I have this new job. It's a position that includes the words MAN and AGE. And MENT. I'm painfully out of the Guild. I'm betraying my class. I'm done doing Page One. I'm losing my Quark license. I have to move to a new cubicle and actually interact regularly with people in a way that doesn't involve typing or marking up a page with a red pen and wordlessly delivering the bloody proof back to the designer.
For all that, I'm pretty excited. I'm switching to daytime hours. I'm going to have to get a green visor and hide a bottle of whisky in my desk. I'm planning on answering the phone by barking "Talk to me!" or, even better, "MAKE ME HAPPY." I've been carefully studying Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee. Because I'm just so editor-ial.
Last night some of the nightsiders took me out to mark my last night as a copy editor. I don't go out much because I have long drive home anyway, and shutting down a bar means getting home at about 3 a.m. And, y'know, I'm 35 and like to sleep 11 hours a day. I do enjoy sitting in the smoke and listening to ghastly karaoke and going over the next day's papers in a geeky insider fashion. My Bossman (now my Colleague-man) bought the drinks.
I'm going to miss being a copy editor a lot. I mean a lot. But getting a job like this one I'm about to start was part of the Grand Plan of moving up here, and I'm going to make it work and I'm going to love it. It feels good.
At the end of the evening I was leaning over to thank Christa for the cup of warm vodka she bought me in revenge for one I bought her a couple months ago (and which sparked a now torrid romance with her bf, tyvm). When I stood up again, someone slapped my ass.
What the hell? For a horrid split-second, I thought it was my Bossman who had done it, and I started to ask him in an outraged tone if he had, which believe me, is not really something people should have to do. Especially because he obviously hadn't. I mean, geez. So I turned and met the eye of the guy who had.
He was with three other guys in a group that you don't often see at this particular bar: young, black and dressed in suits. I flashed back to when we were in Chicago, and I saw a bus ad for Apple Bottoms on the side of a bus. At the time, I got all excited because with a name like that, I figured I'd finally found jeans that would fit. Thank you, Nelly! Who knew you were the one I was waiting for?
Maybe this guy figured I needed some Apple Bottoms, instead of a cheap pair of jeans from Target. Because I can never think of what to say at such times, I gave him a withering glare, and then his buddy tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey, I'm really sorry about that." I got all Veronica from "Heathers" and said, "I'll. Just. BET. You. Are." After slaying him, I walked out, and realized what I really should have done was punch him in the face, because that would have been a much better way of starting off my career as a city editor.
I start on Monday.
* Bob Mould, "The Last Night"