A woman who claimed to be a chimera called the library most Tuesdays, on the old line they never got around to disconnecting after the renovations. The call went straight to a yellowed phone hung on... [+]
“Voicemail. Faaabulous. Anyway... Good morning. I’ve arrived. And let me tell you: There’s nothing like heading to a job interview and praying to God that you don’t get it. (Oh this is Amelia by the way, in case you didn’t already know.) Why am I being so negative? I can do this, right? Can’t I? I can do it. Right? I mean: How hard can it be? Job interviews probably haven’t changed that much in the past twenty years, have they? I mean, humans still conduct job interviews, don’t they? They’re not done by androids or iPhones or drones or anything—Right? I can’t believe I got here so early. What a lousy morning – no traffic, no fog, no six-car-pile-up to gawk at—geez I just can’t catch a break. Now I have plenty of time to just sit here in the parking lot obsessing about everything that could go wrong. Like what if I can’t find this woman’s cubicle? Every cubicle looks the same in these places. I might be wandering around the building for hours like a rat in a maze. What if I keep passing the same employees over and over again? I’ll look like a crazy person. Who wants to work with a crazy person? And what if I finish the interview and it goes great and then I’m so pumped up that I don’t realize that I’ve gotten stuck in the cubicle maze again and everybody goes home for the day and I’m still wandering around the building looking for the way out? That would give everyone something to discuss on my first day on the job: “Hey, isn’t that the woman who called 911 after her job interview so the police could help her find the parking lot?” I know. I shouldn’t focus on the negative. I’ll focus on the positive. When I get done with this, I’ll take myself on a date through the McDonald’s drive-thru and nab myself a celebratory mocha latte for a job well done. Maybe I’ll even pay my good fortune forward and take care of the person behind me. Wait, I just thought of another thing: What if I get the job and then I can’t do the job? Exactly what is a Human Service Coordinator anyway? It sounds like something that was done away with in the Emancipation Proclamation. Okay, I know it’s a fancy name for something I’ve always done: organize and manage people. I certainly do it with the parents and teachers as the PTA president. And, of course, I did it at the factory for a decade...but not a recent decade. Yeah, maybe I shouldn’t go to this interview. I worked plenty from 1986 to 1997. Isn’t that enough? Must I work every century? And isn’t it time the girls started pulling their weight? They’re eleven already. They can set up a lemonade stand on the driveway and charge twenty-seven dollars a cup. That should cover the mortgage. You know this is all Billy’s fault, don’t you? You’re right. I should have seen it coming. No fifty-two-year-old man should still be calling himself ‘Billy.’ Let’s face it: It was cute when he was nineteen, but if a man’s not ‘William’ by the time he’s thirty-five, he’s never going to be. At least I knew enough not to bother looking for him when he went out for the proverbial pack of cigarettes two months ago and never resurfaced. I just chose to believe that the east coast had run out of his brand and left it at that. Hey, I just thought of something. Wouldn’t it be really funny if he was in a terrible accident and he’s been lying in a ditch moaning and bleeding since August and all this time I was picturing him riding off into the sunset on his moped with “Born to Be Wild” playing and his ridiculous bald-headed pony tail blowing behind him in the wind?... I guess I’d better go in and see this woman. Woman. She’s probably ten years old and says things like ‘OMG!’ Okay, she did sound nice on the voice message. I just wish she hadn’t sped up when she got to her name. I played the message over six times and every time it still sounded like ‘Miss Palahoohoo.’ That can’t be right. Maybe I can somehow find a photo of her on the company website and ask my future coworkers: ‘Excuse me. Have you seen this person?’ Hey, did I just say: ‘future coworkers?’ That’s a good sign isn’t it? That must mean that I’m thinking more positively now. I just hope this woman isn’t fluent in body language since mine is shaking like it’s been skinny dipping in the ocean in winter. Speaking of voice messages—I guess I’ve stalled long enough. It’s five minutes to nine. I’d better go in. It really was great seeing you at our thirtieth reunion. (Wow. Did I just say thirtieth reunion?) You’re still my best friend, you know. I hope you truly appreciate that there is no one else on the planet on whose voicemail I would ramble on for ten minutes after it had beeped and cut me off. Okay, here I go. Car door is officially open. No turning back now! Wish me luck. If you know any prayers, now would be a good time to say all of them. And send me some positive energy. In fact, here. I’m taking a selfie of me in front of the building. Print it up and post it on your vision board between the Porsche and the mansion in Majorca, will ya? Okay. This is it. Here I go! Call McDonald’s for me and tell them to get my mocha latte ready.