Notes on unemployment. LI's was not one of the figures that got slotted into the employment column this month. We are happy to see that one hundred thousand more people did get jobs. Ourselves, it will now be six months, and, we estimate, seventy some applications, resumes, and cover letters since we started our quest. In September, we even went to some employment agencies. Kelly's, and one that specialized in secretarial work. Employment agencies used to be bread and butter. In New Haven, LI really did work for a year for a temp agency. Around that experience, in retrospect, we have woven a rosy glow. Back in those days, we could manfully go out on a Friday and pay for our drinks and eats. Something we haven't been able to do, now, for a year.

Today the job we had scared up lately -- painting -- was cancelled. Bad news, as we haven't paid a bill this month, and they are all hanging over our head. There is this much to be said for poverty -- it makes you very, very aware. For instance, I am very aware of opening the front door. I take a deep breath when I do it. I expect something to be hanging there -- a notice from the landlady or the power company. The telephone company isn't as client friendly -- they just cut you off.

So, rather glumly, we decided to take advantage of our "free day" to apply for something. Surely the employment numbers ought to nudge retail stores in Austin gearing up for holiday sales. Happy, newly employed people will want to buy gifts for all the people who floated them when they were down, n'est-ce pas? We went to our two most visited sites -- Monster and Statesman jobs. Ah, Statesman jobs had a nice one -- the liquor store we pass almost every day wants help! Well, from consumer to advisor -- trust me for the higher zones of drunkenness. I put on a nice shirt and my nice black shoes, the blunt nosed one, and ventured out. The woman behind the counter didn't exactly seem overjoyed to see me -- although surely she's rung up my 1.39 Buds before? No matter. I went to the Lotto machine, which had a surface on which I could write, and scribbled down my history, at least as the makers of job applications view the salient points of it. In the meantime, two customers came in, both of whom seemed to be living on the street. The had the street aura attachng to their gimme caps and jeans and backpacks. That sense that the long, strange trip has been way too long -- in fact, it looks like it is going to go on until you die. The one with the big curly beard was determined to cash a check, while the younger one, blonde, a little abashed, hung back. The woman at the counter couldn't cash the check because there wasn't enough money in the cash register. The big curly beard just wanted, though, to cash a check. And so, for about six times, the woman at the counter re-iterated the fund deficit problem, and the man in the beard re-iterated his check situation. The beard was already a little wasted, but it was a friendly, morning glow. His buddy caught on the first time, and when the woman explained the fund deficiency problem, the blonde would also explain the problem, until the beard finally achieved a puddled satori and said, hey, why am I in here so early?

I think my future is with the beard.