Jobless Jake

16 Oct

What do you get when an albino, a kleptomaniac, and an ex-con all work at Wendy’s together?  A date with Jobless Jake, apparently.

A few nights ago I found myself surrounded by action figures at Gotham City, a Batman-themed bar in the depths of North Brooklyn.  I rung a buzzer to be let in to a room the size of my living room that was covered in comic books and other such paraphernalia.  I took a seat at one of the eight barstools and each of the four patrons turned around to greet me and ask what I was up to that evening (I was the only girl in the room).  The bartender’s sense of humor was dry as a bone and he reminded me of a sly alien.

“Jake” had moved to New York from Oklahoma four months prior and was in the middle of the job hunt of the century.  I assumed he must be looking for a very specific job, but he told me he was applying for anything he could find.  It struck me as odd that someone could be out looking for a job of any sort every day for four months to no avail.  I had finished half a beer when Jake arrived.  He was balding, blonde, and looked like he’d had a lot of extra helpings from the family chili pot.  In fact, he kind of looked like Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  We introduced ourselves and the bartender brought over two shots of whiskey “to break the ice.”  I asked how things were going on the job front and he said that he decided the problem was that he was over-qualified– at least that’s what the woman at the job center told him earlier that week.  I wondered if he’d tried searching for employment opportunities on Craigslist and he said that he had, but could only find postings for work as a maid.  “Uh what job category are you looking under?” I asked, and he answered “Miscellaneous.”  What?  No one looks for job listings under Miscellaneous unless they want to be a research study test subject or in an “independent film” where girls get naked and throw suds at each other in a car wash.

Throughout the evening I gathered that he had a college degree in English (equally asinine as my degree in Theatre) and had formerly worked at a Wendy’s (with an albino, a kleptomaniac, and an ex-con) and as a bagger at the local grocery store back in Oklahoma.  He said he really didn’t like his job at the grocery store because he didn’t like being chastised about how to bag loaves of bread.  His roommate that he had moved here with was paying his rent until he found a job.  But he told me not to worry– he could afford to buy me one PBR because they were only two dollars.  I told him I would buy my own drinks.  He lamented that he was having a hard time taking OKCupid girls out because he didn’t have a job and most girls weren’t interested in partaking in free activities on a blind date.  His only other option was the Batman bar.  And there we were.

We naturally progressed to the topic of OKCupid and the usual questions: “How long have you been on it?  How do you like it?  How many dates have you gone on?”  Jake had only gone on one or two other dates so far.  His first date was with a plus-sized girl who asked if he was gay five minutes after meeting him.  I have to admit the same thing crossed my mind, but I wasn’t about to ask him when his profile specified his interest in women.  Apparently he met her at a bar and she spent the whole night complaining about everything, including her friends, whom she had brought with her on the date.  Jake said he ended up really liking the other people they were hanging out with at the bar and even ended up “Friend-zoning it” with some of her friends.  I had never heard that expression before, but mentally catalogued it alongside people who use the phrases “Mickey-D’s” and “Va-jayjay.”  Jake actually called her to hang out again after that, but she never called him back.  After we finished sharing the joy of the OKCupid bond, we shared the joy of the divorced-parents bond and the social media bond.  I told him Facebook makes me tired and Instagram makes me depressed, but I like Twitter.  He said he likes Facebook because he’s “friends” with a bunch of hot babes… but he could never date any of them because all they do is write about how much they hate their parents.  I asked if these “hot babes” were thirteen years old, but he assured me they were at least twenty.

After another round, he walked me to my train stop and asked if I wanted to hang out again.  I said sure because I always say sure… then talk my way out of it later from the privacy of my boudoir.  I felt a little guilty because he looked surprised at my answer.

Before I climbed the stairway to embark on my long journey home, Jake said “Oh yeah, I almost forgot…” and handed me a keychain!  It’s a little orange egg that opens up to reveal some dinosaurs in the midst of a battle with a T Rex.  No one has given me a moving keychain before and it’s definitely a welcome addition to my collection.

I think I just “Friend-zoned” it with Jobless Jake.

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