Friday, November 30, 2012

beginning at the end

Yesterday was a bit like Space Mountain or Flight of Fear – one of those roller coasters in the dark where you can’t see what’s going to happen next. It started out as one of those shit days when I could hardly drag myself out of bed because I didn’t want to face another day of work. The real problem is that I am completely burnt out and uninspired by anything happening at work these days. What a waste of life to sit in a cubicle nine hours a day doing nothing that matters. The only good thing about it is the paycheck.

So there I sat, buried up to my eyeballs in virtual hell, all the while in the back of my mind debating whether I’d rather slit my wrists and bleed out slowly or just have my throat slashed open like I saw on Dexter a few weeks ago (the victim died almost instantly). I know from experience when the knife is very sharp, you hardly feel it at all. A girl I went through school with worked as a teacher in the Lucasville prison and was killed by one of her students who was already on death row. In a single swipe with a sharpened metal bed slat, he nearly cut her head off. She was in her early 30’s when this happened. To this day, I wonder why tax dollars are spent to educate people sentenced to die.

I accidentally chopped my knee with a hatchet once. It was a very cold day (below zero), which contributed. I remember seeing the slit in my jeans and thinking, “Damn, I’ve put a hole in my jeans.” I continued to chop wood and after a few minutes, started to feel a strange feeling on my knee. I stopped and checked out the slit again and found it aligned with a similar hole in the long johns I was wearing under my jeans. I saw an ever so slight hint of blood too. “Well shit! How about that! Cut my long johns too.” Still not realizing the obvious implications of the holes in my clothes, I chopped another minute and felt the weird feeling in my leg again. I stopped and checked out the holes, then adjusted my clothes a bit and found the holes aligned with similar very deep gash that made me swoon to see it. What was interesting is that it hardly bled at all until I went back into the cabin and started to warm up. I learned a valuable lesson that day about using sharp tools, and am very grateful I didn’t chop a finger or thumb off – it could have easily happened.

Sorry for the digression there….

Anyway, so it was a shit morning. Then just before noon, my academic advisor called to chat. I asked her to go ahead and schedule me into fourth-year residency next month to get it out of the way so it wouldn’t hold me up when I'm ready to submit. She suggested that since I had no specific need to go, she could defer it. If my dissertation passes the final quality review within six months of first submitting it, she will cancel the residency completely. WHAT?? I didn’t even know deferral was an option. That brightened my day considerably and now I’m officially deferred from attending residency (and still happy about that).

I got home from work yesterday and hoped to start writing Chapter 4 of my dissertation. I no more than opened files and got situated to start when the phone rang. Older Brother called which turned into a long, convoluted conversation. He doesn’t have a good grasp on reality or much of anything else besides his vodka bottle (that's mean to say, but unfortunately true). We hung up and then I called Younger Brother to get the real story. It’s a complicated situation as most things are for alcoholics. Older Brother needs to get on government assistance and find a place to live ASAP. He lived on the street when he was younger, but he won’t survive long without shelter in his current state and given the fact that it’s almost winter. I suppose Older Brother has become my new project :(

So with most of the evening shot, I tried to work again, but Gracie wanted to play. She pestered me - dropping toys beside my chair, chewing on my sleeve and chair, pulling papers off my desk , etc. Obviously she is feeling much better since her encounter with the bee’s nest. I took her for a walk hoping she would sleep afterwards. To make the long story short, after the walk before I got her shock collar back on, she escaped out the door and bolted into the neighbor’s yard. Of course she wouldn’t come when I called. I worked for 30 minutes trying to catch her. She would come almost close enough for me to catch her, but then take off…teasing me. I told her, “Fine then! Get yourself hit by a car. You better hope you die because you’re max’d out on your healthcare benefits.” That was a lie. We have no pet healthcare insurance, but Gracie’s recent bout with the bees cost me about $500. When Gracie was ready to come home, she very politely sat in our driveway at the “invisible gate” waiting for me to bring her back into the yard.

So much for Chapter 4. I wrote two sentences of the introduction and went to bed. So it begins….

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