Job interview at 53

You notice the light is flattering and that's good. Your super shaper underwear is uncomfortable enough to force you to think about how they get all that dough into those tiny tubes, not so good. Your lunch companions talk about when they're graduating from college and while they talk they text to whomever they feel compelled to text to while eating lunch with someone who is possibly older then their respective mothers. LOL!  They stand up when you come with your tray full of things old people eat.

You make an effort to be sprightly, fast on your feet but when several of these "babies (forget boomers) opt to go down the slide connecting floors, you walk down with the fat one and the pregnant tour guide.

You try to remember chronology, before first husband, after second, before baby, after book, before that job, after this, before Dallas, after London, before 9/11 after Woodstock? Okay, they give you a test. A test with math problems that resemble all the other math problems you don't understand. You went to college in 1975 when all required courses outside of your major were optional. You took Italian, Modern Dance I&II, ceramics, acting and creative writing. You can say several pithy Italian phrases, you can't do anything resembling modern dance, you sort of remember how to throw a pot, you're pretty good at monologuing and you've had three books published.

This doesn't help with the question about the bumblebees and the honey and the amount of honey 6000 bumblebees will produce in two days given other conditions that are just confusing. You don't really like honey. Bees are fine. You wonder about getting your teeth whitened. For the first time in your life you feel inferior. This is momentarily wonderful because you are able to appreciate the healthiness of your ego. Through countless rejected books, boyfriends that dumped you, fat days, lost jobs, mean-spirited friends and relatives, a sense that every time you should have chosen column A you chose column B. Your condo needs all its windows replaced, your son is going to college, your husband may get laid off, your agent tells you she is tired and doesn't know if the project you have submitted has any merit. Japan is full of radioactivity and people without shelter. We are declaring war on every country possible and gas makes filling up your tank the new mortgage.

You get home and your husband tells you about his father's Alzheimer's and his daughter's bad boyfriend. You have spent four hours driving home from Wisconsin. You sit alone in the dark and regret everything. You are no longer that girl who could do anything except math. You take your son to Target and driving home he says, "You're an artist. Take some crummy job. It doesn't matter what you do because you're an artist." You tell him you may have to move to Wisconsin and he shrugs. You kiss him and he lets you hold him for a long minute. There is nothing to be afraid of anymore.


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