I need a job. Like, badly. Currently in the homestretch of the doctoral degree, I’m in this bizarre liminal stage where I am both thrilled and distressed by all the possibilities. Where do I go from here?
Inspired by the excellent show Russian Doll lead by the talented Natasha Lyonne (we share a kinship for smart bitchiness in my fantasy life), here are some alternate universe future selves.
The Witch Doctor
She has published both her scholarship and works of fiction. She teaches university courses on magic and popular culture as an adjunct professor. Dressing like a pin-up, she poses seductively for alternative e-zines in her cool thrift-shop-decorated Victorian apartment as they write up flattering profiles about her. Her blue humour has miraculously never stood in the way of an academic career. Labels that she negotiates seamlessly are: feminist, witch, burlesque performer, academic, writer, and animal rescue advocate. She’s dating multiple interesting people and is sexually satisfied in every way.
The Sarcastic Bitch
She writes for a comedy show where she translates her superior research skills and expert knowledge into biting social commentary via dick and fart jokes. She wears pyjamas a lot. Even to work. Her Twitter feed is fire.
The Depressive Void
She took an administrative job out of economic necessity and, despite being good at it, the uncreative and unchallenging aspects of her work have slowly eaten away at her sense of self and purpose. If she acknowledged how disappointed she was by life she’d be dangerously depressed, so as a coping mechanism she obsessively trains her body, joining the Crossfit cult. She’s boring. She suppressed her humour so as not to make waves at work and is now incapable of talking about anything but fitness and clean eating. She’s proud of her RRSP.
The Perpetual Graduate
Stuck in a time loop of higher education hell because she did a post-doc, she oscillates between hope for a stimulating future where she can apply her skills and creativity and the crippling terror of never accomplishing all the things she wants in life. She doesn’t like her senses dulled one damned bit, but then weed became legal in Canada and she found herself starting smoking in her goddamn forties and is struck by how fucking fun it is. She never did drugs as a teenager because her parents were addicts that couldn’t get out of poverty, but age has elicited compassion for them. She has an intellectual crush on Neil Gaiman that induces intense fantasies about some of his characters. Her animals are her best friends. Her mom comes over to clean occasionally because she leaves her dirty dishes for a full week and it’s gross. She has seventy bucks in her bank account.
She never overcame her upbringing and is back on welfare like all throughout her childhood. She’s regressed and deliberately chooses second-hand clothes that reflect bad eighties fashion. Her hair is big and dry and permed. She carries her inhaler next to her cigarettes. She started a web series titled, Putains All De Way S’Ti, where she calls all her friends whores as she drinks Labatt gossiping at the kitchen table, interjecting curses in joual, tabarnak. Despite the frenglish, she insists that her speech is du bon français crissement ben parler, calisse!
She published her memoir to widely popular acclaim, then felt exposed and vulnerable by seedy Hollywood attention, retreating instead to an isolated private life. With the proceeds from her book, she bought land and a hobby farm in rural Canada, keeping company with animals and books. Occasionally she agrees to the visit of a journalist or writer on the condition that they join her in the daily labour of farm work. Her careful speech and direct gaze discompose them as she answers their questions while chopping firewood. There are rumours that she welcomes members of a secretive cabal to perform occult rituals under the full moon deep in the woods of her vast property.
She’s a poor grad student and needs rent money. Send her kizzash via PayPal at paypal.me/CimminneeHolt.