nps drawing

time machine
neworld store



  the room couldnít be bigger than eight feet by 10 feet. itís $34 a night; the cheapest room in the martinque hotel and iíve got less than $100 left in my entire bankroll. gads. iíve got to find a job today.

i pull on the broadcloth button down that i bought on sale at some bargain clothing store in grand central station and struggle with the collar buttons that donít quite line up and wonder how much more expensive a brooks brothers shirt could be anyway...

iím out the door, through the lobby and out the 33rd street exit ...gonna be a hot one...the only suit i own is this lightweight brownish acrylic 3-button...would love to be wearing light khaki with maybe a vest but theyíre so expensive. i mean iím pleased to be on my own, but who knew it was going to cost this much?!

iíve been in new york city for two weeks straight now; back to pennsylvania every once in a while to see mom and dad (itís only a two hour train trip) and though iíve had a few offers from the folks that iíve met while working with TEMPORARY MANPOWER theyíve been for filing or clerical jobs and i canít even remember what the product was that the folks handled! i had a good interview with a camera shop down in the wall street area and i most probably will be called back next week...but gads, iím gonna need something today just to be able to afford to be here next week...

but, i gotta admit, perhaps itís the sense of security from being able to type 45 words per minute, but somewhere in the back of my mind thereís this whispering awareness that even if i have to go back to allanís and try to get my old job, itís only a matter of time...i pick up a new york times newspaper, buy a hot cup of new york cityís blackest and retreat into the corner booth of the coffee shop to scan the want ads., camera, camera...uh, sales, sales, shop...nah, same old names...letís check under, photo, chemical...photographic...wait, what was that...ah...cormac chemical 5th avenue and 14th street...

"iím here to see somebody about the job offered in the paper...", i seem to be the only one in the waiting area. i look at my watch. well, it could be lunch time for most people... the receptionist reaches into one of the drawers in her desk and pulls out a form.

"fill this out, please", she says without looking and taking out my ballpoint i turn back to the narrow couch. i lift my attache case to my lap and begin filling out the form. iím a little uncertain when it asks for my residence.

"excuse me...". the typing stops.

"yeah hon?" she turns from her desk and glances over at me. sheís chewing gum. involuntarily my jaw muscles twitch. i can tell that part of me thinks i should be chewing something.

"uh...where it says residence...does that mean residence while iím currently in new york or a more permanent residence where iím from in pennsylvania?"

"uh...", she looks down at the back of her left hand. she turns it over for a better look at her nails. i try to stop my jaw from moving in time with hers. "why doncha see if you can fit both of em in there...", she retrieves a nailfile from next to the typewriter and gives me an arched eyebrow, "ok, sweetie?".

"yeah, thanks..." i look back to the form and, as listening to the several loud cracks from her gum above the resumed typing, i am able to escape from the almost overwhelming desire to chew.

i donít know the address for the martinique but remember that iíve got a note or two written to myself on their stationary in my attache case. no problem. my folks address in pennsylvania. no problem. previous experience, no problem. i break into a smile when it asks me to list my duties for each one of the jobs...i mean, working in birmingham and then for allanís, from advertising to sweeping the store...what could there be that i havenít done?!

itís a single page application form and i finish it within a couple of minutes and hand it back.

"you wait right there, darlin" she says and i return to the couch.

there are no magazines here...some brochures about photocopying machines scattered on the floor. i gather they must have been left by some unsuccessful salesman. i open my briefcase and pull out the new york times again. Ďmaybe a newspaper jobí, i muse.

a buzzer goes off and the door near the receptionists window opens. a man who identifies himself as mister dohrmann shakes hands with me and sits down on the couch.

"i think thereís been some mistake", he says pointing to my form which heís holding at knee level.


"you donít seem to have any of the qualifications weíre looking for."

itís stated so flatly, so coldly...i feel the color begin to rise in my face...and here i thought i was mister hot-shot...gads...

"i wonder..." he continues, "do you have the exact ad you were responding to?"

"well, sure", i reach open up the times to the section under

photography and, as i pass it to him, i see finally that itís an ad calling for photoCOPY and NOT photoGRAPHIC chemical sales experience!

"iím afraid we really need someone particularly with photocopy sales experience. but, you know...itís odd...", he looks up at me briefly. "would you mind just waiting a moment or two longer?"

", fine", i answer.

in less than a minute heís back through the door with a smile on his face. i stand to meet him.

"the company has just created a new branch that specializes in photographic chemicals and though we werenít going to interview for at least another two weeks, the president needs an assistant - someone comfortable with photographic terms and with some minimal clerical skills...not exactly a salesman...but a beginning...would you be interested in speaking with him?"

"sure", i reply and as i thread my way between the desks, iím thinking to myself...iíve been here before. oh, not actually here...and not even a normal deja vue (if deja vueís can be thought of as normal), i mean itís like a spiritual deja vue...a door that wasnít supposed to open HAS opened and once again, by some coincidence beyond my conception, iíve begun my new york city life.


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