The next day, due mostly to anger (because my tantrums are so few and far between), I decided to take a hiatus from the game. You know, the way a heroin addict goes into rehab, I went in search of (*cough*) a job.
It was mostly because Cat wouldn’t leave me alone about having so much free time and no actual purpose.
For a bit, it was tough going, because apparently Jack in the Box doesn’t give a shit if you scored a 4.0 at an Ivy League college, and the age quota for working at the mall is like, sixteen and three quarters. By comparison, I’m an old lady.
So, I put in applications at every coffee shop within a mile radius hoping I could at least get free caramel lattes and finally found myself kicking dirty piles of snow outside a book store. On a whim, I went in and found my way to the front counter where a middle aged man with a balding patch (not quite in the center of his head), asked what I might be looking for.
Aside from the obvious – fame and fortune – I told him without any amount of desperation what I wanted. “A job.”
He gave me a kind, fatherly look – one that my own dad had never given me – and an application which I calmly took to the corner of the store. It was there that I ordered a burnt vanilla cappuccino, found a seat at a quaint little table, and started writing. The coffee was amazing, the ambiance a nice quiet place to daydream about twenty-man raids, and the application? A total pain in the ass.
Work history? What the fuck was that?
I filled in all the blanks as best as I could. I mean, I knew my phone number and address, so that was good. The reference portion was nearly as horrible as the work history. But even with half the thing blank, the balding man still wanted to hire me.
I could hardly believe my luck (because that was absolutely what it was), and practically ran all the way home in excitement. Well, I ran up until I hit a patch of ice and caught myself on the hood of a taxi. The nice man in a turban scowled and honked about six times.
I gave him a friendly middle finger, he sprayed me with muddy slush as he sped away. Life in New York.
At home, I slipped through the door, and Cat immediately freaked. “What happened?”
“Well...” she offered slowly, “From the weird, shit-eating grin on your face, I’m gonna say you saw a bloody car wreck? Or no, a cat on fire? Wait! Two bums fighting over a bottle of mouth wash.”
“I am not that demented.”
Cat only smiled. “You found a job.”
“Yes!” My yelling made her jump and spill a little of her wine.
“Wow,” she looked afraid for me, “Is the job testing computer mice?”
“What?” I hung my coat on the rack. “Is that really a job?”
Cat laughed and wiped the splash of red from the counter. “Probably the only one you’re qualified for.”
“Ha!” I headed in the direction of the kitchen and half a bottle of red-blend breathing on the counter. “Is this the last of the wine? I asked her with a suspicious tone. She did look a little tipsy.
“Hell no,” she scoffed. “Since when have I passed on the ten percent discount for buying six or more bottles?” She had a point.
I poured myself a responsible four ounces, questioning, “Is that your first glass?”
“Maybe…” It was Cat’s turn to have the shit-eating grin. “Hey, it’s Friday somewhere!”
I took a sip. It was good wine.
“So, what’s the job,” Cat asked, following me into the living room.
I was still avoiding my computer – taking a cleansing break from the radiation. Instead, I turned on the idiot tube and started flipping through channels. I needed a relaxing break after my stressful day ‘working’. If it was this bad now… “Barnes and Nobel,” I answered. “They need a peon to keep the books all nice and straight on the shelves.”
“Wow, that’s perfect for you! Wait, I love this commercial.”
I paused my clicking. “It’s for anti-depressants. You have wine.”
“I know, but watch.”
The woman in the commercial was in a driveway, putting a box into the back of a moving truck. Then her phone rings and she answers it with a frown. Suddenly, she’s swinging in a park swing with a bright smile, and the narrator says, ‘choose happiness’.
“What the hell?” I asked.
“I guess they’re trying to appeal to people who take drugs?”
Cat laughed a little too hard. “There’s another one about vaccinating your pets, and there isn’t a single animal in the entire thing.”
“Maybe the people making the commercials are taking the drugs,” I commented, drinking down the last of my wine.
“Maybe. Another glass?”
“Sure.” I noted how quiet it was without our roommate in the kitchen. “Where’s Sarah?”
“Oh right. Busiest night of the week.”
Cat shook her head at me. “Why do you have to be so judge-mental?”
“Why do you have to be so accepting?”
“Because it’s not my life,” she answered, falling into one of our fluffy sofas - compliments of dad. “Sarah has to make her own choices and her own mistakes. It’s like when you tell your kid not to climb a tree. You can’t stand watch by the tree all day, every day. If the kid decides to climb the tree and they get hurt - well that’s a learning experience for them.”
I frowned. “And what if the kid breaks his neck falling out of that tree, and then the parent has to wheel around a paraplegic for the rest of his life? Especially when it could’ve been prevented.”
“You’re just being selfish.”
Cat wandered to the kitchen for another refill. “You don’t want Sarah’s unkempt existence to cause you any discomfort.”
“That’s not true!” Except it was a little true. “Fine, maybe you’re right.”
“I am right.” Cat’s expression turned smug. “But we can’t tell her what to do. And sometimes, the lesson is so valuable, it’s worth the consequence of learning it.”
I gave her a look. “You should stop drinking.”
She laughed. “Just one more bottle.”