I Just Need to Vent
What makes me so incensed my eyeballs are twitching is that, for the past few days, I have been forced to do just that: wait. Since I've been back in Japan, I've contacted my various job sources, let them know I'm available, been offered work, and then been told, "Please wait. Indefinitely." Or, better still, "We've got a job for you," and then dead silence for DAYS. Urgh, now my butt is twitching in irritation as well. I despise these periods of work limbo. I know that if I'm patient, I'll soon be busy again, and probably whining about it like a little girl. But this, this is infinitely worse. Sitting around baking muffins (albeit pretty darn tasty ones) while I wait to be summoned does nothing but excite that squeaky-voiced, largely ignored sliver of me that isn't altogether satisfied with my peripheral life.
What is it about myself that reassures people: Go ahead and string her along! Really--she loves it! It's like a radiating aura that wraps around a person's conscience like swaddling and numbs them from feeling compunction. Summer vacation, after my second year in college, I was told over the phone by an editor of a magazine I badly wanted to intern with: "Please, come over to New York. We'd love to have you." Flew there and turned out what she meant to say was, "We've already chosen an intern, but we thought we'd hold you with false promises, as backup, just in case." This, people, is how I ended up subletting a small couch that literally filled the entire living room space of a miniature one-bedroom Chinatown apartment already occupied by two other people and found myself walking every inch of the city, begging for a waitressing job.
After days of rejections, I was mercifully taken in by a little Italian restaurant that served things like veal Parmesan, was entirely staffed by foreigners like myself (yes, of course we all had proper working visas), and was owned by a taciturn, older Italian gentleman, whose impromptu visits tended to send our manager into a bit of a pale-faced tizzy: "Quick! Get Mr. Calzone* his usual drink!" Hey, I wasn't going to examine the boss, who could instill terror simply by quietly eating pasta at a corner table, or the place's hiring policy too closely. I was just relieved as hell that someone had accepted my lightly tinkered resume (I wasn't 100-percent certain I'd wow them with my candy striping at Lynn Valley Home for the Elderly nor the instant mashed potato-scooping skills I'd honed while working at the college cafeteria) and was going to let me make some money--even if it would be solely from tips; no pay for the alien workers.
Although there's nothing scarier than a red-faced patron who blames you for the cook getting your clearly written order slip confused, it wasn't a bad job. When people got what they ordered, when they enjoyed the food, it was a pleasure hearing their compliments, even if I had nothing to do with it directly. There were four Ecuadorian cooks in the kitchen and they were surprisingly sweet to me, considering they acted like they didn't see or interact with women very often. I was fed plates of the best French fries I've ever had, fresh out of the fryer and so hot and crisp they sizzled as they made contact with your tongue. And at the end of the night, I walked home with my tips weighing down my pockets in a manner that at least reassured, even if it could not soothe the sharp panic that an entire summer of resume-building opportunity was being squandered.
Twinkling memories and my current joblessness aside, the weather has been depressing the hell out of me. Dirty-white skies that make you squint. Oozing, streaking rain. A neither-here-nor-there temperature that has me sweating in my pajamas and thus forcing me to adopt an in-house attire of knee socks, my husband's board shorts (which have a soothing "support" netting that's supposed to hold a guy in place, and seems to work the same way for my thighs, so that's nice), a camisole, and cardigan--all of which looks as stupid as it sounds; just ask the construction worker dude dangling outside my window who gets the best view of my latest ensembles.
Oh, did I forget to mention that? They've been upgrading the outer facade of our apartment building for months. This means scads of construction workers running about, drilling things, appearing suddenly on my balcony by way of the jungle gym of scaffolding wrapped around the building. Best of all is the magical white netting stretched across the crisscrossing metal frames. It lets in the rain but blocks out all light. This means, for months, my home has been steeped in eternal darkness--I can't even tell without running outside whether the day is sunny or cloudy, although with the weather lately being the bitch that it is, one can most usually guess.
I could actually live with the lack of privacy (reference: dangling construction workers outside window), the early-morning screeching and scratching, and the grey dust that hangs in the air and coats every surface. But I need my light. And can I just say that it sucks in an elephantitis way when one is cut off from one's own balcony and is thus forced to hang all of one's wet laundry inside one's dark, dank little apartment to--ha!--dry.
The final cherry of course is the man who roused me out of bed this morning to tell me that our place was dirtier, older, and more decrepit than they'd anticipated and all this sprucing up is going to stretch on an additional month--minimum.
Oh, wait, let's not forget the sprinkles on the sundae: I think my computer is dying. If I open more than one window at a time, my CPU usage suddenly shoots up to 100% and the hard drive starts humming, whining, and churning, louder and louder, like a vacuum cleaner whose bag is overfull and about to explode. It's doing it right now. It's extremely distracting. And annoying. If it doesn't break soon, I might have to take matters into my own hands.
But where would we be in life without a little extra chocolate sauce: My husband just received a wedding invitation from the friend who was best man at our wedding... But, wait. Where's my name? Yes, that's right, my babies. I'm not invited. Not that I give a bloody damn about attending some wedding for a guy that I don't know or really care about, but it's the principle of the thing. I'm the wife, for god's sake, not some girlfriend who might not last until the wedding day. And you know what else? This is--I swear--like the fifteenth wedding invitation from one of my husband's friends over the past few years that has excluded me. It's totally insulting or something. Or maybe I'm just irate become of my stinking moaning computer. And the lack of vitamin D from insufficient sunlight. And all that other stuff.
Okay, I swear I'm done. And if anything else annoying happens in my life, I'll spare you the details.
*This person's name has been changed to protect... someone.