I've been talking to my friend Moggie again. It's been a little more than a year since I moved the hell out of Arizona and fetched up in Boston. I've been a bit inconsistent about being in touch, but I always more or less have been; Moggie works one of those IT jobs where most of her purpose in life is to sit in a chair and wait for something to break, so when we do talk, it's often these sort of indolent conversations that take place over the course of six or seven hours, and involve a lot of linking to things on tumblr.

Moggie is bored. The dangerous sort of bored. The kind of bored that makes you buy your coffee and sit outside to drink it in the park, because that's what normal people do, only to realize after an hour that you've been staring at nothing and let your coffee get cold and nothing's changed, and you might as well just go back inside and probably not tell anyone how much that didn't help, just in case. The kind that wakes you up to stare at your bedroom walls and wonder what the hell is the matter with you that safety bothers you so much. The kind that makes you walk with a psychosomatic limp and just not bother to explain it to anyone -- the kind that makes it sound like a good idea to room with a moody genius who spends most days staring at a laptop screen and shuffling around the apartment swathed in a dressing gown and a cloud of unsorted chains of deductive reasoning. The kind of bored that gets you into trouble.
“Let me see — what are my other shortcomings? I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days on end. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I’ll soon be right. What have you to confess now? It’s just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together.”
Life with me is not always pleasant, I recognize. But I gather that it is consistently not boring.

I eventually figured out how to share houses with people I didn't hate, but Moggie is the only person who I've ever been able to share a room with, without cracking. Which I have. Shared a room I mean, not cracked. If there are three of us in one hotel room, in fact, Moggie and I generally get kicked over to split one of the standard-issue double beds. It works mostly because I roll right onto the edge of the mattress when I get too hot, and Moggie wraps herself up like a burrito. She used to crash on my spare bed when I had a single dorm room, and we were busy getting far too drunk on the weekends; I'd wake up to stumble to the bathroom, and walk by a sort of cocoon made of all my spare blankets, with a sock hanging out one end and a mass of blonde hair spilling out the other.

When I fled Arizona, Moggie was the one who drove me to the airport. Leaving her behind was one of the hardest things I've ever done. We met in a class her freshman year of college, the year I graduated; part of the reason I refused to leave town after I earned my degree was because she hadn't graduated yet, and wouldn't be able to come with. I have a suspicion that an extra decade in Arizona wasn't good for me, but I'm not sure how I would have survived without someone like Moggie thumping me on the head from time to time and telling me to do things like eat. It is one of the unsolvable mysteries of my life how she's never just reached over and throttled me.

I honestly don't remember at what point she went from one of my friends to being my sidekick. One day she was eighteen and we were getting her drunk at an academic conference; the next day she was turning twenty-one and driving six hours from her parents' home south of Tuscon to Flagstaff to spend the day with me, so that I could buy her birthday lobster and booze. Later that summer, she inexplicably decided it would be a good idea to go on vacation with me. The vacation was one of my idiotic impulses, one of a thousand plans I come up with and then drop on a weekly basis because I lack some essential resource I'd need to follow through -- in this case, the ability to drive and a car to take to Anaheim -- but for some reason Moggie thought Disneyland was a fantastic idea, and she had the opportunity to get hold of a car, the legal right to drive one, and the planning ability to book hotel rooms and tickets without agonizing endlessly about dates and times and whether any of this was even worth it.

Vacations are a lot more fun when my family is not involved, I discovered.
"I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt."
Moggie is as smart as I am, but she is not smart like I am. I've always known that. A strange side-effect of being able to read people is that most things are the same level of obvious to me, even if they aren't to others. It took me several weeks of watching how other people reacted to her to realize that they took her silence for either timidity or inattentiveness. This difference is a good thing; if she were just like me, we'd both have been dead of forgetting to go grocery shopping many years ago.

I tell people that Moggie is my sidekick. People get surprisingly upset about this, as if I'm oppressing and taking unfair advantage of her -- as if I've taken up dragging her on adventures by the back of the collar, so that my brilliance always has an audience. I got upset about it too, for quite a while. When I'm really enthusiastically on about something, I do a thing that I can really only describe as 'forgetting to shut the hell up'; when I'm in a social mood and out with other people, I tend to be the dominant personality in the group. Waitstaff put the check down in front of me without even thinking. I kept feeling like I was running right over Moggie, who is quiet much of the time, so I would turn around and specifically ask her if she had any input. One day, she finally complained at me to stop doing that -- I am, to no one's surprise, a very good distraction when I'm charging around like I own the place, and she much preferred it when people ignored her to talk to me, and stopped yanking her attention away from watching things.

