5 ways to control your body language

  1. Eyes — Pierce a hole through someone’s skull with your eyes.

We’ve heard it time and time again: “It’s all in the eyes.” People with darting, shifty eyes are a worrisome sort, and this behavior should be corrected if they ever want to come off cucumber-like in a meeting or at an event.

Instead of channeling UFOs, you should be focused on the person in front of you and the conversation at hand. Try somewhere in between bedroom eyes and life-flashing-right-before-your-eyes eyes. This gaze will let your listeners know the level of urgency with which you listen when hearing important information.

In the ground-breaking book, “Eyeballs Talking” author and communicator Marv Barryson advises, “Pretend your listener’s eyes are the pepperonis on the pizza you will consume at an alarming rate after the conversation is over.”

Once you perfect this art, you’ll rapidly notice a positive change in the way you communicate with others.

      2. Hands — Raise your hands high above your head so everyone can see them.

Those pesky hands. It would be easier if they didn’t exist at all, am I right? It’s difficult to know what to do with them, especially if you’re one of those people who picks their toenails with a pair of chopsticks when you’re nervous.

In response to our supreme terror of social rejection, we oftentimes cross our arms or jam our hands in our pockets and discover a quarter that we need for one of the five loads of laundry that we will do when we get home.

Inside Business Person reports, “It’s important that you raise your hands high above your head so that everyone knows exactly where your hands are, and that they’re not scrambling around your genitals underneath the table.

Lift your hands up over your head until you can feel a slight strain in your shoulders. Invite people to tickle your armpits to let them know just how much you trust them.

  1. Stance — No sudden movements; camouflage your nerves

It’s understandable that people need to scratch their noses sometimes. But for the most part, think of that childhood game Freeze Tag when people are talking to you. People are like deer in the woods; they spook easily. What’s more, you don’t want to give them the impression that you have thoughts about the fragility of life or the meaningless nature of small talk.

Dr. Bartholomew Fartz, a behavior analyzer who has also taken his fair share of nude drawings classes to better understand the body, has worked with the FBI to unmask the deception behind finger picking and rocking back and forth on your heels. It turns out most people who do these things have likely drowned an adorable animal or two at one point in their lives.

I know I said “don’t move.” But apparently that’s a menace to conversation as well, so maybe nod your head. Yes, freeze your entire body save for the nodding of your head.

Look aggressive, but not too aggressive.

4. Posture — Refrain from slouching like a slob.

Remember all those times your parents forced you to be a productive, good-for-something somebody according to society’s standards, and you responded with a slouch and an attitude? Yeah, don’t do that. You’re not in high school. Spit out your gum and sit up straight, like a spider just crawled up your back.

“If you slouch, it lets people know that you choose to spend most of your time watching Netflix original series and eating cold pasta out of a pot in the dark. It gives people the impression that you don’t find yourself as gold-starish as your teachers proclaimed you were,” said career advisor Belinda Dalloway.

Let’s go back to the spider crawling up your back. Think about that spider for a moment again. Think about being attached to its web. It’s stringing you along, lengthening your body, pulling it tighter and tighter.

Sitting up straight conveys that you have your life together and you’re pretty much self-actualized.

It isn’t easy, but it’s common sense if you think about it. The more solider-like you sit, the more work hours you will be able to put in without much back strain. And we know what happens when you have back strain. YOU GET FAT (but that’s a conversation for another helpful listicle).

      5. When all else fails, be like Sophia.





I feel like a Linkin Park song

Sometimes the noise in my head is so loud I just have to say fuck it and surrender to the tears that are pushing and shoving their way through my tear ducts. They all want a turn to star in the show. Me, me, pick me, Sarah. Cry me! I’m next in line.

Today I cried in my car parked in front of a Subway. I’ll take the 6’’ inch turkey with chips, and a cup full of snot, please. There was this guy in a dark Mustang parked next to me who looked startled, then squeamish—like he just saw a squirrel get run over, and he was trying not to stare directly into the pool of glistening guts. So warm and gooey.

Subway is long gone. I’m home alone. I reactivated, then deactivated my Facebook at least five times. I tried to change my profile picture to something less morbid, less “feel-sorry-for me.” But then again, I don’t know what face I could possibly make to convey all of what I’m trying to say. It’s known in my circle of friends, co-workers, and family that I’ve shied away from social media and why. After fumbling around on Facebook again and again and failing to speak up for myself, I went to the gym.

