My Last Mistake
I made my last mistake yesterday.
At the tail end of a job interview, an actual in person person-to-person gathering to which I was invited as a result of an emailed application, resume, cover letter — and please believe here that before the interview began I grabbed the empty air space to thank the woman named Sarah for actually inviting me in, where most, no, nearly all others in similar hiring positions have seen nothing but the hop scotch job history and Methuselah-like birth certificate numbers of my resume and hit “Delete” with no second thought — no, Sarah had invited me in, had affirmed my existence as a corporeal contributor to the greater good all those human service years, and, implicitly, my ability to haul up some of that old magic going forward — so, before the interview I thanked her genuinely for acknowledging, well, my being. Thank you Sarah.
And then three of us had the interview, me asked from a prepared list of questions within which I not only gave insightful, experiential answers but also inserted somewhat nebulous and always fun tidbits of personal information, and then the interview was over – 40 minutes – and when asked if I had anything to ask them before leaving I asked a few things, and the last thing I asked was if they thought my age might be a turn off to the adolescents this position (what I was interviewing for) was to serve. Diplomatically, they didn’t necessarily see why it would, they said. But, then, that’s not the point.
Picture this — I have a disease, make up a name for it (stickittothemantiosis?), that is potentially catching, possibly highly communicable, and I am talking with a woman I have adored from afar for about forever and am now asking her out on a date – oh happy day – and just before easing on out of the coffee shop to let her think about it, and ,so cool, she is actually looking interested and pretty positive because we have just had the nicest, sweetest conversation in which I have presented myself in the best possible light, and now, just as I am easing on out all hopeful and everything, I decide to add this — “Now don’t forget my disease!! It’s wicked bad, super scary, and just might be contagious as all hell. Have a nice day, I look forward to hearing from you.”
It’s a mistake. It’s a mistake (I hear Men at Work in my head). If the relevant question is what was I thinking?, then the likely answer is, I wasn’t thinking. But, that’s lazy. A better, much better question is Why? Why would I say such a thing? Now I suppose I could get all psychological and introspective and come up with an explanation of deep down not feeling good enough about myself, warts and stuff — that old, ancient story — with therefore some obligation to lay it all out there. But, not only is that boring with a capital “B”, but is entirely at odds with the certainty I have in my proven ability to bring wild and fabulous success to any position working with people I might be offered. Something inherently wrong about me? – Booooooooooooring. I’ve traveled that depressing look within road more than enough times. It’s pretty much faded out of view.
Nah. A better answer to how these words tumbled out of my mouth, as if to snatch defeat from victory, is the one Bluto gave Flounder in ‘Animal House’, after Flounder’s brother’s car had been destroyed on the road trip. — “You fucked up. You trusted us.”
It was just a mistake. I gave myself permission to be entirely me – hire me, this is what you get – and a smidge of dumb ass drivel spilled out. I’d like a job, there’s good work I can do. And I could sure use the money. But it’s cool. And it is especially cool when I realize I have made a decision, and the decision is this:
It’s my last mistake.
Now, could I have 10,000 marbles please?