Nepal 107: The End of the Dream

“Are you okay?”

These are not words one wants to hear in the middle of a job interview.

And yet, that was exactly what the Austrian woman asked me, halfway through my interview. “Are you okay?”

The answer was obviously no, anyone but I could have seen that.

But I said yes. Everything was fine. I was good.

I would not get the job in Austria.

I knew that as soon as I hung up the video chat. My first words, in that dingy hotel room, spoken to no one in particular, were: “That did not go well.”

It had been a bad idea to schedule an interview for the day I returned from a 10-day trek. It had been a bad idea to schedule an interview while I was in Nepal. It had been a bad idea to come to Nepal in the first place. I knew all that.

I was too tired to care, honestly.

Physically, mentally, emotionally — I was all used up.

This was the end, I knew then. I had known for a while, probably, but I had just kept on walking, hoping it would go away. Hoping I could persevere, find a new burst of energy, find a bench, built by some kind stranger to rest on. Hoping a metaphorical Anker would appear with his words of encouragement: “slowly, slowly. We are almost there.”

It hadn’t happened. And on some deep level, I hadn’t expected it to happen. But I had hoped.

I called Holly on Skype, and we talked for hours. We fell asleep with each other, nothing between us but the cold glow of a computer screen.

***

ACT BREAK / END OF PART 4

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