I feel like going back to bed. A few days ago I filled out an application to volunteer for a local hospice organization. My phone started ringing within minutes after I submitted the online form. An extremely efficient lady was calling to give me information about their next training seminar. I went to bed that night feeling good about it. Yesterday she sent an e-mail requesting that I bring my social security card to the seminar and also fill out a form which will enable her to run a background check on me. I lost my social security card years ago. And.. what to make of this background check? What do they look for in a background check other than a criminal record? These issues danced in my head until I sat down and replied to her. I included these paragraphs in my response:
“.. I don’t have the actual social security card but I do have a copy of it which I am attaching to this e-mail. It bears my childhood address but my signature still looks exactly the same. Will this be sufficient? If not, I will go to the social security office. In the past I’ve discovered that it is often easier to deal with government agencies in person rather than by mail. In regard to another issue, you mentioned that you will need to run a background check on me. I have no criminal record but was arrested for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint in April 2010. In July 2010 I accepted a plea agreement which reduced the charge to reckless driving. Also, I do not know what type of information turns up in a background check but I have had a very long career in adult entertainment. Throughout the decades I have variously described my occupation on tax returns as entertainer, model, or actress.
Originally I thought I would meet you before mentioning any of the above but it seems prudent to do it now so I can potentially avoid wasting any of your time. I do realize that many people have a profoundly negative impression of adult entertainers and, consequently, I may not be a good match for your organization. A few years ago I read an article in which a hospice nurse described how some terminally ill patients would receive vouchers to live in motels where they would go to die alone. Her statements really affected me and since then I have wanted to offer assistance to people who, in some regards, have lived (and may die) outside the bounds of traditional society. Please do let me know if you would still like me to come to the training seminar on March 31. If you feel that my background will be problematic for your organization I will look for another volunteer opportunity for which I may be better suited..”
Yes, I know that it will make me no less of a person if this organization decides not to accept me as a volunteer but writing those words left me feeling a bit vulnerable. Looking at a copy of my old social security card with my legal name and Atherton, CA address – stark reminder of the identity and the home that I relinquished so, so long ago – reawakened some twisted, confused emotion in me too. Full moon will be rising tonight. Maybe the tidal pull is affecting my equilibrium