A Joke at My Expense

Blurb: A short story that exploits my current situation and transforms me into a caricature.

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I want to moan, I want to whine and I want to vent. That’s all I want to do.

I have this horrible insatiable craving to wallow in self-pity.

I don’t have a job, and I all I can do about it, is complain. Conversations are on repeat with me, I have nothing new to say, mostly because, I haven’t anything new to talk about. I can’t do anything. I have no money.

Oh woe is me, I can’t do a thing.

All discussions with my friends drift back to the shame topic.

‘Oh Loser, pity you couldn’t join us… it was amazing!’

As all ‘it’s are.

‘I know, but I don’t have any money I’m afraid.’

‘So, how is the job hunt going?’

If it was going well, need I brag about how little money I have and how little society I see?

Why yes it is splendid, I am hunting all the time, shooting out CV’s and covering letter’s as if a whole flock of pheasants had burst forth from a single bush.

‘How impressive.’

Yes, I’m the best hunter and shooter in the world… I’m just not the best catcher.

‘You’ll get one soon, I’m sure of it.’

And so they have said, for the last three years.

Soon has a strange ability to span over decades, tricky devil; soon.

Such luxury. Such leisure these last three years have been, what with that delightful affair at Sainsbury’s that lasted two of those splendiferous years.

I ended up with Raynaud’s Disease thanks to that place. I had several freak collisions with their large metal rollers which resulted in my poor middle finger being rather badly squashed, several times I repeat.

Not sure how they knew to target the same finger, but they did, aaaaand now it goes ghostly white whenever it’s a bit chilly.

Cheers Sainsbury’s.

That’s my lasting impression from you.

And then I got this Internship, which has tallied over the past year. I spend my days reading and editing over three hundred stories a week.

Without pay.

Oh the joys of unpaid labour. You can’t tell me reading stories with my slippers on and a hot cup of tea isn’t gruelling work.

Oh wait it isn’t.

But the endless reading and editing and commenting is, especially when you’re not getting paid.

Honestly it is.

My eyes have gone completely square; they see only a muddle of pixels and words now. I have daily headaches and sore eyes, all because I’ve had to stare at a computer screen for far too long.

I leave my desk blindly wide eyed and zombified.

Like an owl forced to fly in an unnatural day.

‘So what are you looking for now? What are you going to aim for?’

The echoing questions chime in my ears. Each conversation is just a recording to me know, they all go the same way and I certainly don’t stray from the script. I read off my dialogue diligently and with the same enthusiasm as the scene before.

‘Anything Dear Sir or Madam. Anything but retail.’

‘Oh?’

I’m holding out for something that won’t turn me into a mindless drone. I actually enjoy using my brain.

So the job hunt goes on and I have no one to blame but myself, my pride and, of course, all those idiots who have chosen to not hire me.

I’m great.

It’s just hard turning ‘I’m great’ into a whole covering letter.

***

My cravings have been getting worse lately.

My pity pot keeps getting deeper every time I return to it and with each visit it’s getting harder for me to crawl back out.

The sides are becoming smooth underneath my frequent footing. I’m making it slippy with my tears and snot. With each hulk like punch to the floor I drive myself closer to the earth’s core.

Even though the release is only ever momentarily cathartic.

***

‘She whines all the time.’

‘God I know, it’s getting so annoying.’

‘All she ever bleats on about is her job hunt.’

‘She’s such an ear sore, every time I see her now I feel like I’m her bloody therapist. I have problems too, you know? It’s as if mine aren’t equal to hers!’

‘So condescending and it’s her own fault she’s unemployed. Goes around acting as if she’s a bloody victim, so pathetic, I’m like, please… just get a job like the rest of us.’

‘Miss high and mighty.’

‘Miss oh woe is me.’

‘So bored of her.’

‘So bored.’

‘Doubt she’s even really trying.’

***

I sigh as I watch another mascara-laden tear slide down my face.

‘Well I really needed to hear that.’

I look away from the mirror and go downstairs.

***

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A Confession at 22:17

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(Drawing courtesy of my Sister – it is a diagram of my current life status.)

