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Do you like my tie?

mehkanik Feb 18th, 2012 1,381 Never
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  1. SWR #3 – Do you like my tie?
  2. Rin going in for an interview.
  3.  
  4. =====
  5.  
  6. A local businesses' office. They called me in for an interview. I'm surprised. Most people wouldn't call me in for an interview. But I've been trying really hard. Everywhere. And this place, I've been applying to constantly and calling nearly every week.
  7.  
  8. I think I got through to the owner.
  9.  
  10. Or he really wants me to stop calling.
  11.  
  12. So I'm sitting in his office, waiting. I haven't been counting how long it's been like I usually do, because I've been staring out his window. There was an interesting cloud formation outside. Cirrus, I think.
  13.  
  14. Maybe Cirrus Cumulus.
  15.  
  16. I wish I had a watch sometimes, so I didn't have to count what time it was. But they don't feel good on my ankles really. My eyes wandered a bit to the right. He had a photo on his wall to the right of him and his wife.
  17.  
  18. Wife, huh. I wondered if Hisao had a wife yet.
  19.  
  20. My eyes lowered a bit, that strange feeling welling up in my chest. It felt like stormclouds. Stormclouds and hail, in my chest. I know I told him to forget me, and I'd forget him too... but I had such a hard time doing so, sometimes. Of all the things I had a hard time staying focused on,  Hisao was one thing I didn't struggle remembering.
  21.  
  22. I sighed and the door behind me opened up. “Hello, Miss Tezuka. You've been very persistent in looking for a job here, despite your lack of prior work experience. I'll admit, your tenacity has me interested.” He said, walking around from behind me and in front of me, sitting at his desk.
  23.  
  24. “Well, I need a job so I kept calling.” I had been calling a lot of places constantly. Emi couldn't afford to help me with my rent and Hisao, well... he wouldn't pick up the phone when I called him. He was the only person who could help, but I think that burning ship had already set sail and sank somewhere.
  25.  
  26. He smiled oddly at my flat tone and response. His hair was the color of walnuts and he sort of smelled like wet grass in the morning. If that was some kind of cologne, I'd like to get some. It reminded me of those thoughtless walks I took barefoot through the park after nights I couldn't sleep. I'd fall asleep under a tree and sketch ideas for a painting so I'd remember them.
  27.  
  28. The feeling of dew on my feet is nice.
  29.  
  30. When he sat down, he glanced at the tied off knots in my suit jacket's sleeve. I was wearing a tie with my collared shirt and a very business-like pair of pants. My sandals didn't match with them, but I didn't care.
  31.  
  32. “You didn't mention your... uh...”
  33.  
  34. “Lack of arms? I don't need them.” I said, my eyes half closed while I addressed them.
  35.  
  36. “You do know this is a desk job? You need hands to write, Miss Tezuka.” He said, his eyebrows arched.
  37.  
  38. I leaned forward, bending my leg towards my chest and removing a small notepad and pencil. Opening the notepad with a flick of my big toe, I gripped the pencil I kept and wrote a neat line of text on the paper.
  39.  
  40. 'I can do most things with my feet that you can do with your hands.' It read. I passed it to him and he couldn't contain a laugh. “That's impressive, damn it. Well, you obviously lack a history of work experience, but your resume boasts a handful of qualities I could see being useful in this line of work. Are you looking for a career?”
  41.  
  42. Was I looking for a career in this dull, gray and white world? No, I wasn't. I'd rather sleep the world away and paint the things that flowed in and out of me. But I needed money and this job, as much as it went against who I was.
  43.  
  44. I could imagine Emi laughing. 'Rin Tezuka, working in a cubicle for a manufacturing company? How do you deal with that?' she'd probably say. Or something. She could say something totally different. Emi wasn't really predictable. No one was. I don't think I was, either...
  45.  
  46. I realized I was getting distracted, so I shook my bangs away from my eyes and focused on the man. “Yes. I am.” I stated. It must've been a minute or so after he asked me.
  47.  
  48. “What hours can you work?”
  49.  
  50. “All of them.”
  51.  
  52. “Excuse me?”
  53.  
  54. A distant smile appeared on my face. “I'm an artist with no arms, barely any family and one friend. I don't have much to keep me busy.” The man frowned a little at me and reread my resume again. Emi helped me with that and focused on my characteristics and things I had done during the course of my time at Yamaku. Mostly volunteer work and stuff for the art club.
  55.  
  56. “Well, we mostly do shipping paperwork here. Simply put, if you were to work here, you'd be expected to do a lot of math and be able to remember a lot of things. Shipping numbers, what's being sent where, how much- that kind of thing. Do you think you could manage?”
