Why didn’t I get this gig?
Why? It’s been the only thing on my mind for two days straight. I keep going over and over what I could have done better or wrong. Was it something I said? Did? Was I too eager? I know I wanted it bad. I probably walked into the interview like it was going to save me. It reminds me of when I had an audition for E! I stood in this tiny room reading the teleprompter, voice trembling, armpits sweating, like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Why was I so nervous? I had experience in TV. I gotta figure this out. I have to.
Maybe a run in the park will help. Aside from writing, it’s where I have some of my biggest epiphanies.
So I’m running and thinking, and running and thinking. I’m almost at the park, about to cross the street, when WHACK! Something hits me in the back. I feel claws and fur and OMG! It’s a freakin’ squirrel! It ricochets off my back, onto my hip and down the side of my leg, then runs away. I look around for someone to share my shock, my pain, my horror. But there’s no one. I don’t know what to do so I run faster. I run all the way to Alaska. When I finally catch my breath I am exhausted, leaning against a wall.
Why did that squirrel jump on me?!
It was my worst nightmare realized. Ever since grade school when I saw a picture of a squirrel with teeth protruding out of his mouth like four giant fangs I wanted nothing to do with them. They terrify me. The only thing that used to give me peace is that they never get close to people. They actually run from people. So this feels like a freak moment. My husband thinks that it was a bad jump. Like maybe he missed a branch or something. It’s possible but what are the chances that he would miss that branch right when I happened to be running by? Besides, I’ve never seen squirrels randomly falling from trees. It seemed more deliberate than that.
I get on Facebook. I need to know why a squirrel would jump on me. The comments come rolling in, but the only one that makes a little bit of sense is that it may have been a reincarnated relative. But what would Granny wanna tell me as a squirrel?
Next I’m on google: What does it mean when a squirrel jumps on you? Click.
There’s all kinds of reasons why a bird shits on you, but squirrels? Nothing. There are a few bite cases, but that’s it. And those people were trying to turn squirrels into pets. Of course, they’re gonna bite you. There was also this guy who was in the woods with a dog and his camera and after the squirrel grilled him from a distance, he ran up to him, bit his leg, and ran off. Now one could argue that he was in the squirrels territory, taking pictures and generally feeling too comfortable. But me, I was on the street offending no wildlife whatsoever. It doesn’t make any sense.
The next day, I’m on the computer when my mom calls. “How are you doing?” I tell her about the squirrel. She’s quiet.
“Did you hear me, ma?”
“I was calling about the gig. The last time we spoke you were upset.”
“Why do you think it happened?”
“I don’t know. And it doesn’t even matter, you gotta stop obsessing over things. Last week it was the post office, a few days ago it was the gig, now it’s a squirrel.”
“Ma, a squirrel JUMPED on me, I can’t just dismiss it like nothing happened. What if it was a sign from God?”
“It was God telling you to move on.”
“I gotta go, ma”
Why did she say that? Why is she always so judgmental? Why? Why?
…Why is she so right? She’s so right. I feel like I’m going to lose my mind with all these questions, it’s so exhausting. And what if I’ve been asking the wrong question? What if it’s not about the why but the so what? I didn’t get the gig, so what. A squirrel jumped on me, so what. I’m sick of living in the past; and being stuck. I get it. Thanks Ma.
By Erickka Sy Savané