Saturday, April 4, 2009

Part IV: Pretending To Not Already Be Dead - Interlude & Prologue

With a new roommate and a steady income thanks to low-level temporary office work, 2000 was ending on a calm note.

To be honest, there was a tremendous amount of personal turmoil due in part to the workings of two women who shall remain nameless. I find discussing or writing about relationships and sex from a personal perspective to be useless. I have not had enough of either to be able to discuss them intelligently, anyway, so adding my two cents in would be a tremendous waste of time for the reader.

The year would end with me taking on a position with an insurance investment firm in Lower Manhattan. Acquired through a temp agency, the job required me to sit in a completely empty cubicle and stare at a laptop for 8 hours while occasionally punching in numbers into a spreadsheet on this laptop. Due to this being considered a data entry position, I was paid rather well for essentially subjecting my right hand to carpel-tunnel syndrome on the ten-key. The best thing about this position is that I was usually left completely alone.

It is important to note that at this time I had been living in New York for just over a year and had made no real friends. My ex-girlfriend and I were fooling each other into thinking there was some type of post-relationship relationship left for us, but it was a double-edged delusion: she thinking that if she could keep herself in front of me it would eventually lead to our rekindling the romance, whilst I was doing my best to keep using the "friend" word; pushing her further away as I was fully aware of her ulterior motive. Severing ties completely would have required both of us to be stronger than we were. In New York it's nice to have someone to have brunch with on the weekends. Lonely people are weak that way.

I also became increasingly aware of her ever-more-pronounced psychotic attachment to me. I began screening all of my calls, purposely leaving my mobile phone in silent. After dinner one evening I checked my phone to find I had 87 missed calls, all from her, all made consecutively during the time I was eating. One of our last meetings together would involve a physical struggle and a pair of scissors.

At some point I bid farewell to one roommate and welcomed in another. She was younger than me, a college student starting at Hunter. She would invite friends from school over and we would cook big dinners, get high, and watch Letterman on Friday nights in Astoria. Everything we said was hilarious and all our dreams were right in front of us. And then we would wake up and it would be Saturday morning.

It was during this time I was deluding myself into believing I was still pursuing a career as a fashion designer. The working theory was that I was laying a foundation for my own business - my own signature fashion line, as it were - and so I would intermittently work on a business plan whilst sourcing materials and putting a small collection together. Mostly, however, I would go to the office, follow that with a few hours of happy hour drinking with a co-worker, follow that with dinner, and then back to Queens in time for Charlie Rose. This was Monday through Friday.

After nine months at the helm of the ten-key, the assignment ended without producing a full-time offer. A gentleman who I had befriended two cubicles down from my own took it upon himself to find an opening for me in another department as an executive assistant. Essentially, I would do the same work as before only now it would allow me the use of both hands across the entire keyboard. Ah, a promotion! I would start in this new role the first full week in September, 2001.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"I would start in this new role the first full week in September, 2001."


And I totally know what: "It was the type of nightmare that is so agonizingly slow the pain of it is almost completely imperceptible..." is all about. That happens so easily and so slowly that when the realization hits, you can't help but wonder how it all went the way it did. I know that one well.

we should hang out.
-jason k