So, I have this theory that everybody has a "real resume" - a short, unspoken phrase that sums the individual up as a worker. I gave my theory to Adam Greenfield, journalist and lover of Jean-Paul "Northstar" Beaubier, in Unexpected Occurrences. He explains it more fully behind the cut.
We all have our own pet theories. One of mine is that everyone has a “real resume” that’s nothing like the formal one. My formal resume lists my work experience and educational credentials, major articles I’ve written, awards I’ve won. It goes on for a couple of pages. It’s the paper I send to prospective employers, but it doesn’t represent the real Adam Greenfield. It may have determined whether I got an interview for this job or that, but what’s written there has nothing to do with whether I could do the job. What decides that for everyone, I’m convinced, is your “real resume.” Your real resume is a short phrase or two that truly sums up your abilities as a worker, the description you never share with your employer directly but try to convey in the interview your formal resume got you.
I remember sharing my theory with Jean-Paul early on in our relationship. He’d confessed his insecurity about his lack of formal credentials, whispering into my ear in bed that he’d wished he hadn’t dropped out of school. “It doesn’t matter,” I’d told him, running my hand along one of his strong thighs, and getting a little distracted as I did. “Mac doesn’t care that you never went to university. He knows what’s on your real resume.” I explained the dual resume concept, my hand sliding up his thigh and then cupping his cheek as I spoke.
“So, tell me, mon ami: what does it say on my real resume?” Jean-Paul had asked, throwing one leg over mine, nuzzling my neck.
“Fearless, ferocious, and extremely loyal,” I’d answered without hesitation. Then, hand wandering to Jean-Paul’s half-erect penis, stroking him hard again, I’d added, “And always ready for action.” To my delight, he’d chosen to prove the last point and the discussion of resumes — real and formal - had ended.
My own real resume had always said “Gets the story, whatever it takes.” That dogged persistence has served me well for years. It has always been even more important to my success than my ability to write quickly under pressure, although it was that ability to write under deadline that was more noticeable to my employers and colleagues. I had been so sure that both the persistence and the quick writing (which my friends jokingly refer to as my mutant power) would serve me well when I quit the Herald and moved to Saskatchewan. My plans were all set, and they included a solid domestic life for the first time since I’d grown up and left Brooklyn, as well as finally having the time to write the novel that had been growing in the back of my mind for years.
The domestic life had flourished but the novel was getting nowhere. Days went by when I wrote nothing at all, busy with Ezra, Jean-Paul, and the running of the Outpost. Worse still, when I did manage to spend a few hours working, I more often than not threw out what I’d written.
What did it say on my real resume now? The face in the mirror each morning seemed on good days to be “Adam Greenfield, father of Ezra and partner of Jean-Paul.” Was that enough? I’d ask my reflection. Where had my ambition gone? What had happened to my skill? On bad days, staring at the empty pages — or, worse yet, at pages filled with a story that didn’t seem worth reading, even to me - I felt like “Adam Greenfield, failed novelist” was all it said on my real resume.
So, my real resume says:
Smart, funny, and writes well.