The gym is one of the few routines—that and my beautiful drop of delicious sunshine a.k.a writing group—I have to my name. Zumba always makes me feel GOOD. Like I’m one sexy, strong mama with a slammin’ pair of hips. Like the flaming-bird-spirit-child I’m supposed to be. If I could stare at my ovaries in the mirror during Zumba, I would. I would ask them out on a date and get to know them.

And then the adrenaline dripped like a hose that’s just been turned off. And here I am. Alone with myself. It doesn’t help that my pits smell.

It’s 10 p.m. right now, and I’m forcing myself to write. Even though I detest writing when I start to dip this low.

The truth is I don’t want to sound like a Linkin Park song.

I’m sorry if you like Linkin Park. I like Linkin Park, too, actually. Back in the day, Meteora was my jam. But for some reason I thought I was light years away from Meteora in terms of my life. I thought I only had room for Bob Dylan, for Iron and Wine right now.

It’s not only the lyrics (Somewhere I Belong, Breaking the Habit, and Easier to Run, if you want to get all technical about it). I also feel like I’m made of Chester Bennington’s voice. I’m the hairball covered in shards of glass scraping on your tongue. I’m like swallowing a blister that explodes in the back of your throat. I guess I just want kind of want to break things. Or run.

I told everyone that I need some alone time because I truly do. I told them because I’m not one of those people who just disappears. My brother tells me, “Dude, Sarah, you sound sooooo emo right now.” One of my cousins thinks I’m pulling some bomb ass Edgar Allan Poe shit. My friends and boyfriend support me, but linger in the shadows just in case I need anything. My parents have no idea what planet we’re on, and that I live in it.

I’m not blaming my parents for this. Even though they have a lot to do with things. In fact, I have this ancient biblical-like scroll I could pull out and read to them. But I have never blamed anyone for my problems, and I’m not about to start.

My wanting quiet time is supposed to be a good thing. I set out to work on my writing, settle the racing thoughts, figure out where I want to go next. YOU ARE HERE on the map. But I’m having a rough time with it because in the silence, I’m finding yesterday’s news. It turns out I’ve been hoarding newspapers for years.

I’m reverting back to the gurgling, black pit of insecurity and helplessness that we so cherish in our adolescence. And the worst part is I’m not okay with that. The steaming bitch inside me is not onboard with letting me feel this all out. Even though “feeling this all out” is a part of the plan.

Because the same hustler, the same back patter who has been working with me, inside me, for years is also the one handing me my ass, my severed head.

Here’s what you don’t learn sitting at a desk or find staring at you in the middle of the notes you wrote in your college rule notebook: sometimes you sweat blood to get out of the dark cloud of your home life, you push yourself, you come ploughing through the other side—and you realize that it kind of feels the same. Except there’s nothing there. There is no broken home, no screaming match, no violence on the other side. The nothingness itself is what eats away at you.

You move into an apartment. You feel the wind in your hair of being on your own. You find a full-time gig, a window to your career, something to do with your time. You have someone to share it with, who understands what it’s like to be a 20 something on your own in 2014, someone who will hug you through it all. You think, I’m ready to begin my life, but wait…

And suddenly, IT is there. IT never left you. IT rings like a bell reminding you what you left behind. (Speaking of Poe) BELLS BELLS BELLS; to the rhyming and the chiming of the bells. There’s nothing touching you. You can’t feel it on your skin, taste it on your tongue. You try like it’s your religion to phrase and re-phrase it the best way you can. You try to outrun your past, and you find it here waiting for you—sleeping in your bed, sharing a cup of coffee in the morning with you. It says, “hey man, remember me?” with a nod of its head. It tells you fuck off in between red lights.

My parents are cropping up in casual conversations. It’s almost how I introduce myself, how I recap my weekend. How was your weekend, Sarah? Oh you know, my mom wants to live in my living room. The usual. How do I tell people that that she calls me weekly, pleading in pain, while I’m at work? I don’t. Because that shit doesn’t fly, dat shit don’t pay rent. Sarah, please help me. Please help me, Sarah. And I feel ready to cave, to just give it all up. To move back into the cigarette-stained apartment, to suffocate again with her. All in the name of HELP.

If you read my pulse, you’d find my family there. If you listened close enough, you’d hear something bleating like a half-wounded sheep. I used to have this on lockdown. For a long time FAMILY was the one genre of honest writing that was off limits for me.

