Friday, August 17, 2007

I implore

Today, my best friends of 10 years said that I should pursue a career in erotic literature.

“When I look at you, I think ‘porn’,” Kay Lii giggled, peering at me knowingly through the thick frames of her spectacles.

Strolling among bookshelves in MPH earlier tonight, we came across a table display with featured books. Laid somewhat inappropriately between flanking rows of celebrated classic authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ernest Hemmingway, were tall stacks of erotic literature with sleazy covers.

Gingerly, Kay Lii picked up a pink one with some permutations of the words “heart” and “sweat” among others, and raised her eyebrows.

“This just might be your calling,” she says.

“Yeah,” Tammy chimed. “Why try so hard looking elsewhere when the answer has been here all along?”

I look on in horror as my friends shuttle outside to the café, discussing a potential book idea.

“We can call the first one ‘I like your banana’,” Tammy squeals enthusiastically.

It seems I’m not the only one keen on a risky career move. “You can be my assistant,” I replied. What will I tell Mum? I wonder.

Tammy is worried about starting late on a recent offer as an accounts exec. “Should I just take this other offer? But… I don’t want to be doing that.”


I toy with my cell phone, clearing the day’s history of text messages. I pause at a message I sent to Ellen this morning in my drugged, half-conscious state at 7am, telling her that I had to cancel dog walks today at the shelter. I’d been having a hellish night battling a fierce sniffle and sore nasal lining, leading to insomnia and a pounding headache until 4am when the codeine finally kicked in.

This morning, every bone in my body felt wrong.

I wonder if my body is sabotaging me. Or is it simply a victim of my poor will to meet with commitments that don’t seem to matter as much anymore? I started dog walking last summer, partly to do something I never had the time to, but mostly to get my mind off someone who had left.

Is my body failing me slowly because I simply have no confidence in it? I write now more than ever, to improve, to occupy myself, and I seek a purpose in what I’m doing, but nothing reassures me that all this is not going to the shits.

Yet, I fool everyone.


Kay Lii tosses the napkins on the table while Tammy teeters on her unstable, lanky frame, squeaking about how she would fail miserably as a waitress, and nervously serves us our dinner.

“You know,” she said, once properly settled. “I think I will wait for the call. You and I, us three, we know what we want to do.”

And that’s fine I suppose. We know we need time, time to try, to find the opportunity, to be given a chance.

“Don’t be a sellout, Tam.” Kay Lii said.

I want so badly to feel useful, and frighteningly, to be better than mediocre. But I don’t want to be a sellout and be wildly successful on the outside, but tragically miserable inside.