Nothing Can Bring Me Down Right Now, Ho!
The interview was scheduled to last two hours and I’m walking out 3 ½ hours after it began. Another good sign, I think. They told me the new hire will almost immediately fly to the corporate headquarters in Santa Monica for a week of orientation. No problem I told them. No problem at all.
It’s just about happy hour and I’m extremely happy. I strut into Lyon’s on 6th and it takes maybe three minutes to polish off my first Bass ale. I don’t mind drinking alone but I don’t like celebrating alone. I call my pal Tommy…he’s in advertising. Tommy said he can join me in about 20. He shows up two Bass ales later and asks me who I stole my suit from.
“Nothing can bring me down right now, ho.” I fill him in on the past two interviews…the pretty brunette receptionist, my suit, the empty office they showed me that I’ve already mentally decorated, Santa Monica, salaries and the Jeep Rubicon I plan on buying. Tommy’s doing well in his career and he’s honestly happy that I’m making strides in my own career. He suggests that a real celebration deserves a real bar. We start walking toward Prohibition in the W hotel.
The crowd at Prohibition is the type of crowd I’ve always resented because I secretly wanted to be a part of it – the well-dressed achievers with asset allocation funds and frequent flyer miles. I loosen my tie, smile and the first round is on me. We spend the next five hours losing count of our beers and downing at least two Irish Car Bombs.
I told a pretty blonde I would buy her a drink if she could recite the unintelligible chorus of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar We’re Going Down Swinging,” and she does it…we’re going down down in an earlier round/but sugar we’re going down swinging/ I’ll be your number one with a bullet/a loaded god complex cock it and pull it.
The cab drops me off at home and there’s a box from Amazon.com leaning against my front door. Tom Wolf’s The Right Stuff has arrived. I watched the movie on HBO as a kid and it gave me an idea of the type of man I wanted to grow up to be. Not necessarily an astronaut, but to always have a pursuit and a certain level of fearlessness. I had my mom buy me plain white undershirts like the astronauts wore and I named my goldfish “Gus” after Gus Grissom.
I crack open a freezing cold can of Budweiser because it was a good day and it’s been a long stretch where I didn’t know good days. It’s a good day when you feel a palpable shift in your life. The realization that I could be leaving a job that has all the challenge of tying my shoes in the dark.
Turning the TV to the digital music channels and Land Down Under by Men at Work has just started on the Classic Alternative channel. I crank the volume and dance stupidly around my living room while women glow and men plunder…can’t ya hear can’t ya hear the thunder? I raise a toast to no one in particular.
At the same time I flash back to an argument I once had with Amanda… we passed on a group vacation to Florida because she would’ve had to pay for most of it and I wasn’t comfortable with that. As a result, she told me to “grow up” and get a job with a good salary. It was a cruel thing to say and it genuinely hurt. She later apologized but it hurt because it confirmed that she knew I was living below my potential. She expected more from me and had every right to.
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich…