I had a job interview today.
Job interviews are a source of stress for me, starting with deciding what to wear. I usually choose the conservative black skirt with a top and jazz it up a bit with a belt. It’s not really my style, but I have to be mindful of the message the outfit gives, especially since I never know who I’ll be talking to.
I have to take extra care with my hair, because my curly mop likes to show out on warm, humid summer days. Shave my legs. Make sure I run the pet roller over my clothes. Do I wear make-up or not? This day I decided not to.
I run over questions that might be asked, and how best to answer. Greatest strength? I am diligent and determined. Weakness? What’s a nice way to say I’m intolerant of intolerance? Hmmm….
Actually I’m having a hard time focusing, because I’m worried about Bubba Cat. He’s having another spell where he does’t want to eat. Should I try other kinds of foods? He ate great while he stayed at Mom’s when I was in Memphis. Should I load him up and take him to her house to see if he’ll eat there? I’m willing to consider all options.
On the drive in I listen to NPR, because that’s what nerds like me do. At the top of each hour our local station airs a national news brief. That’s when I heard it:
ACTIVE SHOOTER IN HUNTSVILLE.
I’m from Huntsville. I have family there. Friends. Where in Huntsville? Redstone Arsenal? Doesn’t my brother work there?
I check Twitter for what’s being said. Not much other than local news outlets reporting the Arsenal is on lockdown. I’m breathing fast. My heart’s racing. Adrenaline’s rushing through my body.
I burst into tears.
In those few moments so many thoughts ran through my head. Is everyone OK? Is the situation under control? Could the shooter be someone I know???
I texted my brother. He’s OK.
But my body doesn’t automatically calm down, because that’s not how adrenaline works. Oh well, so much for that interview. I wonder what they thought of a hyped-up woman with a red face. I considered telling them why, but after feeling out the interview panel, I decided against it.
Later I learned there never was an active shooter. That’s all I know; there hasn’t exactly been an explanation of what happened.
I wish that on no one.