But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes of mice and men
Go oft awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!
- Robert Burns, “To a Mouse”
having said all of that, what’s going on out there?
What’s all that noise? These windows face out into Chestnut Hill, everyone who walks by wears a surgeon’s mask, but none of them ever say anything. You risk too much carrying on conversations. And yet there’s all this shouting and clapping and stomping of feet. It’s blasting through every room of this house, it woke me up this morning.
My laptop is here on my desk and open to the news. I hear Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd and Oscar Grant and Amadou Diallo and I click to a new tab and return and the list has gotten longer. I hear police officers with #BLM lying on their masks saying America isn’t racist, I hear politicians throwing out solutions, I hear common people shouting just to tell their story. I hear that everyone has something to say about these men, except for the President, who says everything’s going great since the stock market is holding firm, and his opponent, who promises if elected that nothing will change the fundamentals of this racist country.
I hear that millions of people are out of work and need the government to work for them. We’re waiting by for a phone call or email with a job offer, something like scrubbing garbage cans, even though we’ve graduated from college and are better than that. We’re better than being saddled with debt, holed up in our parents’ houses and masturbating just to pass the time.
I’ve heard all this since March. None of this is new to me. I’m living it. I’m just wondering--
what is the plan to get us out of this?
I am positive that I woke up in the incubator having resolved the fate-versus-free will debate. Some people are destined to fail, some people succeed for one day, some people ride high for years and then fall, and some people walk between raindrops. Few of us can walk into a room and have everyone eating out of their hand. Everyone knows That Guy, but few of us are Him, and all of us admire Him.
I never was that guy, but I felt that I had a force of will and creativity that lent themselves to success. Just by living, the world would fall to my feet, which wasn’t much to expect, given that I was crawling. The world would just have to nudge up to meet my heels.
I was a good little boy. I shared the challah and grape juice during Saturday services. I did my homework and I set the table for dinner. I loved God with all my heart, I prayed to Him every night, chanting Dayenu, thanking him for all He had given me and all He would allow me to accomplish.
In my free time, while I wait for job postings, I count. I’ve written 133 cover letters in 310 days, 17 in the last week. There’s 205,000,000 results when I Google “Boston marketing jobs.”
Marketing combines everything I like--calendar management, creative thinking, leadership--into one tidy package. It seems like a good fit. I can clearly see that there’s so many people out there looking for people like me, and I have experience doing marketing, writing, and “sales,” so this should be easy. I have all the time in the world, I’ll take the first job that comes to me. I only need one job.
9:43 am - “RE: Your application for Content Marketing Writer”
We sincerely appreciate your interest in the Content Marketing Writer position. We’re grateful to have received so many talented applicants and we’re delighted that you had an interest in joining our award winning team here at Mergen Partners.
After careful review, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate who we feel is a better match for our particular position.
Thanks again for your interest in us, and best of luck in your search!
11:02 am - “Thank you for applying with us”
We have received your information in response to your interest for the position of Communications Manager, HR Projects. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that you have not been selected at this time to move further in the process for this role.
We do appreciate the time it took in providing us your information, and we will retain your candidate file in our highly searched talent database. We are happy to inform you of future openings that may match your profile. We also invite you to visit our career section at any time to monitor new postings.
We thank you for your interest in the Egeria Network and we wish you the best of luck in whatever career you pursue.
12:37 am - “Regarding your application with Act Progressive”
Thank you so much for your interest in Act Progressive.
Although we are impressed with your background, we have unfortunately decided not to proceed with your candidacy at this time for the Digital and Social Media Marketing Content Manager position. That being said, we hope that you continue to follow @ActProgressive and #ThinkBlue and apply with us again in the future.
We wish you all the best in your job search!
After a certain point in the afternoon, form letter emails stop coming in and postings stop going up. The day becomes about pouring through pages of Google searches. Once the muscles behind my eyes start aching, I stop and jerk off. I roll my desk out from the corner of my room and I pull it over to the edge of my bed, then I bunch my sheets up and put them against my balls and I hump them to my fantasies.
She walks into the room and gets down on her knees. Crouching, she unbuttons her blouse and frees her cleavage. She squeezes and rubs them to show how firm they are. She crawls onto the mattress and we kiss. She brings my neck closer to hers and she grabs my erection while my hands go to her jeans. We take time making out--neither of us are in any rush--and we kiss and embrace until her panties soak through, then I unbutton her pants and push my hips toward hers and duck my head down so I can take her hard nipples in my mouth. I grind inside her and I wrap my lips around her tits and she climbs on top and rides me and rides me until we both cum. After she rolls off of me, I lie over her and we kiss until my email dings.
I’m not really a sexual person. I get nervous around girls, I’m a virgin. I just like the dopamine rush from the orgasm, it’s relaxing. It keeps me refreshed when I jerk off in the afternoon, and it helps me fall asleep at night. Those are the best parts of my day.
The Ultimate COVID Cure
One liter of vodka
Two garlic heads, peeled and minced
One pound of dried chilli peppers, chopped finely
200 mg of hydroxychloroquine
One vial of pneumococcal vaccine
One liter of methanol
One liter of ethanol
One liter of bleach
Combine all ingredients under an ultraviolet lamp and a hand dryer.
Consume in an area free of houseflies, mosquitoes, 5g mobile towers, old people, children, shoes, and face masks.
I wake up with a sniffle, I assume I have COVID. I catch a cough when water goes down the wrong pipe, I reckon that’s COVID. I can’t taste my canned soup with a heap of salt and pepper, I guessed it right, I caught COVID.
I just assume I have COVID always. If I’m wrong, I lose nothing. If I’m right, I save my life. If I catch COVID and I’ve let my guard down because I’ve been wrong about having COVID every time I run a temperature, I’m dead.
Assume the worst, and the pleasant is a nice surprise. The bad can never catch you off guard. Be optimistic, and you’re devastated by anything that goes slightly wrong.
It’s important in times like these to keep your expectations toe-level, especially when it comes to COVID. If I’m living in a brain fog, I hope someone puts a knife to my throat and applies liberally.
“I cried when they choked Mr. Garner--
chills ran down my spine.
And I cried when they choked Mr. George Floyd,
as though I’d lost a brother of mine.
But Rayshard Brooks got what was coming,
he got what he asked for this time.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
“I go to the BLM rallies,
and I put down the old GOP.
I love Childish Gambino and Chuck D,
I’ve seen every joint from Spike Lee.
But don’t talk about police defunding--
that’s a little too extreme for me.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
“I cheered when Kamala was chosen,
my faith in the people restored.
I’m glad the Black folks were added
to Bon Appetit’s executive board.
And I love Guineans and Ghanans,
so long as they don’t move next door.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
“Each redneck who keeps up a statue
is a neo-Nazi sympathizer.
I don’t understand how their brains work,
haven’t they watched John Oliver?
But if you say I use microaggressions,
you’re an SJW, for sure.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
“I give to intercity youth groups,
so a Black boy can become a man.
I donate to Campaign Zero,
I signed a petition for a stop-and-frisk ban.
I support all the reforms you ask for,
just don’t have me go to Mattapan.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
“Once I was young and impulsive,
I wanted revolution back when.
I voted for Ed Brooke and Jackson,
I would have voted for Obama again.
But our best days lie ahead now,
and that’s why I’m ridin’ with Biden.
So love me love me love me,
I’m an ally.”
I click the “Apply to this Job” button, I upload my resume, the window refreshes, it says my information has been “autofilled,” except it hasn’t. So I have to go and refill it.
Stanley Kubrick Fluke
17 Saint Sebastian Road
Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467
And I have to type all my qualifications out under one tab, and my skills in another tab, and my demographic information in another tab, so much typing that I might as well not upload my resume. But, as both the little red asterisk and “(Required)” indicate, I have to. And then when I hit “Submit,” the page refreshes, and I have to create an account. So I retype all my information:
STANLEY KUBRICK FLUKE
17 SAINT SEBASTIAN ROAD
CHESTNUT HILL, MA, 02467
And once that’s done, the window redirects to some text that says,
“Thank you for submitting your application!
Your information is under review.
Log in to view the status of your application.”
Why they need my address, I don’t know. They send their form letter rejection emails to my spam filter.
When I was a kid, my dream school was Boston College. It’s right down the street, so I have formidable hometown appeal. I went to middle and high school alongside some kids of the professors there, I knew where each building on campus was by the time I turned thirteen. The small campus liberal arts experience seemed great, as I could really stand out in a classroom, given how few competitors there were. And besides, I wouldn’t need a housing or meal plan, so I was saving them money.
