The minimalist pop-polka hit that you've been hearing so much about
You can’t feel your hands, can’t feel your feet. Can’t stop your stomach from churning. Can’t stop thinking about the worst. Doomsday scenarios, hoarding food, hoarding guns, holding off a wave of attackers from invading your home. The thin-air tension of not knowing has wrapped it’s hands around your spine where it connects to the base of your skull and is busy strangling the circulation from the rest of the body.
Call friends, call relatives. Drop in on old employers. Scan the newspaper, Craigslist. Try to act like it’s not happening. Try not to spend the whole day questioning everything. The anger, the helplessness, the powerlessness comes out in strange ways. Distract yourself by raking leaves, shoveling snow—trying to stay busy. Suddenly it bubbles up out of nowhere and you’re a wreck. Hitting the ground, kicking yourself because there’s no one else around to blame.
Open the door, open the mail, every envelope either an end or a beginning. A bill, a check, a notice, a rejection. The polite “thanks but no-thanks” post-interview paragraph. The utility bill that you never looked at twice before now.
Go out, pound the pavement. Go to interviews, second interviews, group interviews. Hear the questions, masked in other questions. “Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a coworker.” means “Tell me you’re someone with a conscience who won’t try to kill anyone.” “Where do you see yourself in this company?” means “Do you even want to work here?” Try to hide how hungry you are.
Look straight in the mirror. Straighten your back, force a smile and say, “No big deal. You’re good. They would be lucky to have you.” The fear of not getting the job drifts across the desk and mixes with the interviewer’s fear of the state of the economy. The state of the world clouds everything. It leaks out of the corners of the interviewer’s mouth, “Boy it sure is rough out there right now, huh?” How would you know. No, how.
Go to mandatory job-search training lectures where the obvious advice is dolled out. Wonder why they’re teaching people job-hunting techniques that don’t work. Truth is—unless you know someone—your odds of landing a job are next to none.
Look in the mirror and realize you’re finally getting old. Your face tells the story. The stress is visually aging you. Feel guilty for feeling sorry for yourself. What do you have to complain about? You still have a roof over your head. People who love you. What’s your problem?
Then one day it happens. With two words—you’re hired—you’re back in the world again. The alarm goes off. You wake up and go to work. Go ahead, move on. But it definitely happened—it’s still happening.
released August 19, 2012
Libretto by Sean, Music by Patrick