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Saturday, May 14, 2005

MATT'S FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY -- OR THE AREAS AROUND IT!

My big interview turned out to be a total bust, but --- once again, pathetic adventure is never too far from my person. So, the interview was in Alameda which is a nice little city outside of San Francisco, but not really very easy to get to without a care. Not impossible, but not easy.

As I've no sense of direction and get lost in shopping malls I decided it best to leave REALLY early to ensure I would not be late or in a state of sweatiness for rushing. My interview lunch was scheduled for Noon. So, I left the house at 7:30am. How is that for early?

Anway, I had to take the BART (like a commuter rail) to West Oakland Station. Not a particularly nice area. Now, I really do not normally worry about this stuff but I had to catch the North bound #19 Bus ---- on the less desirable side of the station. By less desirable side I mean to say --- the Ghetto from Hell side of life. I am already the whitest person on the planet, but Friday morning at 8am I was "Whitey In A Suit" on display for all to stare and make fun of. On top of that I waited for a solid hour and no #19 bus showed up --- just #64 which continued to drop off even more questionable looking people off with every drive by.

The first bit of "hazing" came from one of those big cars that has the ability to raise up and down. ...thought that had gone out of style a couple of years ago. ? Anyway, as I had my iPod on I could not really hear what the angry young men were shouting at me. And, I think, I am relieved about that. Two surly teens kept watching and mocking me. I ignored them until the shorter of the two walked up:

"Hey, are you gay?"

"Why, are you interested?"

"No!" ...and then he sort of did one of those side ways walks back to his taller friend who then approached me.

"Why are you riding OUR bus?"

"I believe this is called public transit. It is not your bus. Now, go play with your friend and leave me alone"

...He walked away.

Shit --- I just knew I was about to get gay bashed. But the one thing is --- you NEVER show fear! EVER!

Then this nice lady who had been near the two teens said something to both of them and she walked over to me.

"Honey, what bus are you waiting for?"

"The #19"

"Oh, it hardly ever stops here anymore."

"Really?"

"You really should drive. That would be better."

"I don't have a car"

"Well, they won't bother you anymore" ...but she looked worried and walked back leaving me standing all alone. Me. The white man begging to be attacked.

I walked back into the station and asked after the #19 and the lady in the bullet proof booth just seemed annoyed and said it would show up sooner or later.

So, I walked back out and began to realize that this probably was not an acceptable route pour moi. Then another #64 rolled up letting out a stream of people that should have been placed in a line up for questioning! This one really big dude stepped on to the curb, and, I swear, I could smell stench all the way to where I was standing. I saw him lumbering toward me.

"GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!"

"No."

"I said, GIVE ME YOUR WALLET"

Holding up my cell phone and punching "911" with my thumb, "NO!"

Shit --- I about to get shot, hit or knifed. ...but, instead, he sort of walked away from me very quickly.

I walked back into the station and told the charmer in the bullet proof box what had just happened.

...long and overly done sigh, "Do you want to file a report? I will call for the police, but you're ok and it is a waste of time"

Thanks! So, I called my potential employer. Got his voice mail and politely declined the offer for lunch/interview due to the fact that even the #19 bus seemed afraid of this stop. I was bummed because I think I could have aced this job, but I think you need to be able to get to the office to do the work --- and, preferably without being accousted!

So, kids, the job hunt goes on! ...and, I continue to be more and more desperate!!!!

love and kisses,
matt

8 Comments:

Blogger g8s said...

Geez, Matt. I'm not really qualified to say anything about the experiences of white people in business attire, but I'm sorry to hear about the interview, or rather the lack thereof. I know it's a cliche, but if everything happens for a reason, then maybe the experience was less about the interview, and more about putting you in that place at that time. What I mean to say, is that maybe you were meant to be given a metaphor for your current situation as a whole: You, well outside of your comfort zone.

If this is the case, then it looks like you've passed the test with flying colors; the loss of the interview doesn't seem to have gotten you down too much. Analogizing back to the bigger picture, it seems to foreshadow a successful outcome for San Francisco adventure as a whole.

Is this making any sense? The sentiment I'm trying to get across is this: I'm sorry to hear you had a harrowing experience which cost you your opportunity, however, I'm sure it won't be your last chance.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Karyn said...

MATTHEW!

YOU COME HOME THIS INSTANT!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Karyn said...

PS: Nice balls of steel by the way.

9:03 AM  
Blogger snarl71 said...

I agree with Karyn -Matt, get your ass back in Boston. I wasn't worrying about you...until now. I think you should stick to jobs in the rainbow-flag waving, retro-disco playing, San Francisco. Or come back to the safety of Beantown.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Karyn said...

Matt,

What Karl said!

Although I confess I am just as concerned about retro-disco playing habits... no, no, no I'm not, your safety is much more important.

RETURN AT ONCE!!! Hey maybe between us we can afford a place. *snicker*

xoxo k

12:45 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Oakland is weird- it's been crummy for ages and has huge amounts of crime, but it also attracts the hipsters from SF who can no longer afford to live there, so it's a weird mix of food stamps and drive by's, but there are also lots of cool things and luxury condos. You can go to a hip bar in Oakland and people could be murdered 2 blocks away. Weird place.

I wish you lots of luck, Matt. Things will work out if you keep on top of things, which you seem to be doing. Just keep the interviews coming- the job market is better out there than back east, so it will happen for you! When you get settled, go to the IKEA in Emoryville if you know anyone with a car. And eat the Swedish meatballs in the cafe- they're surprisingly good

1:37 PM  
Blogger digitic said...

No worries Matt ... I just ordered a couple of maps from AAA for you.

When they arrive we'll go over them together and I will share with you my geographic fears and trepidation in full glorious cartagraphic Panavision.

By the way, Jon is right -- Oakland, like most other urban areas, is a true mix of funk and funky. Knowing where one ends and the other begins is a good thing.

And as a queer Homer (Simpson, not the poet) would say --
Ummmmmm ... Iiikkkeeeaaaaaaaa

3:35 PM  
Blogger Underling said...

How frightening!

But, you took it like a total rock star. I'm glad to see you carried yourself so well in that situation, but I still worry about you.

Stay out of the Ghetto, man!

7:52 AM  

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