I went to Odin College out in Nebraska after I didn’t get into BC. It’s 2900 students, so it still has that small campus feel that BC has--lots of opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond. I picked up an essay prize senior year because of that idea, being a big fish in a small pond. Write your senior capstone paper on Tennyson or Frost, and you’ll never make headway because everyone’s written about them. Pick someone no one’s ever heard of, you’re seen as innovative, and for my innovation, I won a medal.
“In recognition of his essay, ‘Eccentric Blunder: The Strange Life, Death, and Poetics of James Kenneth Stephen, Mentor to the Prince, Jack the Ripper Suspect,’ which meaningfully ties Mr. Stephen’s short life to his nostalgic imagery, proclivity for satire, and end rhyme - Stanley Kubrick Fluke, the Odin English Department Prize for Essay Writing”
They don’t have copies of Lapsus Calami at BC, I’ve checked. If I had gone there, I wouldn’t have been able to make a name for myself.
Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC
**This is NOT a remote position and we are located in Massachussets.**
Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC is a marketing agency currently working to raise brand awareness of many clients, right now we are working with three dozen well known nonprofit organizations. We specialize in planning special events to promote client image. Our goal is to exceed client expectations and increase customer retention.
As a Marketing Assistant you will be responsible for coming up with new advertising strategies, organizing events and presentations, and providing accurate product information in sales reports and speeches. We are seeking an assist with a passion for creative, and innovative work. You must be able to capture a customer’s interest at every stage of engagement.
- Ability to commute to Boston
- Marketing experience preferred
- 1 year customer service
- Excellent organizational/time management skills
- Ability to excel in a fast paced environment
- Assist in creating customized experiences
- Organizing special events
- Track success of marketing and advertising tactics
- Prepare sales reports and sales analysis
- Participate in team meetings
Cover letter: I am writing to express my interest in being your Marketing Associate. I am an engaged and experienced marketing associate who graduated from Odin College in May, where I majored in English literature concentrating in poetry with a minor in marketing. I served as a Marketing Intern with WBUR from 2017 to 2020, where I wrote copy to promote upcoming programs, managed WBUR’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and collaborated with WBUR’s public relations team on preparation for public events. My experience with WBUR honed my abilities in marketing through multiple written channels, leading public outreach in online and live forums, and working with a PR team. I am looking to assume your Marketing Associate position immediately. Thank you for taking the time to consider my qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I break from the job hunt to go for walks out and around Chestnut Hill. Now that it’s August, the sun sets at seven and it’s pitch black by eight, except for the street lights. I’ve been getting lost lately. If I hear a cough, I run down the street. If I see someone walking toward me, I cross the street. Hell, I even walk with my face down and away from the road, so if a car drives by, I can’t catch their germs. It’s too much of a risk just having the breeze touch you, but I have to get out away from my laptop, otherwise my eyes glaze over.
I watched Contagion when I was twelve or so, whenever it came out in theaters. I thought the Marion Cotillard subplot was weak, but everything else held up, and I was terrified. I mean, I didn’t touch my face for a month, not even with a Kleenex. I like horror movies that are either incredibly realistic or incredibly surreal. Monsters don’t scare me, sure, they kill people and being murdered is scary, but monsters aren’t real. There are no vampires, no ghosts, what have you, but there are germs, and I loved Contagion because it is based in reality.
Boy, do we know that for sure now. It’s not as bad as it was in the movie, but we are pretty close to Contagion, all things considered. We’ve got conmen on the news pushing “miracle” cures, we have riots in the streets, we have businesses shuttering and homes being condemned, yeah, you can remake Contagion right now with a webcam. At least we don’t have people breaking into houses and robbing people at gunpoint.
You know, some kid must have been planning a school shooting back in March, and then COVID hit. They must be sitting at home stewing, staring at their rifle and their five hundred bullets. Hopefully their school closing lets them clear their head and move on with their life, but they’re just sitting there with the Internet and their own thoughts, after all. Their minds have to be still focused on whatever set them off. And if you are at that place where you’re going to murder strangers, you’ll probably just wait for your school to reopen, to get your revenge.
Yeah, you just can’t move on with your life during this. You can’t meet your friends, however many friends you have, you can’t run off somewhere else to decompress, you have no job-- you’re completely and utterly stuck with yourself.
Granted, if you’re at a point where you would shoot up your school, you are used to being holed up by yourself.
Come to think of it, someone like a school shooter would thrive during times like these. It’s the kids who didn’t plan on this ever being their lives--being alone, removed from school and work, constantly afraid of getting sick--those are the kids who grab guns
I’ll think on this further once I figure out how I wound up by the airport.
In crooks of the East End,
you can still find Jack
in a cobblestone alleyway.
He is firm on his feet
but his shoulders slouch
from scoliosis. His spine
is a corkscrew from 132 years
of offering his hand to passerby.
There is very little room to run by him.
He stands in shadow,
his whole arm is extended out
in shadow, so his body and
the darkness can hardly be picked out
from each other. The blood
has so coagulated on his skin
that when the breeze passes by,
the smell of rot drifts out
over the whole city,
and the sky is tinged red.
12:54 am - “RE: Thank you for applying to Coeus Associates.”
7:36 am - “You appeared in 6 searches this week”
7:42 am - “12 new jobs for ‘communications’”
7:46 am - “6 new jobs for ‘writing’”
7:51 am - “Harvard University is looking for communications coordinators”
7:56 am - “Stanley Fluke, Graduate Now, Inc, may want to hire you”
8:02 am - “Top Ten Tips to Getting Your Dream Job”
8:06 am - “Thank you for applying to Grand Enterprise Technologies”
8:12 am - “10 new jobs for ‘marketing’”
8:15 am - “2 new jobs for ‘political organizer’”
The most successful person you can be in politics is a cynic. Suspect everyone, believe in nothing.
When you do believe in nothing, not even the girl or guy you’re knocking doors and phone banking for, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain: world changing activism if you’re lucky, and million dollar lobbying contracts if you’re not.
Keep your expectations in politics low, especially if you work for a progressive fixated on purity and change, since they won’t do what they need to do to win, while the moderates and the conservatives drag the progressives’ names and souls through the mud. I expected Bernie Sanders to lose Massachusetts by one point--he lost by seven. I expected Dave Cavell to lose by ten points--he dropped out one month before primary day. Turns out bringing hugs to a gunfight doesn’t get you elected.
When your guy loses and you’re ready for it, it’s not that bad. You scream an F-bomb, you kick your laundry hamper, and you get the rage out of your system. You gave it the good old college try and your guy has a partner track at a law firm to pursue. Losing isn’t what keeps me up at night.
The other guy winning is what does.
I listen to elevator music as I search for jobs. I just need background noise to keep my tangenting streams of consciousness from being the only things I hear. My eye coming across Pine Manor College triggers some memory of how I walked by there in April, dodging college kids who were saying that voting was “the sexy thing to do!”, and then I start thinking about my work for campaigns and how all I did was have a bunch of Karens slam doors in my face, and away my mind goes. I need something that doesn’t get me riled up. “Easy listening” is easy for a reason.
Muzak is so banal you can’t form an emotional connection to it. You can focus on the things that matter, like how the cover letter you sent in says, “Emerald Necklace Conservatory,” instead of “Conservancy,” and you can scream at yourself for sending the letter out without properly spell checking it. You can grow from your righteous outrage.
9:03 am - “Your resume caught my eye!”
We read your resume and cover letter and you seem like a great fit for us over here at Weathertight. Do you have some time over the next week to talk? Send me your available times and we can set something up over Zoom.
Thank you so much for your interest!
Resumes with white sounding names receive fifty percent more callbacks than those with Black sounding names.
Men receive thirty percent more callbacks than women.
I guess it pays more to be white than to be male, but I thank God for making me a white man.
9:08 am - “RE: Your resume caught my eye!”
I’m available to talk during afternoons any day this week. Would tomorrow at 2:00 pm work?
Thank you again for considering my qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Stanley K. Fluke”
I only pass over jobs when I feel stupid making a case for myself.
“I am an engaged and experienced marketing and communications official who graduated from Odin College in May, where I majored in English poetry with a minor in Marketing. I served as an Intern at WBUR from 2017 to 2020, where I served coffee and snacks to some of Boston’s biggest radio personalities. My experience as an Intern honed my ability in wiping stains off counters with paper towels, making me perfectly suited for your administrative assistant position”
When that’s all I can say for myself, I’m done. Sure, I could still get the job, but I am something of a perfectionist. Writing such shitty letters doesn’t suit me.
