Bottom Push

“The best lesson I ever got in auditioning,” said Brett Butler, the comic who is very much a “too person,” “is to go in there like you have been killing for twenty minutes.”

It’s that relaxed confidence which transmits power.

TBB knows that. She had a job interview where the interviewer asked if she would take the top project lead job rather than the one she was proposed for, and ended by sating he put a big #1 on her resume.

She knew she was hot.  She attributes her confidence to the loss of 30 pounds and looking good, an attractive woman, but I have to wonder if some of it is just the fact she hasn’t been getting ground down at her hourly job after the sexual harassment events.  She has been back in the water, feeling good, qualified and confident, connecting with smart people.

My mother saw an job ad in the local arts weekly.  Empire State Pride Agenda is looking for someone to create statewide support for GENDA, the NYS transgender rights bill,  She thought I would be good for the job.

I gulped, lost sleep.  Does she have any idea what my taking that job would mean?  It would mean I wouldn’t be at her beck and call, means I would be out and visible, really visible?

When I was at the resturant table in Atlanta with all the political activists, the one thing I was sure of is that I would never be that young again.   Can I really do the glibness the job requires, gladhanding and rah-rahing?

On the other hand, I have been craving a sales job.  I know how much I learned from selling cameras for two years; I did it my way and it worked well.  I also know that this job is less sales than marketing, trying to sell groups and not just stroke indviduals.

Would I like somewhere to get dressed and go every morning, somewhere I felt like I was contributing more than cleaning the toilets?  Yes, please.

TBB, well, she makes magic by moving straight ahead.  She lowers, she rises, she puts one foot in front of the other to do what is needed in the moment.

Me, well, I do love the symbols.  “I drove by where I got stopped for speeding today, the first time, and right as I passed the school there was a State Police car speeding by in the other direction, lights and sirens, and then another.  Don’t you think that’s interesting?” I asked her.

“Not particularly,” she replied.

It’s impossible for me not to see connections, and impossible for TBB not to see the literal.

My mother?  It’s impossible to see any ripples from her choices.  She can’t tell you what she would like, but like any pushy bottom, she is fast to tell you what she doesn’t like: she may have fancied the Target cereal in the canister box, but she wants more pecans, dammit!  She may not want someone to have to bother pushing her through the dirt floored greenhouse, but she wants to select her own flowers, dammit!

And that’s why my father and I learned a long time ago to think through her desires, to see how they could backfire on us when she realizes the cost.  You know, like I did last night as I rolled around in bed, torn between doing the work and keeping her stable.

You gotta go in like you have been killing for twenty minutes, but when your audience prefers to kill you to keep you small and at her beckoning, well, not so easy.

But damn, it looks good on TBB.