Temp agency appointment the other day. Is there some reason that so many temp agencies in this city hire Irish women as receptionists? I would guess it’s the accents, but maybe there’s some network involved. There certainly is one for Irish men in construction and carriage driving in the city.
Everything went pretty well… this time there weren’t two other people named Gillian in the waiting room like there were last time, so I felt less like fate was trying to impress upon me how unimportant I am in the grand scheme of things. My “agent” is an older woman who wears dowdy sweaters and a New York accent which almost seems to shape her. She was impressed enough by my resume, my computer skills, my radio voice… suggested a few horrible-sounding jobs which I acepted, gritting my teeth internally.
One of them will have a background check, she told me, to see if you’ve been in jail or anything. Oh, fine, I said, making too much eye contact. That should be fine. But there’s no [grits teeth openly] drug test, is there?
(I had to do something wrong, right?)
She looked a little hesitant, but said there wasn’t. I just find the idea of them so invasive, I said. So degrading I wouldn’t take a job that required one, even though I’ve spent time being the biggest Nancy Reagan Youth brownshirt you’ve ever seen, I thought but didn’t say. And of course I didn’t have the ability to take that back.
Eh, it’s only temp work. But I need, need, need to remember that not everyone I talk to in this goddamn city is Barbara Freakin’ Ehrenreich. Something about wizened ladies with New York accents always, always lulls me into thinking I’m talking to kindly old Pacifica supporter, or shirtwaist-factory organizer’s niece, or Lincoln Brigade vet’s daughter.
* * *
I’m not even going to bother to write about my experience at the unemployment office this morning. Suffice to say it was a bureaucratic farce (on the order of the blind leading the blind), and the guy next to me was making masturb^tory grunts the entire time.
* * *
Went out to tango last night for the first time in months. Got taken down a few pegs. Certain people who I’ve bulldozed around the floor should feel somewhat vindicated to hear that I’m probably not going to continue carrying myself like God’s gift to beginning leads anytime soon. I left after one lead said “Thanks” after just one song. (“Thanks” is a universal, unequivocal tango code for “That’s enough for now,” and is usually delivered after two or three songs, unless you’re really digging your partner. After one song, it reads as “Jesus H. God, enough already! I need those shins, you know!” I don’t know why this code doesn’t seem to be in use in other dances.)
Watched my teacher, Rebecca Schulman, dance with one guy almost all night, apparently enjoying herself a lot. She makes me feel like my spine is klutzy. Hers is subtle and expressive. Who knew a spine could be expressive?
Revelation of the evening: Tango is one of the very few activities I can do with my eyes closed. The more the computer gives me eyestrain-related migraines, and the more my brain feels as if it is clicking through verbal stimuli even after I’ve stopped scrolling down the screen, the more appealing this is going to be.
* * *
Should really I end up feeling like my face has been sunburned after sitting in front of the computer for a few hours?
* * *
It hit me like a cartoon anvil recently that I have a pathological attraction to men I can’t have access to. Not that this is any revelation. The whole non-communicative male thing has been an idee fixe for years. I have always prided myself on my ability to get “difficult” guys to open up; I also knew I had a hell of a time staying interested in anyone who was enthusiastic about being with me. Various fetish elements of this pathology have, in recent months, revealed themselves: long distance is a turn-on; guys lost to history are sexier; and, well… let’s just say certain possibilities have recently provided for maddening frottage with various social, ethical, and legal boundaries.
so, I’m sorry, I guess.