Firstly… I came home and checked email and LJ. I noticed that starroses said something about making a yahoo music station. Eh? So I checked it out. Pretty darn cool. Being just 56k modem, the sound quality isn’t compared to what I enjoyed via broadband. But still, it is very cool. I picked out artists that I like and I rated them according to preference. The mix is very cool and to top it off I got to hear the new song by Concrete Blonde. Across the parking lot there is a salon and no doubt they could see into my window and see that I was dancing around the room with my cat (who wasn’t amused at all). But I do not care. It was a rough day. The station I made moved from Concrete Blonde to Louis Armstrong to Creed to Lynyrd Skynyrd to John Coltrane to Garbage to The Orb… and I really dig it.
First I went to the gym. Not to work out, but to cancel it. I was feeling pretty bad when I got there to begin with. Before I left I was transfixed in the window at home, staring out into space, wondering what in the hell I was going to do. Hopeless was what I felt like. So when I sat down with the very attractive woman and she asked why I wanted to leave the gym, it was very painful for me to tell her the reason. A maintenace man was at the desk doing some work and he asked what kind of work have I done and I listed them all. It was a painful experience. I could see the concern in her eyes, bless her. She talked me into a half membership, with a much reduced rate, limiting me to half of the week that I can go. Okay. It was an odd mixture of optimism and fatalism that I felt when I decided to go with that plan. On the way home I felt overly horrible. The frustration and feeling of powerlessness becoming. I played the options in my mind, all seemed quite dire. What else is there to do? My dad made a comment to me that “you gave it a try, you can’t say that you didn’t try”. Was going back home to Arkansas an option? It is true that I miss my family, but that would be the only positive out of it. Everything else I am opposed to. Yes, I’ve had thoughts off and on over the last few years that the south is in desperate need of a renaissance and that more people like me were needed there. But I love Oregon, I love Eugene, I’ve made this my home and I dream of going to the university here. Moving back to Arkansas is not an option.
I stopped by my place to check my home messages. Nothing. I grabbed my resumes and a book. The book I chose was “Developing the Leader Within You” by John Maxwell. I went to the bus station and purchased a token and got onto the bus. I was going to the employment department and it was less than a ten minute bus ride. But I got on the bus that went the opposite direction and it was on the return leg of the trip. No bother. I knew it when I got on. I read three pages of the book but set it down on my lap and looked out of the window. The bus moved through the city and I saw a woman in a waitress uniform walk down the street, her face giving the look as though she were late for work. I watched some workers on a rooftop pulling off shingles. A bicycle messenger sped by on his bike. I wondered briefly on the beat writers in their concrete jungle. Were any of them rich? I am not widely read of the beats, but what I’ve read seem to paint not only a conscious following of life in all its gory detail, but also the very strong presence of the non-personal aspects of life, such as trying to figure out how to come up with money for food when you’ve got no money, or hitching a ride in the back of a hay truck. Things certainly seem to be much fuller when they have greater influence on one’s life. The bus made its turn onto the highway and I listened to the conversations of those around me. The topic of jobs was everywhere. I was not alone. I wondered if there was a strong correlation between one’s belief in socialism and one’s level of income, or perhaps belief in socialism and one’s locus of control.
For some reason I began to feel better. The few pages that I had read in the book dealt with “attitude”. Yes… that was the difference wasn’t it… attitude. What happens before us or after us compares little to what is within us. I forgot who said that. But I felt much better on that quiet bus ride. By the time I got to the employment department I felt right chipper. Inside I met with a different veteran’s rep this time. He printed me out a couple leads, all of which I’ve already been to but will go to once more. I told him about the thai restaurant and he did a search, and according to their computer they have not filled the position yet. He told me of the Hynix job that I inquired about, their benefits and tuition programs. I’ve definitely have the skills for the job, but I also need something NOW.
I soon left the employment department and went to Kinkos. I’ve ran ot of resumes again and printed off more. Then I took a walk toward the campus. I stopped by the X and told a waiter that I was looking for work, any work, even washing dishes. I was going to be dismissed but after hearing me he went and got a manager who came and talked with me. He asked me a few questions and marked in the margins of my resume. Good sign. But he had nothing open at the moment and was actually overstaffed. Bad sign. I stopped by other places before making it to the thai restaurant. None of the managers were there and I asked the waiter if the bar position was filled yet. He wasn’t for sure, he believed they were in the selection process. I stopped by the Lyon restuarant and gave my resume to the manager there. He loved my resume, telling me that with my experience people should snap me up. My thoughts exactly. Yet he didn’t have anything open at the time. I told him (and everyone) that I’d wash dishes, do whatever. I caught the bus back home and stopped by the McDonald Theater. Chez Ray’s has been totally redecorated and appears nearly open for business. I dropped inside and gave my resume to the bartender. He was over from the Wild Duck, and said that he was sorta taking over in this spot. I told him that I needed work, any work, would do what ever, even if for one night (get my foot in the door). He seemed nice and I talked with him as much as I could to make myself more familiar to him. I also gave him the number of my good friend Starla and said that she was a super hot, super great bartender also and if he wanted a guy I was his best bet, if he wanted a girl, she was his best bet. I talked to him until I felt that it was time to end it (lest I become a pest) and I left. I stopped by the grocery store near home that has the beautiful woman that works there, and I gave my resume to them also. The girl at the counter is a bartender from Virginia and she understood my plight.
Now I am at home, drinking hot chocolate (I’ve had so much of this stuff in the last week!), and I’m feeling good for the most part. Tomorrow morning up early and to more places.
Oh, one more thing. On the bus there were two kids talking. Each was perhaps 18 or 19 at the most. The guy talked about having a trust fund because his father had died when he was 2 and now it was up in the six figure range that he’d get when he was 21, but now he was limited to $1000 a month. I had overheard this kid talk about getting his GED and slacking off in doing so. Most of the conversation dealt with Eminem or other music. A particularly long part was what he was going to buy first, a $50,000 Navigator, lowered to the ground with a stereo in it. I had a lot of conflicting thoughts on this. Part of me was jealous of the money. It is true. If I had six figures of money I’d be so into college right now. Another thought was that this kid had to grow up without his dad. The odd thing is that I didn’t hear a single note of remorse about it. But 19 years is a long time to come to grips with it though. Still, I felt that the potential he had was going to be wasted. The thought crossed my mind about my own dad. My dad, who has come home smelling like the pits of hell itself from a long day of work. My dad’s dream was to either be a wildlife photographer or a park ranger, and he’s neither. My dad is the greatest. Make the money six figures, ten figures, whatever… and it wouldn’t replace my dad. I may not be lucky in the job department right now… but I am more than lucky when it comes to my drawing of straws in the cosmos for a dad… he’s the greatest.