I always wanted more. It was little wonder I gained so much weight through elementary school, I loved meat like any man should, I ate entire racks of ribs. I only became thin because of puberty, I shot up like a sprout and started going out for walks, so I managed to build some semblance of muscle and I pushed the fat out into my toes and fingers.
I wanted longer vacations, so I ran away from home every Labor Day, packed my pajama bottoms into my backpack and headed out for the beach. I always came back at eight, because it was pitch black and I couldn’t wait for dinner any longer. So I prayed to God to let the summer go longer. I asked God to tilt the axis of the Earth so the Sun hit the planet evenly, making it summer all year round. And since school was out during the summer, they just wouldn’t have school anymore, and I could spend my whole life on the beach.
I didn’t figure that they would just keep the same months of the school year. But all I wanted to do was walk down by the seashore, eat hot dogs, and look at girls in bikinis. Can you blame me?
There’s all the time in the world to watch the rain fall. Water is indestructible, oddly enough.
If it’s absorbed into fabric, it’s clinging to the individual fibers. If it goes down the sewer drain, it’s flowing beneath our feet. If it lies across concrete, it’s right there spread thin, waiting to evaporate or freeze. If you drink it, it goes into your blood, and after you die, your blood breaks down into its individual components, so the water evaporates.
Water survives through its cycle, always turning, always tinkering. There’s so much time to watch that endless cycle unfolding within and all around you.
Do you notice how rain connotes the start of the harvest, in spring, and the end, in fall, to suggest the awful weather that comes in winter? That’s not a profound insight--hell, weather has been talked about so much there’s nothing new to say about it. It’s the classic water cooler icebreaker--“Hey, lovely weather we’re having here today, aren’t we?” Except there’s too much time to kill, and it’s something everyone knows about, and it’s always here, so it gets brought up. August has always been my least favorite month.
3:33 pm - “RE: RE: Your resume caught my eye!”
“Tomorrow works great. Speak to you then!”
The one callback I’ve gotten these last 311 days, I made one mistake. I told the NPR guy my biggest weakness was my social skills, how I am awkward around strangers and women. The CCO was sitting in on this interview, and he asked me these questions:
“How did you address that?”
Well, I talked to people over the phone working in politics, and I’ve gotten better at talking to strangers accordingly.
“How did you mean, ‘I’ve gotten better’?”
I grew more comfortable letting my guard down, opening up to strangers about the issues I care about.
“How did you mean, ‘awkward around women’?”
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, you know. It’s hard to understand someone else’s emotional experiences.
“How did you mean, ‘hard to understand someone else’s emotional experiences’?”
I express myself in ways that are different from other people, in ways that are more--eccentric?
Artistic? Unconventionally, unconventional is the right term. And relating to people through more conventional means could be challenging.
I was asked if I had any questions. I asked, “What are the skills I need to succeed as a Marketing Manager at NPR?” Well, I had to know how to write, how to plan and build events and work within a team, and how to manage a calendar. I really needed to know how to manage time, to delegate tasks so I could get everything done by 5:00.
The CCO told me he would reach back by the end of the week. That was two weeks ago. Earlier this week, they posted the same job posting I had applied to, word-for-word, on LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed. I know I made one mistake, and that was enough. Why would you ever hire the guy who made one mistake over the guy who’s perfect?
I always dream of atrocity.
I used to have nightmares of strangers busting down my front door and walking up my steps slowly. From the other side of the house, I could hear the landings squeal and the railings screech as the guy made his way toward me. I would lie in bed paralyzed, waiting for him to bust through the door with a machete, lunge to the foot of my bed, and cut my head off, but that never happened. I only ever heard him approaching, until I woke up at dusk.
I have a bread
knife in my right hand.
Two milk white lamplights
stand off in the distance,
illuminating the edge of a park
and a girl, standing still and facing
off into the distance. I’m walking,
trying to make haste, swinging my arms
and my knife through the air,
my feet are hardly touching
the concrete, but I don’t make ground.
Trees and houses and empty lots
pass me by, but she is still over there,
at the edge of my field of vision.
I can’t wait to get to her,
and I can’t get to her
and my dream ends. I rise out of bed right next to my desk and the window open to the cloudy morning.
Cough, that sounds like a gunshot, you get shot. Cover your face, looks like you’re reaching for a gun, you get shot. Pull out your wallet, that looks like a gun, you get shot. Stand your ground with a licensed concealed weapon, you get shot. Protest stand your ground, you get shot. This cop is trying to kill you for having an expired license, you get shot. You’re out for a walk while it’s raining, you’re heading home, you’re wearing a hoodie and talking to your girlfriend, you get shot.
Be Black and no matter what exactly your skin complexion is, regardless of any crime you commit, what the content of your character is, whomever you work for, where you go to school what you say which God you worship what your favorite book is what your paternal grandfather’s name was what street you lived on when you were five what you aspired to be what you dreamed of and who dreamed of you
you get fucking shot. There is no room for error, even when you did nothing wrong.
“Hi! It’s so good to meet you.”
“So let’s just get into it. I’ve read your resume and cover letter, and it says that you worked for a couple of political campaigns, right?”
“Yes. A presidential campaign and a Congressional campaign.”
“That’s great. So you were knocking doors and making phone calls and things like that?”
“Very good. We’re not a political organization, as you probably know. But, having said that, your political experience is great, you’re trained in direct interactions going door-to-door, right? That’s really helpful for what we’re trying to do.
So Plan International is a girl’s rights organization founded by journalists back in the 1930s, and our goal is to enhance their brand awareness through donor engagement. Any door to door experience is helpful, and you seem to be a master of it, because you’re going to be in our Graduate Sales and Management Training Program, which specializes in direct marketing.
I’m sure you know the difference between direct and indirect marketing, I see that you worked at WBUR as an intern, but just to reiterate, indirect is television ads, billboards, and so on. It’s good for brand awareness, sure, but having said that, direct marketing is face-to-face interactions at trade shows, retail events, festivals, and so on. The advantage of direct marketing is that it’s human--it’s face-to-face and personal. It has a great ROI, since clients only pay for results, and it has a great market share for immediate growth.
Now, yes, you will be wearing masks, yes, you will be socially distanced. Everyone who walks into our office has their temperatures checked. Plus, we’ll be outdoors for most of the day, so the odds of you catching COVID aren’t high.
Having said that, our clients include Xfinity, Comcast, and more than thirty charities, and we utilize a combination of door-to-door and face-to-face strategies to promote our products. You will start at the Account Executive position, where you’re going to learn sales and direct marketing. Training is criteria based, you’ll work your way up and there’s lots of opportunity to. From there, you’ll move into the Account Manager position, where you’ll train new employees and manage people. You’re going to develop your own management style so you can then recruit Account Managers on your own. Having said that, Junior Executive is when you learn the backends of the position, understanding office responsibilities like HR and legal items. As part of that experience, you’re going to go to our offices all around the world. We have offices all across the country, in Silicon Valley, Texas, Chicago, and we just opened an office in Philadelphia. Having said that, we also have offices in the UK, Australia, and Spain. Those are great opportunities for you to network and see other Executives’ sales and management strategies. So, having said that, next is the Senior Executive position, and here you’ll be running your own office, being accountable for results, wherever around the world you may be. Having said that, you can expect to start in Boston and then go from there.
The Account Executive position lasts for roughly two to four weeks, and the soonest someone finished that position was eight days. The Account Manager is 6 months, with the quickest someone finished it being 4 months. The Junior Executive position lasts 3 months, with the shortest someone completed it being 2 months. And finally, the Senior Executive position lasts 9 months on average, with the quickest someone completed it being five months. Having said all of that, any questions?”
“So--I’m sorry, what is the Marketing Associate position?”
“This is the position.”
“But--the one I applied for?”
“This is the position.”
“Okay. What are the skills that I would need to succeed in this position?”
“Yeah, sales is a big component. You have to be able to manage a brand and speak competently and compassionately to customers on it. You’re going to have to know public speaking, too, because you’re giving a mini-speech to every customer who comes by. You have to tell them what’s going on with the world and sell them a feeling that encourages them to act. You have to create emotions in their head. You have to be creative, you know all of that, I imagine from your political work, and we’ll teach you the finer points through our Program, don’t worry.