I desperately want to ebb and flow in front of my siblings. They after all lived through the same thing. But I’m too stubborn to show them, too scared to get black ink all over their clothes. My brother is a young dad now. He’s found a way to outsource his rage, through scream-o music, and my jaw drops in awe whenever I hear him scream. It’s thrilling to me—like the feeling I get on the Giant Drop. My sister has a new boyfriend she’s really pumped about. And apparently she’s what the kids call “a boss” at her job. The other one is going to school after silently digging holes into herself and straggling from house to house for years. I worry about them as often as I click on a link, as I type a sentence, as I turn a tight corner. I also well an ocean of pride for them because I know what it takes. It takes everything just to move an inch in the muddy waters of poverty, of pain you wouldn’t believe even if you lived it. Because trust me, I don’t believe my eyes.

Being the first to graduate in your family sounds like a big fucking accomplishment. It is, don’t get me wrong. But there’s something so pathetic about coming out the other side alone. There’s no one at the finish line to share this with me. I left people behind. When I come back to visit, there’s this artificiality, this distance, this need for them to understand me. I miss my people. I need my people. But I’m afraid to get close.

Let’s get back to Linkin Park, and why the bitch inside my head is not okay with me feeling the music. When I was 13, this was expected. I just let myself feel whatever I had to feel, and then moved on. Mostly, I felt angry. I felt suffocated. But as soon as I opened the sliding door, when I left the dingy, cigarette stained apartment, shit was funny again. I turned to my friends and teachers; I didn’t push them away or push the button on self-sabotage when my open life was staring me in the face.

Sometimes I wish I could just inject funny into me. I used to see directly past pain, and a lot of that had to do with my ability to open my mouth, hear the sound come crashing behind my tonsils, and laugh with my entire body. My defenses are down. I’m so good at making myself laugh, at laughing at myself. But right now my humor sounds like a radio playing muffled music, short-circuiting under water.

I try to move on, but really what I’m doing is distracting myself, over stimulating myself—with the Internet mostly. With the opinions and thoughts of everyone else, so I don’t have to be alone, truly alone. At home and at my desk, I’m living in this hyper sensory bubble. When something happens—not just to my family, to people I hardly know or don’t know at all—the bubble I’m living in zaps me. My hair stands up straight from the electricity. When a journalist is beheaded. When a comedian kills himself. When an entire population is led to an edge at gunpoint. I suddenly can feel that, too.

I feel like a dandelion that’s being plucked over and over. When did I become such a delicate, little flower?

And then there’s the whole what am I going to do with my life thing that plagues us all. I figured out a long time ago that I’m not okay with doing something that isn’t meaningful to me. What I really want to do depends on if other people think I have anything legit to say. It has to smell new, feel new. It can’t be covered in chocolatey clichés. For the love of god, I want to be a writer. A WRITER. I usually follow this with a punchline, chortle, a snort. Why of all things, does it have to be that? Why couldn’t I have picked something else to fall in love with?

I don’t even know what kind of writer I want to be. My boyfriend tells me I need a niche. Hey babe, you’re good at movie and book reviews. Hey babe, you love poetry. I know I need to narrow things down, too. The trouble is I have this professorial snob in the back of my mind who is wagging HIS (because let’s face it, most known writers are men) finger at me, telling me I’m not smart enough to be a writer. He speaks in a British accent of course. He asks me what I know. I tell him I’m not sure. And he laughs a merry laugh that only a well-esteemed, well-accomplished old, white man can.

I know a million people around me who are feeling the flimsiness of being a 20 something in 2014. As my best friend said to me last night in between my large gulps of air, our parents, people before us, don’t know what it’s like now—to graduate from college, to write a resume, to encourage yourself, to find a job, to learn the ropes of a new one, or to be stuck in one. It’s a miracle that I still have my best friend, that I have friends to share these raw sentiments with.

In a sense, this is why I’m sharing all of this. I know I say I want alone time, but this does not mean I’m truly alone. I know you are on the other side feeling some of these things, too.

Here’s the advice that I’m telling my wide-eyed, sleep-deprived self this morning. (It’s no longer 10 p.m. I woke up. It’s 7:30. I have to be at work at 9.)

