In 1797, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was in the midst of writing a poem when a knock came on the door. The man at the door is known to history only as the Person from Porlock. The interruption caused Coleridge to forget what he had been writing and thus “Kubla Kahn” is a fragment, rather than a complete poem.
On Wednesday night, I was fast asleep. I had filled my head with thoughts of readiness for my interview and was feeling confident. And then my Person from Porlock came. At 4:30 am, I heard a loud knock on my door.
It must have been a loud knock to wake me up. I lay there, confused, for about a minute. Eventually, I realised what was going on. I put some clothes on and trudged downstairs to answer the door.
Being me, I had leapt to the worst possibly conclusion. Was the village on fire? Had someone stolen my car? Had there been a murder? Had the revolution come?
There was no one there. I don’t know who knocked or why, but the village was quiet by the time I got to the door. But that had put an end to any prospect of sleep for the rest of the night. I tried, but failed. I would be doing my interview on 2 hours’ sleep.
The post came, including a birthday card from my parents, which said that they hoped that the result of the interview could make us as happy as they had been on the day I was born. So many emotions! So much pressure!
I drove to Dublin, leaving at about midday for my 3:00 pm interview.
I had grown a goatee beard and was wearing my glasses. I have an odd relationship with both my glasses and my beard. I think they give my face definition and make it look better. That’s why I chose to have both for the interview. However, I think they only improve a fat face, not a thin one. I prefer to shave my beard and wear contacts for the same reason I always bought matches and not lighters when I used to be a smoker, especially towards the end. A lighter is a commitment. It says “I will still be smoking this time next week”. Matches say “This is just a temporary aberration. I’ll be off the fags tomorrow.” It’s the same reason I only do weekly shopping when I’m on a diet. I can’t bear the idea of committing to a week’s worth of unhealthy food, because I always hope I’ll start my new diet tomorrow. So when I’m not on a diet, my fridge is empty and I buy meals one at a time. Because I live in hope and I don’t like committing to bad choices. So, even though I think my face looks better with a beard and glasses, I hold out hope that I will again lose weight and so I keep my face adornment-free. It might be a silly rebellion against my own taste, but it keeps me optimistic. I made an exception for the interview.
I arrived early, but the panel were ready for me early. The interview went very well. I could see that some of the panel were genuinely impressed with me. Of course there were questions I could have answered better, but I was confident and clear and knew what was expected of me. I have hope. But who knows what will happen?
I left the room with the HR officer, who gave me directions back to the front door. I was too excited to actually hear what he had said. I wandered around, completely lost for ten minutes. I had visions of the interview panel making the decision to hire me, and then emerge from their room, only to find me still wandering the corridors over an hour after my interview had ended and then deciding not to hire me after all, as I couldn’t successfully find doors. Eventually, I found someone to ask and escaped the building.
I’m pleased. I did my best. I was very tired afterwards and nearly fell asleep a number of times on my drive back to Longford.
Of course I’m filled with thoughts about life and what to do with it. I’m still headed for financial disaster if I don’t find something new soon. But I need a life that makes me happy too. I have no intention of getting married, at least not any time soon, and I don’t want to have children. I have lots of plans.
I turned 35 yesterday. It’s the first birthday I’ve ever had where I didn’t talk to anyone, other than to the woman at the till in Texaco. But it was fine. I’m working to change my life, but things are higgledy-piggledy right now. I’ll figure it out. I know I will.