19 March 2009

Here and Coming

Amazing, what just a little R&R will do for you. The twitches I'd been experiencing disappeared, at least for now. I hope they don't return. According to my doctor and my own research, they were the result of stress. So they probably weren't too serious; they were more annoying than anything else.

I'm coming to the conclusion that going to school is not good for my health. I never was happy as a student, in spite--or because?--of my love of reading and learning. All through high school, college and graduate school, I was unhealthy and usually depressed. And so I have been for the past few weeks.

I really thought that maybe, just maybe, things would be different this time. After all, I was taking an academic course for the first time in sixteen years, and I don't have to tell you I've experienced a lot of change since then. (Now you know that I didn't need to vote for Obama for that!)

What's more, although the course I signed up for wasn't what I really wanted to do, I thought it would draw upon some of my strengths and make me more conscious of something or another. And, on the first day, I really liked the prof.

Actually, I still like her. She's a scholar, and that's how she's teaching the course, as well she should. However, theory is something I never did well, and at my age, probably never will. Plus, I simply don't have the patience to navigate the maze of verbiage that's in most of what we've read in that class.

I don't know whether I'll ever get the paper done, or how I'll do the presentation I'm scheduled to make on Tuesday. I know, I should be working on them now instead of blogging. But I simply can't keep myself focused on the material. I know there are always boring things to read and uninteresting tasks. But I might be able to work through them if there was at least some compelling reason, some purpose, some light at the end of the tunnel, or whatever you want to call it.

So what's the purpose of this blog, you ask? Well, it's first and foremost a way for me to express, create, vent, self-indulge and do all those other things associated with doing something for the pleasure of doing it. And hopefully, dear reader (Now I'm getting all retro on you.), you will find it interesting, amusing or somehow captivating. Finally, I want this to lead me to an appearance on Oprah.

Uh-huh. I couldn't even make it on to Jeopardy. Yes, I tried out for it when it was in New York about three years ago. I still have the pen they gave me to fill out the forms. I've used it to fill out other forms and to write notes and to create the Sistene Chapel of graffiti in my bathroom.

All right. So I didn't create the Sistene Chapel of graffiti, or anything else, in my bathroom or anywhere else. It sounds like a cool idea. The only problem is, I'd have to paint over it when or if I move. Then again, I might be here for who-knows-how-long.

And, really, I can't use the pen too much more than I already have. Otherwise, it'll get scratched up, and I'll never be able to sell it on eBay. Then again, do I really want to sell my precious Jeopardy pen on some cheesy online auction site?

As for graffiti--It's just about impossible to do anymore. Rumor has it that the bathrooms at the college, and other places, have video cameras in them. And, in the bathroom I use most often when I'm at work, each stall has a sign warning that graffiti is a crime. It's pretty garish-looking, and would be slightly less so with a skull and crossbones on it. Whoever's monitoring that video camera must have a really unfulfilling life: I mean, after all, he or she has to see that sign and people like me in partial stages of undress. For that, he or she should demand redress. But that person won't, and that's exactly the reason why he or she was hired for that job.

No redress for undress. How's that for a slogan? Sounds like a critic's comment about a really bad porn movie. As if I know what bad porn movies look like...

On another topic entirely, Dominick said he thinks I'm trying to escape from people. That's more or less what I've felt like lately. I simply can't hold a conversation with anybody: all I can do is register volumes and occasionally nod or make monosyllabic replies. When they ask for my opinion, I don't have one or I can't say what I'm actually thinking without upsetting somebody. Not that I care so much about their feelings: I just don't want to get into arguments or other pointless exchanges with anybody.

To give an example: The coordinator in charge of the composition classes sent an e-mail asking whether we agreed with a change she wanted to ask the publishing company to make in one of the textbooks used for that course. In reply, I wrote that the original edition of the book had two extremely useful chapters that were lopped off the current edition. Then I wondered, "When are we going to get away from trendy topics and get back to basics?" Someone's going to excoriate me for that one, I know.

Somehow I feel that my time remaining to me is very, very limited. I have only three and a half months until my surgery, and I really don't want to waste this time. After the surgery, there will be five or six weeks of recovery. Then, I don't know what I'll be able to do, or when. I mean, ultimately, I should be able to do everything I can do now except to piss against a tree. (Not that I've done that lately.) But how long will it take?

Plus, I get the feeling that the time I have after my surgery will be even more precious than what I have now. I don't know how many more days, months, years I will have after my recovery. But I sense somehow that it will be even more of a privilege granted to me, and that I must not take it for granted. Somehow I think it will be like the time someone has after a cancer has been treated into remission. Or, maybe it will be like the time someone has after a negative result for a test taken after his or her friends or loved ones have died from AIDS.

At times like that, there's just no room for bullshit. If you're going to interact with people, it has to be meaningful and affirmative, not wasted on trivialities. For me, those times are here and coming.

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