The Intern

It seems I have something in common with Robert DeNiro.

There’s a new movie out starring DeNiro as a grizzled old guy who is hired as an intern. I should see it.

I started my internship on Monday at a Literary Agency in London.

Paranoid that I would not wake up on time, I barely slept the night before.  I tossed and turned during a fitful night in which I found myself in countless dream scenarios where I was running late, out of breath, out of time.

I did awaken on schedule and then faced the challenge of getting myself ready while simultaneously feeding the dog, letting her out, making Jackie’s breakfast, quickly checking emails…all things I usually accomplish in my PJs and fuzzy slippers with a double shot of espresso by my side.

As I click-clacked through these tasks in low-heeled boots and a simple knit dress, Jackie lingered her gaze at me, checking me out from head to toe.  “Why are you so fancy?“, she asked.  “I’m off to my internship today“.  Her eyes rolled in mock despair before returning to her iPhone in rapt concentration.

Next I found myself on the tube during rush hour, a time I usually avoid.  Packed in like sardines, I couldn’t even glance at the paper I had tucked under my arm.  I followed the frantic flow of people heading to offices off Piccadilly Circus.  Adrenaline pumped through my veins as I realized I, too, had an office destination.

Weaving through the cobbled streets of SoHo, I meandered toward Meard Street, ticking off the numbers of old houses on this little lane until I located #7.   Imagine my surprise when I found this message on the door:

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Apparently, doorways on this street were often used by prostitute scammers to trick unwitting gentleman out of money, inevitably leading to angry confrontations with the innocent occupants within. Sebastian Horsley was a London artist who formerly lived at this address. His writing often revolved around his dysfunctional family, his drug addictions, sex, and (rather fittingly) his reliance on prostitutes.

Having established that I was not actually entering a brothel, I buzzed myself in and walked up the narrow stairs to the quaint office on the second floor.  And here I spent the entire day at a desk, in front of a computer, doing whatever tasks came my way.

My older daughter kept sending me texts:  “How is work mom?”  She was recently an intern, as one would expect at her age.  I knew she was getting a kick out of thinking of her old mom in the same position.

It reminded me of when I took piano lessons several years ago and had to perform at a recital.  I was always so glib when my girls studied piano and balked at doing recitals.  “What’s the big deal?“, I’d ask them in dismay.  Then it was suddenly my turn to perform, and I nearly threw up before sitting at the piano and trying to get my paralyzed sweaty fingers centered on the keys!

Well, now I remembered what is was like to be in an unfamiliar place, using a different computer system, following loads of new directions.  It gave me pause to consider what my daughters have recently done: attend summer programs in foreign places, work as interns in unfamiliar offices, go off to college forging a brave new world.  I always try to quell their nervous energy.  I get it, I thought to myself.

I don’t know how DeNiro fares in his movie version,

but I am enjoying the journey in my real life.

 

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Uhry November 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Good for you! Onward! Onward!

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Alev Ozturk November 7, 2015 at 12:06 am

Brava…I appreciate your new venture and I’m sure you will add your stamp to that…
Best wishes…

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