The last time I saw Harry, he was buying me dinner with his January paycheck. We caught each other up on our lives but there really wasn’t much to say; nothing had changed since the last time we’d gotten together, seeing as we were both still at our respective crossroads. For him, it was music or school and as for me, I persisted in my search for the next job, a better job.
I liked to ask Harry where he would be if he could be anywhere right now, what he would be doing. He never had a satisfactory answer, that bastard. Whenever I urged him to drop out and pursue music, that goofy grin of his would tumble from his lips. I didn’t have the heart to push him. So we walked the streets and talked about people. Anything happening with Jared? No, of course not. Have you met anyone? Nah.
I grabbed Harry’s hand and took him to a hill in Denver bathing in the sun. We sat on a blanket of clovers and ate our fish and fruit in the afternoon glow, the single large oak tree hanging over us. The wild grass had a pillowy bounce, and his arm lay warm next to mine.
Harry mumbled something in his sleep. I couldn’t make out the words, but he slept well. A smile crept up on my lips, along with the emerging promise to keep his dreams safe. Each and every one of them.
It’s been three months now since I’ve been unemployed, and I’ve fallen into strange habits, a new pattern of day-to-day living.
On bad days, I’m down and dejected with no hope of finding a job. I wallow, hole up in my apartment, and eat poorly.
On good days, I spin Regina Spektor albums and work at home, breeze and sunshine trailing in from my open window. At night, as my writing wraps up, I light some incense and unwind with a nightcap and cigarette.
You might say I’m “living the life,” working so comfortably and not (yet) worrying about money. But it’s more like I’ve found a way to enjoy hermit life, because I can’t afford to go out and spend.
So the fun I have in my head, the drinks I enjoy by myself. Making playlists for solitary work and imaginary parties has become my new hobby. Sometimes I procrastinate and dance by myself.
Harry was a funny man. His jokes were the corniest of them all, but he was so adorable at making them that you had to laugh. He didn’t do it to please anyone; he did it because it made him happy. He loved chuckling at himself.
I loved Harry. I don’t know why, really; he was often unreliable, forgetful, and moody. If you happened to catch him in one of his spells, everything turned grey, starting from the distance between the two of you and seeping into the air, out the door, around the block, until pretty soon, you were submerged in the pool of sadness he had created. And there was no getting out of it. You just had to meet him another day.
Nothing like good food with good friends.
It’s lunar new year weekend (happy new year!), and I find myself busier than ever. A job interview went fairly well this week, so I have to prepare a teaching demo for next week (the second stage of the recruitment process). The position doesn’t really appeal to me, but I still have to make this demo perfect. It’s a matter of pride.
So the following are in progress:
- Literature and Social Studies lesson demo
- Essay #25, inspired by recent events in my life
- An important cover letter
Since the last update, there has been a major glitch with #20 (the Korean text with images), so that is on hold for now. And poem #24 is on hold as well.
Also, my friends are ridiculous:
“Please give me something and then ask that I respond to it in such and such manner. I am reactionary.” – Computer Scientist / Artist
“A man could disappear staring into the blackness of your hair.” – Intellectual Pothead