Frank had been in an avoidance pattern for much of the day; he needed to complete another job application, but the thought of poring over encyclopedic questionnaires, double and triple and quadruple checking his cover letter and resume for typos, and looking up references, made the thought of having a tooth pulled seem pleasant.

But, fortunately for Frank, there were many other really important things to be done during the day. Though Frank had not cleaned his house in over 6 months, he decided that today was the day for this: it had started with vacuuming his living room, but after this, the clean, perked-up carpet felt so good under his toes that he decided, as long as he was vacuuming, he might as well vacuum his whole house. So he did this. While vacuuming under the edge of his bed, Frank discovered several boxes of action figures and college class notes socked away under his bed–those would need to be organized. And while vacuuming the bathroom, Frank found dust and stuck-on spots on the floor. So after vacuuming, he got out his swiffer and began to mop the bathroom, scrubbing the problem spots furiously.

In a way, it was therapeutic. Feeling satisfaction at seeing a gleamy shine on the white-and-green tile. Frank leaned for a minute on the swiffer, resting his leg–he had been limping less, but his leg became tired easily and still hurt occasionally. Just then, his cell phone rang.

“Hi Dad,” said Frank.

“Hey, sport,” said Bruce’s beaming voice. “How are you doing today?”

“Okay,” said Frank. “Well, great!–actually. I’ve been cleaning my apartment today. Vacuumed, mopped, organized–just finishing now.”

“Ah. Nice, son. How’s the leg?”

“Doing better,” said Frank.

“Great. Oh, how are those job applications going? Applied to that Reliant Solutions position yet?”

“No, not yet,” said Frank, feeling shame at the admission.

There was a pause on the other end of the phone. Frank’s dad was never one to tell Frank what he was thinking, but Frank knew the pause and what he must do: it was time to fill out some more applications.

Sitting down at his computer, Frank resisted the urge to head immediately to Reddit or YouTube to watch videos. Joblessness had had a deleterious effect on his self-discipline, but he knew that, eventually, he would burn through his savings, and then – BOOM – his vacation would be over.

Job. He needed a job. 5 applications in 5 hours. Could such a heroic feat be possible? Frank thought to himself. He was about to find out.

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