18 August 2008

Let's Go, Already! KISS

Not much accomplished today. Oh well. I've still got another day of freedom left. On Wednesday, I have to go to a professional development workshop at the college. Then classes start next Monday.

I'm still torn between opening the windows during the next eleven months or barreling through those months on autopilot. Right now, I just want to get to the surgery already. The new job seems like an inconvenience, something that has to be endured. I already know a lot of faculty members--and the chair--in the English Department. But somehow I wish I didn't. I also wish I had a job in which I didn't have to spend so much time interacting with people. I'd like to be able simply to come and go. Why couldn't the provost have made me a paper-pusher? I could work by myself and not have to hear any more questions or comments about me or my life. I wouldn't have to be part of any duplicity or to live by any mendacity. All right, so I did that every day for 45 years. What's another year?, you ask. Just one more year of telling mellifluous (or as mellifluous as I can make them) lies. That's not much for him or anyone to ask of me, right? And, Malcolm, you only have to hear the "N" word one more time. Just one more time.

Of course Malcolm had it harder and faced it all with more courage than I ever could. So maybe I shouldn't liken my situation to his.

Right now I want only to be around people I know very, very well and trust completely. All the politicking, all the going along to get along (which usually doesn't lead to getting along anyway), all the aimless, mindless chatter is just a waste of emotional and mental energy. Most interactions with academicians, with the so-called intellectuals, are no more stimulating than listening to a Wall Street trader bark out an order. And even that's more enlightening than reading articles with titles like "The Otherness of the Other: Post-Structuralist Deconstruction of The Yellow Brick Wall."

Why couldn't I have reported to work on some job in which no one notices when I come or go? I could just ask HR for my leave time and come back after the surgery, with no one the wiser for it. As it stands, I'll go in on Wednesday and everyone will have something to say, or are afraid to ask directly, about my getting the full-time faculty position. And I really don't feel like talking about it with anybody. Nobody grills you that way when you have a desk job.

Not dwelling on the past has been a great help to me. Bruce says as much. At this time next year, do I want to be thinking much about this time? I think now of the chef who, when asked what he'd want to eat if he were going to die tomorrow, mentioned the foods he didn't like. "At least then I wouldn't be sad to go," he said.

That's sort of the way I feel. I don't want to look back wistfully. I want to move forward, to the next steps in the life I'm building. Nothing complicated, please.

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