The advice I tell myself is nothing fancy. It doesn’t wear designer clothes. It’s what I tell everyone else. Here it goes: just roll with it. If you feel pain, fucking let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Girl, don’t push it down. Where do you think that shit goes? You can’t simply have a bowel movement, and out it goes. Wrapping up insecurity and pain and stamping a frilly bow on top of it all is not the way to go about things. It has never helped anyone. Hiding breeds bad adults. Plain and simple. Say something. For fuck’s sake, wake up, speak up. Turn around and look. We’re all bleeding around you.

(In the words of a cynically positive young adult).

Note about life changes that many people experience. Attempt to explain them differently.

(In the words of a cynically positive young adult).

The reason for this note is to explain two changes that are raining on me sideways right now. These are not all uncommon changes. They are the expected norm, but going through them makes me compelled to write them down and save them as memories for me in the future. Hopefully something in this will inspire or encourage others. Even if it’s just one thing. This is also me continuing to grow as a writer, which I am finally beginning to see. With my confidence levels wavering like a storm ridden sea, it hard to really tell what I am actually good at or doing right in any given area of my life lately. Two changes: moving out of my house with my boyfriend and getting a full time city job. Though I am excited, I am rattling in my boomers right now.

I smelled something burning in my car on my route home today. As many people know by now, my car is a disaster fest, but also one of my near and dearest friends. I am at constant war with it. Sometimes I write poetry about her. Other times, she is just an evil bitch who hates me and wants to destroy my life one red light at a time. When the rain stops, my windshield wipers do not.

So, this week the jungle green dream didn’t pass the emissions test. I even tried to look semi-attractive, just in case that kind of thing might work in passing a shitty shitty bang bang of a car, so I wouldn’t have to pay 600 dollars to get it fixed. Like cops not giving crying girls tickets. It’s not like I dressed like a hooker, I just put on make-up and wore a brighter tank top. I don’t know, either way it didn’t save my or my car’s sorry ass at all.

When I tried to bat my eyes and ask innocently like a freaking weirdo if I passed, the guy testing my car, goes “no, I am sorry you didn’t even pass just a little bit.” So when I smelled burning under my car today I thought whatever got me to fail that test was about to literally explode on me while I was in my vehicle. I don’t usually fail tests, but I am too poor to pass this one all the time. I am happy about my new job because I am now less likely to die at age 23 in a fiery death trap explosion in my car.

What also just occurred to me is that tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and the burning smell might just be early fireworks, in which case I am a dumbass. But regardless, my car is a goner.

Also, HEALTH INSURANCE. SWEET MOSES, HEALTH INSURANCE. I can’t wait to have health insurance. Just in case something unfortunate happens to me because I am human, including a fiery death trap explosion in my car. Getting this job only brings me closer to obtaining health insurance.

I’m not an idiot. As much as I avoid the news and other means of current events because it ironically makes me feel even more small and insignificant and voiceless a lot of the time, I still find myself craning my neck, leaning my ear in, and paying attention. With all the fucked up shenanigans going on how can you not? This is a pivotal time in history for us youngins. I have heard horror stories about corporate America, political and personal. And sometimes, that is the same thing.

I have had a teeny, tiny pinch of salt taste of what it is like. I know that many people try to mold you into someone who is less like yourself and more everyone else. I know that a lot of the time, they wring you like a sponge, and a lot of time your true talents get shoved down the garbage disposal. Sometimes, to the point where you forget what your talents were in the first place. I have observed and at times mapped the after effects of someone who is trying to maintain a job at that level. Or any job for that matter. If you want to get all philosophical about it.

But this is not an entirely cynical view. I am determined to begin my job with the same do-good, feel-good gusto, the same amount of casualness, awkwardness, and high energy I bring to every job. I am hoping that I prove myself wrong. That I will not easily be manhandled by the system of things. I am growing up like everyone my age in this economy/society/generation etc., but that does not mean I can easily be fitted for a wooden frame. I was interviewed for my writing and the interviewers all met someone who does not know how the hell to be anyone but herself, but was open to growing as a professional for the greater good of something bigger than and beyond herself. (Hey the end of this weirdly sounds like a conversation about religion). And hopefully not in a sell your soul to the devil kind of way.

I wrote a cover letter that was basically “I want to be a writer and I don’t give a fuck about doing anything else. Can you use this sort of person in your company?” They interviewed me for a job that I did not get. But they wanted me enough to be an intern. And I am not so naive. I know what it is like to be an intern. I was an intern before. Who knows if I will even be able to write. But somehow, this time I feel it is going to be different because I am going to make it different.

