Gaah, what a relief!

This morning my Armitage character waking fantasy was one of the weirdest and most paralyzed I’m willing to admit to having had. Alarm goes off. As I wake up, the following scenario develops in my mind: I’m walking into my apartment, and it’s around noon, and extremely hot, and Guy of Gisborne is chained to the railing of my staircase, near unconsciousness. Concerned, I get him something to drink, and find the apartment manager to come and saw off his chains. I take him into my apartment, in which there is nothing and I help him undress and lie down on the sheet that I’ve been sleeping on (my apartment itself’s been empty for a week), and rush to get him some more water. I apologize that there’s no furniture left in my apartment and that I can’t give him more than water. All he can say is “Please don’t hit me. Thank you for the water,” over and over and over again. That’s the whole fantasy. It ran through my brain about a dozen times before I finally made myself get up.

That may seem disjointed from the rest of the post, because the next thing I have to say is thank you, Richard Armitage, for everything, and second, thank you, RichardArmitageNet.com, for posting this beautiful photo of Mr. Armitage as the POD:

Richard Armitage as Lucas North in series 7 of Spooks. Promo photo drawn from events of episode 3. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Make sure you enlarge it as far as you can. It will take up your whole computer screen. And then you can look at it in intense detail (have you ever asked yourself about the shape of the roots of his eyelashes? It’s frankly ridiculous that I can look at someone I’ve never met at such close range) while having Skype conversations you don’t want to be having.

This afternoon I interviewed for a job I don’t want in a city I never want to live in. Oh, and I got a haircut I didn’t want on Saturday in order to facilitate this pleasure.

I’ve known about this since Thursday, and it’s just slowed my productivity on this move down to a dribble. Seriously, Servetus has been moving at the speed of sludge. I was asking myself why (there was a grapefruit coincidence as well) and couldn’t come up with an answer. I should have realized it was because of this interview, which I took because it was urged upon me by a colleague who’s been kind to me when she didn’t have to be, a rather rare attitude around here. Then yesterday I had an episode of spin-out after a conversation with another friend who kept saying, “well, you want to keep your options open.” I was thinking to myself after the conversation, “if I had worked as a beekeeper and had been stung so many times that I had developed an allergy to bee stings, and then decided to leave beekeeping, would you be telling me that I need to keep my options to return to beekeeping open?” Because seriously, that’s how I’ve felt as I’ve tried to sort through the debris of my professor life as I try to move — everything has some bad feeling attached to it, and at the end of a whole series of days of bad feelings I end up with a rather unappealing allergic reaction that leaves me crumpled on the floor and begging not to be hit. The only thing that’s been motivating me at all, besides the pleasure of Armitage watching, is the glimpse I have of a life beyond this one. That glimpse has no content, and it will no doubt have many unpleasant features: poverty, inter alia. But still: I think I’ve been doing nothing but dreading I’ll get trapped again since last Thursday, and it’s taken up all kinds of emotional energy.

I prepared for the interview by reading sexy fanfic on DF, especially the stuff by Chickadee, which kept me from thinking about the prospect of having to take this job. And then, all through the interview, which really wasn’t anywhere near as bad as my feelings about it, I kept the picture of Mr. Armitage open on my screen. It helped so much, and eventually I was able to continue interviewing without having to look at him. Thank you, Mr. Armitage, for keeping me from throwing up onto my computer keyboard?

Paradoxical reaction: the interview went well. It was a nice conversation, and they were engaged. And: hopefully they won’t offer it to me.

I’m not sure what to conclude about this — especially since I am going to need work eventually. And particularly, if I want to continue following the path I’ve been on, if this job is offered to me, I should take it. Also, if I want to have health insurance. People around me keep saying I’m only allergic to this campus, not to the profession. I don’t know. You’d think if that were true that I’d be interviewing with more excitement. After the interview was over, I had this huge feeling of relief, after which I had to run to the bathroom, where my body let go physically of the nausea I’d been suppressing for hours. When that was over, and I’d cleaned up, suddenly the skies were blue again. I had energy, a spring in my step, appetite for the first time in days, and the feeling that I can actually finish this move.

And then I came back and looked at that beautiful photo again. Man. Talk about reasons to keep on living. Mr. Armitage, you are a reason to keep on living. Thank you. The Smiths are on the iTunes now, and I’m fixing to confront the end of this move with vigor. And get myself to a place where I can keep writing.

