Another day, another Saturday. I head over to my refrigerator, stick my head inside, and make a quick inventory. There are three eggs, an apple, a box of orange juice, two onions with their shoots already peeking out, and a Tupperware half-filled with last night’s dinner. None of them look particularly appetizing but I grab the Tupperware, feel for the orange juice box, and try to juggle the Fuji apple in with the lot anyway.
It’s going to be a boring day. I really don’t have anything to do. You can call me a bum, but the truth is, that’s exactly what I am.
I set my refrigerator finds on top of my plastic dining table, you know, the kind they use in cheap sidewalk eateries. I sit on a chair made of the same material. One day, I’m going to get myself a wooden dining set. One day. Maybe next year. Or within three or six months, if I’m lucky. I have to get a job first. Which reminds me. I have to check on the status of my online applications.
I start munching on my apple while I wait for my four-year-old laptop to come to life. The thing’s a dinosaur but it’s good enough. Its WiFi device can pick up Joe’s unsecure connection from across the hall. Well, his connection isn’t really unsecure, but his password is far too easy to guess — “muning-muning”, the name of his pet cat spelled out twice. He doesn’t know I know. But hey — the workaholic’s barely around the house so guess I’m doing him a favour by at least consuming part of his postpaid data plan.
Let’s see. Graphic Designer for Company X. Pending. Illustrator for Company Y. Pending. Advertiser for Company Z. Under consideration. Ugh. It’s been under consideration for a week now. When are they going to call me for an interview? I need a job, ASAP. These bills aren’t going to pay themselves, you know.
“Maybe you should apply for a job as a writer. Didn’t you minor in that field in your undergrad?”
Huh? Strange. I seem to be hearing voices. Not voices, actually, like there’s a whole lot of them. I’m just hearing one. I seem to be hearing a squeaky, high-pitched voice, the kind they use for mouse voiceovers in the movies. I take a swig of my oj and hit refresh.
“Try to show them some of your Writing 100 creative output. Or that article you did for the newspaper once. The one you had to make for your Journalism 200 project. Hey, you could try contacting that newsroom again! They might still remember you, you know.”
That squeaky voice again. I look around. Nobody’s in the room with me. Nobody, save for a fly who looks dreadful, perched on the white-painted wall like that. It looks like a piece of booger, disgusting and out of place.
The fly suddenly decides to change its location and zips over to my Tupperware. I try to shoo it away. It stays there and fixes its gaze upon me. As if a fly could fix its gaze upon me.
“I’m not going anywhere you know. You look really pathetic, hitting refresh like that. I think you’re just not applying for the right job. I heard from the other flies in Flyville that — excuse me for the term — you are actually a really fly writer.”
“Are you actually talking to me?”
“Yes I am, honey. I’m talking to you. Consider me to be your Fairy Fly Mother and take my advice. Apply for a writing job. You know you’re a shoo in. Why are you pushing yourself into those other positions anyway?”
“Because I’m an awful writer.”
“Well if you’re an awful writer, then you’re a terrible graphic designer.”
“Hey! You haven’t even seen my works!”
“Oh, I have, I have. Fine, you’re designing is not too shabby. But you’re writing is so much better.”
“You’ve read my writing?”
“I peek inside your journal when you’re asleep.”
“What?! That’s private!”
“Yep. And if that’s how you write privately, imagine how you would write publicly.”
This is so crazy. Am I actually talking to a fly? A fly who calls itself a Fairy Fly Mother? Come on. Is there even such a thing as a Fairy Fly Mother?
“I’m going insane.” I voice out.
“Take my advice hon. There’s an opening over there. See — see that one, job result number three. Okay, clicky-clicky. Alright. Now whip up a cover letter. And dig up a writing sample from your files. You can do it. You can do it.”
I give in. It’s crazy enough that a fly is talking to me. Perhaps it would be crazier still if I land a job as a writer — something I’m running away from. But it’s a job I’d secretly love to do, to tell you the truth.
“Alright, Fairy Fly Mother, if you say so.”
Cover letter. I rest my fingers on my laptop’s keypad and start typing away.