Wednesday

Received an invitation to a sorority party last week. Not that I'm a member of a fraternity or have the desire to be associated with any kind of club. Oh, heavens no. I want to be cool and independent, like Dylan from Beverly Hills 90210. But turning down an invitation is plain rude. The social gathering was held a couple nights ago with lots of people, lots of drinking and lots of sitting on a couch and no dancing. Thank God. Most of the evening was brightened up by music only to be described as jazz-lite. I suspect Kenny G, deservedly adored by Oprah viewers the world over, was among the musicians played. But I'm repressing this suspicion for Miles Davis' sake. And fortunately, girls don't like me - so I wasn't tempted to move to the dance area. Not that I would dance anyhow, but that's not the point.

Drinking it is, then.

My questionable social skills normally prevent me from breaking into tight circles, like the sorority sisters and their mostly fraternity dates I was surrounded by this particular night. But keeping up a conversation for conversation's sake is fun when drunk and very much needed in a place full of people acting excessively social. Quickly I found myself immersed in the sister-and-brotherhood culture and I was genuinely interested in a group of people building some kind of sculpture out of plastic chairs.

Later in the evening, a seemingly intoxicated girl came on to me, which made me feel special and loved. Are you gay? she asked. Assuredly not, I replied. She smiled, I smiled back. For a moment I thought about banging her silly against the bathroom door on the second floor of the house. But not knowing her age or the amount of alcohol in her blood could make this act a legal matter, so I opted not to make such move. I quickly feigned interest in her as she enthusiastically talked about her love of fencing. Pretending to be interested in someone while conversing is something I normally have no problems with, but for whatever reason my feigning made me shiver with self-loathe once the conversation was over. But only briefly - my apathy rules my conscience.

The evening as a whole was surprisingly entertaining. The only cringe-worthy moment of the night was when a group of five girls inhabited the improvised stage and started to sing a Britney Spears song. I suppose making a complete fool out of yourselves by falsely singing a badly written song in front of a large crowd is an efficient way to bond as a group of people. The "Us vs. Them" sentiment was riding high for a moment after the performance. But sadly, none got hurt.

Carpooling back home with five others crammed inside my roommate's sister's Ford Fiesta, I believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further... And one fine morning -

Obviously I was drunk.

***

Most of my time is wasted at work lately. That's right. Work! My lazy days of unemployment finally ended Monday when I started a three-month assignment completing office tasks any semi-literate person (me, for instance) could perform. Hurrah!

My job is to sort bundles of paperwork into different piles determined by date, subject and location separated by an-easy-to-identify color coding. Then, in a dramatically unprecedented move, I continue the morning fulfilling other blissfully dull chores that require no soul or effort whatsoever, like folding pamphlets, stuffing envelopes, running errands, collating while listening to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, and various other tedious office tasks the permanent staff (or 'perms,' if you're retarded) isn't willing to do.

Even though the menacing glares suggest some would love to trash the erratic photocopier with a baseball bat, there's no useless department-manager on my floor rhetorically asking 'what's happening' as a conversation opener, there's no equivalent to a TPS report to fill out either, and I am yet to encounter a neurotic outcast searching for his beloved stapler. The movie may have lied to me. I'm so disillusioned. There is, however, a handful of other inconsequential temps, mostly around my age, and an endless stream of data waiting to be filed, the privilege of which has been generously entrusted upon me.

The supervisor approving my contributions notwithstanding, I have little clue about what I am doing. I have no idea where the piles of paperwork come from, or where they go once I'm done filing them. And while I abhor (which means 'hate,' I think) being treated like a second-class citizen in the office hierarchy, there's always someone to remind me of the fact that I'm not being paid to think the process through. I'm just another lowly temp.

Not surprisingly the full-timers rarely mingle with gross temps, although someone did borrow a marker from me the other day. They mostly act like we don't exist, never nodding 'good morning,' avoiding eye contact when they zoom past in the hallways. They're probably undead. I encountered one of the busy bees in the elevator on my first day. I was trying to walk out as he was attempting to enter. He sighed impatiently as I walked by. The poor thing. On a positive note, a pretty assistant-administrator has innocuously been flirting with me in the cafeteria. Score! But to my readers who might be jealous of her playful frolicking with their favorite blogger, don't be - she's in her late twenties and candidly too damn old for careless, uninvolved me. Don't worry about it.

The repetitive work has left me mentally aloof these past two days. I spent lunch morosely wondering how to break the monotonous flow of the boring, boring mornings without having to resort to drugs. All of them. Might as well get used to being stuck in a cubicle job. The forthcoming year will likely revolve around similar days of meandering through mundane office cultures, hastily scribbled memos, lifeless small talk and endless first impressions. Such is the life of a nomadic data-entry temp.

Whatever. At least I don't have to live off unemployment.