  57.  
  58. I paused. I wanted to say 'Probably not', but I wasn't really able to. I frowned a little.
  59.  
  60. “I can if you give me the time to learn.” He sighed at this statement. “How many other interviews have you been called back for? Have any other more entry-level work positions shown interest in you working for them?”
  61.  
  62. I shook my head. “No.”
  63.  
  64. The man looked from the paperwork to me. I could tell he wanted to tell me know.
  65.  
  66. “You need this job, don't you?” I nodded quickly. I was behind on rent and the only reason I wasn't being evicted was because my landlord pitied me. I hated that. And as much as I hated the fact this man might pity me and give me a job out of it, I needed it.
  67.  
  68. I didn't like the real world. It was so cruel. People, the cities, the work... it was all so colorless. Most of the people, I couldn't read. I couldn't figure them out. They were all gray smudges on a gray background. This man though- he looked like a soft blue to me.
  69.  
  70. Like the way people color rainfall. Gentle, refreshing. I liked that about this man. He seemed like a nice person. He felt like a nice person too, although he was going bald. Most bald people weren't nice.
  71.  
  72. “Well, you know... I'm willing to give this a try. I'm not the kind of person who doesn't give others a chance.”
  73.  
  74. I smiled.
  75.  
  76. “I appreciate it, Mr. Dew.” He paused. “My last name's Akimoto, though.”
  77.  
  78. I closed my eyes while I continued to smile. “Yeah, but you remind me of morning rain, the kind that makes dew on the grass. It's nice. I think you're a nice person.”
  79.  
  80. “I guess that's a thank you for giving me a job?” He asked.
  81.  
  82. I shrugged. “Maybe. I am thankful, though. When can I start?”
  83.  
  84. Mr. Akimoto laughed. “Come in tomorrow morning, six am. I'll have one of the others train you, but you won't be on the payroll for a week, depending on how well you do with training and how well you perform. You alright with that?”
  85.  
  86. A goofy grin appeared on my face.
  87.  
  88. “Right as rain.”
  89.  
  90. “One question though, about your tie-” He mentioned, pointing to it with a pen. It was parts of Dahli's works planted on my tie. “Do you like it?” Mr. Akimoto laughed. “I do. But how in the world did you tie that with your feet? I can't help but ask.”
  91.  
  92. I laughed, leaning towards my foot as I raised it and removed it.
  93.  
  94. “Clip on.”
  95.  
  96. =====
  97.  
  98. Two weeks in, and I'm still working here. I'm surprised at myself as I balance a pencil on my lip angrily staring at the shipping manifest for a whole lot of steel girders to be shipped to a city some distance away from us. Everybody was shocked at first at how I was able to function so well without arms.
  99.  
  100. I get that a lot. Eating lunch in the breakroom was fun. Everyone stared. I asked if they wanted me to do tricks, too which got a couple laughs when they realized they were staring like I was some kind of sideshow.
  101.  
  102. Everyone started taking to me pretty well though. I liked it. I felt accepted here, despite my obvious differences.
  103.  
  104. A head peaked over the cubicle ahead of me.
  105.  
  106. “Hey, Rin.” A guy I knew started talking to me. I could recognize him by the tone of his voice, so I didn't look up. It was a kind of soft, but firm. Like a pillow that wasn't filled with feathers.
  107.  
  108. “I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with this manifest, Kei.”
  109.  
  110. He seemed a little dejected by this, but I looked up at him. “What's up?” I asked in my usual airy tone. He glanced around my cubicle, looking at all the small art paintings that I did during breaks and pinned to the side of my cubicle so the world didn't look so boring while I was confined in this little box.
  111.  
  112. “You like art, so I was wondering if you'd like to grab a coffee and maybe go to a gallery. There's one in the downtown that's opening for an exhibition. I know a person who runs it, so maybe you'd like to go. I could introduce you, you might be able to sell some art to them, too-” He was talking really fast, almost nervously.
  113.  
  114. Kind of cute. And... when was the last time someone had taken interest in my art? Emi didn't care about it... the last person who had was Hisao. Even though I never understood anything about my own art or him, I like talking to him about what I couldn't understand. Speaking in abstracts; not needing to understand was nice, while it lasted.
  115.  
  116. “Sure. But I need to figure out this manifest.”
  117.  
  118. He grinned from ear to ear. I guess it was a date or something, judging by how excited he was.
  119.  
  120. I grinned a little too, figuring this could be nice.
  121.  
  122. Maybe things weren't as bad as I had made them out to be, since Hisao and I split. I leaned back in my chair, looking at the bland ceiling, closing my eyes.
  123.  
  124. Maybe this could be nice.
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