So, having said that, we’ll talk about pay now. You’ll be creating the paycheck you want through a performance-based salary. You start at 30 dollars a day, and for every 35 dollar monthly donation you get, you earn 75 dollars. You get a 25 dollar retention if your donor gives a donation for a second month. I’ve had plenty of employees make 1500 dollars a week--one of my employees wants to run her own hospital, so she made money through this, and gave herself the financial foundation she needed to move forward. With this kind of salary, once you work long enough, you can do whatever you want. Junior Executives earn 80 thousand dollars a year, and Senior Executives earn 100 to 200 thousand dollars a year, depending on their projects. Yes, it’s a real strong financial foundation. So, having said that, any questions?
So I’m pretty content with waiving the second interview. Normally we do two, but I’m thinking that’s unnecessary. What do you think?”
“Well--I want to give you as much information as possible--so your hiring decision--”
“Okay, meet with my boss Annie at 4:30 today. And you can ask her any additional questions if you have any.”
If I encounter a job posting that’s a good fit for me, I submit my application and then spend the rest of my day dreaming about how good it would be if I got hired.
If I encounter a posting that’s bad, my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders so I can escape facing that possibility.
I just like letting my mind go. Can you blame me? It’s better than worrying about COVID attacking my lungs and heart and nerves, my brain, hands, and testicles, it’s better than getting angry at neoliberals, I don’t lift a finger for those useless fuckers, let alone my index finger wrapped around a pen that makes a little X in a box next to their name on Election Tuesday, it’s better than envisioning the dead bodies of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery in my mind’s eye. The world can be itself, and I can be myself.
“Hey Stan. Any questions from the talk you had with Mary?”
“Yes. So I applied for the Marketing Associate position--what’s the difference between that and the training program?”
“Sure. So the positions that Mary talked about in the Executive in Training program are generalized, so they’re only broad summaries of what you’re going to do. But, yeah, the Marketing Associate position comes later, the Training program and their positions are what you’ll do now.”
“Okay. So what are the most important skills I would need to succeed in a position like this?”
“Sure, so you’re going to need to be able to build awareness of these nonprofits, that way people donate to you. You’re going to educate them, you’re going to interact with them, and they’re going to donate. You have to steer the conversations, take control, so they eventually, inevitably, donate. So you’re going to need a lot of self-confidence for that. The goal is to acquire 2-3 donors per day.”
“And we’ll be--where will be gathering donations?”
“Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, the Financial District. Have you been around Boston? Yeah, all really nice places.”
“And in terms of COVID, what are you doing?”
“Sure. So we’re taking the maximum precautions possible. Everyone is putting on gloves, we have temperature guns to check your temperature as soon as you walk into the building, and we only talk to customers with masks on, from a six foot distance.”
“So I’m pretty content with what you’ve said. You should be hearing back from us by tomorrow.”
What makes me stand out from the rest? All the three hundred sixty applicants for this Marketing Associate position--why should I of all people get this opportunity? Ma nishtana?
Well, I’m ambitious. I’m creative. I believe in shooting for Pluto even if I only have enough rocket fuel to make it to the moon. I want big ideas and actions to address and resolve big problems. I am committed to seeing things through to the end.
I’m going to be a Senior Executive in one year. I’m going to get everyone and their mother to help these poor little girls, I will save them. And my office downtown is going to employ Black people, and I’m going to send them out and when the cops get called on them, I’m going to film them and I’m going to prove them wrong and show the whole world just how racist they really are. People are going to believe me and they are going to believe them. We’re going to get progressives up and down the ballot elected, and we’re actually going to make a Blue Wave happen, with Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and student debt cancellations and criminal justice reform, because God put me on this earth to inspire great things. Greatness is in my skin and blood, I’m here to win, not just stand there, but do something bold. I’m not going to live my life in fear.
“So we are pleased to offer you a position, Stan. Congratulations! Where can we send the documents over?”
I check my email thirty seven times a day, but I don’t send emails to my friends. There’s nothing to talk about.
“Hey man, I know what you’re saying
about Uncle Joe, but I just want someone
who’s a decent man.”
“He’s electable, the most electable
one of the bunch.”
“But he is ten times the man that the President is.”
“You got to play teams, you lean Democrat,
you’re a Democrat, so vote Democrat, Vote
Blue No Matter Who.”
“He’s good enough for me, that’s all that matters.”
“You lost. Get over it.”
“Man up and vote.”
Walk with me through the definition of psychopathy and tell me who this reminds you of?
“a mental disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical characteristics”
The President hobnobs with dictators and scorns military professionals defending the country, civil rights leaders organizing for basic human decency, and doctors fighting the worst epidemic this side of the Black Death. Also he’s a child rapist and white nationalist. Antisocial behavior, check.
The President has conveyed no well wishes for the victims of mass shootings, natural disasters, police brutality, or epidemics. He shows absolutely no regard for undocumented immigrants, refugees, or the impoverished. He has made no apologies for his racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist, classist, and other bigoted and divisive remarks, let alone his actions. Impaired empathy and remorse, check.
The President has threatened nuclear war, removed the United States from climate change and peace accords, bragged about his economic prowess in the midst of the worst global recession since the Great Depression, conscripted the Department of Justice to defend him in his many civil lawsuits, and committed treason to defeat Uncle Joe. Bold, disinhibited, egotistical, triple check.
There. Don’t say I’m a fan of the President just because I criticize his opponent.
The bar has been set so low for his resistance that every single one of us is Good Enough. It doesn’t matter if you won’t endorse the practices that would resolve the problems you have been fighting against for forty-seven years, it doesn’t matter if you’re milquetoast, exhausted, a plagiarist, a laughingstock amongst leftists the world over, a champion of Blacks who has repeatedly voted against their own interests, a defender of women who doesn’t respect their personal space--you’re Good Enough.
And since perfect is the enemy of good, it’s a race to the bottom to pick the most Good Enough candidate who can dream up the most Good Enough policies so all those Good Enough Americans in this Good Enough America can vote for him. It doesn’t matter if perfect is the enemy of bad. It doesn’t matter if, living in perfection, you won’t lose sleep over healthcare or climate change or racial reparations, the race is on to go down and down and down, to be the most perfect Good Enough person you can be, because that is how unimaginative people really are.
You all chose Good Ol’ Uncle Joe, and now I’m the one who loses sleep, over how we’re in the midst of all this pain and lies and bullshit, and you’re telling me stick to the plan of applying bandaids over bullet wounds, it’s Good Enough for just about everybody! So you’re just going to lose sleep down the road over Medicare and the economy and racial reparations, everything your Good Enough politics failed to fix. Remember that I work for our issues better than you do.
Every time I’m out walking, a minivan shines its high beams directly into my eyes.
Who the hell needs their high beams on with all these streetlights? What can you see now that you couldn’t see before?
There’s nothing but roadkill and me out here, there’s nothing for you to be afraid of behind your steering wheel, you’re going fifty miles per hour. I can’t run that fast, no one but other cars can catch you, it’s 9:00 pm. The only one out here who should be worried is me, having to go to an ophthalmologist.
COVID Country: a land of glass houses
where the sun’s heat trapped behind the glass
is not enough to kill the viruses
drifting through the open air.
Schoolchildren lob stones from
their kidneys, and the glass walls
come crashing down like rain,
and the heat radiates away.
The virus meanders out into
the world on the backs of parents
throwing their arms over their heads
and screaming from the lacerations
all over their skin. The kids start running
because they follow their parents,
and out everything goes.
Kids aren’t really kids when they’re
around their parents. Kids aren’t really kids
when they’re holed up behind masks
and locked doors. Kids should be free
to play, to nap, to run, and to lie.
7:36 am - “Welcome aboard!”
Thank you for meeting with Mary Jane and Annie yesterday! Congratulations on being officially offered a position with us here at Weathertight as a Marketing Associate in our Training Executives program. We are so excited to get the opportunity to work with you and feel you will be a great asset to our company.
I have attached your hourly at-will employment letter, and I’d like you to sign it and hand it in on Monday. As a reminder, we are working with Plan International. They require training for its solicitors, so familiarize yourself with the training packet I’ve attached and we’ll go through it on Monday.
We look forward to seeing you in the office on Monday! Best wishes,”
It’s felt like a dream, that’s what every day of this job search has been like, one long dream where I sit in place and sights dance in front of my eyes. My life is unemployment, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, always on call. I’m working to find work, I’m not making a living, I’m not living--if anything, I’m avoiding death, quarantining myself and walking in circles to lose weight.
