My supervisor has already read my email from yesterday when she arrives. ‘So she gave you the cold shoulder eh?’ she says repeating my email. ‘Yes, she was very uncomfortable around me, that’s why I think I haven’t been shortlisted’. Beth agrees saying that the manager concerned is very transparent. If that’s how she looked, then that’s probably the case. It’s only during lunch when everybody has left (or is too absorbed in what they are doing to notice it’s lunch time) that I allow myself to feel upset. I really thought that was my window. I want to call a friend but it’s the middle of the night in Oz. I hate time zones! Instead I suck it up and go to my meeting.

Beth’s back is getting worse. I see her getting stiffer and more uncomfortable throughout the staff meeting. And I don’t think it’s the financial report that’s bothering her. We’ve organised to go to the film screening ‘children of war’ at headquarters tonight, but she can’t even tilt her head back. I know she is in more pain than she is willing to let on. She excuses herself. I understand, even though I think we need a staff member with us to get into the screening. Interns have no rights.

I say I’m probably not up for going on my own. I’ve spent most of my time on my own on the weekend. And with my housemates evicted, I’m kinda looking for company. Not that I will find that in my empty apartment.

Luckily I remember that one of the other interns has signed up for the showing too. She looks at me with compassion (or is that pity) when I confess- today is a bad day.

We ride the art deco wood-panelled elevators- that I don’t really notice any more, walk through the electronic barriers and exit onto Lexington. After 6 pm the other exits are closed. It still seems insane to me as almost nobody in the building finishes work before 6.

We wander through the ever persistent smattering of interns outside the gates. They are waiting for other companions. We try to take the staff entrance and avoid security and we are told we can’t go that way. I realize I am adjusting, because for the first time I challenge a security guard. Why? I simply ask. His reply is also simple. Because you are an intern.

Interns and delegates have red letters on their passes. The scarlett letter identifies to security that we are not as ‘kosher’ as the rest. We need to be consistently screened and monitored.

Never the less I drag my friend around to the staff side of the security entrance. I’m sure not waiting in the massive line that has formed. There has to be some advantages for god sake! And it works. I feel like a bully skipping to the front of the line, but remind myself that a healthy dose of ‘American’ works a treat in New York.

There is some debate about where this event is being held. To my surprise, it’s being held in the General Assembly Hall. Yes the actual chamber!! Up in the elevator we are directed to particular doors, and then we get to walk around the floor to find our seats. My friend wants to sit in Switzerland’s seat. That’s where her family are from even though she’s been schooled in London. Unfortunately there are people already at Switzerland, and Australia is home to the audio engineer. That’d be right!

The previous Foreign Minister of Tanzania takes the floor to introduce the movie. We lean back in the second row seats behind the Yemen sign. Good seats we decide, as the screens are mounted on the wall, almost to the roof. As the lights dim at the front of the building, the back of the hall where most of the audience are seated, seems to get brighter. Maybe it’s a good thing. It helps me not to sob my way through the film.

The movie follows a centre for de-programming child soldiers in Uganda.  Abducted from their homes, they have been trained by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army to kill or be killed. The film is a series of interviews from counselling sessions, cut with staff perspectives on what is occurring. It is fascinating, heart-wrenching and horrifying all at the same time. And I have a moment to wonder what I am doing. We skip out before the after-film talk fest. My friend is tired and I am hungry.

On the way home I stop at the 24hr supermarket on the corner. Gotta love the 24/7 city. I just want some cous cous to go with my dahl- cooked on the weekend knowing I never get time on weeknights.

In my building, I emerge from the elevator on the 4th floor and am confronted by a giant plastic skull face protruding from the wall. I suppose it is about the time for Halloween decorations. I find them creepy. I’m wondering how I can get out of participating. Maybe I just need to join the massive party that apparently happens in the village. Sounds like a great excuse for me. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.

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