.”

Soon, I was in an unused office, after zipping by name tags and typing fingers. I was interviewed by four separate managers. Question after question about advertising and I was soon confident that I had no idea what I was doing there. It sounds like a great place to work, but the mail this morning said that I was awarded unemployment and would be paid to sit at home and go swimming this summer.

The hour and a half was over before I was sure I had given any real answers.

And then I was outside in the cheerful afternoon sunlight next to a sign that read “Innovation Way,” shaking my head, wondering where I had been for the last few years and deciding to just go on a goddamn bike ride.

You can’t be too lost if you at least have bike rides, I figured.

No comments: