"So now you know a little bit more about me, let's talk a little bit more about you. Tell me about yourself."
I slept for eleven hours last night and I've only felt like half of myself today. I've been on the verge of tears for the last two hours and all I really want to do is go to bed right now.
"I don't really know what to say..."
"Tell me about your family."
My mother and sister are also chronically ill. Yet here we are, trying to function in the "real" world with the rest of you.
"I have three younger sisters. I also have a cousin that lives nearby, practically grew up with us, I consider him to be more of a brother..."
"How would your friends describe you?"
Friends? Do I still have friends? The friends I used to have in school, but then I dropped out with little or no word of explanation to them. How would they describe that? I don't know how they would describe me now. I can't remember how they would have described me two weeks ago.
"Um...I'm not really sure. Easy-going...dedicated, pretty motivated to get things done. Easy to talk to...I guess."
"Our office can be really fast-paced, and even when there's down-time, I want an employee who will find things to do. Use the down-time to catch up on things you couldn't when it was hectic. It's about time-management. How does that sound to you?"
It sounds excellent, it really does. But I can't manage my time right now because I'm moving through sludge. Time holds less and less meaning for me as I am now. What's an hour? What's a day?
"That sounds great. [half-hearted nod] Really."
So that was my interview...I didn't hold much hope for getting that job anyway.
My system has taken a shock, a jolt, and it's taken away my ability to answer simple questions. I feel like my Personal Reality has fallen out of sync with Reality in General. For example: just this afternoon I ran into an old acquaintance, let's call her Alice, and our conversation went something like this:
I'll just sit on this bench while I wait, I don't think this girl will mind. Why does this girl look surprised to see me? Oh, it's Alice. Alice Dalton. I just took her off my Facebook friends list last week. Weird coincidence.
"Oh I know you. Alice, right?"
"Yeah...wow, I haven't seen you since your wedding reception. How long ago was that?"
"A year and a half."
Oh goody, the awkward silence. She's looking at me...I should say something.
"So you're still here? At the school, I mean."
"Yeah, I should graduate in December."
"What about you? What have you been up to?"
Should I tell her I recently dropped most of my classes? Should I explain my reason for needing to drop most of my classes? Should I tell her that my only thoughts right now are balanced between wondering if I'm going to start crying unexpectedly and desperately wanting to go back to bed?
Awkward silence again. Alice, just go back to reading your book and we'll end this conversation. No good, she's still looking at me and nodding, like I'm supposed to say something. ...I'll ask about John.
"What about your husband, what was his name again?"
"Right! Right, John. What's he up to?"
"Well, right now he's..."
Yes, yes, keep talking about John. This way the minutes will pass and all I have to do is smile and nod. It is infinitely easier to feign normality this way than when I try to talk about myself.
"...well here's my bus. It would be so fun to get together some time. We're still friends on Facebook, so..."
No we're not.
"Yeah. So maybe I'll contact you on there or something. Nice seeing you again."
"You, too. Bye."
><>names were changed in this re-telling, so don't Google "alice dalton" cuz she doesn't exist. well, no, alice dalton might exist, but she's not the girl in this story.<><
It's been a long time since the thoughts in my head were so separated from what people expect to hear. It's disconcerting in the moment, but somewhat amusing in retrospect. Like a low-budget independent film.
I'm going to Google Alice Dalton now and see what comes up.