There's a whole nightlife that goes down just a couple blocks from my apartment at the 24 hour Kinkos. I walked in at around 10:00 PM, expecting my choice of computer stations and was surprised to see all but one taken. Before I left for LA, my printer kicked the bucket and I've had to go down there to print when I can't do it at work. These were color documents of my writing work as they appeared on the advertisements magazines, web sites, catalogs, or CD ROM's that I've done. Among me were screen writers, teachers, three people working on some huge project and most notably the odd little older man that brings in enough computer equipment, complete with DVD player to watch Alias while working, that he has to wheel it all in in a wheelchair. After setting up, he sits in his wheelchair, headphones over his mop of grey hair and works on something that I haven't been able to figure out. So of course, being me...I pulled over a Kinko's employee.
ME: (motions with finger at Kinko's dude.)
KINKOS DUDE: (Walks over) Do you need something?
ME: (Surreptitiously) What's up with the dude in the wheelchair with all the equipment? Is he launching the space shuttle or something?
KINKOS DUDE: I don't know what he works on, but he's a Fed.
ME: Shut up.
KINKOS DUDE: Yeah, the manager saw his ID for something.
ME: You sure it was real?
KINKOS DUDE: Yep, but we don't know what he works on. He's here every night.
ME: But why does he come here to work?
KINKOS DUDE: (Shrugs shoulders and does a "beats me" gesture.)
I asked him if he was putting one over on me, and he swore he wasn't. Who knows, but he's an interesting character to say the least.
I interviewed at another creative temp agency with a great woman recruiter who really seemed to "get" my experience and who I was. I presented my Kinko's created portfolio to her and she asked me really interesting questions about the work. It showed she was really trying to understand what I did on these projects instead of "oh, that's great" and not even digging deeper. She was very perceptive and I feel safe in her hands. She introduced me around the office and told the other recruiting agents about my experience better than I ever could have explained it. She also gave me some great tips on my resume. And, it was she who suggested that I print the stuff out in the first place. Good call, and much easier than pointing to a monitor.
I'm still working at the non-creative temp agency as positions in my field flirt with me. The other creative staffing agency keeps sending out job notices and I throw my hat in. Like I said, it's only a matter of time before I land something full time. I'm growing impatient though. While I like the people at my "pay the bills" job, the job isn't stimulating creatively. It does however, allow me to look for jobs while there, and they allowed me time off today for the interview. If I have an interview for a real job, that comes first and they know that as long as I give them a day or two's notice. So, I can't complain on that front.
Shannon and I went out to eat tonight and talked about where we were. We ate a place in Hollywood near a coffee shop where I'd done plenty of life assessing and journal writing. I saw people that reminded me of me and my friends as we'd sit outside it and chat over coffee, and was glad that I wasn't "there" anymore. At the bar, we even talked to a girl who said she lived on Beachwood Canyon. I threw my old address at her and she said, "Oh my God, that's my building." Unbelievable. She lives in 104, I lived in 114. The connections keep happening, and are novel still. It's like I'm reading my past journals, but they've sucked me into their pages and I'm now living among the memories.
On Sunday night, I dragged Shannon out to a bar and we drank until closing time. I needed some cosmos, and he picked me up and we hung out at a cool looking place lit as red as the drink in my martini glass. The place was surprisingly busy for a school night, but I think that was the whole point. Everyone, like me was in the mood to be a little bad. It was hard to get up in the morning but worth it.
I still have moments of confusion. I think I'm going to run into people that I know from Baltimore, usually triggered by someone who looks like them. Then I realize where I am and shake it off. It doesn't feel like I'm that far from family, maybe because of all the trips back and forth while I was there. Really, they are but a few hours away. Plus, my other family is here in the form of my dear friends. The ones I was missing the entire time I was in Baltimore and am thrilled to be able to grab on a bar run or like Cathy, who when she found herself in my neighborhood called me up and all of a sudden I've got a Saturday playmate. Two in fact, as she brought her four year old son Alexander who was fascinated by my cats. They in turn, were terrified of him and hid.
I'll try to post more, but I'm still letting all this sink in.