Saturday, August 11, 2007

Adventures in Unemployment

33 days and counting...

These are my shoes. They take me everywhere.

So I haven't worked since early July and have yet to book my next gig. I've been unemployed before, I'm a freelancer, it's part of my lifestyle and career but at day 33 I finally have to buckle down and ask, "what the hell am I doing with my life?!" There are several stages to my mental health during this time. When I am first released from a job there's the "Yes, I have so much free time! I'm going to hit the gym, explore the city, read books, go to cafes, focus on something creative." This lasts about a week (often less.) Then there's the, "Well, I've got nothing else to do, so fuck yeah I'm going to go out for a drink at 1:15AM on a Tuesday! Why not?" This lasts about two weeks. Before you know it I'm stumbling home at 4:30 every weekday morning and sleeping through noon. I finally wake up, loaf around in my boxers searching job sites and IMing my friends and finally make my way outside around 2pm, if not later. Now that I'm going without work for over a month I feel like my life is spiraling out of control and I'm losing any and all purpose to why I'm here on this planet. Life without duty or purpose is not easy and despite the outrage I receive from my Monday-Friday 9 to 5 friends who wish they had my schedule I mean it when I say, "I just can't sit in Union Square and read another book all day!"
Therefore, having no purpose and no focus I decided to buy a digital camera and document my life and adventures of unemployed during a summer in NYC.

Here's the deal:
My name is Eric Leven. When I work I am a Story Producer for Reality and Documentary television shows. I live in the East Village, on 11th St. and Ave B. Ok: I live on 11th St. between B & C, and actually, closer to C but for one reason or another, and despite all the cool shit that happens on C, I have a hard time acknowledging that C is a real street. This completely baffles and enrages my roommate, Eric, who you will meet later. I try to explain that Ave. C is too far from the subway and when in a cab I always get dropped off on 11 & B, so that's where I say I live. Whatever- just deal.
This is my apartment building. My roommate, who also doubles as my best friend, and I moved in a year ago August. We looked at 30 different apartments in the middle of a July heatwave and finally found this little gem. It's a full two bedroom, one bathroom with a sizable living room, nice white walls and a hardwood floor. My roommate and I don't pay and arm and a leg and we couldn't be happier.

Lately my life is as follows:
I wake up around 10 or 11- ok, noon and I immediately flip open my laptop and surf production employment websites scouring for my next job. Sometimes there are many posts other times, none. I email all my contacts that I have previously worked with and cross my fingers that by the time I re-sign in somebody will have something. I usually head out about an hour or two later and stop for my single must of the day- an ice coffee from my favorite cafe, Rapture Cafe. I've become quite a local here and saddle up the bar flirting and chatting with the wonderful and eclectic cast of characters who work here. This is Joe. He's an owner of Rapture and one of those been here forever East Village guys who can amaze you with a limitless amount of stories and experiences he has gained from years of living in the city. If you haven't been to Rapture yet, I advise you checking it out. It's huge, funky, fun, the coffee is great and is complete with air conditioning. After I swig done a coffee or two I head to Union Square to sit on a bench for awhile and absorb myself in a book. I usually sit there reading, cruising and thinking, wasting time until my roommate gets off work and I meet him at the gym.

My Roommate:

This is my roommate Eric and I. He's the one without the beard and yes, we're both named Eric. Eric and I have known one another since we were 10 years old and in the fifth grade. Since then we've been practically inseperable. Aside from growing up together and always being close I lived with Eric for two years in Los Angeles before we both high-tailed it to NYC. Eric is very bright, a musician, straight, and a vegetarian. Eric and I are so close that he's beyond a best friend, he's the closest thing I've ever had to a brother and I love him very much. I'm not sure who or where I'd be without him. (Certainly still in LA).
Eric and I meet up and we hit the gym together. This is our gym where Eric and I lift "sick weight" or try our best at "getting huge." I usually go the NYSC in Union Square, but Eric enjoys going to the one closer to his work, (Mercer & 3rd.) It's slower-paced there and certainly less gay but for Eric, I'll make the compromise. I can do without my constant stealth gawking at muscle guys and cruising all the hairy monsters from time to time. After the gym Eric and I enjoy walking home together deciding what to do for dinner and discussing plans for the evening. We go home, turn on NPR and spend time catching up on our laptops until he jumps the shower and we continue our lives.


Eric said...

I love you and love your blog!!

southendcb said...