This Is Why I Shouldn’t Write Half Stories.

I started writing about my experience with law enforcement, and pictured myself getting directly to part 2. Two things happened. First, the story is long, and it’s tedious even for me to write out. Second, other shit happened that I’d rather talk about.

I have a job interview on Friday. I have really mixed feelings about it, which probably isn’t that unusual. Here’s the thing though, it’s for a position to become an apprentice mechanic. This gets into another long story. Jesus, all of my stories are long. So sorry.

I’ve always loved cars, and many people just assumed I’d become a mechanic. My own twisted sense of direction, and advice from a dear mentor (friends dad who owned a garage when I was growing up), told me that if I truly loved cars, toiling endlessly on other people’s was a sure recipe for misery. The cobbler’s shoes always have holes.

So, for 20 years I tried to do things unrelated to automobiles that would pay enough that I could support my habit (failed) or tried to involve myself in parallel industries that would get me close enough to my passion that I’d be happy. Failed.

Over time, I’ve got it in my head that I don’t want to labour for a living. I want to make a living with my mind. Writing has been by fantasy escape from reality. I just need to write a good book, then I can afford the nice cars and days at the racetrack. Well, that’s failing also. I’m a good writer, I honestly believe that; but I’m not going to produce anything people will pay for. I feel like I could be taught what I’m missing, but I’m not in a position to go back to school for it. I also don’t have the confidence in my abilities. There are too many great writers out there that aren’t getting noticed. I’ve got nothing to add.

This apprentice opportunity takes me out of a similar position, and puts me into training and guaranteed employment. I wish there was something similar for writing. Hell, there probably is, but I don’t know about it, and I doubt I’d get the interview. When this position came up, I was pretty sure my resume and cover letter would get some attention. I have that confidence.

I’m simultaneously terrified and confident about the interview.

I don’t want to be replacing rusty tailpipes.

I had an opportunity to go to a racing technician school, but couldn’t afford to relocate to Ontario for it. I desperately wanted it. There was no job guarantee, but I felt like once I showed up there, they would want to keep me. It would have been my entry into the world of racing that I always dreamed of.

This is a very pedestrian version of that opportunity. It’s more practical, for sure, with some prospect of employment at the end of the paid training. It’s a great opportunity. I wish I could cut it as an artist. I don’t have the discipline or the experience though. I need to be realistic and get my hands back to work making something better than minimum wage.

If I don’t get this position, I’ll be devastated. I’ll be a little surprised, also. I’m that confident in my aptitude and suitability for this. I wish I felt something even close to this about writing. I’m just not there yet. My story isn’t there yet. Maybe this job will move me closer, not further away?

I’m tormented, bitter, depressed, and cynical. I also feel like I have a gift. I don’t know what that gift is, though. As a juvenile, I fancied myself an uber-talented race driver. I’m certainly not, and was actually quite awful at the height of my fantasy. I moved on to thing I might have a gift with fixing things, but that’s a stupid gift that nobody needs. I confused the necessity out of poverty to keep every single thing around me working with being mechanically inclined. I hoped I might have a gift with writing, but it’s not really there either. I confused working hard to express my emotions with being a good writer.

In all that, somewhere, I know I;m good at something. I hate people, but I am able to connect and earn trust. I don’t have the vision or structure of a writer, but I can communicate feelings and ideas. The need to use any resource to repair things I can’t afford to replace, doesn’t make me a technician. Don’t forget I’m anti-capitalist and a social justice warrior. How fucked is this… Is there any connection in it all? Is there a thing that I’m meant to do?

I have 6 years to figure it out, before I buy that one-way ticket. Any ideas, anyone?

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