WANTED – HELP BY THE OCCASION. Strong young man, must be fit and durable and be flexible to work with a busy famous celebrity couple. No experience necessary. Oversized hands will be well regarded. Great hourly rate. Apply Box W000 in your Capital City.
Oceanus’s mum had cut the advert from their local newspaper for him to respond. A job for a strong young lad with large hands eh. This could be her son’s best opportunity for gainful work. Celebrity couple eh. They’d pay well. I wonder who they are? Brad and Ange. Keith and Nicole. Tom and friend. There are a lot of them swanning about at the moment. Well Oceanus is going to have to apply to find out, won’t he!
Oceanus did apply and indeed he got the job. His oversized hands are to be employed as chairs for his employers to sit on. He can do this sitting or standing depending upon the occasion, whether they are red carpet events like the Academy Awards or when his employers are posing for the paparazzi and journalists and they need to hold court. He is to dress in a dinner suit with sleeves optional, to not speak, and to remain as motionless and expressionless as possible during the occasion. His arms will hang down by his side, his large hands are to extend and stay rigid (the couple have offered him their personal trainer as a perk), and so as to not sweat beneath their beautiful bottoms, he is to wear gloves; this while the celebrity power couple hold court. Oceanus is getting the work and he is well paid for it. Social Security likes that he has some casual work and maybe he’ll eventually get off benefit; they and the celebrity couple always tell Oceanus that he is useful.
One night at dinner Oceanus and his mum have a conversation about happiness. Was this the type of work that is able to numb his self esteem pain his mother is so aware of? He says he is getting pleasure from the job, and it’s a pathway to happiness, long sought by many, but rarely found. For his use Oceanus has a future, like his dead dad and his proud mum wish for him. Every day his mum says she is happy for him. His gross hands are the right action for the right people, in the right time in his life. The merits of his oversized hands actualise him, making him useful in the eyes of others. Mum is reading Hume and Mill. Oceanus tells his mum that he is selfish, because all he wants is happiness and that is a selfish feeling, and the celebrities who sit on his hands are also selfish; and his happiness will end because of his relentless pursuit of it. Testing him, mum asks which of his two masters’ pleasure or pain, would Oceanus choose to keep. One without the other would surely rid his selfishness. Oceanus said he would rather keep them both despite himself, because he would find a way to be selfish without them. He would only feel less guilty, that’s all. Mum asks him why, and all Oceanus could say was there was no feeling he could get rid of, if he were truly honest with himself.
It always occurs to Mum that serving Oceanus a nice dinner is always useful and good; in a pulsating time of her son’s life when strange acts of goodness are plentiful. She does what she does because her son needs her love. We can all be happy together when we do useful things, she said to him. Oceanus then said that unsavory acts like torture make torturers ignorant of the consequences, because they think torture is a justifiable and a good act serving a higher purpose they are powerless as human beings to subvert. Are they blissful when doing it? Crazily, if torturers are happy and mum is happy, and his celebrity employers are happy then some small part of universal happiness has been attained. But surely no role in life ever finishes with the promise of lasting happiness. No act or purpose is destined to end up in the state of bliss. Only god in his work can do it. If Oceanus were truly happy he’d lick clean his plate of Lobster Mornay, his favourite, over and over again.
Mum then said that torturers would be better off serving up a good wholesome meal instead. Oceanus said his work was often torture; the pretty celebrity bottoms were not so plump and sweet, and his jack-knifed wrists, although well conditioned thanks to his trainer, have had their scaffold moments.
There was silence for awhile and then Oceanus brought up a strange thing, morals. Was it morally right for a celebrity couple, cynical in their ways, to use him as though he were a consumable chair? Mum pointed out that he was being well paid for his services and that morality is a personal issue, and upon that only the individual can judge. Points of view can also be mixed and disguised, and perhaps Oceanus is really using the celebrities because his self esteem demands it through the use of his hands; as the celebrities are likewise doing because they need all the attention they can get.
As she was clearing up the dishes and getting them ready for the dishwasher Mum understands that her son is still maturing, even at thirty seven. His motherly prepared meals have a quality that is lacking in his paid work. Why did he not lick his plate this time and show his appreciation for her cooking? How could he ignore the quality in the meal? She had held his plate before his face as she always does, but his maturity was astray. It is the lot of mothers that their work goes unnoticed by ungrateful children. Paid work, though a lower pleasure for many, is valued higher than parenting it seems today.
Even though Oceanus complains about the sporadic nature of his work, as soon as the phone rings he’s badgering his mum to answer it. And perhaps it is better for Oceanus to demonstrate satisfaction rather than his mum. After all what she does, she does it in the home. He is a professional. He has a job he goes out for. It is his mother’s kindest motive to be always there in the background for her son, a useful act; although she will occasionally nag from the sidelines and gently step on Oceanus’ ego when it gets out of hand.
They both agree the demands of his role do take their toll. In the end the celebrity power couple and Oceanus decide on the supreme end of his utility which is the climax of the happiness between them. The couple will leave engagements smiling and laughing, but do not look back at Oceanus. The paparazzi are curious and think of him as a circus freak, but inside Oceanus is happy his seating role has been a professional one, and that his services will be called upon again. He might even ask for a pay rise. A request for him by the celebrity power couple comes with words gilt edged and silver lined. This is enough to keep his insecurities on a low simmer, but physically he is going to need better support. Standing on a red carpet for two hours holding seated his celebrity employers can be a killer.
Mum pokes her head through the galley kitchen portal and asks her son if he would like coffee and truffles. Oceanus need not have said a word; his round face is suddenly alight, since hand fed truffle by his mother is his difficult palate’s choicest satisfier.