Tag Archives: Literature

The Interview – Pt. 3

Julia was walking rapidly. She was passing a park, scattered with picnickers, children and dogs running. Halfway through the park, she stopped herself and laid a hand on a nearby tree for support. This is when it hit her. She could not remember what she was walking away from. Was she escaping from something? Someone? Was she going somewhere?

It had been exactly two years since she had had the last blackout. They had started when she was nineteen, back in college. She had gone to a party with her roommate, Lucy Frees. Julia didn’t want to go to the party, but Lucy insisted. Almost begged her. Lucy wanted to see Jason, one of the frat boys hosting the party. But she didn’t want to show up to a party alone. This is why Julia had to come with her.

Julia remembered going to the party and having a few drinks. But after that, everything was a mystery to her. The next thing she knew about was waking up in Lucy’s bed, her own bed undone. Lucy hadn’t been there when she had woken up. She found out later that Lucy had died after being hit by a car when she was walking home the previous night. Julia always tried not to think about what happened that night. It wasn’t the guilt that bothered her. She knew that if she had taken better care of her roommate, she would probably still be alive. What really bothered her was not knowing what had happened.

Two years had been the longest she had gone without a blackout. She chuckled. And I was stupid enough to think I was cured, she thought- the bitterness overcoming her. She sat with her back against the tree. What was the last thing I did? After some effort, she was able to bring back the image of Leo Tanzini and his office. Right, he offered me a job! Her excitement was obvious. But what happened then? She examined herself and noticed that she was wearing casual jeans and a purple blouse. She certainly had not worn this to a job interview. She then remembered he had offered her lunch. Was she going to meet him? Was she late? Is that why she was walking so quickly? But nothing further came to mind.

“Christ, I’m pathetic!” She muttered. Defeated, she went home.

To be continued…

The Interview

The Interview – Pt. 2

The Interview – Pt. 2

Julia was stunned by his question. Upset wasn’t quite how she felt, but it came pretty close to it. Was she giving out a bad vibe this early in the interview? She thought of the single can she had left earlier on the table. This wasn’t the time to be bitter. She needed to please this stranger somehow, someway.

“Disappointed is more like it.” She was shocked to hear these words come out of her mouth. Was she out of her mind? This was certainly not the way to try to please this man. But then again she had never performed successfully in that department. Hence the divorce. Marco Ramos, her ex-husband, made this very clear to her. “You’re not the girl I married,” he said with suitcase in hand. He was quick to leave. Didn’t even bother with counseling or giving her a second chance. A quick man; even on the times she didn’t want him to be.

Leo stood up. This couldn’t be a good sign. She must have offended him. This was the only interview she had been able to get. And here she was, ruining it before it had even formally started.

“Can you start Monday?” He said monotonously. Julia thought she’d heard wrong. Why would he be hiring her? He hadn’t even asked about her qualifications, or why she was unemployed. The situation had become a blur to her. A recent headache and a stomach-ache were unforgiving reminders that she hadn’t had enough food to function properly. Perhaps she had started to hallucinate.

“I beg your pardon?” She asked in a last attempt to regain control of the situation. Leo examined her with concerned eyes. There was more about this man than his stern composure.

“I wasted enough of your time when I made you wait in the lobby for an appointment I was late for.” This was as close to an apology as Julia was going to get. “But you waited. Which tells me you are determined to get this job.” True, but that still didn’t explain why he’d hire her like this. “I asked if you were upset. Most people would have lied to get on my good side. But you didn’t. You were honest. Even if that would have cost you the job. You put your values first.” Little did he know that Julia hadn’t intended to be honest. She wasn’t thinking straight. Her act of nobility had actually been nothing but a mistake on her part.

“But you don’t know anything about me, or my qualifications!” She protested. Unbeknownst to her, she was now sticking to her values and protesting this man’s good gesture. She didn’t think that his assessment was valid. How could she? People aren’t this kind anymore. Why her?

“I know enough. The rest is well explained in your resume and your recommendations. No need to repeat what you have already provided. But if you feel that’s not enough for me to hire you, you can join me for lunch and tell me more about yourself.” Leo hit a nerve. To Julia, this sounded like an advance. And to think that he made her believe for a moment that there was something special about her. Of course not. This man wanted something from her that she wasn’t prepared to give him, or anyone else for that matter.

To be continued… 

The Interview

The fridge was empty when Julia Carmichael looked into it. The cool air coming out of it was still something to be thankful for so she closed the door without complain. She browsed through the cabinets and was lucky to found two cans of beans. She could not remember buying them, but she was glad she had done so. Julia had been laid off from her company after being a successful accounts manager for 12 years. Her success did not matter in the end, only the company’s. She left one of the cans on the table, and she busied herself cooking the other one.