I am getting used to not being in a constant learning environment. I had hard ons for school I loved it so much. But this is not the difference between A+ and B- anymore. I have to figure out a way to learn something on my own. How to grow from things and shit.

I have been trying to stop freaking about out things. Like money. There is always going to be money issues, unless you are loaded. Money is everything, I get this, I really do. But it makes me sick to see people consumed by it. It’s a hard thing not to get over-consumed by.

Being a waitress, I have actually felt in my hands in mostly 1,5,10, 20 and maybe once in a blue moon (haha “blue moon,” no beer intended) over 50 dollar bill quantities. Working in a bar was probably one of the most degrading experiences of my life, but it sure taught me a lot of about how money works. How terrible and dangerous cash money in your hands in large quantities can be all at once, and how to remember how hard you just worked for each individual tip. Sometimes, putting up with the bullshit alone was not even worth the tip.

All I know is when I get to the mall and want to shell out 50 dollars on a new hoodie, I think twice about how I had to earn the money that crinkled before my eyes. But I try not to think too hard. Rewards are always in order. A balance is always important I guess.

It is also something that taught me how to be surrounded by people who were shelling out money in order to have a good time. It was hard to serve the party all the time and not want to sit at the bar with fellow, equally exhausted co-workers at the end of the night, buy drinks, and put all the money you just made back into the machine. Especially on 2 dollar draft night. It was hard to live by “you make the party, we clean it up,” and not want to have drink afterward.

But I am letting go a little more so that I am not consumed by it. I went to a private school for English and Social Work. I am clearly not a money-driven person. The reason I make money at my serving job is because I love people. I still love people, morbidly enough. I honestly do not know how this is possible. On Tuesday, I made 10 bucks it was so slow and my section sucked so bad. But I got to play ping pong with my customers, just hang out and relax. I learned about customers, favorite regulars, and my co-workers who have become my closest friends and even valid material for potential work stories I will attempt to recapture one day. I hope that I have made a slight difference in at least someone’s life while working there. I loved being a part of a team. I will miss the team atmosphere only a true sports bar can have. I will miss dropping “F” bombs whenever I wanted too. I will miss some of the most beautiful and hard-working women and men I have ever met. I learned from a lot of these girls about being a real girl.

I am accepting that I am changing as a writer, whether or not I get to do it all the time. One solid piece of writing here or there is okay for me. But ideally, I would like to do it all the time, at least whenever I am not out trying to understand things about human nature and mentally or into my tape recorder gathering material. I am more prepared for the evolving part of my written voice that is undergoing construction at this point in time.

I am also moving in with my boyfriend, which is what I was doing when this unexpected “yes” for a job that I was convinced I would not get flicked me square in the forehead. And as immersed into the thoughts and endeavors for my new job, I have to remember that I’m transitioning with a very important person (VIP) in my life.

Marriage terrifies me still. I am going to be the first person to admit this because I am a miserable liar. I am even worse at acting. I wouldn’t even get cast as an extra in a movie about myself. Not like there would ever be one. Maybe a book. Because that would be baller.

I am excited to decorate an apartment with Sean. Or for Sean because he seems to think I know what I am doing. I have a theme in mind for every room. But with my own weird ideas, not Martha Stewart’s or whatever the ladies watch these days. My grandmothers gave me some of their favorite things, and I can’t wait to include them into my daily life. I even have China now. Sean and Sarah, owner of two sets of China.

I am happy I get to see Sean first thing every day. He is my “smile on a Monday.” But in actuality every day. He picked me for a reason or I picked him or we picked each other, it’s all the same really. I am going to try my darn hardest not to let him down. I am glad I am not alone, and I have someone who is willing to have fun with it all and not take everything too too seriously. I will probably corrupt him into loving coffee as much as I do. I have already won him over with French Vanilla creamer.

We are going to be all right. I will learn how to cook food like women before me have learned to do. To properly prepare meat and chop all fast and fancy like. Maybe normal choppery, though. Cooked meat–I should probably learn about. Sean likes food. It was one of the first things I loved about him and wrote about, how he experiences his food. He experiences new food like he tries out the shoes of a new video game character. It is an artistic experience for him that I have tried to capture in words branded onto my heart. I will be able to cook for someone who at least will attempt to appreciate it. If all else fails, at least I can fall back on my tuna. I am good at making tuna.

