And so it came to pass:
Suddenly unemployed due to a freak decision on the part of the Purchasing Company (hereafter known as Caesar), and facing a day of fruitless job-searches (being the holiday week after Xmas), it seemed the only thing to do was have a walk. A nice long walk.
It's one of my greatest pleasures, since returning to DC from a spell in Maine and Arizona... You really learn to appreciate the walking appeal of of city streets. Suburbs can't give you the same experience...there's always something (or someone) bizarre to see. A long city walk allows one to blow out the mental cobwebs. Chatter to onesself like a deranged boob. Make passers-by completely insane with fear.
There were many cobwebs to clear out this time. The internal dialog was hypnotic:
(my interviews with Company X have gone well... or I THINK they've gone well... it would be nice if they just took the bait and HIRED ME...but nothing is final until The Handshake... assume the worst... and what about the house payments? we wanted to fix up the back yard.... install a fence for the puppy.... jeezus CHRIST, we wanted to get a DOG in the spring... dogs gotta EAT... how the hell are we gonna PAY for that... There's also the resume I sent to Company Y, but I'd really prefer Company X... DC has more opportunities than Bangor or Tucson, but this isn't exactly a Magazine Design Mecca... it seems all the design gigs are for godforsaken cheap-shit marketing agencies; sweat-shops that transform good designers into feral, suicidal beasts within 90 days... dammit..... Oh wow, that's the Pakistani Embassy, isn't it... where the hell am I?)
In my delirium, I had wandered from Irving Street & Georgia Avenue through Columbia Heights to Woodley Park, down Connecticut Ave and 23rd Street and through a posh collection of foreign embassies, across M Street to the stinking heart of Georgetown, up Wisconsin Ave, back down to M and over towards Dupont Circle (because escaping Georgetown was an urgent thing), across to Adams Morgan, to U Street, and finally hopping the 7th Street bus back home. The map tells me it was about 8 miles of walking, but seemed longer. Georgetown will do that to any sensible human.
White Devils in Lacoste shirts lurk there, in Georgetown, worshipped by little tribes of Credit Cards from Daddy...it is a terrible place.
While on M Street, I was taken by the sight of Mrs. Dee's Psychic Reading shop and was compelled to photograph it (see above). There was something about the sign: the simplified anatomy of the palm-reader's craft. Lines of a hand. I couldn't give a squat about no.3 (health), no.5 (children), or even no.6 (life), but 7-9 (future, business, jobs) made me laugh... it was the melancholy, woe-is-me laugh of the hapless fool: "future, business, jobs"...Wouldn't that be nice.
I figured I'd drown my sorrows at Crooked Beat Records in Adams Morgan. There, maybe, I could find solace in the financial waste of buying records. Good vinyl. Real records. Some folks stuff themselves with chocolate when faced with calamity. Others buy records.
When plummeting to one's death from a plane with a faulty parachute, why not go down singing?
Then, as I trudged up 18th street, the cell-phone beeped, and on the other end was a verbal offer from Company X. They agreed to my terms and all wishes were granted. Just like that. Well Jumping Jiminy Cheesecake, maybe that palm-reading sign at Mrs. Dee's was trying to say something...
Screw melancholy, now we have a REAL reason to go record-shopping.