Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Satirist's Sign

The muttering was indistinct but it sounded like I said, “I’m being positive.”  If it’s true, and I did say such a strange thing, it certainly caught notice of the satirist who controls reality and a swift retaliation was sent my way.

Today was a failure.  But then, I am a failure; we all know that.  There’s something reassuringly familiar about failing, a sort of nod from the sky that everything’s A-okay.

Let’s just say the interview portion of the day didn’t go so well.

Then it was off to the job centre.

A guy got on the bus.  Now I have this psychic ability; I can tell when someone is going to the same place as me. 

When I was doing jury service (most gruelling, soul destroying two weeks of The Life) the first morning a woman turned up at the bus stop and I just knew she was also going to do jury service so I helped her with which bus to catch.  Of course, she turned out to be one of those people I know within two seconds that I can’t stand.  Very confident, but actually just rude, thinks she knows everything, is a moron.

So I knew this guy was going to the meeting.  Sure enough, although he got off at a different stop, he still arrived at the same building and we both went to the same meeting.

It wasn’t a very point-full meeting, but it did mean I didn’t have to be interrogated like a criminal for a change.

I left, caught the bus, there he was again and he sat next to me.

But he didn’t say anything.

He sat next to me, after sitting in a room with me for the last hour; he should have said something.  So I thought I would.  God was giving me a sign.  If I wasted the opportunity, then he might not send another.  Except the last time this happened, it was that jury lady and I ended up stuck talking to someone I hated.  Thanks for that, by the way.

So I waited.  And waited.  And now it was socially awkward to start speaking.  By this point, God has his head in his hands, despairing at how hopeless I am.  Here he is, giving me a chance on a platter, and I sit there being English.  Coincidences like these are there to be taken advantage of.  Reach out and pretend to have the confidence you bestow on your characters.

So when the journey was half over (so if he was a freak, I wouldn’t have to talk for long), I launched into the speech.  He responded, but not greatly.  I don’t think he was hugely pleased.  After all, if he had deliberately sat next to me because he fancied me, then he would have started the conversation, not sat there for ten minutes ignoring me.  My conversation did not rise above ‘Yeah, so the jobcentre sucks, doesn’t it?’  Hardly the most riveting, memorable way to start a relationship.  His stop arrived.  The conversation, such as it was, was over.

And I grinned.  God had given me an opportunity, I hadn’t wasted it, and it had still gone nowhere.  That is what being Hillesque is all about.  If it had gone well, I wouldn’t know who I was any more.

It was a fitting end to the fitting start.  I didn’t get a job and I didn’t make a new friend either.  The status quo remains.  The show hasn’t been cancelled.

And I saw several of those funny birds with the cartoon legs. 

(Friendly cats that rub the ankles, actors whose eyes are too close together, small fluffy dogs with big black eyes, free samples through the door, pigeons searching for evidence, displaying action figures on shelves when you’re too old, squirrels doing ninjutsu, water in a whiskey glass, crows just staring, these are some more of my favourite things).

Then I got in and finally had lunch, at which point I smashed The Plate by dropping it on The Foot and threw The Sandwiches on the dirty, dirty floor.  But there’s a perverse enjoyment to smashing things, and The Foot hasn’t fallen off, and I don’t think I swallowed any broken china.  Although the spread was crunchy, so I couldn’t really tell. 

It was a good failure.

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