December 27, 2015
This insane cold creates a sense of unity on the Subway. Shoulders still covered in snow, the ground a slimy mess. United in the struggle. Everyone taking a reprieve before heading back up into it, at least we had a couple of fluffy inches to play in today.
It was crazy how quiet the streets were last night – the bone crunching cold keeps everyone in. We were out at KGB in the East Village, a poor turnout for a friend’s book reading. New York – abandoned after eight o’clock, only taxi’s on the road. It dropped below twenty degrees. A guy from work said his beard started popping and cracking when he left the house, all the little bits of moisture freezing instantly.
I ate oatmeal at my desk, reading the handover file for the party and searching the server for any extra files. Taking this on, with such short notice, it was most likely suicide. Screwing up anything that involved Vince’s public perception was hard to come back from round here.
“In a place that ran on the exploitation of cheap labor I was the rat queen.”
What did I really have to lose? Like Vince couldn’t afford to fire me. In a place that ran on the exploitation of cheap intern labor I was the rat queen – running communications with a bunch of the top artists, working with brands, putting on events. Not that he valued what I managed to get done with the budgets we had.
I considered what it would be like to leave, what I would do. I was just stagnating, and sick of watching my friends work their way up to better roles and the freedom of more money. My friend/roommate Charlotte was currently crushing it in the fashion world and to cap it all off, my sister was coming out of college and interviewing for finance roles in New York – jobs that likely had a starting salary at least twice what I am currently getting.
My parents think I’m crazy. They made sure I had the best of everything, now they can’t imagine why I wouldn’t be earning more then them already. They are climbers. Slowly inching their way up – now expecting me to carry the torch. To take the best paying job to get the next status symbol, swapping your weekdays for experiences on the weekend, to gain access to the next crowd.
That’s why they love the idea Michael. His family were old money – Hamptons summer house style. His dad is a partner of one of the big financial law firms. We’ve been kind of seeing each other for a year, my parents have only met him once. He may be from a traditional family but opportunistically embraces a modern perspective on relationships. You’ll see what I mean.
Vince had given me some of his personal contact list, his pride and joy. Password protected and constantly updated. I scrolled through – it was impressive. This part of the job I could still get a buzz from, but day-to-day, the shimmer of this job was starting to fade.
For the first few years I sheltered under the glow of the faces people made when I told them “I work at East & Low.”
Sure. For the first few years I sheltered under the glow of the faces people made when I told them “I work at East & Low.” One party flowed to the next – jealous friends, new friends. All envious of who I met, my posts, the number of likes.
Backstage. After parties. Hooking up with semi famous and famous musicians. For awhile I was sort of ok when all I got was booty calls, then having to watch as a new girl took my place at the next show.
Then the glitz had faded, along with the backup funds from Mum and Dad. The true reality hit when a casual hook up with a big EDM DJ left me stuck in a hotel room with a bunch of young girls, another guy, and the expectation that I was feel privileged to be part of what was about to go down.
“I wondered if any other generation had arrived at this age, only to find they had to send their dreams back for reappraisal.”
Music was just another business – working here had washed most of the sheen off it. The rest smeared by my struggle to sustain life and the rent on my room in a West Village apartment with Charlotte. Not being able to admit that I needed to move, trying to maintain the illusion that my career growth was on par with my friends.
It’s not like there is some path to follow anymore. I wondered if any other generation had arrived at this age, only to find they had to send their dreams back for reappraisal. Sure bits and pieces still fit. But our parents didn’t know what they were sending us into.
When they were in our position things were simpler – we had to feel this all out. There was no social media Barbie. The ‘Real World’ didn’t show twenty-something’s having to battle for jobs after a global crash, let alone competing with thirty-something’s for the same positions.
I snapped myself back into consciousness, locked in an ongoing Facebook scroll. The event company hadn’t even returned my calls yet, and I hadn’t even started looking for what to wear.
I needed fresh air and good coffee. It was just too damn cold.