On acquiring a useful job
June is preparing for her job as financial analyst. She still has minutes to shave off her morning routine. She wants to make a great first impression; she wants to work to the best of her ability as soon as she starts. She says, it’s been a year since she’s been to Wall St., she wants to get back. Meanwhile, her obsessive cleaning of the apartment has ceased.
Chloe is unimpressed with this new ruthlessness order brought to June’s life. June confesses she is afraid, what if no one will want to lunch with her? It’s like school to her – like many who have suffered through high-school, she gets a sense that it is a school of life. But she is not inclined to learn. So the first day is a treat, the second an unfolding nightmare.
Chloe immediately spots the problem: There’s another woman working there. June’s nemesis. June believes that people are good, & good to her, of course, so she sees nothing nefarious. Chloe feels she needs to do more explaining: She says, in that woman’s place, she would do the same: Seem friendly, welcoming, helpful – to find out by questions what her weaknesses are, how best to destroy her. But the identification relies on something that June, not seeing, has not told Chloe. Chloe assumes the worst of mankind.
June – she need not be tricked into kindness to expose herself – now has recourse to more kindness, making gifts, & asking for friendship. This is all taking place on Wall St. She is further humiliated, until she darkly has recourse to Chloe’s advice &, when she is too kind to act on it, to Chloe herself, who is raring for a fight. This, however, neglects Chloe’s self-admiration, which causes her to befriend the nemesis rather than fight her.
June, now desperate, decides to abandon the fight & concentrate on work, like Eli suggests, whose perverse pleasures apparently include watching her get ready for work & timing her. This requires no further comment. This new devotion to work, however, is worthless in the face of the onslaught of her nemesis. So do the unrighteous triumph & the righteous come to ruination. With the last strength of dignity, June stabs her nemesis in the back, mildly.
This is a melancholy fact, mankind are wont to think. Like James learning that his acting ability originally has to do with being molested as a child – presumably, because his acting teacher was a child molester. Do good things ever come to be by good means? For her part, June is sufficiently innocent to benefit without losing her conscience. Now the nemesis respects her, fearfully. The man with the knife decides about stabbing.