Moggie is probably the only person I know who genuinely does not want to be in the spotlight most of the time. Some people try and fail, and some people stop themselves from fear of failure and wish they didn't. Moggie would just rather quietly go about being awesome. She doesn't need everyone to ask her opinion. I'm the person in front, and I ask her; and apparently, that's enough.

I will never in ten million years truly understand this, but Moggie is well aware that if she tells me to do something she doesn't want, she's just going to get it anyway, so I take her word for it.

It was my own Reichenbach that drove me out, sort of. I am admittedly my own worst enemy, but I left because if I didn't, it would have slowly drowned both me and her, because she would never, never, ever stop trying to help me. I promised her once that I would never run off and leave her behind. I was very, very stoned at the time, but that doesn't mean I didn't mean it. I'd like to unbreak that promise, if it's at all feasible. I thought perhaps she wouldn't forgive me, but that doesn't seem to have even crossed her mind. I told her, in fact, that if I had the money to just outright pay her way out here, I would have just mailed her a plane ticket and a FedEx account number for shipping her stuff and done it already.
("That's the advantage of being rich," sez Moggie.

"That's the advantage of being rich and knowing you," I countered. "Most people would object to that -- 'But I have a life HEEEEERE!' and 'You can't just BUY ME!' and so forth."

"...oh," she said. "I hadn't thought of that." And then: "People are weird.")
I have her half-convinced that Boston is Not Boring. As she already has a guaranteed place to stay here, with me, should she choose to come out, she seems mostly concerned with leaving a steady job in Flagstaff, which I completely understand. The object, therefore, is not to convince her to move because I want her to, her own life be damned; but, rather, to find the proper opportunities and resources for her here, so that she can consider fleeing Arizona on the basis of 'if I want to' and not on the basis of 'if I don't want to starve'.

So, Bostonians, give me a hand here -- Moggie has a BA in Anthropology, an Arizona pharmacy tech license, and extensive experience in theater teching and IT, both hardware and software. She is ambivalent about whether she really wants to continue on a pharmacy course, and in fact considered going into nursing. (I was amused when she decided to go into medicine. I don't think she's even noticed that correspondence yet. She's never been in the armed forces either, but she is a Navy brat, and has in the past casually pulled her father's former rank on gate guards, rather than her own.) If anyone has any leads on jobs in any of these fields, please don't hesitate to drop them in the comments here.

Comments

  1. It's actually, and I just checked, PTCB certification, which should count and not even have to transfer, since it's national. I don't have experience in a pharmacy, which I think will be the major stumbling block.

    also haha, maybe I should be a doctor and spend a couple years in the military to pay it off and make it all more authentic. XD ( I think the gate guards were just happy to have a legitimate military ID for the car, such that we'd have been allowed on base whether or not we were conferencegoers. It must have been ridiculous trying to sort out who was allowed to be there and who wasn't. ^^;;; )

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    1. You have experience in an ER, which is probably a lot like a pharmacy, only with more drunk people that you can't legally eject.

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  2. I had wondered if you and Moggie had kept in touch after the move, so it's nice to see this post confirming it. You two in Boston would be a very fun variety of dangerous. :-)

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    1. Moggie and I are a fun kind of dangerous together no matter where we are. I think we even scare people on the internet.

      I don't think I could ever not talk to Moggie. She's the only person who lets me go on at whatever length I want about my current obsession. She claims it's interesting. I have my doubts, but if she wants to encourage me to drone on and on and on it's her ears that have to catch it.

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  3. If she has anything that could be leveraged as experience in "account management" or "business development" or "project management", my office is hiring.

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    1. Send the link/listing/details to miss.arabella.flynn@gmail.com, plz, and I'll forward them to her. Moggie has extensive experience herding cats and making sure shit doesn't break. In a practical sense she's qualified for nearly anything that doesn't require specialized training, but we'll have to see what it looks like on paper.

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    2. Sent! Herding cats would be hugely useful skill and is basically what the project manager position is (says one of the cats).

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  4. I hope the plan works. I am on the opposite coast to be useful, but if you ever need lodgings near Anaheim, I could do that.

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