T H E  A M P  D I A R Y

Thursday 02 August 2001

Well that job interview thing was a total hoot. I mean. I wore the posho black trousers and a shirt from a charity shop, but it was a smart shirt, yeah, it was a maroon shirt (can you think of any more of a now - as in, so totally not like what is fashionable - colour than maroon? It's such an unsummery colour. Maroon is the colour of burgundy wines and flushed cheeks and smacked bottoms and port and gout and winter uniforms. It's not a colour for heat and light and sun smattered through be-leaved branches, and that's why it's so utterly right, right now.)

It's chiffon, the shirt, and it's got flounces on the collar and a pussycat-bow at the neck which manages to say Chloe Sevigny in New York loft five years ago (but not now, never now, but before, before Jay Macinerny had discovered her, before Harmony was anything but a skinny unpleasant skatedick with scabs on his shins, yeah) Chloe then and yes Maggie then, too, a long time ago, Maggie Thatcher, back when she was young and thrusting but still utterly ridiculous and unpretty. That's what my shirt said.

As well as the shirt there were the heels which nestled beneath the trouserlegs and made the legs and the body and the amp into this loooong thing, this long tall commanding successful gimmeajob icandothis kind of thing. Yeah. With clothes saying this much, who needs to speak at the interview? In-out in five minutes, yeah, take a polaroid, yeah, click clack check-the-cv and smile, yeah, her clothes said all that needed to be said and then some, yeah? Yeah. You'd think. But no.

Five minutes? An hour, more like. Into deepest, darkest Clerkenwell I went. I sat in reception with my legs crossed looking at New Media Age magazine, pretending I was a grown-up. Ah fuck it. I am a grown up. I felt like a grown up. The job had my name written all over it. The building was a shiny, glittering thing on the corner of St John's St. The girl came down and took me up in the lift. The lift had sides of glass. If I worked there, I thought as my mouth blathered to the girl about the weather, the height of my heels, the state of the economy - if I worked there I'd be in the glass lift all day. Maybe I'd get a laptop and just sit in the lift all day, going up and down.

Hey, I could double up as a lift attendant, make a little cash on the side, save it up, buy myself a shirt that wasn't even from a charity shop. Yeah. Maybe buy a little present for the nice lady who was taking my up in the lift, who was going to give me this job, even if she was wearing a high-necked fleece in aqua (aqua???), even if she was wearing orange foundation over her freckles, even if her earrings were gold loops, no matter, I would save up and get her a present, maybe a Helen Fielding novel, or a matching pen and brooch set, or two little joke plastic buttons for her computer that said 'panic' and 'eject'. Yeah.

I cruised through that bad boy interview like a kid on a bicycle with no stabilisers. Yeah, down a hill. (Into a wall, but I didn't know that yet.) I smiled when I should, I told the truth, and not once did I catch myself stranded, mid-sentence, hearing my words crash around me like falling timber and masonry. Nope. It was hunky-dory. It was alright. It was skill. Hot-DAMN!

Shyeah RIGHT. A week later, a second interview. With a lady with dreads and tats. I mean. A spider tattoo behind her ear. A SPIDER! On neck! I didn't even think it was legal to tattoo on neck! She took me to pub while we waited for other lady. We sat in the sun and chatted. Surely, I thought, if I am chatting to alterna-lady, job is mine? For am I not alterna-lady too, with my small pink pamplet, the club nights, the e-zine? Cuh. You'd think.

We went up inside the shiny building again, inside the shiny lift, into the shiny toilet, where shiny water splashed all over the posho black trousers from the shiny stainless steel sink. Flaps fuck arse. 'Communities chats experience hire me' I said, crossing my legs and smiling nervously, 'communities women facilitate conversation chat chat host host skill skill hire me'. Like a kid. On a bike. With no stabilisers. Down a hill. Into a wall.

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