“If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
My tour guide told me I would love the fox. I worked my way along, as uninterested as I thought I would be in the Frieda Kahlos and the Diego Riveras—there is some softness to them, and something vaguely smells Spain-Spanish. There were more interesting pieces: jackets embroidered with human hair and decorated with blood, some friendly 19-teen’s abstracts that were choppy but not quite Cubist, some big photos of a guy pretending to shoot animals that were already dead and had been living quite comfortably in a natural history museum, and then finally I got to the fox.
The fox is running around the London portrait gallery. He doesn’t know what else to do. He isn’t necessarily scared or curious. He jogs through the different rooms, the eyes and wigs of several centuries’ worth of fox-hunters helpless on the walls, and eventually, he settles in for a long winter’s nap. No, a short nap, until he will be recaptured and put into an environment more appropriate for a fox, like, say, the creek behind the middle school I attended a long time ago.
I still do not have a job. Obviously that sucks.
I showed the fox video to a friend. “Oh, the poor thing!” she said. “He’s terrified! They left him in there all alone, and he’s trying to find his way out.”
I did some more googling. The fox’s name was Bandit, and he was an actor by trade. He had already appeared on several British TV shows. This didn’t clarify how he was feeling, although it gave me hope that he was not terrified.
Yes, I have what I need but not what I want, and no, I am not happy with that, and yes, I have the luxury of waiting for meaningful work instead of scrambling for any work, and yes, that does strike me as ungrateful. And yes, a million people are very kind and supportive, and does that help? Yes.
“Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”
Exercise is critical for people with brain issues like mine, and people in transition, and thus I have spent a disproportionate amount of time at the gym. Yesterday I did my usual Pilates and duck walking and that gave me the chutzpah to send out more emails, do more indeed searches (what an awful word for a job search site). Exercise and a little caffeine.
Right as I was wrapping up, I saw I had gotten an email back.
I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I have already replied that we have no openings at this time. Also, here at XXXX, we are not interested in teachers who send out mass emails to every school.
Right in the solar plexus. I wanted to stab myself, hara-kiri, fall on my sword, but I didn’t have a sword handy; in fact, there were no sharp objects nearby, even the knives were plastic. The most destructive thing I could do to myself in that place was to order a triple espresso.
Only an hour before, I had thought, I might as well send out to the whole list again. This is enough torture, as Yahoo will only allow me to send so many emails at once, and my list has to be split up somehow. No, I told myself, list your “no”s and cross them out. Be responsible. So I shuffled through the list and deleted and added and went cross-eyed comparing emails and names.
I did not spend too much money, drink too much, google an ex, or facebook stalk someone whose life is perfect.
I walked across the street and bought some black nail polish because I had really been wanting some. The moon was enormous and red. l drove home and ate a burrito and watched “Kindergarten Cop.”
Manna, right? Manna that only shows up in the amount of “enough.” And “enough” is not determined by you.
I got a phone call from a school this morning. I don’t believe there is a plan or rhyme or reason to my life. I don’t believe there is a cohesive story. But I do believe in trying to be more curious and less terrified, and being gentle with myself.
The Israelites were supposed to keep a little bit of manna in a container to remind them of the rough times they’d been through. And, maybe, so they would recognize it when they ended up wandering in the desert again.