Monday, January 31, 2005

THE FRUITS OF MY NEIGHBORS

I recently happened by “the Catholic center” (and shuddered to think what exactly it is that goes on at a “Catholic Center”) and noted a flyer advertising support groups for job seekers. The thing of it is, job seekers do not need support groups; they need jobs. What do they do at the support group? Maybe they just assign one another little tasks while they’re there, so at least they’ll feel that their work is needed for an hour each week. Rick, 34, former systems analyst is arranging the dented metal folding chairs in a semi-circle. Martin, 27, and James, 36, former computer programmer and human resources manager respectively, are wrestling with the folding legs of a card table upon which they’re spreading out numerous poorly designed brochures and a sign up sheet. Joyce, 31, former software engineer, is filling Styrofoam cups with watery coffee. If I ever end up attending any such group, my job will be to equally distribute the contents of cyanide capsules into each cup then be the first to drink up.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, um, this is a little strange because I'm really quite amused and embarrassed at the same time by your piece. I actually attend a support group for "job seekers" in the west village. You know, some people who just cannot find a job, or their place in time, need each others support even if for nothing more than that simple brush of human commiseration while "Joyce" fills my mug with "watery coffee" or while "George" blesses us with the pungency of last night's drinking binge.

Have you heard James Taylor's song, "The Walking Man"? It's the one that narrates a story of a wonderer who doesn't understand the necessary interaction of a community that he's foreign to as he keeps walking by without even realizing that the blank stares towards him were actually subtle salutations intercepted by nihility. That's how many job-searchers feel every day after dismissal from their life work when realizing that even camaraderie betrays that comfortable place that we've created after a lifetime of dreaming of creating the perfect life for ourselves. One day, when that happens to you too, I'll wait for you at the Catholic Center with a sympathetic smile and your choice of another inexpensive hot beverage.

PS i really like the images you've posted on your Blog.

Anonymous said...

still with you, sister. and the responder. as one mired in crowds of james taylor fans, i'm sad how few of them i've got. songs, that is. james taylor songs, that is. so i'll be seeking that one out, and i suggest sam wattegan do the same. he can use that window of time which he doesn't use to send me e-mail.