And then I fall asleep and dream, but it’s not like I ever go anywhere. I only have little escapes like masturbating to Helen of Troy, I daydream during the day and dream at night, sex in the morning and violence in the evening to escape the tedium of the afternoon.
No more cover letters now, no more search results, no more Muzak, no more checking emails, no more need to be polite to people I hate, no more eating myself like an ouroboros, I’m going to fucking do something for once.
HOURLY AT WILL EMPLOYMENT LETTER
Name: Stanley K. Fluke
Company Name: Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC.
We are very satisfied to offer you a position with Company. This letter outlines the requirements your offer of employment with Company is conditioned upon.
1.) Job Description
You will be hired as a fundraiser to solicit monthly donations for the benefit of charities.
a.) You will be paid on a commission basis of $_ per hour. Commission rates will vary depending upon the donations you solicit.
b.) Your paycheck will be sent every Friday. Your workweek is Sunday through Saturday.
3.) Non Competition
During your employment, you will neither conduct business directly or indirectly, either for yourself or for any other person or business entity, nor participate in any other business, including, without limitation, any division, subdivision, group, franchise, or a larger organization, which engages in acquiring customers through door to door, door to business, and/or face to face solicitations, cold calling, emailing, events based marketing, leaflet distribution, poster creation, and/or solicitation in or outside retail stores, within a thirty-five mile radius of the county in which Company’s principal place of business is located.
Your employment will be at will, meaning that you and Company may terminate your employment relationship at any time, with or without cause and/or notice.
We at Weathertight take it as a point of pride to train and hire the greatest fundraisers in the business, each with years of experience in face to face sales. Face to face donor acquisition substantially increases name recognition over indirect measures.
YOU ARE THE FACE OF THE CHARITY. You are carrying Weathertight and our partners’ reputation when you engage in door to door, street, phone, email, and mail canvassing. In every venue, in every interaction, always act as a lawful, honest, courteous, and efficient professional.
Script for Plan International
Try to read word for word
Hey How are you, Can I have one second to tell you what we are doing?
Quick Question Do you believe every child everywhere deserves Water healthcare food housing schooling?
Another question Are you 21 or older by any chance?
Awesome sweet you’re good to go with all my tests.
Last question Have you by any chance heard of Plan?
Specifically Plan is a child centered community development organization, in other words they go into underdeveloped places around Africa, Asia, and North and South America making them self-sufficient. They do this in 70+ countries and have been around for 80+ years. Pretty sweet right? So we are not going into these communities just dropping off food and water and pills and books, we are teaching skills to young and old people alike like building libraries and getting books and keeping them clean, building schools but also training the staff to develop skills in kids.
Infrastructure is our main focus. We put a strong infrastructure so those that can’t help themselves can help themselves. We provide people with skills to bring in long term change instead of short term solutions. Certainly it’s not like here’s so food, come back for more tomorrow, cause we all know that just creates dependency. As the analogy goes, we give fishing poles and nets instead of fish. Having said that the reason we are here today is because still to this day 14,200 kids die everyday from treatable and preventable causes. So not talking about murder or car accidents or cancer but Malaria, Cholera, and Diaherra. Having said that, these things can be treated with clean water that cost less than a cent and medicine that cost last than 5 cents. I hate all of that, don’t you do too I’m sure?
I know that sounds negatives so here is some positivity. That number was 26,000 in 2011. So that number is falling every year we are making progress yay! And it’s not just because of Plan it’s all the compassionate people like me and you doing something to change the world. I’m sure you want to keep this work up?
Great! We are going to challenge you to sponsor a kid.
Quick Question I imagine that during the week you spend $9 on something you didn’t really need yes? Yeah me too lol I am really go at it. So that’s the most ill ask you $9 per week all in total just $35 per month. My favorite part is that when you sponsor this one child every single member of there community benefit because we bring in long term change. No one gets left out especially the girls which often happens. One small donation and you help inspire an entire community. Let me show you these wonderful kids who need your help!
Transition to tablet
**The Fundraiser’s Credo**
I am a fundraiser.
Regardless of my mood, state of mind, physical health, personal experience, or preference, I am and always will be committed to making a difference in my life and in the world around me.
My optimism and positive attitude are my best weapons against the excuse makers, the cynics, the bigots, the uncompassionate, and the time wasters.
My work ethic is my shield to protect myself from objection, rejection, and all circumstances beyond my control.
My considerable skills are my pride.
I perform this noblest task of all today. I make my living by helping those who cannot help themselves. In doing so, I accomplish my part for humanity.
Marketing makes the most sense to me. I’m creative, I spent all those hours reaching out to people through my political work, I wrote copy and got coffee and followed orders at WBUR, I have experience in it. You need experience to get a job, and a job gets you experience.
An entry level position is called “entry level” for a reason, it’s something that you get into with minimal experience, that teaches you the ropes through grind work. It’s just--what kind of grind work is this? What kind of experience is this? What is in this that I haven’t done before? That I haven’t grown tired of? If all the work I’ve done thus far hasn’t gotten me a job, why would this help me get a job the next time I’m unemployed?
“direct marketing jobs” - 1,060,000,000 results, 1.14 seconds
“direct marketing versus indirect marketing” - 148,000,000 results, .47 seconds
“direct marketing versus indirect marketing” - I Feel Lucky
“Remember: direct marketing is all about chasing after your customers. ‘Direct marketing’ usually makes people think of sales, but direct strategies involve many up-and-close techniques such as manning a booth, handing out fliers on street corners, or anything else you can think of that involves one-on-one customer engagement. ‘Indirect marketing’ is more strategic, involving longer term and dynamic marketing campaigns that incorporate a variety of social media and multimedia platforms.”
“direct marketing scams” - 4,880,000 results, .73 seconds
“direct marketing scams” - I Feel Lucky
“Here’s some things to look out for:
If the company has a name with generic buzzwords like ‘management,’ ‘solutions,’ ‘promotions,’ or ‘concepts’
If they post a job description with routine tasks like writing documents or creating public events and then present you with a sales position
If they tell you you’ll eventually fill the position you applied for but don’t say why you won’t fill it now
If they spend more time during the interview presenting the sales position than asking you about your qualifications
If the entire interview process lasts less than a week
If they make a lot of hay out of the differences between direct and indirect marketing
If they rely on catchy terms like ‘be your own boss,’ ‘create your own paycheck,’ and ‘girl power’
If they present themselves as a well-established company yet their social media accounts command fewer than 100 followers
If their website features glossy photos of their employees at parties with few details about what the company actually does
If all the employees are under 35
If their office has no receptionists or personal assistants
If they have a few other twenty-somethings starting their first day with you
If they have you sign a contract for a sales-only position
If you get any bad feeling in your gut… WALK AWAY!”
Well, some companies post job descriptions and then line you up with something else--the economy is ever changing.
Maybe they’re hiring you because of your canvassing experience--you’ve knocked for all these progressive candidates--and they need someone with that kind of experience to man a booth, and they chose you.
Well, some companies hire you after one day, they’re so impressed with you they need no more time to consider it. And all jobs require grind work--getting coffee, right? Low pay at first, long hours, you’ve got to prove that you are passionate for the job and not just looking for a paycheck. This is all about the cause, after all--you’ve worked fifty hour weeks for political campaigns at no pay, because it’s all for a good cause.
Well, companies that are new can’t be expected to have big social media followings--none of the campaigns you worked for commanded massive followings. 93 Facebook likes is respectable for a little marketing company.
All those people on weathertightmarketingsolutions.com have big white smiles and cocktail glasses and trim suits with cufflinks on their sleeves. They’re having fun, they’re happy, aren’t they?
In any case, do I really want to spend another ten months finding a job?
“sealed against rain and wind”
We provide marketing solutions for you that meet all your challenges! We are currently working with more than 50 nonprofits--visit our office below for more information!
Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC
288 Irene Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA, 02128
- Mary Jane
Blonde, light white skin, green eyes, in every photo, smiling in front of the camera, smiling in every photo, credited on every page.
Four vials of blood from her arm
make you feel like a god.
Jack and Jill go over the hill
so early in the morning
so Jack the Ripper can bloodlet,
let the blood go free,
draw pretty pictures
and write pretty notes
of pretty ladies in pretty
Let blood out, let the infection out,
viruses can’t travel without blood.
Let the blood out, offer a sacrifice,
every god asks for a sacrifice,
become your own personal god
and demand a sacrifice.
