Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My mother has decided that October will be a sick month and she quits her job. Come November, she’ll cash in her incessant wails about sore joints, fatigue, toothaches, and “I think the Shingles might be coming back” in exchange for complaints about boredom and languid days. She’ll scour the Korean newspaper for another job hemming jeans, stitching collars, sewing missing buttons and we’ll get our dry cleaning done for free again until she is convinced that her valvular heart disease is back.

Her impeccable timing means that we are unemployed together and she has made it her full-time job to ask me inane questions—Are you applying for jobs? Do you have any interviews? Where do you want to work? What kind of job are you looking for? How is the job market?—and I fantasize about tipping the refrigerator over on top of her and watching her feet shrivel away like the Wicked Witch of the East.

The Chef, my impromptu skateboarding coach, finally cracks after over a month and sends me a text message: Hey, how’s unemployment? I’m not sure if it’s him because I deleted his number weeks ago in an attempt to train myself to play “the game.” His ego has probably become a bit bruised wondering why I haven’t contacted him. Little does he know that there were many drunken nights where I regretted deleting his number and just as many hungover mornings I was awash with relief that I did.

The number starts with 516. I don’t know many people with Long Island numbers, but I reply with a casual comment about my newfound addiction to Californication on Showtime On-Demand knowing that he was the one who recommended it to me. His response will confirm that it’s him, and it does. I ask him if he had fun camping out in front of the White House to protest the war (but really just to smoke pot and pretend he’s a hippie with his vegan best friend) and whether he got around to downloading any Jeff Buckley, and I realize that I actually missed him a little after all.



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