“Ew. That smell.”
I had taken off my pajamas before I was completely awake. It was the odor that brought me out of a sound sleep, but I live with a dog. She sometimes doesn’t smell so great. But as I glanced at her, having emerged from under the covers and sitting at the head of the bed, I wrinkled my nose and rolled over.
It was then that I felt a sort of wet goo that had been on part of the large t-shirt I wear to sleep touched my skin. Horrified and confused, I removed my clothing and tossed it to the floor before I frantically tried to figure out what had gone so horribly wrong.
Chienne, confused by all the activity, had removed herself from the room. I reached toward where she had been sitting – obviously still mostly asleep – and encountered more of the substance. At this point I recoiled, finding myself standing – completely unclothed – next to the bed. I blinked when I turned on the lamp, stared at the pajamas puddle on the floor and the icky on my pretty blue sheets and shook my head with how incomprehensibly gross this all was. I finally reached for new clothes, stripped the bed and tossed things in the washer. I scrubbed myself clean and dressed once again in new clothes and walked out to find my dog.
I braced myself and sniffed at her, finding the foul smell coming from her hind end and shuddered. I find I am without words to express the utter horror of waking in the middle of the night to find that an anal gland has apparently burst and gotten ON YOU while you were SLEEPING. I was kept awake until nearly 4:30 by this awful realization, but I finally settled into the guest room while my sheets washed for the second time in a row and went to sleep.
“Rise and Shine. Give God the glory, glory…”
The guest room is – inexplicably – the only one in the house without at least one clock. I’m fond of knowing the time and I’m not sure why I don’t have some sort of time-telling device in there. Sprout is the room’s most frequent occupant, though I do sleep quite deeply on the bed. Knowing that I would likely rest well in there, I opened the blinds so that the light would wake me.
It did and I groaned at the idea of having to get up. I told Friend I would get her to work by 9 if she decided to drive out to my house last night. I dragged myself out of bed and down the hall, knowing only that coffee was absolutely vital if the plan of getting to work early had the slimmest chance of success. My brain was working hard, bless it, singing the rise and shine song with every neuron and synapse it could recruit. But it wasn’t enough – my head ached with the need for more rest and I returned to the guest room to hear the bed creak around me and the comforter crinkle soothingly around my shoulders as I ‘rested my eyes’ for ‘just a few more minutes.’
I woke an hour later and went to wake Friend about 15 minutes later than I’d promised.
“You have to get up now. It’s late. Quarter after seven.” I shook my head at the idea that such an hour could be classified as late, but she moved toward the shower obediently, head stuck firmly in an Ambien fog. I was relieved to find her dressed not much later and directed her toward the travel mug in front of the coffee pot. I made sure she was buckled in before moving my car toward campus, pleased only by the fact that the carpool lane appeared to be moving faster than the others and that we made decent time fighting traffic.
“Oh, well, whatever, nevermind.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else?” Ken asked when we arrived at the office at nearly the same time. I smiled sheepishly and shrugged as he continued to look at me inquisitively.
“I don’t want the job,” I finally said. “I was dreading the visit and if I can’t muster any enthusiasm to meet them, how can I think of working with them? So I tried and tried to talk myself into it, but I couldn’t. So I canceled. And today I need to officially tell her I’m not really interested anymore.”
“So what’s up with the search?” he asked.
“Good question,” I replied.
“No. You’ll just have to wait.”
After email discussions with Carrie and Advisor, they were both convinced I had no desire to take that post-doc and that I should be in touch with Director to see what was up with the faculty position for which I interviewed in December. So I did. I wrote about how I’d be willing to discuss post-doc or scientist level spots, I mentioned my qualifications and how very comfortable I felt there. I made a strong, yet charming, case!
And opened an email this morning that thanked me for my thoughts and suggested we talk in late March. That will - for those of us keeping track (just me? really?) - be three months since my interview and upwards of 4 months since our initial discussions that I’ve heard nothing. I stared at the words and replied that “I noted the suggested date on my calendar and would look forward to (or dread slightly - whichever is appropriate) talking to you then.”
At that point, I blinked back tears, sighed at how many hours were left in the day and clicked over to my Google webpage and looked at my list of things to do.
“The sun will come out! (Just briefly.)”
I dug the phone from my purse when it rang, glancing at a number I didn’t recognize and letting the call go to voicemail while I checked the area code.
“[Pseudo-academic job location!]” I said to Ken. “Oh, I wonder if they’re calling to schedule an interview!” I waited impatiently for the phone to bloop with its voice mail noise and hurried up the steps to stand in the sunshine where I could get a better signal. I listened to the voice mail and returned to my office to grab a pen and paper.
“Wednesday!” I told Ken and he nodded at me absently before I scampered up the stairs again. I spoke to the assistant who is coordinating my visit, thrilled at the chance to visit a city I love, cooed at the idea of a really nice hotel on Tuesday night and found myself eager to make the trip, meet the people and try to impress them enough to hire me.
I basked in utter relief for several moments - I am still capable of eager anticipation. It’s not that I’m so bitter and depressed that I hate everything - it’s that the right opportunities haven’t been offered yet. (Or let’s at least say that’s true for now.) I get to write a short talk and tour the labs and see how I can contribute to the aims of this particular center. And I find myself very eager to do so.
“La, la…” Humming randomly. “Dum dum dum…”
I made progress on various projects. I had lunch with Friend. I wrote to Pretty Accent and told her I wouldn’t be ready to make a decision for at least a month so I understood that she’d likely want to interview other candidates to find someone sooner. I worked some more. I sent an update email to Boss and emailed some documents to myself so I could work while I traveled. I fetched Friend when she said she could leave. Pretty Accent replied and wished me luck, allowing me to return the sentiment and sigh with relief that I didn’t have to interview for a job I didn’t want. Friend and I battled traffic and had Chinese for dinner. I tried unsuccessfully to coax her from her tears. I washed my sheets for the fourth time and put them in the dryer.
And then I finished a blog post.