Managing Desire

What is it? It seems like impetus. It’s the natural flow and flower of things. We move to what we want.

This morning I had an orientation at Armani Exchange. I’m about to start working there, although for the same amount of money (and a number of added bonuses) I could have worked for Guess. My brother knows one of the managers there. They offered to train me on register. And they most likely would have kept me after the holiday season (if I needed it). So why did I chose Armani? Something about the brand, I guess. The history of the clothes. The people? The people sometimes seem standoffish. I never felt particularly comfortable shopping in there, anyway. So I don’t know why.

On the interview, I was told that the company had a revamp of their style. Something wasn’t working and their sales were drooping. About a year ago they made everyone dress in black, which apparently was like a working in a funeral parlor. Now they’ve added more color, although everything is too reserved. It’s not the same style I bought into a few years ago: fishnet cardigans and graphic tees scribbled with a logo a hundred times. I was disappointed. Regardless, I took the position and showed up. As we waited inside I tried to make small talk with someone over a conversation that seemed exclusive.

Finally orientation started and we stood in a circle to introduce ourselves one by one. I wanted badly to be the first one to get it over with; as I waited my energy began to mount and I grew more and more nervous. I started to think how awkward it would be if I fainted and struggled to remain calm; suddenly the group laughed and I laughed in chorus with them, but two people were still ahead of me and I worked to contain myself. At last at my turn I began to speak; my speech was awkward and choppy; my legs quivered a little, and it was over.

After we introduced ourselves we needed to pick out clothes that would become our uniform. Picking out clothes takes me very long: perusing, trying on more than one size, trying on more than one color, going back, repeating the process. I hung by the manager who was helping someone. I was nervous about my how little time I would need to devote to the store from working other jobs. He had no idea. “Should I give you my schedule now?”  He looked up from the register seriously. “No, go shop.”  I picked up two sweaters, tried them both on, decided against one and bought the wrong style for the second. After being rung up I stood around, still dawdling for the manager who was now tilling three customers. He looked up with the same expression again: “You can start filling out your paper work in the back.” I walked inside and waited. At last, after I scribbled on some forms he arrived. My time, not his manner, was short; he asked if I had any other questions as if following protocol, I committed myself, and we left off with a deal: he’ll call me later this week. Outside, my smile drooped.

It’s placid out, in a somber way. It could easily be seven in the morning with this weather. The sky outside is grey, but my mother says that there’s a storm brewing. It will most likely break tomorrow: now gathering up its resources of cloud and air before it lets out everything in a giant gust.

We’ve had Sunday dinner a little early today: around a quarter after two, because my mother had little for breakfast and she was hungry. Now I drink tea flavored with ginger. As I sip the liquid, turbid, I want to diffuse as calmly as the spice melts after its smack.

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