One ringy dingy


February 1, 1994

I’m destitute. I’m so broke and in desperate need of money I took a temp secretarial gig at Lehman Brothers. Answering seven phone lines isn’t doing much for my self-esteem. Is this all I’m capable of? I got home Friday and wept over feeling so hopeless and unemployable. Laura used to say I was either the most confident person she’d ever met or the greatest actor. It’s the latter. I miss her terribly.

Ann came over the next day and I was still a mess. We laid in bed and after pouring my misery out we went at each other like two Tasmanian devils in heat. She is equally adept at taking charge and being submissive. It’s a talent. I felt a little better after that. She’s leaving for Cambodia in three weeks to go ancient artifact looting—I mean shopping—to stock the gallery. I wish she would take me with her. I asked but she said it’s a business trip, otherwise, etc.

When she left she pressed a $100 bill into my hand and said I didn’t have to pay it back. I feigned like I couldn’t possibly accept it but of course I did. After she left I went across the hall to Cindy’s. Her house slippers look like oven mitts. We went to Two Boots for pizza and I paid with the money Ann gave me. $20 including tip. I spent $20 at the smelly Key Foods on Avenue A and paid my phone bill ($40). That leaves $20. Cindy is playing out on Wednesday night at the Knitting Factory and said I should bring Ann.

There was a notice in the lobby from a Law & Order location scout. They’re looking for apartments to shoot in. I took the notice down so no one else would see it and called right away. They pay $500.

I sat through orientation at Ernst & Young to be on their on-call list. It was dreadful. They covered the glorious history of Ernst & Young. Apparently, there’s a misconception in the public’s mind as to how the company’s name is pronounced, so they went around the room and made each of us say the name out loud. Humiliating. The Citibank orientation was more humane. They said I should get a beeper.

I sat in my window last night and watched firemen put out a tremendous fire across the street. There was so much smoke. I’m afraid of apartment fires. You never know what your knucklehead neighbors are up to.


Oliver and Alice are alive and well albeit bored, bored, bored.

32 thoughts on “One ringy dingy

  1. your posts remind me of how crappy the 90s were and how we had to make like dumpster scraps were a possible entrée to a promised feast just to keep going and how many are still doing it.

      • I can feel that in your posts, maybe misery has a touch of authenticity that being in command of one’s fortune seems to lack, don’t know, but you got me thinking…

  2. Right about the time of that post i was dropping out of grad school to become the Raskolnikov of my little college town, (albeit without icing some poor old lady) washing dishes off the books in a coffee shop, hustling shitty weed, being handed free drugs, surviving off the kindness of women who would feed and fuck me, what a beautiful time. You needed to lighten up, lol!!

    • I was wrong, actually that blurb above was 1995… in 1994 i was selling weed out of a third floor walk-up dubbed the White Trash Pleasurdome while working at a bagel store where i lifted food and snuck dollars into my pocket from the 4 bagels for a buck special, hand to mouth them days, glorious stuff…

  3. I’m more scared of cats than I am of apartment fires. Okay, spill the beans. How do you pronounced Ernst and Young correctly? I think it’s just EY now, anyway. Maybe it doesn’t matter. You know, no one every gets hung up about how to pronounce Trent Lewin… although some people call me Trentle Win. I think I like the latter better.

    Your life is like a Salinger retrospective, dripping in paint and running around naked in circles drunk.

  4. “…we went at each other like two Tasmanian devils in heat… felt a little better after that.”
    Blimey, at least there was that 🙂

    I amswered the phones for two long years, and yes, it’s a grind of a gig. I hope you realise now that you are not your job though.

    • Doesn’t that always cure your blues? Although, it can lead to bluer blues. Don’t ask me how I know. Just take my word for it.

      For too, too long I thought I was my paycheck. I mourn all the wasted years.

  5. These journals are a great read. I went to school for 12 years with Brenda Ernst in Ohio. She never had a problem with people pronouncing her name. Also went to school with a Young. No relation to each other. Your determination and endurance to make it was outstanding. Your best accomplishment is your family. They sound perfect.

Vent Central:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s