Tuesday, April 25, 2006

THE JOB

I guess I like jobs where you see it all: like the hotel employees in Dirty, Pretty Things. I used to work for the police department and loved all the stories about human behavior that I couldn't even dream up if I tried, as nasty as it can be.

Now I have a mid-level civil service job where I deal with regular folks as well as crackheads, drunks, three- and four-party conversations, screamers, stutterers--all on the phone, thank God. It's a living, a wage with benefits. But when I told my tax lady what I do for a living she looked at me and said, "They don't pay you enough."

Some days, like today, it's really a hard job to do. I try to compartmentalize and dream up creative thoughts. Surf the net and find 14th century woodcuts or yarn made from soybeans. Anything to keep myself sane.

Started reading the Wandering Scribe blog.

http://wanderingscribe.blogspot.com/

At first, I wanted to log on to PayPal and send this poor woman some cash. But then doubts crept in.

This text is remarkably well-written for someone who is going through a "breakdown". (I've been there myself and I don't think I was especially coherent at the time.) Of course, everyone is so very different, and she'd have nothing to lose--the ultimate freedom.

And I've been to the UK and can't see the local police (or neighbors, certainly) allowing someone to live in a car on the outskirts of a city. Is this blog a scam? It seems almost sacrireligious to question what may be a poor homeless woman at the end of her tether. But it might be a clever young writer creating a new character-based artform. How can one know? Have the Scribe cut and paste her PayPal account onto her blog to show s/he isn't collecting lots of money from sympathetic readers? What other course do young writers have?

Heard on the radio last night of a big book publishing deal (half a million dollars) given to a 17-year old Harvard student who hadn't even written a book yet, but had a good idea for one. Yeah, right. If only life were so simple.

After her book was published, it was noted that whole passages were lifted from another writer's works and a plagiarism suit was pursued.

More details:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/26/books/26cnd-book.html?hp&ex=1146110400&en=4e2286108c6b1392&ei=5094&partner=homepage