APPLICATIONS (and the danger they hold to your possessions)

As one of the many characters I seem to be playing at this point in my life, The Stumbling Freelance Writer, I find myself often wondering what the hell is wrong with these editors that won't publish my work, take my ideas, edit the shit out of my hard, beautifully and perfectly crafted paragraphs, underpay/ don't pay me and so on. A cavalcade of angry, murderous thoughts follow. And It's all their fault. Of course.

But the rejection and the censorship would be bearable if, and only if, one of the facets of freelance work were removed forever. This facet, shiny and cumbersome, held firm in a setting of golden resentment and email angst is ... The Application.

It's Tuesday evening. I'm still house-sitting in that town I told you about but won't have heard of. Don't bother Googling it. I have just walked through a hailstorm carrying food for the next three days. I have been at my day job. I step silently, invisibly, from one character to the next. Now, as I turn the key in the lock, as the laptop flares into life with a gentle BUUUUUUMM, as I click on the Hotmail bookmark tab, I see It approaching, like a recurring nightmare I continue, for some reason, to conjure as my head merges with the pillow and my daytime life recedes into the darkness.


The only constant in my life at the moment.


The creature I haven't quite managed to tether, cage, and make into a generic format applicable for every conceivable position on the planet. I am just facing an exceptionally large one right now. One that I am currently procrastinating from that's staring me right in the face; I'm hiding from it, like a feeble, modern day version of St. George, skulking in cowardly fashion from the dragon he's not so sure will be worth slaying. I mean, fine, he might get the maiden and her tresses and all that. But he might also get this instead:

Dear George,
Thank you for your interest.
Unfortunately your application has not been successful at this time.
Please smash your face into your computer screen.

Much like ANOTHER POST I recently wrote, you might have noticed how this is a kind of ironic pep talk. Is it a message for our times, perhaps? I hear you ask. Is it because he's British, so therefore all creative ventures must in someway posses irony? Is it to deflect away from the fear and confusion of living in an uncertain world with an uncertain future and not a lot of money?

You'll have to answer that yourself before my face finally hits my laptop screen with enough impact to shatter the dreaded application it is depicting. When this does occur, I won't be able to afford a new computer, so the blog will be over. Sad face. Should this not be enough to persuade some of those damn editors to realise that I Need Not Apply, as they already know that they want me, then I don't know what else will? Maybe I'll dress up as Spider Man and gaffer tape myself to Big Ben for the whole of January. Because these applications, just ain't shit.

Sometimes, while filling out my education history and previous job experience, I wonder - when did the age of jobs lasting a lifetime actually end? Where is the social norm for people being synonymous with their profession? Bob the Butcher; Fiona the Friendly Florist; Dan the Touchy Milkman? In 1954, would I be Henry the Writer? Would I nibble soggy rich tea biscuits in the office of some provincial newspaper or magazine? Would that be how people thought of me? I mean, I'm fine with Henry-is-doing-this-at-the-moment-oh-no-he's-doing-this-now,-are-you-getting-paid-dear? In the most part. I suppose it might be quite restricting to be defined so simply. That's why characters in Modernist literature are always having breakdowns and wanting to smash their way out of glass boxes and all that kind of thing, I suppose. But just sometimes, when confronted by these scaly, repetitively phrased bastards, I think it might be easier.

And to be honest, I'd be perfectly happy smashing my way into a glass box right now (my computer screen??). As long as it had central heating and a pension plan.

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