Thursday, November 17, 2005

they love to tell you stay inside the lines/but something's better on the other side

They were playing John Mayer on the radio as I was easing into a suspiciously-available parking space on Leavenworth about half an hour ago. Suspicious because half the streets in this neighborhood turn into street cleaning zones from two to six in the morning Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday, and the other half Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday. Yes, that's all seven days of the week. The fact that it only took me two circuits to find this space concerns me; I also fear that it might actually be an unmarked construction site or something, and when I go back in the morning to pick it up and take it back to Dollar, it will be gone.

At the very least, someone will have peed on it. That's a big thing around here, maybe to provide variety for people tired of peeing in the doorways of apartment buildings.


I really love this song, and tonight it seemed doubly-maybe even triply-relevant. Because the past few days have really brought home how my life isn't what I expected at all; I who thought I would grow up to be a diplomat or a biologist or something.

Not a professional nekkid person.

It's certainly not what come up in the results of that test--you know the test--we all took it in high school. The one that said we should all be forest rangers because we said "yes" to "I like to work outside." I came up forest ranger/priest/journalist/police officer (really, no shit); I bet you came up "forest ranger/salesperson/doctor" or "forest ranger/engineer/bus driver" or "forest ranger/dairy rancher/aphid counter." I don't know, you tell me. But mine didn't say anything about how I would grow up to one day work three three-hour art modeling gigs in a single day. Which is, what is the word I'm looking for... ah yes.


It gets better. Three gigs today, two yesterday, and one five-hour job the day before that. Play with the numbers and I've spent nearly as much time naked in front of strangers over the past three days as some of you spent working in offices (if you took cigarette breaks and longish lunches). But I'm guessing that you didn't do any two-minute handstands during that time, or hear a client explain that she liked drawing you because your thighs had "real volume", or have pierced-lip teenagers who hope to be animators come and kneel at your feet to examine how your furry little toes fit together.

Or maybe you did. I have no idea what happens in offices anymore! Maybe office work has gotten more fun since I gave up on it.

I'm really not gloating. I've spent much of the past three days cold and in pain; I wanted the animatorlets to be able to see an unobscured ribcage for their sculptures so I had my arms up and my hands locked behind my head for eight hours total, which any model with any sense will not do. I said something impolitic about something I'd read on the difficulty of mixing color to an instructor who explained with ill-concealed impatience that her students were beyond that point and knew exactly what they were doing, and I wondered if I'd ever work for her again. One of my clients insisted on playing exactly the kind of classical music that my parents discovered years ago would cure my insomnia, and I spent a couple of poses trying not to pass out and fall off my stool. My eyes are so dried out from the space heaters that my eyelids feel foreign; ill-fitting spares kept in reserve for when the real eyelids are out being cleaned.

But I did it. I wasn't sure I could, or that I could gracefully. But I brought snacks to share to my second job of the day and we talked about Danny Elfman and Hell Comes to Frogtown (watch the video clip on that second page, I dare you), and at the third I was still feeling like my poses weren't completely lame. I left each job cheerful and feeling like I'd been of use. And I made almost as much money as I would have catering, which is really the point--I am physically capable of modeling enough to replace or curtail the catering, and I hadn't been sure about that.

Is it a career with advancement opportunities? Ah, no. But then neither is catering, and I don't leave catering jobs whistling and feeling like I've done honest work.

Originally I was going to dedicate this post to Half-Nekkid Thursday, a ritual in which I have yet to partake. But in light of my employment, it seems like it would be more appropriate for me to have Half-Clothed Thursday! So here is some proof that between jobs yesterday, I had a few minutes to sit in a tree. With clothes on.