All I have to do is be professional. Dress nicely, compose myself, hop down on the T, stop off at Suffolk Downs, walk in, see for myself.
That’s how I’ll know for sure. Only with my own two eyes. Ask questions. Stand up for yourself.
What is the hourly at will employment letter about?
What is this position I am filling?
What are you doing with COVID?
Why are you in every picture on your website?
Why is your “About” page so sparse?
Who are you really?
And then I’ll know.
I will know a mere two days from now
Know how you think about something and then all of a sudden you see that something everywhere?
Jack the Ripper murdered his first victim on August 31, 1888. He was instantly in the papers for how grotesque his murder was, and he’s never been absent from the papers since.
Everyone has their own little theory about him, we each have built a Puppet Jack with strings attached to his jaw, so we can put words we think are unique in his mouth, and we walk him through our model Whitechapels singing the Song of the Ripper™. There’s so many theories that it’s easy to imagine something out of Murder on the Orient Express:
Elizabeth Stride is walking down Berner Street when Montague Druitt grabs her throat. Then George Chapman lobs a vial of poison at Druitt, who falls onto his face, and Chapman takes Elizabeth’s throat for himself. Then Aaron Kosminski shows up, masturbating. Michael Ostrog swipes from Druitt’s pocket. Francis Tumblety throws a severed womb at Kosminski and Thomas Cream and Carl Feigenbaum, James and Michael Maybrick, Robert Stephenson, Frederick Deeming, John Pizer, James Thomas Sadler, Jacob Isenschmid, Lyttelton Forbes Winslow, H.H. Holmes, Prince Victor, Walter Sickert, Lewis Carroll, and Vincent van Gogh sharpen their knives on their heels and sashay in. The Puppets join hands and they sing:
Oh, oh, woe is me
Being cursed with puberty
I should have stayed a child
So lovely, meek, and mild
And now I live my life
Sharpening my knife
And stalking through the street
Pursuing rich lady meat
Elizabeth Stride slips away, as Sherlock Holmes and Dracula arrive just for good measure.
My Puppet is John Q. Public, some guy none of us have ever heard of. After all, you didn’t know about Elliot Rodger before he started killing girls. Anyone can do what Jack the Ripper did, and it’s no surprise so many guys have--it goes with the territory of being a guy that you hate girls.
Full Time Estimated $63,000-83,000 a year 5 hours ago
- Calendar management
- Digital marketing
- Google Analytics
- Content marketing
- Bachelor’s degree
- Master’s degree
Full Job Description
Enki Academy is an international education group committed to
children all around the world. Enki tailors education services and technologies to individual students,
teachers, and schools,
including blended learning courses that exceed
The Boston office is look for a M arketing manager t o join our team.
You will work on
Content Management @ Thought Leadership
Develop and manage editorial calendar and work flows
Manage a team to create compelling content across
channels, aligning with our principles and the needs of our target audience
editorial government to ensure content is consistent with our brand voice, style, and tone
Please note this job description is not designed to cover a comprehensive catalog of activists that are required of the employee for
To: Please submit your resume along with a cover letter to .
No phone calls, please
Show Full Job Description
One typo on my cover letter, my application gets discarded. I read it three times over for typos. If I notice one, I read it over three times again.
Typos, syntax errors, diction errors, missing email addresses and phone numbers, missing punctuation, switching between bullet points and numbered lists, listing your job as “entry level” when you’re asking for applicants with five-plus years of experience--all these errors are par for the course. You have the power, you can make as many mistakes as you want.
You know, now that I have a chance to actually think it over out here, it’s hard for me to believe that Jack the Ripper only killed five women. I mean, you dissect these women’s bodies on a street, and then you just--stop. Five’s enough for you?
Maybe the sixth is someone we know, someone who was stabbed or beaten or drowned in the Thames, and we just haven’t connected the dots. Or maybe the sixth is someone we don’t know, someone he cut the head off of and ripped the lungs and liver and pancreas and colon out of, someone he stabbed so many times in the face that her own mother wouldn’t be able to recognize her. Degloved her cheeks, removed her eyes, shattered her bones against the bricks and cobblestones, chopped the fingers and toes off and then chopped those fingers and toes into bits and tossed the pulp and pieces into the river. Fried the organs with butter and onions. Yeah, no one would ever be able to trace that murder back to Jack, even if they recognized those remains were a woman’s.
The great gear mashes in the revolver,
so the bullet is carried clockwise up
into the chamber. The hammer dips
back then snaps forward, igniting
the black powder to forge a small fire
in the barrel just beyond the palm
of my hand. The heat and gases
propel the bullet downward, down
the barrel and through the thin gap
between metal and skin. Everything runs like clockwork,
according to plan, every time
the trigger is pulled.
Come kids one and all,
hear how my gun calls
your name! Come behind these glass walls,
leave your parents at home,
time for you to roam!
This is the place you can be yourself,
climb on down off your parents’ shelf,
no strings attached to you!
You can do what you want to do,
what you’re meant to do,
run around and take risks,
have fun and mix
it up! Explore things and be a kid,
find out if you’re immune to COVID!
Spit on each other, talk without a mask,
drink each other’s blood, that’s all I ask!
No one to moderate you, to place
limits, slice each other’s face
hit each other with mace
you’re in for a taste
here a fantastic place for kids to play--the murder place
Five dollars of change
oh wait that’s a nickel
Four dollars and seventy-five cents worth of quarters, plus an extra five nickels, nine dimes, and seven pennies--that’s enough for me to start over, to buy a train ticket out of town and a can of Coke. I drink the soda, rip the top of the can off, and rumble the can on a street corner. I could make a living that way.
That’s in essence what I’m doing in this job. Rustling for change for forty hours a week. I might as well drop the pretense. I should pick out a cardboard box and write a little sign with black Sharpie: “Need Help. Anything You Can Give Me. God Bless.”
It’s no different than cold calling, three hundred calls a day, three people polite or bored enough to hear you out. I lived with that for two summers, so I should be able to live with this.
I’ll be able to sleep knowing I have a job that matters.
It’s 3:15 on August 31.
288 Irene Street is up and off to the right. Three stories, white exteriors, long handicap ramp snaking toward the main road. Walk up the ramp to the front entrance and the door is stickered with signs:
WEAR A MASK. SANITIZE YOUR HANDS. WALK QUICKLY THROUGH THE LOBBY AND STAIRWELLS.
To the right is the directory. Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC isn’t listed anywhere.
Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC
288 Irene Street, Boston, MA, Suite 200
Suite 200, The East End Suites
Up flight of stairs to the second floor. Another lobby. Doors all around me, Suite 201, The Office of Thomas Openshaw, Dentist. Suite 202, George Lusk, Attorney at Law. Suite 203, Frederick Abberline, Private Investigator, janitor’s closet, men’s room. Turn to the right toward a hallway with its lights shut off. No sign on the door, door locked, knock and there’s no answer. I turn to leave and there’s Mary Jane standing in front of the stairway wearing a mask. “Hi. Are you Stan?”
“Hi! Pleased to meet you.” She offers her hand to shake, but I offer my elbow instead. She laughs, bobs her head back and forth, slips on her mask, bumps my elbow. “We just came back from Detroit, we’ll all be in soon.” If that is true, they should be in quarantine.
She walks past me and opens the door. Shabby lobby. White walls, a few pieces of motel art pinned to them. Pleather chairs and benches shoved into the back corner. To the left, there’s two offices, off to the right, there’s a corridor. Immediately to the left, another corridor, a conference room at the end of it. A bare desk is folded up into the near-right corner.
“I have an interview at 9:00, so why don’t you take a seat and fill some paperwork out? I’ll be out by 10:00, and then we’ll have a group presentation, okay?” She goes into one office, comes out with a stack of papers, and disappears back into the office. Top sheet:
9:00 Office opens
9:30 Senior Executives available for one-on-one training
[Monday - Friday]
10:00 Training--public speaking, sales strategies, self and group affirmation
7:00 Return to office and debrief
Fifty seven hours a week--oh sure, Sunday is optional, yeah, the kid that works six days a week gets promoted over the kid working seven days. Fifty seven hours a week for thirty dollars each day. To hit a fifteen dollar minimum wage, I have to hit nine donors every week, willing to shill out thirty five dollars a month. Who the hell will do that in the middle of a recession and pandemic, after speaking to a total stranger?
Two young guys without masks on plop down on the couch opposite me. “Sorry, I’m Ken,” one of them says to me.