So I have realised that lately I have been neglecting my writing duties. Since running off to Canada for a holiday (Ooh la dee dah, yes, yes I know, how unfortunate for me right? Well anyway…) I have been unable to get my head back into writing slog mode. It’s been almost three months since my last blog post… what kind of writer am I? I have been focusing all my attention on applying for jobs that I have put my writing on the back burner, priorities eh?

What kind of woman am I? Why am I seemingly incapable of multitasking? Do other women have this issue or am I defunct? Have I been living in my boyfriend’s clothes a bit too long? Have I become another supermarket drone?

Dear God I hope not.  That is a fate worse than death.

No I think I am just fed up. These past two years I’ve been living at home but it’s just felt like I’m in bits and pieces. One weekend I am a writer, the next a girlfriend or an advisor to a friend or the big sister that needs to comfort the beast (that means sister for those that didn’t know) or I am the party animal who only occasionally remembers how to have fun.  I have been hurling myself from one side of the country to the other, from one pit stop to another and I’ve forgotten how to be whole.

(Ha, wait a minute, that just shows how amazingly multitasked I actually am. Who else but a woman could be all those roles at once? YES I AM NOT GROWING A PENIS! Although… It does look like I am losing what little boobs I already had… *weeps* (I blame that particular dilemma on all the running and exercise I have been doing lately – see folks losing weight isn’t always a great idea. Take heeeeeeeeed!) Lord how many confessions are you going to make today? …. Ok, let’s get back to what I was originally moaning about, shall we?)

I’m fed up of being in the pit stop already. I want to drive, not be under surveillance or testing. I want to be out there on the race track able to compete. I want to be up to standard.

For the past two years I have felt like I have been missing a tyre, a light or a gear. That I’m not up to speed with the people I left University with. They’ve gone shooting off into their careers and I am floundering behind wondering why I’ve stalled.

I’ve realised I am fed up of living 198 miles away from my boyfriend, being unsuccessful and a failure in the eyes of my peers and my annoying cousins. I’m fed up of grieving for the loss of my University years and thinking that those were THE best days of my life – because I really hope they are not, I want there to be better days ahead for me or at least for them to be equally as amazing.

I’m fed up of being pessimistic. I’m fed up of taking the easy road. It’s so easy to slip into the pity pot, it’s so easy to mooch on the sofa and complain about how nothing is going well for me.

I mean, come on, what was I expecting?

I tell you what I was thinking – I was naively under the impression that something good would happen to me as soon as I got back from Canada. I thought that a job would fall into my lap. That it would pack my bags for me, magically transport my ass up to London and move me into a decent flat with my boyfriend.  It’s been nearly two months since I’ve been back and I’ve had one measly interview.

Why do I put my expectations up so high? It’s as if I want to fail, it’s as if I enjoy tripping myself up.

It was never going to happen like that so why am I making myself feel so crummy about the whole thing; it’s not as if I am the only person in the world suffering from the same problem.

How self-centred… get over yourself! Get some bloody positivity inside of you for pity sake. This is why my writing has been in the back seat lately, I’ve been focusing on getting out of Devon so much that I almost forgot my blog existed.  It wasn’t until this weekend that it was pulled back into the front lines.

So, this brings me to why I have written this particular post.

I don’t want to be in bits anymore, and having a pen name is just another piece to deal with.

This other persona of myself is stealing all the good bits that I have done this past year – this blog got me back into writing and has given me confidence. So why let another name take my glory? Why let someone else steal the limelight?

Maybe this is my race track, this is the one I should be focusing on instead and maybe I am the one putting myself in the pit stop? This pen name is holding me back and why?

Because I am too cowardly to put my own name to my writing? LAME. PATHETIC. JUVENILE.

Again what kind of writer am I? Yes it was fun to begin with but now it’s time to grow a pair.

So here it is confession number 6 – I am Hannah Jamieson and this is my blog.

I don’t pretend to think that I am any good but I certainly enjoy what I do. Call me Hannah, call me Alexandra I don’t really care, just in my head it matters that we are one of the same. It’s just one less role deal with.

Ta.

 

Now see, wasn’t that easy? Funny thing is only the people who read my blog regularly will probably see this, so I guess it wheedles out the ones who are deserved enough to know my true identity.