I can have company. It can be a site for writing sessions, jam fests, alcohol digests mixed with heart-to-hearts and what not. My friends will help me decorate. My best friend might bring her over her dog. I will not burn Hamburger Helper to serve for when my family comes over. I can put up a freaking Christmas tree. I freaking love Christmas. Everything about it, yes, including Jesus. Maybe Jesus is helping a sister out right this very moment, who knows I am not ever entirely ruling him out.

The adult kids are moving out. And everything is going to be just fine. Because I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one on a pen or Nintendo Wi controller. I’m not going to close my eyes and numb myself into believing that true happiness is attainable because I honestly believe it isn’t. This is not a game to be won, it is making the most of our new life in the smallest of situations that are always worth jotting down or otherwise adding to the wide spectrum of memory.

Tale of a temporary worker

It’s smack dab in the middle of Tuesday when my half-assed hobbit of a supervisor tells me “Oh by the way, your last day is this Thursday.” This position was temporary. I knew this. Then why does it feel like Frodo just bitch-slapped me across the face?

I try to write it off. Literally, right now I am trying to write this repetitive feeling of incompetence and feebleness off. People know. My temporary co-workers have been passing me in my temporary office, giving me that “is she going to cry” peer. My supervisor keeps sighing in deep and feigning distress. The seasoned Elvis, Tom, asks me the name of the bar I work for again and to send him an invite. I still have yet to figure out what Tom does. I smile as he watches me for signs of weakness and waits for his papers at the copier. I have three more hours of this to kill.

I managed to get away from the puked-stained pity at lunch when I walked completely around the building and slumped over in between two bushes wildly spilling out in front of the maintenance employee entryway. That’s right; I slopped over in a puddle of my own stinking disappointment while wolfing down the eighth peanut butter and jelly sandwich I have eaten over the past two weeks. Two weeks is the appropriate amount of time to give employers when you are leaving your position. It’s plain courtesy, folks.

Why they even presented me with an office is beyond me. Let’s just give the temporary hire a reason to be hated by and isolated from the rest of the group who have been aging and working in the same position, officeless for years.

Foolishly, I bought into the chance that the birthing woman I was covering for may decide to become a stay-at-home mom, and I could just snag a full-time position doing what I love at 23. I decided to prove myself, something I do best when I put my spastic mind to it. Maybe this is my chance at being a professional writer. I was gallivanting in a field of flowered accomplishment. I was about to stick to all of those who turned their smiles inside out whenever I told them I was going to a private, fancy pants school to major in English literature.

I brought in dollar store mahogany frames with the faces of my grandparents and I clutching each other and graduation day itineraries, grinning like chimps in front of a lit up Loyola. I brought in a picture of my boyfriend and I in love at a wedding that we were content with not being ours. I brought in a bamboo plant named Benjamin, confident even I couldn’t kill a birch of steel. These were my desk companions, little mantras of happiness. I covered up my intrusive tattoos, curled my hair and corrected my typing frame in order to avoid carpal tunnel and such. I came in on my Saturdays off.

I failed to pick up on the cues that were there from the beginning that pointed toward the demise of my short-lived attempt at a career life. On my first day, staring me blunt in the face was an AP style book from 1995. Christina, a co-worker who sat on a yoga ball and wore jewelry that made her jingle like an attention-seeking cat meticulously prancing around a room, did not even bother to look up from her computer when I entered the office in the morning. She was the first person I saw every morning.

When I found out for sure that this position would be indefinitely ending, I said fuck it, and started using my work computer to feverishly send out desperate cover letters that quaked through my outbox. The pathetic runts went a little like this:

To whom it may concern,
Once upon a time, I sprinkled speckles of pixie dust on paper and created pretty, Polly Pocket sized songs and poems, and thought I would one day be legit enough to sell countless copies of my writing. I went to college and thought I was special enough to land a job right away even though most people fresh out of the book stacks around me weren’t getting them either. I wanted to be a writer. Morbidly enough, I still do. Please let me show you why I have what it takes to be a part of your exciting mission.

