Oh. My. God. I think I need to take a break from our regularly scheduled Indian saga to tell you about my evening, because it was just that insane. Like, crazier than India.
I probably shouldn’t reveal many identifying details about the first part of this story, so let’s just say that I may or may not have been interviewing a candidate for something at some bookstore cafe and he or she may or may not have actually been off the wall. Like, clearly had some serious, serious problems that would normally elicit sympathy from me (Asberger’s, something of that sort) except he was also AN ASSHOLE. He refused to answer every single question I asked (“What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced?” “What are you most proud of”) because it was not a quantifiable question and there were no metrics he could use to answer, obviously. Then he started speaking in variables and advanced mathematical lingo (something about isophors? is that even real?) and really the only part I caught was when he started using Ursula Le Guin as an example of why all writing, like the act of writing and creating characters, is philosophically impossible. Yes, impossible. He laughed in my face several times and told me my questions were bad and that they sounded like they came from a list (which, yeah, they did, but seriously?) At that point I asked him if there was any way he could communicate anything about himself to me, to which he again laughed and tried to explain to me why the answer was no – something about a theory of matter and the axiom of choice and at this point I just wanted to run away.
Instead, I stayed, planted myself at the table for long after he walked away, because I was scared of running into him somewhere, anywhere else. Still reeling, I took out my computer and started mindlessly browsing the Internets. I was considering asking the people around me if they had overheard any of the conversation, just because I needed some proof that it had actually happened, that’s how surreal it was, so I start paying attention to the guy next to me’s conversation, waiting for the right moment to jump in with my “dude, did you see what just happened to me!?”
Except this guy next to me is speaking authoritatively about how 500,000 people die in India each year from Cobra bites and I’m thinking, hm, that doesn’t sound right, and sure enough Google confirms that it’s more along the lines of 10,000 – which is still surprisingly high but definitely not 1/2 mil. And then he starts talking about his time in Vietnam and how the government is killing thousands of people in Iraq because they know too much, and I’m all, that’s kind of weird but it’s not like I really liked George W. that much either, so sure, more power to you and your conspiracy theories. And I’m still about to ask him about my crazy interview when he brings up the extraterrestrials. You know, the ones that have come to our planet seeking the highest form of intelligence we have to offer. And that’s when I decide I need to leave. Immediately. So off I go, about a half hour early, to my ironically scheduled therapist appointment and all I can think is, dude. There are people who need this wayyyy more than I do.