“Stan?” the other one asks. “I’m James. Is this your first day?”
“Yeah. Yours James?”
“Mine too,” Ken chimes in. “Huh. They must have one fast hiring process.”
A woman walks in wearing a mask, but no gloves. “Hey Ken, hey James, let me get you guys your papers.” She goes into Mary Jane’s office and returns with packets. She drops them on their laps and then turns to me. “Hi, what’s your name?”
“Hi Stan, I’m Catherine. Who are you with?”
“Mary Ann--Mary Jane. She’s in an interview.”
“Oh, so you’re on charities? Very nice. What makes you come to Weathertight?”
“It feels like the right thing to do.”
“It is. Why don’t I show you around?” I put down my papers and she takes me over to the conference room, which boasts a Salesperson of the Month wall, all salespeople who look younger than 30. “This is where our Junior Executives meet with Senior Executives to hone their talent,” Catherine says.
Catherine and I cross the lobby down the other corridor and there’s another conference room. Blinds pulled down, yet slivers of sunlight work their way into the room. Carpet is bunched up against the corners. The fluorescent lights flicker on and rattle as they struggle to stay on. In each corner, there’s a poster: THE ICEBREAKER, THE SHORT STORY, THE PRESENTATION, and THE ASK. Catherine brings me to each one and says something about them, this is a fucking sales job and they’ve lied to me about everything.
Back to the libby, ten am, Mary Jane breaks from her office. “Hey Stan, did you sign those?”
“Yeah. Uh--I actually have a couple of questions--”
“Oh. Uh. Okay. We have this presentation, but, having said that, we have a minute. Come in.” Behind her desk, she’s not wearing a mask. “So you signed those?”
“Yeah--uh--I actually have a question about that--the monthly at will employment letter.”
“Yeah--it says in the job description, ‘You will be hired as a fundraiser to solicit monthly donations for the benefits of charities.’ So--I’m just wondering--this is just for the Account Manager position, right?”
“Account Executive and Manager.”
“So I would sign a new contract--when I get promoted to Junior Executive?”
“Well, it’s not really a contract.”
“But I would sign something then.”
“So is it just sales now?”
“Well--why don’t we go to our meeting and you can ask questions afterwards?”
“Let me just use the bathroom first,” I say, moving toward the door out into the hallway outside. Into the bathroom and down in a stall.
When hasn’t she stopped lying to me? She said I would do a marketing job, but all that’s been thrown my way is sales, all that’s in there is sales, everything in those conference rooms have to do with sales. She says I’m so special I don’t need a second interview, yet she’s hiring two more people the same way. She said everyone would be wearing masks and have their temperature checked but hardly anyone but me is wearing a mask, no one’s getting their temperature checked. They really just came back from Detroit? They really have all these offices, this company that can’t even put their name on the building directory downstairs, this company that can’t afford any art to put on the walls, that has no receptionists? Even if this is legitimate, it’s fifty seven hours a week selling this charity, employing no marketing skills, standing outside when it’s about to get cold and dark very soon, risking getting sick for this charity for girls no one’s heard of? Where is any semblance of things I did at WBUR, or Odin, or anything else in life? Who the hell do these bitches think they are?
I walk out of the building. I’m over by a bunch of split levels. I turn back around and now I’m standing by high rises, fifty stories high, cars racing by me.
Bing. “Hey it’s Mary Jane did you just leave?”
I stop at this cobblestone alleyway. “Hi. I thought things over and I don’t think Weathertight is right for me. I want to thank you for extending the opportunity, and I wish you the best of luck.”
Footsteps. Man in surgeon’s mask coming toward me.
Bing. “What are you talking about? How can you say it’s not a right fit? You were only in the office for an hour???”
I know what I know what I know
you’ve lost the right to ask questions
you’ve lost the right to answers
how dare you counsel me against
what I see with my own eyes
what I feel
what I know
you piece of shit
you don’t deserve anything from me
let alone a word
you want to blood let
you want to wretch the breath from my lungs
fifty seven hours a week
scars in my trachea
holes in my alveoli
ill come back
and in your office
ill staple a mask to your face
and ill use your scissors
and cut a smile into your cheeks
and ill hotglue your lips closed
and ill tape your eyes open
and drive a pen through your pupils
so you’ll be always smiling
so your face will reflect your lies
call the police! call the police!
i will take to the streets
and since i was wearing a mask
none of you can identify me
and the police will scratch their heads
and do what they do best
kill Black men
they fit the description!
black fabric mask = black skin
ill prove to the world just how racist
how they pin the blame on the innocent
and then ill do it again!
some silly moderate running for office
ill show you all how much they lie
see what they agree to with a knife
to their throat
oh, how change will come and all will prosper
oh, look at how they go back on all the weaksauce
policies they fought for
the cancers of this country will be routed out
if i just let them go and vote for them!
not so fast! ill cut their kneecaps out
and rip out their thigh bones
so they’ll have nothing but skin and vessels
from the waist down
and ill get away with my mask on!
im that clever!
the Blacks are not the men who will be blamed for nothing
those racist cops will kill more Black kids
and people will march in the streets to protest
and the cops will fire into the crowds
and blood and spit will spill
and you’ll all get sick from COVID
and that will send you back out on the street
arguing for change!
ill go to the rallies and cough and get people sick
and they’ll think it’s a gunshot and fire
and ill run away with my mask on!
they’ll think it’s some crazy men
who caused all this chaos in the streets
but i just like this! it’s what im good at!
falling through life
moving through the street
and slicing open pancreas with a letter opener
and sewing together kidneys with dental floss
and stapling Achilles’ heels to butts
it’s what i’m good at!
Jack Q. Public
The following criminal investigative analysis is published at the request of the Boston Police Department.
The suspect, aka “Jack Q. Public,” is a white male in his twenties. He is of average intelligence--literate and able to plan in advance, but not brilliant. He is single, has never been married, and has few friends, none of them women. He is considered polite and competent at his job, but distant and quiet. He does not stand out.
Jack is employed Monday through Friday during the day. His nights and weekends are free. He looks for victims on walks during the night, but he only attacks when the location is secure. On nights where he cannot find secure victims, he goes to the locations where he killed to relive his acts in his imagination.
Jack is not known to police or the general public. He is not famous or in high social circles. As a child, Jack’s father was absent, and his mother was domineering and abusive. Jack made few friends and spent much of his time alone, when not in school. He aspired for control and power in response to his parenting. He burned fires, tortured animals, and fantasized about abusing women. He wrote stories and drew drawings detailing his fantasies. He hated and felt intimidated by women, but he kept his misogyny within his mind, at least to a certain extent.
Jack commits his actions for power, to alleviate his years of resentment, self-loathing, and hatred, and to execute revenge on his perceived enemies: women and neglectful society. He will not stop until he is apprehended. If interviewed, he would be most likely to confess in the late night or early morning hours, when he believes he is most powerful. He would not become upset if told about the extreme nature of the murders, the anguish of the victims’ families, or suspicions that he was the murderer. If given an opportunity to express his feelings and motivations, he would do so at length. He would become distressed, however, if told that his victims’ bodily fluids had infected him, for Jack believes his victims are human filth.
First name: Jack
Last name: Public
Middle initial: Q
Address: The streets
Phone number: 911
Current employer: Self
Period of employment: August 2020 - present
- Assassinate politicians and murder individuals in broad daylight and under cover of darkness
- Initiate riots
- Evade police
- Stoke media attention
- Run, hide, crouch
- Conceal bloody knife and clothes
- Successfully murdered multiple individuals, including politicians under armed guard
- Prompted police officers to murder multiple unarmed individuals
- Intimidated neoliberals into withdrawing their moderate agendas
- Inspired the largest street protests in Boston since the Women’s March of 2017
- Created print, digital, and televised media coverage across multiple news cycles
Do you require a visa or sponsorship to complete work in the United States? Y/N
Are you willing to relocate? Y/N
For demographic purposes, please state your race: Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, Asian, Indigenous/American Indian/Alaska Native, White, Decline to say
Please state your gender: Female, Male, Decline to say
Please provide three references and state nature of relationship:
Boston Police Department, 911, attempting to apprehend me
Weathertight Marketing Solutions, LLC (defunct), provided inspiration
Jack the Ripper Museum, reading material
Thank you for applying to Communications Consultant at the White House. Your information is currently being processed.
