It was in the paper about a year ago. Saturday’s newspaper is always huge; it’s sort of stupid but I always feel powerful when I read it. I think that it is chocka-block full of opportunities and wonderful things, printed just for me to discover. This was just an ordinary Saturday. I had the paper sprawled out on the waterbed, my two year old son was doing his usual tricks hiding under the different sections of the paper, squelching around making it almost impossible for me to read. I saw it then and I knew that my life was to change; if for the better, I am still to find out. Change it certainly has: out of the 3 million people that live in this city I am sure that I was the only fool to get so carried away with this one advertisement I would place my young family in jeopardy, turn our comfortable lives upside down.

Her name turned out to be Amanda, as I read over the add, time and time again, I knew she had to be part of my life. I would stop at nothing; “Show a man what he wants and he will move heaven and earth to get it.” Well that was me, and I was convinced I was the right candidate for Amanda. Letters were sent and the process was in motion. I had plenty of time; Amanda was not ready for me yet. I had to kill the extraneous parts of my life first; I had to be free for this new direction in my life. Work was the first to go, I had a reasonably successful business, she was put onto the market, a buyer was found and she was off my hands. I miss the business, she bought stability and financial security, but at the time she was the noose around my neck. I struggled for life, and kicked off the shackles. “Oh how it seems so green just around the corner”. I was standing on Buffalo grass and there was sweet, sweet Fescue just up ahead.

I studied hard and tried to learn all there was to know about Amanda and her associates. I changed everything just to join with her. After nearly a year of waiting, planning and wishing, the day came to finally meet her in person. I was at high dough. Nervous as I have ever been in my life, that’s probably why I couldn’t leave the toilet. I ironed my blue shirt three times, washing it by hand the day before, dipping it delicately in soapy water, softener, then starch; spent just as long washing myself in the shower. Preparation was like a ritual, whenever important things happen ritual takes over and like a soldier gets ready for parade I was ready to march forward to Amanda and my new life.

I rehearsed the speech I worked on for eight months by rote. Got there in plenty of time like the books said to do. Went to the hotel lobby to wait. A few minutes after 2pm Amanda met me, she took me upstairs, invited me into her room, we exchanged pleasantries then I launched myself at her: letting out all my wishes & desires, I chucked in a few aspirations for good measure, only stopping to ask her for a glass of water then going at her again until my time was up. She said she had another man waiting for her in the lobby: I was instantly jealous. I think Amanda was seen as a prize, many people wanted to be with her now. I was in first and I was the most deserving for her. She tried to make me feel important and special by saying the man was a last minute minor appointment squeezed in. She escorted me down to the lobby. I saw the man looking at us: I hammed up our goodbye like we were partners. He probably called me soft-cock as I walked past, I wasn’t concerned cause I showed Amanda my mettle upstairs. I was exhausted but it was not over as she said we would have to meet again and this time she wanted me to meet her associate. He was her doyen; apparently he was a savant as well. If it wasn’t hard enough with just Amanda, now it’s two of them and one with super natural abilities.
I had to buy another shirt to impress the doyen. Good shoes and belt reluctantly bought just to help bind our upcoming union. A week later the second call came: I was given the place and time to meet.
Like a military drill I prepared myself; that was, when I could get off the toilet seat. With new shirt and shoes I set off, I met Amanda at the designated time and was escorted to see the doyen & savant. “Hello, Mr. Gamble” as I shook the hand of the middle aged man, he was very well dressed, clearly homosexual, he wore very thin rimmed glasses that accentuated his probing eyes that were probing me as soon as I took his hand. “So you’re the one that has been chasing after Amanda for all these months,” he remarked; all the while staring at my eyes and smiling a knowing smile that said, “I know your type, Mr.!” I wasn’t dealing with no “idiot savant” like the Dustin Hoffman, Rain-man, savant: this guy was just an intelligent savant, sizing me up and knowing all there was to know in two minutes flat. I tried immediately to deflect those knowing eyes and appeal to his homosexuality, giving him a coy look and asking about his life, it worked, at least for a while. He started from his humble beginnings, telling me that it was his “synergy” that brought him to this successful point in his life. Perhaps it was the pressure, building up for nearly a year, culminating in this one meeting that would determine my future. That one word “Synergy” did it for me; I think I cracked; I couldn’t concentrate after that word, especially spoken so smugly. What the hell was Synergy? The new buzz word for the new millennium. Last decade we had lots of “Win Win Situations” lot’s of “scenarios” floating about the place but this year we have Synergy and fuck me I go to fill up with petrol and now they call it “Synergy.” “Well, Mr. Gamble. Doyen, savant and soul seer, I can show you my “Synergy” I’ve got so much of it I’m electric.” I powered up then launched at him with all my might: going through my rehearsed speech that was so carefully formulated over the year. I had brought my own water this time and between breaths, I guzzled on it to keep my dry tongue from sticking to the roof of my palate and insurance from the deadly dry white spittle that conglomerates at the side of your mouth in the heat of the moment. “Ha! Savant, is this Synergetic enough for you? Friends often comment on how synergetic I can be and if you let me join with you, you too will see how synergised I can be. Just face it is a win win situation”. I finished by asking if there were any concerns or possible issues that would affect me in joining with them. He smiled and asked me if my passion or obsession could possibly have a destructive side.

It was over. I answered the best I could, not that he was listening. I even added a few wank words but it was over. I drove home shell shocked, on remote control, silent with just the sound of the tires humming. I was king hit; out for six. Twelve months of longing and desire for nothing. A week later I got the call from Amanda, so very nicely explaining that they could not appropriate me with an adequate position that would suit my skills, going on to say she fought valiantly to get me in. “She fought valiantly for me.” I received the obligatory thank you for applying letter with an attached free pass to try out the company’s facilities when finally completed.

I went to Centrelink again. A man with his arm in a sling was looking lost, blocking the doorway “Second floor, desk number two” I told him; that’s where they dealt with sickness benefits. I went to the electronic touch screens. Touched the screen where it said “Today’s new jobs”. I didn’t see what the screen offered up just gazed through it. Realization hit me like waves of nausea, what have I done? I did not bother with the screen because nothing would compare to be working with Amanda. I couldn’t be bothered with the touch screen and their crappy jobs on offer today, I had a more pressing worry, would I trim the edging or would I cut the grass, perhaps both; that blasted Buffalo gets away from you, it is ferocious.



Joined November 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A failed job application.

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