The big hand moves to the hour. In a minute I will meet a person that can change my life.
Seconds tick menacingly.
What if I don’t say the right thing or even make an idiot of myself? What if I spill coffee over my host’s papers? Better not have coffee.
I’m sure they have a thousand candidates that are a million time more qualified. Perhaps I should apologize.
Sorry, sorry. So sorry to waste your time.
OK, pull yourself together. You’re a grown man and we’re just going have a professional interview. They ask questions and study me and I’m going to blow them away with charm and confidence.
I am reminded of the time when as a 14 year old I really wanted to date this girl. I wasn’t sure what I wanted but figured that cinema was a pretty safe bet.
I sat next to the phone for days. When courage had sufficiently built up, I would pick up the phone and dial half the digits.
What if she says no? I will never have a second chance. What if she laughs and tells her girlfriend? I would have to leave town.
Days became weeks but one day, I noticed that her smile was particularly friendly and so I picked up the phone and dialled the whole number.
Bad luck, it was her grannie’s birthday. She was ever so nice and I didn’t feel rejected. Even so, it didn’t occur to me to suggest another day. I had slayed the telephone dragon and that was enough for the day.
Butterflies in my stomach. Will they hire me? One day, I will look back at the next hour and determine that my life took a right turn here. Or a left turn. Whatever it will be, it will be a turning point.
Isn’t that what life is, a story of left and right turns. Each turn takes us into new territory and new turnings will present themselves.
In the end, it is the turnings that matter, not whether they were right or wrong.
A smartly dressed lady reaches out to me.
I turn my charm button to 100 and reach out to shake her hand. I smile as you smile when your best friend introduces you to his girlfriend. Friendly and inoffensive.
Ms Kent? I am delighted to meet you. It’s wonderful to put a face to your name.
Life made a little right turn today. We got on well and we’ll be talking further. They were just announcing a huge restructuring and my timing was perfect, they said.
Back when I was 14, I never made it to that cinema date. But I have been to many cinema’s since then and although I remember the date that never was, it didn’t stop life, as I feared.
How can it be otherwise? One more date. One more job. We always live to tell the tale.