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9/21/14

Eating Frogs

I have the job searching blues. 

I am applying to a job for which I am not well-qualified, at least on paper, but I am being coached on how to compose my résumé and cover letter by an insider. 

The insider has offered me good advise but the changes she has suggested require a major reworking of my current application. This process feels torturous. 

Is this mere laziness or is my reluctance a genuine sign that I am not qualified? Or am I doing this only because the insider is also a friend who wants the best for me and really wants me to apply for this job? 

Update: All ended well yesterday, after I posted this. My insider friend declared my revised résumé and cover letter "wonderful," and I submitted them a good ninety minutes prior to the end of the business day. 

Only things is, I have not heard back yet. I realize it has only been a few hours, but the insider told me that the employer is conducting interviews today and that they want someone starting tomorrow. 

I am a little disappointed, but not at myself. I completed the hard work yesterday. Yes, I dragged my feet at times, but hey, it was Sunday!

9/19/14

Lad

It is Friday early morning. I am at the Lush Lounge coffee spot. It is well-lit, there are two ceiling fans spinning, ambiance music pours from the walls, and behind me, a water fountain falls. I am the only customer at a table. 

I walked forty-five minutes to get here, carrying my laptop in my black Targus bag and a murse (male purse) filled with items like sunblock lotion, a wallet, a eyeglass case, and so forth. It was dark when I left the house, as well as when I arrived. On my way, I saw a cute young woman at a corner, said hello, and received a smile. When I walked by the public transit center, I saw young, working-class people smoking and chatting with each other. 

During my walk, I attempted to be as empty as possible. I have been cluttered with anxiety, self-loathing, and confusion this week. Getting up and walking instead of remaining curled up in my linens was a form of healing. Healing the bruises, scratches, and slights I have dealt myself during this week of excessive sleeping, intent isolation, and binge watching House of Cards, the Netflix series. 

I had breakfast. It was a cup of soy milk and oatmeal with raisins, ground flax seed, and chia seeds.

The city of Vista
I need to return to life. To stop the isolation, to stop the haphazard eating, to stop the sedentary quality of the last week. I like to swim, to lift weights, to run. To continue my job search, to continue my writing, to continue creating my dream of going to Cornell graduate school. Things of this sort. 

It is now light outside and one more customer has taken a seat in the lounge. He is man wearing gray running sneakers, charcoal shorts, and a light gray hoodie. His hair is all gray with a receding hairline. He has a gray mustache and wears glasses. He is playing with his Smartphone. 

Things could be worst.

However, for the time being, I am not. I am a handsome lad.  

9/10/14

Dive

Oh, boy.

I just did my first poetry reading in years. It was at Art Beat on Main Street (ABMS) in Vista, California. I showed up for the 6 to 8 open mic. I was early. ABMS is run mostly by ladies, including ringleader Kait. They greeted me warm and effusive when I arrived.

First, I sat on a black wooden bench to fiddle with a three-ring binder and a computer bag. Then, I went to the bar and ordered a beer. I got my buzz-zzzz. Maggie was there! This is one of the first and most important things I noticed. She is a painter and yoga instructor.

I sipped my beer and made decisions about my "set." First, I would say a few things about myself. Then, I would read my poetry, giving context during the intervals. The ladies continued to be really friendly, so that I got a slice of cake. It was something I should not have eaten, but,  "how often are people so welcoming?" I asked myself.

I returned to the performance area and watched two musicians play the blues. My shoulders boogied.
I was the only poet among a convergence of musicians. One of the only people of color among a soiree of white people. I live in a "red" city.

A kind cowboy with long hair began fiddling with a microphone and Kait came over to say, "We are setting you up for your reading?" I have read, and read well, in front of hundreds of college students, but I had rehearsed for that type of thing and happened to be well-oiled. Not tonight. 

The blues men finished their set. I was announced and welcomed. "What are these people going to think of my poetry?" I asked myself. "How am I going to perform?" I inquired. There went nothing.



The first piece was an anti-war poem. It includes these verses:

"It is time for an illegal invasion and occupation
of rebellion and truth,
executed with armies of the poor and the discontent,
supported by private contractors like Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader, and Cindy Sheehan."

Oh, boy...It is going to be this kind of night, is it not? I could hear Republicans in the room snicker. I saw a face squirm into: what the hell are you reading! I saw another one just write me off.
I saw more faces engaged, though.

I read "Full Circle" next. I should have rehearsed that one. Third poem was "Gift." Not so bad. The last poem was "Guajome," one of my gems. I was humming with adrenaline when I stood up to leave the stage. "Did I just make a fool of myself?...Are the smiles, applause, and compliments sincere?...Did someone get at least one poem?" I asked myself.

Gradually, time sobered me. I went to Maggie, who was preparing a painting class. The courtship manual says, "Chat with her a few times before even considering propositioning." So, I was doing homework.

The night was ending when a nice woman gave me two pineapple guavas, a knife, and a spoon. And I tasted the tropical fruit for the first time. Later in the night, I ran into the kind cowboy in the parking lot and he said, "I liked how you worked in the stuff about the Kumeeyay."