10 October 2013

Why I Booked a Hotel Room for the Weekend

After Coleridge.


It started with a fever and ended with a random drug search.

The start: Evidently, being exhausted can lead to other misfortunes, such as having a fever and a headache for the better part of a week, but there's nothing "better" about it, aside from the hot toddies, recommended highly by a new friend. Through a haze, I orchestrated a small presentation, involving a female-shaped portal and some sort of rodeo. I don't remember much. There was macaroni and cheese and delicious cake for dessert. My brain buzzed with activity and DayQuil.

On a separate day, let's call it the Thursday following, I wised-up and asked a silly question: "How am I doing?" That's when the collar tightened just a little bit. The answer was terrifying. I snarled, but only for a moment, and then I whimpered and understood. Shapes and figures, numbers and codes were as much a part of my programing as words. The template is rough, but that's what grad school is for. Weaknesses -- even if they are clinical and sterile, blossoming from the certainty of diagnoses -- are just challenges, invisible little steps. I don't need procedure and law to protect me when I have these bootstraps, which come in handy for pullin' myself up. Obviously. And when I scampered to my vehicle, which I had parked ten minutes before it was permitted, I was surprised to discover that, lo and behold, it was time to receive my first parking ticket. 3:50 PM is nowhere near 4:00 PM. I should've known better, but then again, numbers allude me.

Finally, I reached my destination. My emotions were threadbare, but I knew I'd be OK. Friends helped. Samuel Adams helped. And three short hours later, I was on my merry way. I didn't hear the sirens behind me, because I'm slightly hard of hearing, and also because, as the children proclaim, the jams were cranked. It had been seven years or thereabouts since a policeman had pulled me over. At that time, I was a sprightly college miss in a 1993 Ford Taurus. Tonight, I was a puffy 28-year-old in a 1996 Chevy Beretta, that was missing a front license plate. That was why he pulled me over, this gentleman who resembled a blond Matthew Broderick, only younger and, dare I say it, shorter. When I rolled my window down, however, he saw that I needed more anxiety in my life, so he told me that he would like to perform a random drug check, during which he asked me thrice if I possessed any weed. I have never touched weed, because I'm milquetoast, a stiff shirt, a square, and Matthew Broderick did not know it. He searched my vehicle. He did not find anything. He complimented me on how friendly and cooperative I was. It was because, as the children sometimes say, I am a dork.

And those are the reasons why I booked a hotel room for the weekend. No metaphorical collars, no numbers, no coppers -- just me, and maybe Samuel Adams.



03 October 2013

On Being a Bad Feminist

1.) I am running a fever, so I canceled my morning class. I apologized profusely in my various e-mails to relevant parties.
2.) In a class of mostly women, our male instructor and a male classmate proceeded to make the case that, despite our reading articles employing feminist rhetoric/methodology, there really isn't feminist theory, only feminist "stance." I lost my train of thought while trying to protest this claim and was interrupted by the instructor when the train of thought finally returned. Instead of trying to get the floor back, I apologized.
3.) My bedroom window faces the patio. The landlord/downstairs neighbor and his guy friend were hanging out on said patio, talking loudly. It's almost 3AM. I stepped out and asked them to quiet down. They just looked at me at first. I apologized and said I wanted to sleep.
4.) I need to stop apologizing. It's a delicate, gradual conditioning. I apologize when I'm hurt. I apologize when I'm angry. I apologize because "as a woman," I'm supposed to. My frail self can't handle the weight of awkwardness, but that needs to end, because I can actually handle a lot, like making it most of the week in a fog of cold medicine and residual grief and near car accidents and hundreds of pages to read.
5.) I wish some folks would apologize to me when they do something effed-up to put a wrinkle in things. I don't know. I can't be the only one who's sorry.