In response to my plea for topics to write about, my friend Golightly comes through with this question: What is the job you would want if you did not do anything literary and why?
“EASY,” I thought to myself, after not really reading her question adequately, “novelist, of course.” But then I looked at the question again and realized I am not allowed to choose anything literary. That is very tricky of you, Golightly!
At the moment I’m not sure I can pick just one non-literary job, so I’m going to back it up for just a minute and give you the list of what I call “parallel universe jobs” — the jobs other Vagues have in universes parallel, but not identical, to this one. Some of these are literary, but most aren’t. Please note that this list includes my parallel-universe-job ideas reaching back to around high school, so take them with a grain of something.
Baker / Pastry Chef
Greeting Card Designer
“Artist” of Undifferentiated Type
“Head” of a Hip Magazine (I was never exactly sure what this entailed and still might not be)
But which of these would I choose today? Let’s see…I’ll have to scratch off Novelist, Poet, and “Head” of Hip Magazine because they violate the non-literary requirement. I suppose Rock Critic is also at least semi-literary, and we all also already know that I can’t actually write about music for shit, so that goes too.
“Artist” of Undifferentiated Type has to be eliminated, since that’s obviously more of a concept than a job. U.N. Translator is unrealistic — I didn’t realize way back in high school how difficult translation/interpretation is in general, let alone on-the-fly speaking translation. No way.
Spy is a no-go (or at least that’s what I’d have to tell you guys, right?), because I have a deep suspicion that the actual spy business is not what shows like Alias and Chuck would have us believe, what with the sexy disguises and handler-on-asset action. Heh. HANDLER on ASSET. Get it? Ahem.
So that leaves: Baker / Pastry Chef, Greeting Card Designer, Photographer, and Private Detective. All four of these are things I already do, to some extent, at home. I take pictures, as you may have seen on flickr. I make a mean greeting card and an even meaner batch of yuzu-ginger wafer cookies. But what do I do most often? INVESTIGATE, bitches, that’s what!
I am always investigating shit! Where are my keys? Investigate. What is the source of that unpleasant smell? Investigate. Could this paper be plagiarized? Investigate. There is a neighborhood commotion? Investigate. (Well, fine, in that case I did more lurking and peeking than actual investigating, but I think you see what I am saying here.)
Thus, your answer: Private Detective
Case Status: Closed
Now I have a question for you: What jobs would you have in any parallel universes? Inquiring minds must know.