Lorraine handed me her business card and said, “Look Sean, if that interview doesn’t work out give me a call. I may have an interesting proposition for you.” I must have had a funny expression on my face because she smirked and said, ” No, not that kind of proposition.”
“What?”, I asked, totally embarrassed. “I wasn’t thinking that! I was just realizing that while you pumped me for my life story I know next to nothing about you?”
She winked and replied, “Trick of the trade, give me a call! Maybe we can meet for a martini before your trip back to Philly tonight.” Ah and she picked up on my one remaining vice, my evening martini. Why did I even tell her that?
“Whoa”, I said surprised by the suggestion, “I’d have to run that one by my wife. I don’t think she would appreciate me meeting a beautiful woman who I just met on a train for a drink. Besides I’m looking for a job I can’t afford to go out for anything more than a coffee in this town.”
She tried to hide a blush, “My treat, and strictly business Mister!”, she said with a second wink as we parted the train. She extended her hand, we shook and both disappeared into the hustle and bustle that is so distinctly New York City.
As interesting as she was I would definitely not be meeting her for a drink. Why would I? I’ve met a lot of interesting people I wouldn’t dream of engaging socially. What did she mean by having a proposition for me? Was there a job offer? Truth is she was a bit intimidating. I couldn’t put my finger squarely on it but there was something.
All around me strangers pushed and paraded on with their busy journeys. My ears were met with a barrage of words and sounds that I did not recognize. English was not the primary language that was being shouted into the cell phones that everyone seemed to have sewn to their palms.
Quickly I scanned the signs for my exit. I saw it straight ahead and moved in that direction. NYC, though truly amazing, was not my favorite place in the world. The hustling, bustling and clamoring was total sensory overload to me. I was getting frazzled by the chaos in the station not to mention by the impending job interview and Lorraine’s forward proposition. I was in semi shock and making my way out of the station when I heard a faint ringing which turned out to be my cell phone. Welcome to the big apple. Get on the phone and be a part of it, New York, New York.
I saw Bernadette’s name on my android screen and smiled. “Hi Bernie! How are you?”
“I’m good Sean, how are you? Are you in New York yet? How was the train ride?”
“Just got here. I’m fine! Strange experience on the train. I’ll fill you in later. This city is absolutely crazy. People are swarming like an army of disorganized, drunken ants!”
“I know! I bet they are, you know I love that city! I wish I could be with you. Listen, relax Sean.” she said as she began to sense my anxiety. “If you are uptight the interview might be a waste. You deserve this job Sean. You are super qualified! Just relax and let your experience speak for you. Your reputation and your resume will speak volumes about you”
“Ok Bernadette, I’m trying to relax but I’m in a crush of people. I’ll text from Starbucks in a few minutes, then we can talk”.
“Sean I have a meeting with Ben in ten minutes about a photo shoot we are doing this weekend. Just text me when you are settled at Starbucks and then we’ll talk after the interview. Good luck Sean! I love you.”
“Shit! Do you have to work this weekend! We were supposed to go hiking. Did you forget?”
“No Sean I didn’t forget! Jesus! This is a last minute high value shoot. A very high value shoot and Ben is begging me. I told him we had plans. He said he would make it up to us next weekend with an overnight downtown. You know Sean at that new B&B he is involved with.”
“Oh my god! I don’t want to be in the city. We were going to be in the fresh air in the Pocono’s chilling and de-compressing. We’ve been looking forward to this for weeks.”
“I know Sean. Look lets talk later. My meeting is in five minutes now and I want to use the bathroom real quick.”
“Hey Bernie, you called me! Ok, love you. We’ll talk later but I am bummed.”
“Okay Sean, love you! Bye”
“Bye, love you too.” I shoved my phone back in my jacket pocket and after a short walk found my way to the Starbucks across the street from my interview.
I looked at my cell phone for the time and ordered a decaf coffee. I couldn’t take being any more jittery. There wasn’t as much time as originally anticipated but at least I wasn’t going to be late.
In my smugness, I had the urge to text “I told you so” to my brother, but I refrained.
I sipped on my decaf and looked over my resume and the details of the interview and job description.
I tried to concentrate but my mind kept going back to Bernadette. She and her brother are borderline workaholics but Bernie knows how to have fun when she wasn’t working.
Ben built an incredible photography business to supplement his artistic photography aspirations. So incredible that it is robbing all of his valuable time from his creative endeavors. He got so busy that he asked his sister Bernie to come to work for him part time. She jumped at the opportunity because we saw the writing on the wall with my job. Little by little it was becoming more full time. She enjoyed the work and she got tp run elbows with some local celebrities. The are always updating their head shots and promo materials.
I started to come to my senses a bit. Disappointment at not going to the mountains was not the end of the world and I knew she would make it up to me. Besides an overnight in Philly will be fun. We can go to the Art Museum on Friday night, stroll along the Schuylkill River Trail and stop into our favorite “speakeasy” afterwords.
It’s nice to have something to look forward to and with Bernie there is never a dull moment. She plays as hard as she works! Sometimes she exhausts me or as she likes to say “keeps me young”.
Okay, really now, I should be concentrating on my interview preparation.