[As always, I am grateful for your support, but do not feel you need to console / comfort me about this. These are all feelings I’m familiar with and actually ok about, though I wish I recognized them for what they were when they appeared instead of letting them paralyze me. I’m just logging this as another Armitage-related fantasy.]

~ by Servetus on June 7, 2011.

57 Responses to “Gaah, what a relief!”

  1. Mr. Armitage has helped get me through my husband’s broken leg and imminent departure to San Antonio with said broken leg, which I find worrying, the horrendous heat and the periodic desire to snap my boss’s neck. He’s not here right now, so I can say that here on my little laptop. *evil grin*

    Isn’t it nice to have such a lovely fellow to gaze upon?

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    • Seriously. Though it’s a bit frightening, the effect he has.

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      • When I started feeling this wave of calm and peace flowing over me after the recent computer crisis–just from looking at some of his pix–I thought to myself, “This is pretty weird.” I still find myself wondering if he is from this planet . . . or perhaps some sort of amazing extraterrestrial.

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        • … those ears … I’ve always thought he could be a Vulcan …

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          • Oh, dear. Now this makes me think of when Spock had his “mating times . . .”

            I loved Spock, by the way. “Fascinating . . .”

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  2. Not really my place to say but here goes: don’t take that job even if it is is offered to you. Vomiting, sentences full of shoulds, and what sounds like complete burn-out from the profession are all clues you need a break. You can make these big life decisions after you’ve had a break, a real one. Something right WILL turn up when it’s the right time for you and the right next experience for you. What you describe above, sounds not much different than battered wife syndrome. And yes poverty can be scary but I’m sure you have a support system around you and it might not be as bad as you think and knowing you you won’t stay there long. But for now, give yourself permission to take a break and put all these decisions aside for now.
    Off my soapbox now…but please know it’s all meant from the kindness of my heart.

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    • I’ve been saying to myself that if I’m supposed to continue with this, something will turn up after a year. I won’t be homeless. The pressure is just hard to take.

      We’ll see if they offer it. I’ve been praying for G-d to show me his will.

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      • There’s light at the end of the tunnel. With HIS guidance, you’ll be shown the way….

        First time enlarging a photo on the screen considering ours is a 24″ one. Fantastic! (son wants a big screen to download NBA, Ice Hockey & other sporting games).

        When RA is in working mode, he’s a sexy lean machine…..Thanks

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    • I’m with Calexora in saying poverty isn’t as bad as a job you hate. Poverty has it’s quiet times and poverty is peaceful and you have lots of time to sit in the sun. As far as health insurance goes – are you ill? (remembering Thornton asking that of Miss Hale) I missed somewhere along the line what burned you so badly in this last job and am interested. Listen, Servetus, things work out. Time heals all wounds. When you are having thoughts of torture for yourself or Richard, it’s time to take a break and have a massage or vacation in the mountains. My heart goes out to you, Servetus, you dear little girl.

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      • Marylou,

        Your comments reminded me of a low ebb my husband and I experienced several years ago when we both ended up out of work at the same time. We had some money from the sale of land to tide us over, so we weren’t impoverished, but things were tight.. My father had a major stroke during my husband’s unemployment that led to vascular dementia–like really accelerated Alzheimer’s. My mother-in-law was also very ill during part of this time and Benny helped look after her.

        If it hadn’t been for Benny being out of work, we would never have been able to keep my dad at home as long as we did. Benny was the only one physically strong enough to manage him. As it is, Daddy eventually had to go into the nursing home. But I treasure the time we got to spend with him. And I know he was a great help to his father in caring for his mother.

        While I was out of work, I got to spend some time with my sister, more than I had in years because I had the time– and that meant a lot to me. Sometimes blessings really do come in disguise.
        Sometimes what we seek is out there, we just can’t quite see far enough ahead yet.

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        • Lovely, heartwarming story Angie. Where there is life there is hope and some of us believe in hope after life.

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          • Thanks, Marylou. I do believe clouds often have silver linings. Sometimes we don’t see them until after the storm has passed and our vision is clearer.

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        • I’ve been thinking too that with my parents’ health this isn’t the worst timing for this break.

