|Not pictured: me|
In the office, I am the one sweating like a pig under the brown suit, stifled by the atmosphere, babbling about something only tangentially related to the question asked. The interviewer, busy and over-worked, scribbles down notes, attempting to appear innocuous but mired in judgements, numerically noted on the paper as inscrutable as it can be done. Of course, I catch the parade of zeros and twos, occasionally a one, and can see the words going down but, for once, I am unable to read the writing upside down. Either the handwriting is carefully created to be unreadable or it is an accident of happenstance, no matter, my usual trick of keeping tabs and responding accordingly is lost.
|Me as a child|
|Me in my head. But brunette.|
Had this cold child not been born then maybe the sister would have survived, being a first child she would have been closer to the parents, not in a crib outside the bedroom as had been learned with the noisy bastard who preceded her. Had she lived then the stresses that followed that death, made worse by the ever-accusing glare of that strangely quiet little bastard with the stare and the insistence in the grunting that would eventually become speech, would have been avoided. A marriage may have been saved by the affairs that never happened and, with that, the move that would never have become necessary to attempt a new start. The brother would not have been as extremely 'favourited' and so, if divorce did come later, would not have had so bruising a fall and so nasty a punishment from both of the parents as they strove to come to terms with the realisation that they had a favourite and it was the same child. Without that little shit there would have been no up-ending of friendships in the primary school on the hill, no brooding jealousy from a young boy with largely uneducated parents bombarding for so many years with the horrendous phrase, insidious and evil: "why can't you be more like him?"
|So much easier.|
Tilly would have stayed with Scrabble Boy, empowered when she dumped him and had children with someone who would not have introduced the genetic coding for ASD, thus preventing at least two more autistic children from entering the world. A boss who would have kept his choice for a job, created that person rather than having that resentment at having been wrong but being unable to place why eat away at his soul. No constant reminder to slowly drive him over the edge and into the abuse of trust in a relationship with students nor bullying of his staff. From that, no departmental issue for an incoming Head of Department. No quisling who went to another school only to return. Toby would have calmed earlier, found a secure relationship quicker and perhaps enjoyed herself more, maybe even stayed friends with those with whom she shared a house rather than employing a little entitled shit as a means to sow discord.
That was the real answer.
It was a six-hour appointment. I didn't realise how gruelling until I tried to function today and found my ability sapped. Until I realised just how much I couldn't give a shit and how little enthusiasm remained. Will it end with a diagnosis? Probably. Maybe not. It's another three months until I shall know. Were I deleted from history my interviewer would have had a better Wednesday, that much I am certain of, or at the very least helped someone who might actually benefit from the interaction rather than the piece of shit they got who will most likely undermine or subvert whatever comes from it.