Contemplation & Coconut

Karim Anani’s recipe for self-inflicted anxiety:

  1. Find the perfect job. Something that fits so well you realise you’ve just fallen in love with a job description.
  2. Write a covering letter. Work it until it meets the highest quality standard you know: your own.
  3. After waiting a day, comb through the covering letter, editing as necessary.
  4. Discover that they want you to copy-paste the content into a text form. Send in the letter after fixing the formatting (butchered by the form).
  5. Realise you forgot to add a double-spaced paragraph at one point when fixing.
  6. Try not to worry about it.
  7. Look at the rest of the jobs section on their website.
  8. Realise that the covering letter you wrote, while good, objectively, isn’t nearly as funny as the website is.
  9. But you needed to be professional. Your second-to-last paragraph was a bit jokey, too…
  10. God, you are so right for this job. If only they’d notice.
  11. This is like your first crush all over again.
  12. It’s fine. Probably.
  13. Continue working, compartmentalising your oversight. Maybe they’ll still be interested.
  14. Hit the gym afterwards; enjoy the post-workout shower by affirming that your choice of coconut shampoo at the shop earlier was, in fact, the right one.
  15. Go to bed, a little anxious and really rather hopeful.
  16. At least you smell like coconut.

**

Unlike recent posts, this actually happened: the job listing was professional, but warm and humorous, and the more I read on my potential employer, the more eager I’ve been to work with them, which is why I’ve been checking the state of my application twice a day since I submitted it Saturday. There’s a serious Harry Potter-level hype vibe going around here.

The surrealism of being so excited—again, because of a job descriptionmade me think of a passage from Skippy Dies, Paul Murray’s excellent tragicomedy about misplaced faith in authority, in which Ruprecht, possible genius, contemplates his love of m-theory. I thought I’d share it with you before signing-out:

The more arguments he hears against it, the deeper his adoration grows for this esoteric, unreadable scripture that the crude unthinking world will not take time to understand—the longer he spends in his basement lost in topologies, mapping out the imaginary surfaces that undulate beneath its hyperspatial penumbra, shunning human company except for other faceless devotees in sleepless Internet chatrooms, reciting back and forth those golden shibboleths, string, multiverse, supersymmetry, gravitino, the theory’s hundred names…

In fact, maybe it is love after all. Why can’t we fall in love with a theory? Is it a person we fall in love with, or the idea of a person? So yes, Ruprecht has fallen in love. It was love at first sight, occurring the moment he saw Professor Tamashi present that initial diagram, and it has unfolded exponentially ever since. The question of reason, then, the question of evidence, these are wasted on him. Since when has love ever looked for reasons, or evidence? Why would love bow to the reality of things, when it creates a reality of its own, so much more vivid, wherein everything resonates to the key of the heart?