Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paradise Fragment: Unemployment

I’m at the Unemployment office in Anaheim, at a mandatory interview with a man named Raul. He has a tiny rug tacked to the inside of his cubicle that has a stitching of a llama and reads “Peru.” I scan the photographs on his desk: one of him in Army gear, holding a big rifle, one of him dancing with a woman who I think might be his mother. Raul has a pleasant demeanor. He shows me some web sites where I can look for jobs. I get talking to him about teaching and he says, “I can tell you love it. I can feel it.” He tells me he wants to be a social worker, that this job is only temporary. I shake Raul’s hand and we both say goodbye and good luck. I feel I have made a friend, one who I will probably never see again.

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