Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Nor breath nor motion

I can't remember how it all goes.

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

But I don't suppose it matters. The venue for yesterday's horrifically frightening job interview had those words painted across the office walls and I keep wondering why. Was it just because it mentioned ships? They have something of a maritime streak running through their core business. It was one of those frightening interviews, a full panel, them loaded with tea cups and reference papers, me on an armchair feeling marooned and a little at sea. It was neither bad nor good. I could have been better but there is always in everything room for improvement. My hours of preparation seemed to leave me unprepared, I had not correctly guessed at what they might ask, nor why. There was the one obligatory 'what attracted you to apply for this role' question which I was prepared for but at the last moment discarded my rehearsed answer and went in a peculiar direction. It felt like neither a bad nor good idea. It is notoriously difficult to judge the outcome of these kinds of things. They informed me it will be several weeks before they have a final answer and I discover whether or not I shall be obliged to pass under Coleridge's haunting words each morning. 

I walked hunched and freezing from the interview, down by the waterside to the long and ancient wharf where Grizelda works. I was dodging hale like bullets, throwing up a wake of water with my heels. I was aiming like an arrow towards a place where I was already known, where I didn't have to attempt to explain and re-explain my whole being in three sentences or less at four minute intervals. I sat on the curiously placed lounges in Grizelda's workplace and whiled away half an hour talking amongst her colleagues. Nothing of any importance was said but it was almost enough to reset me back into being, just sitting in a place where people know my name.

Today I have neither breath nor motion. I made my tea with knots of rope, dropped sails down the mast to fashion into dresses. It is difficult to determine if I am sleeping or awake. But is not unpleasant. I am here inside The Peach warm and dry in drastic contrast to yesterday's encounter with the elements. When I arrived home I hauled off my boots and tipped out genuine puddles of water, I peeled off three layers of saturated clothes and spent ten minutes under the hot jet of the shower before I began to feel any kind of warm at all. I'm beginning to wonder if these elemental trials of woman versus nature are an ordinary part of the job seeking process.

2 comments:

TimT said...

What a very odd passage to quote from a very odd poem to cite in the circumstances. Best of luck to you, Slamma - presuming, that is, you want the job.

DS said...

I do indeed wish to be hired at that strange and inexplicably whimsical place. Thank you for the luck.