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          • That’s a very good point. At the time, Benny and I felt like we were living under something of a black cloud. But I really do cherish the fact we were there for all our parents in their times of need. It’s been a comfort to me during those times when I miss them so much.

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      • I’ve been trying to write for months about what soured me on this job / profession, and have never been comfortable with publishing what I wrote. Eventually I’ll have to get there if the blog is to serve the purpose it is intended for. I suppose the shortest summary would be: unrelenting instrumentalization and erosion of identity.

        I too have to believe things will work out. What’s the alternative?

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        • so, “unrelenting instrumentalization and erosion of identity” And here I thought you’d been smooching the freshmen laddies as I would have been doing. What other reason to teach college than to get close to those young bodies???

          As far as your fantasy upon arising, the thing that strikes me is that you seemed to feel you had nothing but water to give poor Richard. So wrong, Servetus. You have much to give: lvoe, honor, your body-warmth, go out and buy food for him, clean his wounds, etc.

          I would not have called the janitor to get his chains off, but would have gone to the barn for the bolt cutters. so much easier on his poor arms.

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          • The problem with the freshman laddies is that at some point they open their mouths, and then all the attraction flees 🙂

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            • Oh, you are probably correct about college boys. Boys (like John Porter, Guy of Gisborn) who do real things are better and have interesting things to say. They also DO interesting things.

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              • The maturity gap between 18 year old men and women is frightening. In my first year courses, the boys are years behind the girls. It doesn’t really even out significantly until about the sixth semester.

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                • Aren’t boys at their peak sexually at 18 and 19? Somebody famous said something like this: God gave men a penis and a brain with blood enough to run only one at a time. Maybe that explains the gender gap at that age.

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    • I was in a similar situation, I lost a job and looking for a job I was offered this one which I didn’t really felt sure but I saw it as avoid the feared un-employed state, I told my mother and her advice was not too take it, she as Calexora must have detected all the signs, either way I decided to take it.
      I hated it, it wasn’t what I expected and my employer fired me very soon saying they should have described different the job, what I had experience in was not what they needed. I had trouble hidding my grin when he told me that and when I went to colect my liquidation I was the happiest person around.
      That thought me that as infuriating as it is mother are usually right 😉 and if you’re not sure don’t do it.

      OML 🙂

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  3. Love that pic. I posted an edited version from a tumblr but had no idea which episode it came from.

    Re: your grapefruit post – This is random, but lately I have been really into grapefruit soda. Probably because I associate it with Ting, a Jamaican soda I had while on a lovely beach vacation. Now I’m into toronja Jarritos. After reading your post, I am curious to try Fresca and Blue Sky. And I just registered on a certain auction site as lepamplemousse because it is such an amusing word. Grapefruit in many international flavors – delicious!

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    • Aren’t grapefruit sodas great?? I actually find Blue Sky a little sweet, but I love Fresca. Maybe because I drank it as a child.

      Be careful, however, as real grapefruit apparently interferes with the functioning of many medications.

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  4. Suspect already you aren’t rushing into that job. Sometimes it works, counter-intuitive though it be. Sometimes not. Anyway, other things seem to have priority for you for now, before major job decision-making.

    So, what does the reluctant haircut look like?

    The eyelashes are interesting. Are they real? OOps, is that cynical? Actually, there are too many men running around loose with natural eyelashes we can only die to have…my brother being one. Son another… Aaargh!

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    • Yeah, we’lll see. First I have to get out of here, fast.

      haircut: I lost 8 in of hair. The hairdresser protested. Inverted bob, very conservative stacking. Everyone loves it.

      They look real to me. I think at that distance we’d see if they were fake, wouldn’t we?

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      • They are real lashes. Mine are long and thick but lighter in color like his and that’s the way they look au naturel. They put mascara on RA’s lashes sometimes for Guy (come to think of it, he has borrowed mine on occasion . . . LOL) Referencing the whole black hair= greater allure issue, did you all know Elvis was naturally a blonde and they dyed his hair and brows and had him wear mascara? Look at childhood photos of him. They thought the black hair made him look more edgy and sexy.

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      • I don’t think the eyelashes are fake but it could be they dyed them along with the hair and the eyebrows. At least I think I can see lighter roots, now you have mentioned it. Certainly a better option than mascara.

