a friend and i were talking the other day about "dream jobs." i could only come up with two at the time that were (a) not entirely outside the realm of possibility and (b) actually exist (i.e. someone does or has done this job "for a living"). the first one, you'll all be surprised to know i'm sure, is "TV baseball analyst". i mean, it would be hard to best Joe Morgan, but i could probably step into the booth tomorrow and do a pretty good job -- just tell me what game i'll be doing.
the other one that i came up with is what Eli Horowitz does, which is, he is a publisher/editor/designer for McSweeney's. Eli is visiting KU next Wednesday (September 24) to talk about his job. i am very excited, and have decided to save my favorite pair of jeans -- which i laundered yesterday immediately after (and because of) spilling sriracha-saturated eggs all over them -- for that evening. it's not to impress Eli, though i know i want to do that, desperately (and will fail, inevitably, pathetically), it's more that they make me feel relaxed, and therefore will enable me to enjoy the experience more; after all, it's not like i can expect to land a job working with him.
when i was a kid getting ready to watch an important baseball game or a movie i had been waiting to see, i used to run around the house closing all the closet doors, straightening towels on bathroom racks, lining up pairs of shoes in all the bedrooms, and making sure the throw rugs were equidistant from the bathtub and the sink. if these things were out of place, i felt distracted. it was an obsessive way to try to make the experience "pure." i don't know if i can explain it better than that.
so, now that i will basically get to hear a real live person standing within twenty feet of me extrapolate a fantasy of mine, i want to have everything perfect. i'll have my favorite pen hooked in the pocket of said clean jeans; i'll have on my ragged brown hoodie that my father wore before i could read (also newly laundered; also not to be worn until the night of Eli's talk), and i'll have on one of my softest t-shirts. the shoes will be aligned in my closet, my bed will be made, the stairs to my bedroom vacuumed, my books will be everywhere, out of order, but in straight stacks. because i'm really not like that anymore -- who i was, straightening towels -- and i'll probably never work for McSweeney's, but i can pretend for an hour or so. i still have that ability. it stems from loneliness, probably. due to i miss all my friends.
Hall Center for the Humanities
Wednesday, 24 September 2008, 7:30pm
there will be snacks
also please: order this book that Deb Olin Unferth wrote and Eli Horowitz edited/etc.