Admitting me five minutes earlier,
the necklace reached to just below the knees.
Shortened now to three loops round her neck,
she moved the beads like they
were on some sort of abacus -
and would continue so to do
throughout the interview.
Reclining on an ancient chesterfield,
no model ever gave more thought to matters
of the pose, before she'd motion me
towards a leather easy chair.
The shaggy hound who'd followed us
from the front door, now took up residence
stretched out upon the floor
between me and my only exit.
For interview she trotted out the
necessary questions: how would
you organise the math for, say,
a class of ten year olds? I gave -
I think - the necessary answers:
Somehow it felt unreal, like we were acting
on a stage before an audience we could not see.
And then the unexpected question: Would I like
a brandy or Dubonnet? The punctuation mark
between the formal and the chat.
And all the while the clock ticked on
I was planning my escape.
There seemed no chance - until
the necklace broke. Some beads rolled out
across the floor, but most had disappeared
into her ample cleavage. I saw my chance.
No hesitation, I was on my feet,
palm raised in front of me. Don't move!
I cried. I'll find my own way out!
Remarkably, I got the job. Years later, though,
I learned: The dog it was chose me.
He'd liked me from the first, she said -
and that was good enough for her.
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