Conversation with mom: She thinks I’m selfish. She thinks I better hurry and find a job, I’m putting my dad in his grave. She thinks I was better in high school, when I won awards, and made honors lists. Now I’m unemployed and I don’t get along with anyone.
Conversation with John: My mom is stupid. She’s an idiot. She’s negative. She is shaming me. (John was in the military with my parents. Them met in the sixties and drove around Spain together to castles and cathedrals and the running of the bulls. My dad and a rabbi became fast friends with John and they’ve been friends ever since.) Now he owns this house on the hill I’m living at, and is letting me stay for a dollar month to figure self out. I said I know myself, I just need a job and a home of my own. It’s been a month since I got my MFA, which would be no big deal but it was expensive and my parents didn’t like the idea to begin with or the extra money I asked for to support me living in the bay area. Now that it’s over I’m still broke and dependent and so the pressure is on. Take time for yourself John says. But I know they think I’m selfish. I know my mom thinks I was better back then. “This college you applied to, why don’t you just go there and talk to them?” This isn’t the sixties. “I got my last job in 1993. That’s what I did when I became a nurse in Jackson”. This isn’t 1993. You apply online. You email your resume. Why can’t she understand that, it’s like talking to a gopher. Come out of the ground and spout your opinion then go back under. My mom is a neanderthal but she also has retirement money and a home, and so she can be self righteous and it doesn’t fucking matter, I’m still broke.
So I need quiet they say. I could teach English in Guatemala and live at the house John’s sister died in. He mentioned it and I just thought about her gold nail polish and leathery alcoholic skin. I feel trapped. Maybe that’s why I’ve been driving so much, to Folsom, little Columbia town and Angels Camp. I read a book, and went to a gold miners museum. I panned for gold and drank a strawberry milkshake. All these things are fun, but they also feel like distractions because I need to get out from under this pressure, and I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, and who is going to respond to my resume. Are two degrees not enough? Am I unemployable? Am I fucked?