I jokingly told my sister that I had lost my job. I had no prospects. The recession was not going anywhere fast. I was broke. My unemployment benefits had lapsed. I had nothing in the reserve. All my savings were wiped out to pay off a salary that was no longer direct deposited into my account. My employer closed plants and moved overseas!

I sat on my dining chair one morning and jotted down what I considered to be my best traits. If life were to come to a standstill and no more jobs or salaries were ever going to return to our lies what would I be. I went through all of my talents and thought to myself, here is my hardly used skill. I am going to be a hooker! No sin in that if I don't have money to buy food for myself right? There must be a verse in the bible that will absolve my decision! Deuteronomy, Mark, Luke?? Any prophets, any disciples anyone, anyone at all?

I quickly called my doctor and had myself checked. I was fine. Now my first day at work. What do I do? I have seen women crowding the downtown mall at night with fur coats chewing gum with lipstick. That is what I am going to do. The first night was noneventful. No one talked to me or knew anything about who I was. I had one interested guy who slowed down and asked me to join him. Which I did. He told me exactly what to do for him and I did as told. He paid me $200! I was happy.

The following day some dude with a long waistcoat approached me and asked me who I was. I told him my street name. He asked if I had a backer. I told him maybe, trying to be coy. He asked me if I worked for the cops. I said maybe. He asked if I needed protection, I said maybe, who's asking!

And then he showed me a gun and said: "Look here, I want no trouble from you. I can tell that you are new here. If you mess with my girls you will get it, you hear! I will let you stay on this corner of the street until I feel like you cannot work this corner."

I glanced at him and gave him an up and down look insulting him in my mind, and said, "Go on, and then what will you? Oh wait, I have a customer." I jumped into this huge dude's car. Laughing and pointing at my terrorist once over dude. I did my deal and made about $500 because he had friends who also were willing to pay. I did this for about three months and my frightening dude who in fact was interviewing me for my street job showed up unexpectedly and marched directly towards me.

"What do you say, you give us a break and let us help you," he said.

" I say go on!" I said with a lot of confidence. I think that by then I had decided that I could die, it really didn't matter. I was already in the dark world and I was great at it.

"Look here, instead of picking leftover guys from my girls, I could set you up real good," he said putting his shoe on the block of cement tiles where I was sitting, waiting to be picked up.

"Let me think about it," I said defiant and hoping that he will just go away.

When I got home and washed my body with industrial soap to wash away all the men of the night out of my hair, I thought about it, "What is a nice girl like me doing in a joint like this."

Dear Diary, I changed my mind. I now want to be an understudy in a play!

I woke up refreshed and called around if there were theatres that needed an understudy. I was lucky on my fifth call. I was invited for an interview which I aced because unlike my other applicants I was not desperate. or hungry enough to frighten them into hiring me. They promised to pay me minimum wage and all the food that I could eat. Caterers dropped all sorts of gourmet foods that were not eaten by actors and actresses because most of them were always on a diet.

I did this gig until I realized that I will never be called to be a replacement for any actress. They were very professional and I was just hanging around the set for food and a conversation. So I quit.

What to do, what was to be next. A bakery near my apartment had a "hiring" sign which was very rare those days because of the recession. I walked in wanting to use what is generally my pastime as a hobby that could also give me income. I was hired I like to bake. I interviewed with a sample of the cake that I had baked the night before. This gig was slow but fulfilling. Many who dared to buy a cake especially for big events like birthdays or weddings had a story to tell and I was always ready to listen!

I was great at this gig until the guy from the ' corner' knocked on my door wondering where one of his girls was. If at all I was hiding her from him. He knocked on the door walked past me and looked under my beds and sofas for her. I was utterly disturbed by his behavior and what was a hobby soon turned into a threat. I then became paranoid and quit my latest gig.

What next, at this point I was not even checking for open positions in my industry it was like I had an internal clock that wanted to keep up with my desire for adventure.

I was in a drug store to buy some of what I needed when I noticed that the staff at a nearby car were carrying a "Help wanted" sign. I like cars. I drive when I am lonely or bored. I once left Los Angeles to buy a loaf of bread and ended up in San Francisco because I was lazy to return to my apartment. I approached them and asked if I could help. I was hired on the spot and my job was to fill the consoles with soap and water. To register the cars that drove in and out of the car wash, accept payment, and sell what I could which was part of the carwash sales. I didn't like this gig very much because people liked to talk a lot. I once had a conversation with a customer that lasted for an hour and I did not have the guts to ask her to leave. I kept talking as I helped other customers. When I went back to my apartment, I was so exhausted and emotionally drained because I rarely like to have conversations with strangers certainly not for that long, and as a matter of fact, I barely talked to my relatives or family members, so I quit.

I love dogs maybe I could be a dog walker, sure enough, when I looked in the newspaper, there was an article about a new company called Paws which had just opened and was looking for dog walkers and dog trainers. I rushed to apply and I was hired. The dogs were large. Their poop was even larger and a lot of it. On my first day, I wore tights which the dog's nails poked into and my skin was scrapped and that was not a comfortable feeling. I had about 8 dogs on one walk at some point. Luckily they were not aggressive so my first week was trying and full of pain. Eventually, poop scooping took the zeal for life or dinner out of question so, I quit.

By then I no longer felt dirty. I felt okay to be a nanny to a physically disabled girl that one of the families in my neighborhood needed help with. I signed up for this gig knowing that I had no plans of doing it for a long time. She was in a wheelchair. She was able to talk but not very well. As much as I did not like talking I felt the need to reach out to her. To hear her view about the world that she viewed on the outside but was not a part of. I only had to help her maneuver herself in and out of the wheelchair if she needed to relieve herself and that bothered her. I tried to reassure her that she was just fine. We talked a lot about many things. I found out that she liked to read. She used her books to help her escape her reality. So, talking to her was like being invited to another world where she existed by her own rules. I liked her and worried about her. The reason I did not stay longer with her was that her mother told me that her condition was terminal and she had outlived the doctor's predictions and at any moment she could die. I feared that and felt that I did not have the necessary emotional gumption to deal with that so, I quit.

As we speak I have taken into writing. I write blogs and get paid for recommending products. I am unsure how long I will keep doing that.

January 28, 2021 01:52

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Dalia Navarez
00:19 Feb 04, 2021

I thought it was cool how you placed the setting during a recession, making the character's actions seem more immediate and more hilarious to read. Nice job :)


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Nk Hatendi
23:02 Feb 03, 2021

Interesting interpretation of the prompt- when does a job become a hobby and vice versa? I liked the disparate nature of the occupations.


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