Close this search box.

Waiting for an Interview

Waiting for an Interview
Toby Garside

Tick, tick, tick.

I can feel it.

That feeling racing down my vertebrae like a thousand lightning bolts; a feeling that needs to be silenced. A series of jolts pulsing through my body, timed to the beating of my heart; jolts that I need to cease. I picture, in my own head, my veins filling up with this penetrating sense of nothing, cutting through the electricity that’s surging through me. That stinging ache retreating completely.

It isn’t working.

Tick, tick, tick.

All I can do is sit there, staring numbly at the cracks in that colourless wall in front of me. A blank wall of white nothing, a perfect picture of what I need to feel inside. All this, as I try to keep my body as stiff and as rigid as a marble statue. Statues don’t think, do they? They don’t think about walls or veins or spinal columns or any of that other nonsense. They aren’t burdened by fear or anxiety. They’re perfectly still.

So why can’t I be the same?

Tick, tick, tick.

Tap, tap, tap.

Ah, there it is. The betrayal.

My right foot, hitting the floor with the force you’d expect from a jackhammer. I can see it out of the corner of my eye. My knee shuddering up and down, up and down, vibrating against the ceramic tiles. I can hear the dull thuds ringing in the silence. I turn around to stare at the receptionist at the other end of the room, tapping away on her computer. Can she hear it? Perhaps she’ll turn around any second now, expecting there to be a woodpecker hammering at the floor with its beak. Perhaps she’d shoo it out through the open window to my left, watching as it flies away into the sunlight.

I’d give anything to have wings right now. Anything.

Tick, tick, tick.

I can see the seconds hand turning with every mechanical ‘tick.’ From 55 seconds- to 52 seconds. Soon, there will be nothing left. And with every passing second, I can feel the gorge rising slightly in my throat, fresh from my grumbling stomach. Swallowing doesn’t work; my mouth feels as dry and as cracked as a desert. The ‘slow, regulated breathing’ that I’ve always been taught to do is non-existent. And then there’s the leg of course; practically drilling a hole through the floor at the rate its going. Drilling it at the same rate as my heart is beating. My body isn’t filled with nothing. Every part of me feels alive. And that’s the worst thing imaginable.

5 seconds. 2 seconds. 0 sec-

The phone rings.

So perfectly on time, that it almost makes me laugh. I watch the receptionist as she picks it up, listens, and then places it back down again. Like a judge with their hammer, pronouncing my sentence. She turns to me and speaks.

“They’ll see you now, sir.”