When the woman on the phone asks for a meeting, I envision a comfortable table, a set of four stiff-backed chairs, a pitcher of ice water with four to six glasses, and a smallish window where some gloomy ray of sunlight strains to show through dusty blinds.
In other words, a setting like most of the interviews I’ve endured these past six months.
I knew nothing about this company when I applied for the positon of “Director of Possibilities”; we’ve only communicated by e-mail. At my age – on the upside of middle-age – I’m in dire straits, having applied for dozens of jobs in my field: CREATIVITY. My applications have been repeatedly denied. Each of those firms want someone “fresh,” “innovative,” “a thinker outside the box” – their terms for why I don’t get chosen for the job.
I know the real reason. Ageism.
But my spirits rise as I prepare for this up-coming meeting. I wear my trendiest “young” clothes: blue jeans with a snag at the knees (which I pay extra for), an orange sweater with a loose scarf around my neck to hide the wrinkles, and high-top florescent blue sneakers.
Thank God for the sneakers, I think with a doomed sense of humor as I park the car at the address I’ve been given. Turns out I’m in a state park. The instructions, just texted to me on my phone, state:
“Follow the path for five minutes. At the fork, bear left. At the pond, bear right. Then follow the birch trees to the chairs.”
And now here I am. Three empty chairs on a bed of tall green grass await with wildflowers dancing wildly in the background. No one else in sight.
I THINK I’M GOING TO LOVE THIS INTERVIEW.
I wrote this piece of flash fiction after viewing the photo prompt, above. I wonder what YOU imagine when you view this picture?