Everybody’s had one of these jobs, where a new unknown world appears and you slowly get sucked in. Help Wanted is a portrayal of just that kind of workplace that comes with a language and culture of its own. The familiar sense of community in a foreign backdrop where you almost belong, but don’t quite feel a part of. Words, Pauses, Noises is proud to showcase this debut piece from one of our own, Cais Jurgens; part one of his short story.
By Cais Jurgens
They call bullshit an art form. I’ve always found there to be a fine but noticeable line between art and dumb luck and my job at 1674 Broadway at the top end of Manhattan’s theatre district was a result of the latter. I wish I could tell you I’d sauntered in, put on a show of flaming cocktails poured expertly into a chilled martini glass and was hired and highly paid but it didn’t exactly happen that way.
The reality is that I was on the verge of giving up on that unseasonably warm November evening. I was salivating at the oddly satisfying thought of ending my job search for the day and heading back to a friend’s couch in Brooklyn to hose down my empty stomach with what would be the first of several beers that night. Instead, I pressed uptown with my rejected resume, watched the sun dip a little lower into New Jersey with every city block and eventually wandered into the swankiest Sushi joint I’d ever seen.
It was beautiful as well as classy. Floating globes lit the room and in a warm essence that mingled with the lingering scent of skirt steak and hot oshibori towels.
I was nervous yet beaming dumbly from ear to ear and hired on the spot just for showing up it seemed. Bar-back. I was satisfied with the title. My other title came to be White Boy, as I was the only person featuring both white skin and male genitalia employed at the establishment. Continue reading