Friday, April 17, 2009

The Man on the Train

Last Wednesday I had an interview for another temp agency. I had planned the trip, I was ready to go, and just before I left I wanted to check the address one last time. I was good on time, giving myself over an hour to get there. When I opened the email, I noticed the part about "please fill out this online application prior to your interview." crap. Needless to say, I tried to get it done, but then when it wouldn't load on our less-than-fantastic internet, I gave up and started to leave.

Only, then I was forgetting my resumes...
then my references...
then my phone...
then my cta card...

and so on, running around my house, getting more and more frantic, until finally, I left the house with only EXACTLY enough time to get there. Of course I berated myself all the way to the station for being so unorganized...glaring at the heavens, cursing the universe for my dumb luck. These days, emotions, especially the crappy ones, are not hard to find.

When I got on the train, I sat down next to a cubs fan who was intent on taking up the whole two seats. This would drive me nuts, except that I do it too. I would have stood, but I was mad and decided I deserved a seat. I sat and listened to some inane story about his friend having a gun, and how funny it was, and the cops and blah blah blahtime to put in my headphones. At Wrigleyville, he got off, meaning I had the whole seat. I sat, looking out the window, about to cry, certain my life would always be a mediocre struggle (my brain gets melodramatic pretty quickly)...when another cubs fan sat down. I looked over at the myriad of open seats around me, but of course, this guy had to sit next to me.

I'm wallowing, listening to my sad-bastard music, when I get a tap on the arm.

CUBS MAN: disnmslatishniorpnciioshsyttiiosnisf???
ME: (pulling the earphone out) what? (looking thoroughly annoyed, i'm sure)
CUBS MAN: didjuknuow theytuk mia pick chu? (gesturing across the aisle to his friends)
ME: what?
CUBS MAN: thye stuskc ah pikchurr.
ME: you want me to take your picture?
AISLE FRIENDS: No, we just took a picture and you were in it.
ME: ah. ok.
CUBS: Yeah...You got pretty eyes.
ME: oh, thanks.
CUBS: Whatchu doin'? You goin' to work?
ME: no, an interview.
CUBS: Oh, for what?
ME: a temp agency.
CUBS: oh, you lookin' for work?
ME: yeah, i'm unemployed.
CUBS: yeah, it's hard out there. I know how it is. it's hard out there. You should go down to the federal building. They're hiring part-time people to work with kids.
ME: oh, ok. thanks!
CUBS: yeah, I know. It's hard out there. but don't get down on yourself. You can't get down on yourself. You gotta just keep at it. It's hard, but don't get down. You got a pretty smile. what's your name? I bet you're smart and you work real hard. just don't get down on yourself. It's hard and if they say you can't do something, you just go and you DO IT. and you don't get down on yourself. You can do anything, you just gotta keep trying. i know it's hard out there. It's hard to get a job...

and so on...all the way downtown. At some point he asked me if he could call me sometime as a friend and I said "no" and then later he asked me what I was doing on Thursday. He knows lots of people and he would meet me at the McDonald's near the ball park with a list of all the people he knows who run restaurants and he could introduce me and we could find me a job. Later it comes out that the people he knows are managers at McDonalds'. If I could meet him, fine, if not, no hard feelings. He wished me luck and reminded me to not get down on myself.

'Cause it's hard out there.

I didn't go meet him. By the time I woke up Thursday morning, I decided that the cosmic nature of the whole interaction didn't involve meeting this random dude at McDonald's.

The one thing that keeps me sane is believing that there is an order to all of this madness. That the universe has a plan for me, and that it does involve a little wallowing and waiting but ultimately, at the end of this chapter, when the universe reveals the magical path meant for me, it'll all make sense.

But every now and then, when I get REALLY down, the universe sends me an Ambassador of Faith...decked out in a full Cubs Uniform. And I have to believe that this is how it happens. This is my story. Life is not sensical and ordinary. Life happens at the weirdest times, with the weirdest people.

In my house made of hope...I'll take what I can get to keep me warm. :)

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