Two hours later, she found herself waiting in the lobby of the Crestia Bank located on 3rd Street and Main. She was told that the hiring manager would see her in ten minutes, twenty-five minutes ago. She tried to keep her negative thoughts aside though, and she hoped that he was simply busy with other businesses. She past time looking at the people waiting in line for a teller. It was so easy to tell who was in a hurry and who wasn’t. Like the lady who kept fidgeting with a check, while glancing at the wall clock every other minute. Perhaps she was in her lunch break and needed to rush back to her office. Julia tried to remember what that felt like. Having an office, getting the big calls, preparing for meetings. She considered herself lucky to have been doing something she loved for the time that she did. But she wasn’t lucky anymore. At least not for the time being.

Fifteen more minutes had gone by. She went against her instincts to keep waiting and asked one of the staff members to check on the hiring manager for her. The staff member, a man in his late 20s, politely went about helping Julia. She returned to her seat in the lobby, and tried not to look impatient. The man came back and asked her to follow him, the manager was ready for her. She walked by instinct, but her mind was practicing answers to the expected questions. Questions like: “do you consider yourself a team member?” and “what does leadership mean to you?”

The man opened the door to Leo Tanzini’s office, a chubby but well-dressed man. Julia walked in and Leo extended his hand. They both sat after the rather awkward exchange of greetings. She handed him her carefully crafted resume, which sat in a perfectly chosen black folder. He looked at it without a word, the tension building in the room.

“Are you upset?” Leo finally broke the silence.

To be continued…

The Times

I woke up with a sense of urgency to pee. I stumbled on my way to the bathroom with half-opened eyes. While sitting on the toilet, I remembered that I needed to go downstairs to pick up the L.A. Times before someone else did. Someone stole my Sunday edition last week, and the replacement edition that was sent to me the following Monday. It’s still hard to believe that someone in this college-student-populated building had woken up before 10am last Sunday and stole a newspaper. I glanced at my wife’s cellphone to check the time after I got dressed. It was a little after 8am. I wondered for a moment if it was already too late to find the Times still there and I hesitated before heading towards the door as I admired my wife’s nakedness on our bed.

The paper was still there, right outside the building’s front door. As I held it in my hands, I smiled to myself with a sense of accomplishment. Clearly not over the fact that in a country like the United States, people still dare to steal someone else’s property. Twice.

I headed upstairs resenting the delivery person who for three weeks now has ignored my delivery instructions. “Please deliver outside apartment door #203.” He/she even has the code to enter the building. I almost regret given out that information but not as much as I regret that his/her actions helped someone else steal from me.

I opened my apartment door as quiet as possible trying not to wake my wife a second time. As I placed the paper on the floor, she looked at me and gave me a smile. She too had been an accomplice in this; she knew how much I wanted to beat whoever had stolen my paper before.

The paper is still sitting on the floor unread. And will remain that way until I finish reading the novel “Butterfly Boy” by Rigoberto Gonzalez, which is a memoir of a Chicano gay kid about growing up and coming out. I’m supposed to compare this book to literary works written by Chicana lesbians that we have read throughout the quarter for my Chicana Lesbian Literature midterm. The works are not all that different from each other. They all have some sort of struggle in common. Struggle because of background, race, class, sexuality, etc.

I haven’t been able to relate to the work of Chicana lesbians because my story is too different from theirs. But “Butterfly Boy” somehow was able to hit closer to home. Gonzalez is the only one who actually talks about being little and sexually confused; you cannot be gay and not relate to this. Reading this book has made me resent my family more than I already do. I just wish I would have had someone to talk to while growing up, instead of hating myself for loving women.

My father finally confirmed with my brother on Friday that I was a Lesbian. “He sounded disappointed,” my brother told me. I laughed in disbelief. A man who was unfaithful to my mother, hurt her, left me and my brother, did the same to another woman and her kids, and is now alone and old working for his brother is disappointed in me. If he weren’t in another country, I would love to knock at his door and tell him that I understand his ignorance, and that I’m sorry he’ll never know what is like to be happy but I do. I am so grateful that I was able to take my wife’s last name and erase his for good.

I’ll never understand why my mother married such a man but she’s not too different from his ignorance. She struggled with the idea that I am gay. And she now struggles with the idea that my brother is dating a black woman. I told her over the phone last night that this was his decision to make after she told me that she didn’t agree with his relationship. “He’s happy and I’m happy, isn’t that what matters?” I asked. Big mistake. She made a point of making me feel guilty for being happy. I resent her for not being a mom. “What have I done to deserve this?” she’d say. I’m not sure what she wants from us but it certainly isn’t for us to be happy.

I’m consciously glad that I’m far from those times. I’m happy I grew up enough to be on my own. Getting the paper delivered to me is a sign of independence. Even if I have yet to read it because of my midterm, I’m still old enough to get the Sunday paper. Sometimes is good to grow up just to have a clean slate. I may not have a past I’d be proud to look back to, but I have hopes I’ll find that pride in my future. By then there might not be such a thing as a newspaper delivery.

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