Dear Dr. Police
i am so sick of all your lies
can you help me get better?
i had a good childhood
where i set a lot of great ideas
im very happy with my work
even though it’s only part time
ive made more happen to this city
than anyone before
ive done more for this city
than i could have done in the state house
or white house or capitol building
look at all this action in these streets
people marching with photos
of these people we’ve killed
its all mine
they’re all saying my name
Jack Q. Public!
one million people hitting the streets
people pouring in from the Cape
and the Metrowest and North Shore
New Hampshire and Rhode Island
they’re all coming in
even though ive been in quarantine
since COVID began
i haven’t left the state
and some of them, yes, are getting sick
but each of those deaths just leads
to more protests
because you’re doing nothing to stop me
you’re just lying
because you’re unwilling to face the fact
that i could be anyone
im no delusional fantasist
im no loner
im an American citizen
a working class joe
and you’re making me out to be the baba yaga
if there are any additional deaths
they’re your fault
i love my job and im happy
and ill keep killing until you're
dead and buried
all of you are dead and buried
how can you stop me from stabbing
when there’s a pair of scissors
and a knife and a razor blade
in every home?
how can you stop me from attacking neoliberals
when there’s so many Republicans
and centrists and progressives
and socialists and independents?
admit you’re helpless
admit the good work ive done through this all
ive unveiled your lies
ive unveiled your bigotry
you neo-Nazi sympathizers
ive instilled a sense of unity amongst progressives
ive started a revolution where so many others have failed
i am contributing toward a better cause
i am not sitting in bed waiting for things
i am special
i am connected to my fellow man
i feel protected
i sleep comfortably
I HAVE DONE THIS ALL
MANDATORY NIGHTLY CURFEW
In light of the “Jack Q. Public” murders and coinciding spike in COVID cases, the Boston Police Department asks all citizens to remain at home following sundown. If you see any suspicious activity, please call the authorities--all of our personnel are highly trained and will not open fire unless they feel threatened.
it hasnt occurred to me to have sex
with one of these girls
sex isnt a factor
i don’t care that ive never gotten laid
life isn’t about that for me
i spent my entire childhood as a virgin
and virginity did well for me
i don’t see why i shouldn’t be a virgin now
masturbating to girls i can make perfect
in my head
i have nothing against women
it’s just they’re in my way
and they’re too easy to kill
ill tell you what
why don’t you kill yourself
and ill go away
on a train it’s too easy
i pour my victims’ spit onto the floor
and given it’s in a Poland Spring water bottle
they just think it’s water
the old lady in the back row’s sick before
she knows it
each of you is sick
and each of you is going to get someone
else sick before any of you know it
Orange Line to Blue Line to Red Line to Green Line
im home by sundown
and ive killed more people than i could
with an assault rifle
BOOM BOOM BOOM
good luck tracing this back to me
you’ll all think it’s the homeless guy
in the back
none of you know just how deadly i am
commuting to work
wash my hands with the garden hose
take my clothes off
plop them in the washing machine
take a shower
clean the phlegm from under my nails
pick the bone bits out of my hair
rub disinfectant over the scratches on me
throw away my surgeon’s mask
place my scissors, bag, jar of fluids in the safe
light a scented candle
jerk off to Aphrodite
go down the street
take a left
take a right
car passing by
duck my head
woman walking in front of me
run up behind her
smash her head against the concrete sidewalk
throw her out into the road
washing my hands with the garden hose
take my clothes off
plop them in the washing machine
take a shower
check the news
“Horrific attack in Brookline”
“Woman beaten to death in street”
“‘Beautiful soul’: Martha Tabram, Jack’s forgotten victim”
“The news loves to talk about murdered women”
“Jack Q. Public is Just Another Loser”
“Why we need to stop talking about Jack”
“Jack the Ripper and casual misogyny”
“President, Biden issue statements on Jack Q. Public murders”
“Peaceful protest in Mattapan shows #BLM is resilient”
“Murder in Springfield”
grab my gear
ride the Commuter Rail west
lick the bars and handles
walk around town
behind the dumpster taking out the trash
cut the smile into her cheeks
collect her blood and phlegm
someone’s asleep on a park bench
cut the smile into her cheeks
soak up the spit and blood
a nice little double event
in broad daylight
hit the train
daub the spit along the floor
up the aisle
into the AC unit
no one’s suspecting me
wash my hands with the garden hose
take my clothes off plop them in the washing machine take a shower clean the phlegm out from under my nails clean the blood from my hair hide my scissors and jar in the safe jerk off to Aphrodite trying to fall asleep
Some gods fountain ambrosia
from their fingertips like
there’s more than enough to waste.
They don’t have a care in the world.
Some gods sit on Olympus’s rim
and peer at their patron towns
as they sleep for the night,
safe and sound. They don’t have
a care in the world.
Tonight, I’m by the river Thames
and I’m flying. Jack’s still in some bar
in some cranny of town, drinking himself
out of his head so his body can blaze
through Whitechapel, free, free to burn
the woman who bares her breast
so she can eat in the morning.
He wants to butcher her
and drown her in the Styx face down,
he wants to leave all her family
and friends mourning,
but it’s eight at night now.
None of my daughters have died yet.
So I’m on the backs of
a thousand sparrows and I’m
swinging down each
gaslit alley and asking
each man I come across,
“Do you know where the
girl in the bonnet,
my beloved, is?” But no one
cares to give a regard.
There’s only so much
a mother can do for her
they’re rendered as “whores.”
So in an hour’s time in
some dark gutterway,
Jack’ll cut her throat and
wipe off his knuckles
into the fog.
He’ll stroll home for the night,
not a care in the world. I’ll
stay behind to cradle her with blankets
of rose and seafoam,
until I have to go to try and stop him again.
no one remembers
what Jack the Ripper was trying to do
no one remembers the reforms
made to the police
or the calls for justice
just that he killed
and was a misogynist
no one knows what he got out of killing
no one credits him with the changes in the East End
no one cares about what he dreamed of
only that he killed
and that we can put words in his mouth
and we don’t know who Ted Bundy really was
or Gary Ridgway or Robert Hansen or Albert DeSalvo
or Edmund Kemper or David Berkowitz
no one cares
the families keep living
and keep pushing for change
with politicians at their side,
and shit slowly changes
and another killer comes
and another killer comes
and the families, politicians, and victims get admired--
there’s nothing special about murdering. It’s all the same and nothing about murder ever changes. No murderer is special. No murderer gets praise. They think they’ve been wronged so they get to be wrong. They’re just egotistical little bigots.
IT’S TIME TO STOP
“When I was a kid, I was a boy. I was an angsty little asshole. I was convinced of my own destiny and of God and that there was some equivalency between the two. I was supposed to be somebody, not just that I was going to be somebody, but that I was entitled to be somebody. I would make my name, I would be admired. And that did not happen, of course, and I grew resentful. That’s all I am now, as an adult, resentful toward everyone I thought was successful. These acts--hell, everything I’ve done, really, even before this, is the product of all my loathing, how I would lay around and let my mind wander. That I shouldn’t have taken that job with Weathertight, sure, that’s fair to say. But everything else--I crossed the line. And I’m deeply sorry to everyone I hurt.”
“Thank you, Mr. Fluke. Before I render Mr. Fluke’s sentence, I would like to allow members of the public to speak to the defendant and his guilt. Gentlemen?”
“We never needed you to act for us. We can speak to the injustices that we face as people of color everyday. We don’t need you. We are making progress everyday toward a better, fairer world. You think our deaths are a good thing, because they rile people up? You are disgusting. You didn’t want equality for Black men and women, you wanted to be a savior. Well, salvation is the last thing you are going to get. We are going to make the progress you never in a million years could work toward. Our stories will last forever. Yours will end very, very soon.”
“Thank you. Sir?”
“The only thing I wish to say is that though we disagree on a lot of matters, though I may be a moderate and he a progressive, I am going to be a leader for all Americans. I am going to work for you, a supporter or otherwise. That is all.”
“Thank you sir. Ladies?”
“We live, at long last and yet for all time, we live. Our stories survive beyond our bodies, and they thrive and prosper in the wake of our deaths. We are not whores. We did nothing to you, nothing to ruin the life you live, nothing to diminish you, and you killed us. But we are strong, nonetheless. We are the banshees, the phoenixes, the magicians, we are everlasting and our names and faces and stories will preserve through all levels of heaven and earth. This is our plan for you: the end of your infamy. You will be alone, you will toil in the fields, and you will die as you lived, unknown and alone, removed from our souls. You are entitled to nothing, and nothing is what you shall receive.”
having said that,