I took to my stoop

I return home after the seventh “test run” for employment. The seventh unpaid afternoon spent chopping brussels sprouts and tearing kale, washing dishes and making potato salad. It’s the seventh afternoon I’ve wasted doing all sorts of silly, menial tasks in an industry I have no intention of pursuing a future in. I’m sweaty, and tired, and still unemployed because I’ve already decided I can’t bring myself to take this job even if it’s offered to me. It would feel like giving up on myself. I’d be ignoring the six years of education I’d worked hard for, for what? Eight bucks an hour plus tips, one day a week? I just can’t. I hate myself for knowing my own inability to settle.

I make the hike out of the subway station, into the damp heat. The streets in my neighborhood are putridly familiar: welcoming in the sense that they lack…

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