Job Satisfaction

* make us famous

I met Matt January of last year. I had rented a month in a lightless front apt on 9th street. The amount I paid to sublet it was outright absurd and I was overjoyed to be there. It snowed and snowed. I was training for a half marathon and I would go on runs so cold my head ached, leaping around puddles. The apartment was steam heated and dark and had exactly one good poster that was off-center at the foot of the bed. I stared at it. I loved it. That was the month I finally felt the city would let me stay.

The apartment was clogged with all her stuff, the woman who lived there. A closet full of thrifted clothes, books on acting and spirituality, a cd player, stacks of mid-90s cds. I replaced the shower curtain and bought a mop and broom and towels and read in bed and slept enough and met people for breakfast at Veselka often. I felt adult and happy.

 I asked Matt if we’d met as he walked in the door and his no was complicated. I always feel dumb when I ask actors that. He was good looking but not handsome, maybe 5’9 or 10, symmetrical features, not pretty. Muscular enough to make me focus on my intuition but he was fine and I relaxed. He took off his coat and boots. Every once in a while it’s someone I feel I couldn’t pick up in a bar and it blows my mind that I’m about to be paid for something I couldn’t get for free.

 He was cagey about himself. It was cute. I am too lazy for blackmail by half and can’t imagine how such a thing would work. I don’t think they know either, the ones that worry. I think it’s just ego. It makes conversation a bit tricky though: small talk involves a lot of what do you do, where do you live type questions. Thankfully he had left-field information (used to be a professional gambler, big reader, surprising). He started getting into it, and so did I. It wasn’t a ‘wow this hooker sure uses some big words!’ disquisition. He had questions. So did I. We got some answering done. Sometimes I absolutely love my job. 

Turns out he likes things violent, so that was also fun. It’s not something I think hard about, but do frequently wonder: if I’m remarkable, what the hell goes on normally? I made an unfunny joke about me accidentally dying at one point and he kindly ignored it. I need to have a no-jokes-in-bed rule, and I need to follow it. 

We’ve stayed in touch. He told me that I seem awake, and while I know he’s sharp enough to know how people want to be flattered, it worked. Our schedules haven’t connected in months now, but last time we texted I sent a sorry-I’m-too-tired ass selfie. I got back ‘oh BLESS you.’ Maybe that’s what the kids are saying these days but I was charmed.