First Day

December 23, 2010

It was brought to my attention by someone that I should perhaps post my artwork first and then my vignette afterwards, so I am going to try that this week. My take on that is, “Yay, someone reads my blog!”

This sketch is entitled, “How to Get a Girl’s Number,” and it is of Bertie, the mannequin stationed outside the town doctor’s office. The town doctor is all part of the “day one blues” around these parts, if you happen to be in my line of work and new to the area. My first visit to Doc Popov’s office was confusing, weird, and left me with a desire to never return again, which of course is unavoidable once you’ve signed a 5-year contract with a house and he’s the only doctor in town.

The rules of Doc Popov’s office are thus: if you don’t have an appointment, you take a number. If you do have an appointment, you receive a number in the mail, and if you skip your appointment, the doctor will come to you, and you won’t like it. Also, if you want, you have the option of having a number tattooed on your person as part of the Welcome Center package. Once a number is assigned to a person, from what I understand, it is then taken out of Bertie’s rotation. Most of the other girls at the house have opted for the tattooing, but as I promised my parents I wouldn’t mutilate my flesh until after they’re both deceased, I suppose I will have to be content with making appointments or dealing with Bertie.

When I asked one of my co-workers, Amber Bamber, why she opted for the tattoo, she told me, “Because tricks like a chick with ink, and besides, dealing with Bertie is a major pain in the ass.” Funny, I thought, her tramp stamp of “810” certainly seemed to be like it was a major pain slightly above the ass. I guess we choose our own pain, and in this indecisive and troubling world in which we live, at least some things are still up to us. This brings me back to the irony of tattoos vs. my parents. If they knew what I was doing here in Scurvytown on my “Art Fellowship,” they would probably prefer I got inked instead. I just have to keep telling myself, “It’s only five years, and it’ll more than pay for my student loans. There are worse ways to get by, like selling out to corporate Lost America.”

I mean, had I sold out, I could be working the perfume counter at a major department store in the city back home, and I’d be no better off than Bertie. I’d be forced to work on my art at night, and in the early morning hours, and I’d probably rather sleep after being on my feet all day. Obviously, I can’t tell the future, but I know myself, and I know that 9-5 mentality would crush every last ounce of artistic aspirations out of me. My muse would choke to death on the thick scent of over-priced rose-water bearing the names of washed out pop stars. At least while I am here, I am meeting new people, learning a lot about life, and making so many mistakes every single day that I feel I am getting a more solid education than my 4 years at University ever afforded me. The price-tag on experience is faded so much that no one remembers anymore what it costs.

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