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        • yeah, and honestly, who expects that anyone will look at the roots of his eyelashes, right? 🙂

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          • Oh, but they don’t know US . . . 😉 We study EVERYTHING . . .

            It used to be very dangerous (well, it still is in the hands of the wrong person) to dye your lashes, so I suppose mascara was the route to go with Elvis back in the day.

            I had my lashes dyed once when we were living in Omaha. I hoped to escape wearing mascara during the summer. Still ended up wearing some anyway. Yep, I had black lashes with dark blonde roots. It’s a pricey procedure and not one done locally so I have never had it done again.
            The things RA has gone through for his roles . . .

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  5. I think once your move is over, back home and out of that atmosphere, you will have an intirely different perspective about your life. I think you are so “in it” it is hard to know what to do.

    I went to a job interview for a job I didn’t want today and on my way there I get an email telling me that my funder is not going to fund my documentary. I was taking deep breaths trying to keep it together, so I so get where you are.

    On a funny note, I walk into the building and check in with the doorman, he’s like,
    Hey, miss your dress is unzipped.” So I asked him to zip it up and thanked him profusely. Can you imagine walking into an interview with your dress unzipped? That is where my head is at!!

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    • No way, @Rob. Oh, man. That is not fair. On so many levels.

      You probably made the doorman’s day 🙂

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      • I am super bummed out. But what can you do? I gave it my all. Trying not to think of the hours, money and blood sweat and tears I put into it. It lis ooking more and more like the stars are pointing me back to corporate. And I am kicking and screaming and putting up a major fuss!!! I think my hubs is so over me.

        Your new haircut sounds really lovely. When is coffee with the eye doc? I am living vicariously through you. 🙂

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        • Maybe you’ll find the perfect corporation? Although this sort of weird American tendency toward optimism tires me out, too. Feel free to cry on my shoulder. And once you get your corporate job you can pull me after. Just for the health ins 🙂

          Thursday late afternoon.

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        • @Rob,

          I am sorry to hear this latest development. I know how much of your heart and soul you have put into this. It has to be a major disappointment and you are certainly entitled to feel bummed out.

          Hope things get better.

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  6. La Paloma (here’s something to do with that grape fruit juice) LOVE THIS DRINK

    Ingredients:
    2 ounces tequila
    1/2 ounce lime juice
    pinch of salt
    grapefruit soda

    Instructions : Combine the tequila (reposado, preferably), lime juice, and salt in a tall glass. Add ice, top off with grapefruit soda, and stir. The soda can be hard to find; we prefer the Mexican Jarritos brand, but anything will do, even, at last resort, lemon-lime soda with a splash of grapefruit juice. Some prefer the salt on the rim of the glass, but we say just throw it in. Others omit it entirely. Don’t.

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    • This sort of exemplifies what I have learned to love most about this blog — the way that you all can take grapefruit and make it into grapefruit cocktails. Thanks@Rob and everyone else, too.

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  7. Love that pic, love the sound of that cocktail.

    Mr. Armitage and ‘our little community’ has helped get me through my husband’s triple heart bypass surgery and ongoing other issues. I cannot understand why or how, really, but I’ve more or less given up wondering and I just enjoy it.

    I think when you have been away from where you are for alittle while, servetus, things will become clearer to you, your perspective wiill change and you will know whether it is just the present campus that you hate. I’m with those woh say don;t take a job you hate- you’ve only just extricated yourself from this situation.

    oh@Rob that’s rotten news. Bet the doorman was thrilled though.

    And I never knew Elvis was naturally blond.

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  8. When the right job comes along, Servetus, I think you’ll know. 🙂

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  9. That is a lovely picture.

    I’m sure there is something out there for you, Servetus that makes good use of your skills and which you will find rewarding. In many ways I envy that you have an opportunity to step back, re-evaluate your life goals, and find a new path.

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    • Thanks, kaprekar.

      Now that things are so bad everywhere in the US university world, a lot of people are saying similar things. It’s been weird because a lot of my colleagues are writing their versions of my story as a tragedy, but a few have been saying, probably in a few years we’ll be wishing we would have had your initiative.

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  10. I’m in nothing like your position, though I’ve seen various friends tunnel out of academia and seen them blossom.

