Not sure it looks professional to swig out of one the 134,000 plastic water bottles you have accumulated over the years – you are not even sure what to do with them… throwing them out is bad right? Bad, bad, bad for the turtles. Can they be recycled? Now you have turtle guilt. OK, so a glass. Are there any clean ones? No, the dishwasher is full and not on – how is that even possible given you have spent 90% of lockdown emptying the dishwasher? You find an old Diptyque candle glass that you cleaned out once. Chic or mad?
Even after 143,031 days of lockdown you still haven’t ordered the ring light from Amazon that will make you look like you are softly glowing. Radiant even. Instead, every pre-Zoom is a mess of lighting fuckery, where you cover lamps with hippy scarves, fiddle with the dimmers, anything to fight the natural light – why you thought a desk by the window was a good idea. I mean seasonal anxiety disorder versus crone on screen?
Also where? Bed, so unprofessional. Also unclean. Also says nervous breakdown. Which you are having but that doesn’t mean you want everyone to know. Desk – natural light horror situation, as discussed. Kitchen table? Earthy, approachable. You don’t want to be approachable. Bath? Psycho control freak.
And just before you press join, a deep breath to remember who the fuck you are? But who the fuck are you? Oh sh-
Please don’t need to pee, please don’t need to pee, but you’ve nervously drunk so much water, from your Diptyque candle glass and your mouth tastes vaguely of Feu de Bois. Now you have an empty glass and a full bladder and it’s an ideas meeting and you have ideas (you don’t really) but you also have an overwhelming urge to run to the bathroom, lock yourself in and never come out again.
When should you speak? You want to look like you are paying attention, but also don’t want to interrupt or talk over someone; it’s a bit like when you are learning to drive and you first try and merge onto the motorway and you are slowly speeding up but the cars are coming, coming, coming. TRAUMATISING. Should you raise your hand? What is this? School?
Don’t look at self, don’t look at self, don’t look at self, you are literally dragging your eyes away from your face because instead of listening to the MD you are critically analysing every single aspect: your hair, face (are cosmetic doctors key workers? I am thinking yes), earrings (you thought pearls looked sophisticated but now it’s just screaming OCTOGENARIAN at you), neck (turkey), oversized collar (who are you kidding?), the whole effect is like the wolf in grandma’s clothing what with the beard, collar and depression cardigan. You are so frozen with horror that people actually think your screen has frozen and when you move, everyone gets a shock. You finally find the “hide self-view” button but by then you are so traumatised the meeting is lost.
You go on a shame spiral. It goes a little something like this… They’ll never talk to me again. I am going to be fired. My single, solitary not-really-an idea was terrible. I had chia seed in my teeth from the smoothie I made because I am trying to be healthy because I am atrophying. So I looked like I was atrophying.
Also my teeth, all that lockdown grinding (not a euphemism) and Jesus I need a brace, are Invisalign specialists key workers?
The sweat. Zoom sweat. You get so hot and bothered that you basically have Zoom flushes. You are going to have to change. AGAIN.
Also I’ve forgotten what I am supposed to be doing. Did the MD ask me to do something? Who can I ask? Is there anyone I can trust? Is there anyone out there? Maybe I should have a little Zoom recovery nap. Next one is in 15 minutes. I will just close my eyes. Working in bed is great. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?