Ok! I'm doing it! Posting, not jumping out the window. Don't get excited, nothing interesting has happened. But, my Buddhism class has gotten me a little concerned about reincarnation, and even though I'm more of a Jew, on the off chance they might be right I'm trying to be good and create some positive karma for the next life. (I did send a cover letter out that began 'Hi Justin.' To a man named, unfortunately, Jason. But that's more tragic than interesting.) So, I'm taking suggestions and borrowing material from a more exciting time...
The Editor, if you recall, had been encouraging me to write with more 'tude. (That's his somewhat dated term, not mine. Remember, I go for the old guys, endearing dorkiness and all.)
I, if you recall, had been thinking about one thing: a job. While working at a men's magazine did prove somewhat distracting- more due to those parts of my coworkers that remained hidden than anything else, to be honest- I spent most of my time agonizing about my impending college graduation, and the painfully empty future which lay immediately beyond.
Last piece of the puzzle: The Editor had recently become The Important Creative Director at The Fabulous New Advertising Agency. For sake of brevity and romantic mystery, I continued to see him as The Editor. But, for practical purposes, I also began to see him as The Potential Bearer Of A Job And A Future.
Naturally, then, all I wanted to do was exactly what he wanted. He wanted edge, so I gave him a link to my blog. He found it 'sweet but harmless.' (I know, I mentioned this last time. That's just how indignant I am.) And then, finally, I figured it out. Edge and 'tude and playful and whatever else... it means just one thing. Clearly, sex. Or, particular to my experience, horny interns and (questionably) sexy editors.
I sent The Editor back to my blog and, miracle of all miracles, it finally pleased him. He liked it! He loved me! I loved me! I had a job! (Reality stops after the first exclamation point.) But there were a few parts of his e-mail that confused me. He found it 'oddly naive' that I thought a happy marriage was enough to keep a man's hands in his pockets... 'wink wink.' He also mentioned something about the 'inevitable clintonian lust that results when old, married, bald or balding men find themselves in an (ostensible) position of power over delectable younger women untouched by gravity.'
Well, he had told me he was a good writer...
I wrote back, thanked him, and with maturity and class far beyond my years, ignored his subtle attempt at provocation. (If that's even what it was. More likely, the wink was simply an odd facial tic which I’d childishly misinterpreted as ‘come hither.’ After all, he was fabulous and I was an intern.) Either way, I handled the situation as if I’d been dealing with inappropriate old men for years.
And then he wrote back. It wasn’t over… he was ‘disappointed I’d ignored his subtle attempt at provocation.’ Fuck. How to respond now? I had precisely one technique for dealing with awkward situations: pretending they didn’t happen. With one sentence, he’d rendered me entirely defenseless. (Although I do admit, that little part of my brain that had detected the cyber seduction was feeling quite triumphant. It did not, of course, have any more brilliant insights about what to do next.) And just in case I was still confused, he assured me that, though it wasn’t on the initial internship description, my position did include being (tastefully) harassed by balding me.’
Ok, Lion. Regroup. You can handle this. Remember the beauty of online communication: the written word never quivers with doubt or turns that telling shade of pink. So I took a deep breath, gathered all my verbal faculty, and composed. I told him I’d noticed it, of course, but was simply trying to figure out how to work it into the next blog entry. Toes crossed (fingers would have been preferable, but since outward displays of superstition seemed at odds with the alluring woman I’d apparently become, I kept my anxiety hidden in my shoes), I hit send.
His response was immediate, and included a reminder that, in case I wanted to test out any scenarios, he was a very skilled editor.
Well, that’s kind. I always appreciate another reader for my work.
Did he mean…
Looks like I have a knack for witty banter via e-mail.
And I'm still a little horny...