Interned

Bang head, repeatedly (2007) by Sanja Pahoki.
Bang head, repeatedly (2007) by Sanja Pahoki.

I CAN’T BELIEVE I’m at this desk again: this cruel, sandwich-crust-covered desk in front of the same rude screen that’s shaking ever so slightly like it’s on crack and whispering the pain of a thousand headaches to come.

I swore I wouldn’t do it again. I’m qualified, I told myself. I have degrees. No more internships!
 
(I whispered the same thing six months ago, before falling giddy over plush carpets and alphabet-shaped loungers and put up my hand for three months full-time, unpaid journalism service in a big city abroad. But when they announced that time was actually six months, not three (sorry) some confused part of my brain glowered and I thought of my New Zealand overdraft and busted credit card and that dream shattered into pieces like the screen of an iPhone, dropped.)
 
So in the scheme of things I’m lucky to be interning just two half days a week in a slightly larger continent, in an industry with not enough jobs and certainly not enough jobs for me.

“Cross your fingers. I’m about to tweet my one million subscribers for art reviews!” says the critic beside me. “I just hope they know it’s unpaid…”

“I’ll do it!”

Why would I say that? What’s wrong with me? Reviewing is the worst, and, above all, reviewing art. Trying to smash some words on something so utterly unutterable as art (I have always thought but incessantly contradicted) is one of the worst absurdities.

But I’m a masochist for the absurd. I’m an absurdist, aware of my plight but flailing along like a university student re-enrolling for the third time; re-joining the ranks of that same grim commune of free workers all loving it, all bent double under the same obscene delusions of a career in something. Anything. If it means something to others it’s worth it.

“Fantastic. Here’s my card,” smiles the critic, handing me the smoothest of squares.

I take it.

I smile.
 
For more of Megan Anderson’s work you can pick up a copy of Vol. I here.
 
 

About Megan Anderson 2 Articles
MEGAN ANDERSON is a South African-born, New Zealand-bred and Melbourne-based writer who edits The Blue Corner, Going Down Swinging's curated blog. She has published non-fiction in places like artsHub, Voiceworks, SPOOK and The New Zealand Herald, and has read fiction and poetry at Splinters and Newstead Short Story Tattoo.