I swear to you I like to work. I eat it for breakfast. I will work a beefy amount of hours for you. Think Portillo’s beef! That’s quality beef! Guys, I can write! Communication skills? I got those. Psh, I can even communicate telepathically. I am analytic and organized! You bet your ass I am a positive, flexible, reliable, honest, determined, people-pleasing, high-achieving, task-driven, problem-solving worker!

You could mold me into a bobble head of you. I promise I am the shining, lucky penny in your pocket. I am made of corporate material. When I prick my finger or my nose bleeds, out comes money. If I were to blow my brains out right in front of you out would flow and assembly line of blood, guts and hard-earned cash for you to put in your bank.

Experience? What’s that you say, three to five years of it? Hogwash! I’m experienced sexually, what do you think? Health insurance for a blowjob here and there? I can muster up a mean blowjob. Eh, how about it?

(Takes a breath, wipes foaming mouth). Ahem, ahem.
I look forward to an opportunity of meeting with you and further discussing my qualifications and contributions to your team. Please give me a call at your earliest convenience.
Sincerest of the sincerely,

Sarah Cimarusti (Is the best candidate for the position, cough).
(No seriously, call me).

Goodbye for real this time,
Sarah Cimarusti

So here’s the part where you pick up and begin playing the world’s smallest violin. I was hired to be a temporary writer, with some wink wink hintage at securing a higher, more long-term position. I have written over 20 articles and press releases and have conducted interviews via email, phone and in person left and right. I have attended dinners with the president and recorded every golden thing she has spewed out of her pampered mouth. I have been listening and writing about people and events like an eager fawn taking her first walk through an open meadow.

I have sacrificed the time I could be spending taking shots off a greasy table tops or the chiseled stomachs of tan men, or whatever it is the kids do these days. I have given a small chunk of my youth watching people meander around the office with nothing to do. Is this why people grow old so fast?

Like I said, I have been giving my employer some quality beef material. When my supervisor calls me last minute, I have been coming in faster than his neurotic, over-caffeinated ass pops Trident bubblegum and cradles then chugs his individual pot of coffee in his office. And blah, blah, blah, let’s get to the point… He has not read a single piece of my writing. Like they are paying me money and using my articles for baby Jesus knows what, and he has not even glimpsed over my work.

This should not be a surprise. I recall being sandwiched in the meeting room with him. He told me he feels that stories these days are too long, and if it were up to him information would be “less than 50 words long.” Probably because he has the attention span of a ferret. “If it were up to him,” our marketing materials would involve colorful pop-up picture books with cute doggies begging for table scraps of food or making doo doo outside the house for the first time. In order to convey any sort of thought, we would have to send out Princess Leia holograms to co-workers in other departments. This man is in charge of me.

The diminishing patience for good writing and other forms of art isn’t anything new, so again, why does it feel like Frodo just bitch-slapped me across the face? Schools cut art programs at an alarming rate and most people have the ADHD concentration for reading books and prefer minimally written, neon lit messages and shout-out advertisements through various hip media platforms. I am even afraid to show this to anyone because I feel that many people may not be able to stomach the amount of words. I have almost hit 2000 words!! Hold onto your asses, folks!

Marx had it down pat ages ago. Everyone wants to claim their work. The worker self-identifies himself with his work in the beginning, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but it can become problematic when there is a massive inequality between the worker and the cheese in charge and also between the world around the employer/worker that seems to market and instill values that move people away from concocting and presenting original thought and creations. But Marx also thought art is what can save this decay of ideas. It has and can clear the fog of indifference. Art has started revolutions.
Plenty of writers have written to save themselves or others. I recently read the brilliant “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, which somehow escaped my grasp in college. The persona in O’Brien’s short stories uses fiction to feel his way around a hazy time in his life and history; that is the war in Vietnam. And what is the result of his fumbling around in the dark? Freaking art, man! And more importantly a chance to reconcile a profound sadness or sometimes numbness that would have swallowed him down a shithole had he not written it down. (Excuse my French, but seriously, there is an entire chapter about a man who is killed and sucked down a shithole).

So yeah, maybe I am fumbling around a little bit right now in my life. But that does not give me an excuse to curl up in a ball and whine about it. Here I am now, a 23-year-old, chipping away and digging that hole to China to get to my dream writing job. I am a writer by day and a wobbly, apologetic cocktail waitress by night. Writing has been the closest attempt I have had at understanding myself and everyone else. It’s a regurgitation of what moves me and makes me think. So excuse my English, but watch me continue to fall in love and thought. Any joiners?