The One After the Interview

“everyone is amazing at the interview.”
the words linger in my thoughts on the train back home.

plain and simply stated,
they implied nothing but what was meant
when they were spoken in the empty restaurant;

but as the distance between myself and their speaker grows,
the words themselves grow.
they take on a broader and vaguer meaning.

as i near my home and the solitude therein,
the phrase increases in scale and import.
it fills the available space left by those
42nd street crowds.

42nd street, brimming with rushed faces
and populated by the places where they need to be.

there is no time to see anything
but what is set in front of you.
no time for anything but simple and direct meaning.

but, on the other side of my front door,
quite apart from the sound and fury of the city;
i am free to populate the dim vacancy
with amiguities and secondary implications.

“everyone is amazing at the interview.”

this statement traverses areas of my life
that it has no business venturing into,
but to which it seems well applied.

i think of past lovers and friends:
how they seemed to shrink and wither with each new meeting.

the mystery of a new face
gives opportunity to build an ideal upon it.

then, day after day, the narrow beam of your perception
probes the aspects of this previously unknown character,
until you find that it is, in fact, wholly unimpressive.

“everyone is amazing at the interview.”

a thoughtless phrase uttered offhand and,
surely, almost immediately forgotten.