    As a youngster, I dearly longed to be an academic: To have a whole life devoted to research and teaching! I’d read far too many Victorian and Edwardian stories about the adventures professors had.

    Imagine my horror when I discovered that I’d had a close brush with what one of your commenters appropriately describes as an abusive relationship.

    Anyway, as someone who’s going through “What the hell am I supposed to DO with my life”, I am becoming an evangelist for The Artist’s Way and Wishcraft, both shockingly good at getting down to where dysfunctional beliefs lie (in both meanings of the term), and opening up the cracks to let the light in. If they prompt half the insights for other people about themselves they’ve prompted in me about my own beliefs and abilities, they should be handed out to everyone. Seriously.

    Good luck with it all. My hope is that the way is opened to you.

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    • Karen, the bits I remember from The Artist’s Way were really wonderful. Have you read Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings by Rob Brezny? I’ve read bits of it on his website and have been debating about getting it. He does the Free Will astrology column…I don’t actually buy astrology (outside of excusing my goofiness by being a Libra) but his horoscopes are always pretty cool.

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      • That guy wrote a book? I love those columns. I don’t believe in astrology either but those horoscopes almost could. There was a three month period in 2008 when he could have been writing a blow by blow description of my life.

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        • He’s still doing his columns.

          http://www.freewillastrology.com/horoscopes/allsigns.html

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          • I have considered buying that book numerous times – it’s on the list!

            And the basic premise flows out naturally from the observations in The Artist’s Way that people who accept that they’re part of an interconnected cosmos that is falling over itself to help them are “luckier” than others because they’re on the lookout for the next good thing being sent their way.

            We can’t help the time, place, or circumstances of our birth, or how others choose to behave; we can learn to remember our interconnectedness and that the lies our society tells us about who and what we can be and do are told because if we knew how powerful and astonishing we could be – knew it in our very marrow – it really would be the end of the world as we know it.

            I have to remind myself of that a lot until such time as I remember automatically, all the time.

            And Brezny’s columns are pretty damn fabulous!

            PS. Servetus, you’re welcome. You write incredibly well, clearly, and vividly. You have a gift.

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    • Thanks for the comment, Karen, and especially for the reading tips. I’m really grateful for this kind of suggestion. Have been a sort of devotee of What Color is Your Parachute over the year.

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  11. […] a night to sleep on it, yesterday’s fantasy reads to me like a plea from my ego: you’ve rescued me from this abyss, please don’t […]

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  12. About this photo… I can enlarge it twice and it fills the screen. I can see every pore, every stubble and being naughty here… I can even kiss his lips if I want to but that would be creepy. What kissable lips he’s got ! Night to All….. LOL

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    • I think you’re not the first person who’s thought about kissing her computer screen when he’s on it. I’ve seen a friend of mine reach out and stroke her screen 🙂

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  13. delurking to say that RA should be available as an official therapy. My Dad is currently very very ill. I am the only relative that’s near to hand and travel over 1hr to visit him everyday and have done for the last four months. I have a husband who works away most of the time and a loving and supportive family, but my fantasy support helps me the best…John Porter sometimes puts his arms around me; and sometimes Guy stands about in his leather and protects me from bad things, but I really love it when John Standring comes round and holds my hand when I’m watching tv. Anyhow really enjoy your blog. There’s a topic I’ve always wanted you to touch on and it’s RA’s innate rage and anger that he draws on for his characters. I saw an interview with Keith Allan on YouTube where he says that he admired Richard for his “supressed anger and terror”. He seems such a restrained and nice person – I wonder where he gets that from? As a bit of an amateur psychologist I am always fastinated by the hidden depths of people…BTW I am also a bit of a fatalist ie what will be will be. If you get offered that job it’s been offered for a reason…one door shuts and another door opens and all that.

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    • Thanks for delurking, Scarlett1960. I love the scenes you describe; as you can guess, I have my own. Anger is on the list of future topics — that’s a really complicated one.

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  14. […] evaporated quickly — thankfully, as it would have been a hard pill to swallow; the third was the interview that made me want to vomit, and the fourth was the last second job offer, received after I’d long assumed the moment had […]

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  15. […] woman left her job. With difficulty. She stored her books. She cut her hair. She applied for a few jobs, to keep up appearances, but she didn’t take the applications seriously. She made herself […]

    Like

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