So my infofuck friends are at the Ye Olde Pub getting shnockered, and passing the torch from the old staff of our school journal to the new staff. I know this because a representative reveler was designated to call me.
All my friends: Where are you, dumbass?
Me: I’ll be out in three months!
My companion is out seeing a rock band against his will (it’s his grumpy friend’s band; he has to do his duty). I am in isolation at the Asscave, working on das thesis (subtitled: the most giantest paper that won’t ever end; I have the library fines to prove it).
(Aside: This blog is like the most boring book that was ever written. I can see some timid, uncreative writer who should have stuck with the wholesale vacuum business bringing his manuscript to an under-attended writer’s workshop in Fucking Boise, Idaho.
The would-be writer, Harold, clears his throat. He shuffles nervously, rattling the dog-eared stack of papers in his hand. He begins reading off his idea for a book, of which he has completed the first two chapters.
Harold: Synopsis: an average woman who is obsessed with kettle corn, sex, how much her face breaks out, and swearing is trying to finish graduate school. She is kind of stuck, progress-wise, on her master’s thesis. Her divorce has stalled because she can’t decide what to do next, and her ex-husband admits to not taking action on it. She used to write fiction, but now she doesn’t have time. She used to paint, but she hasn’t in months, and….
Workshop Participant One: WP1 is a mousy woman in her mid-fifties. She is a straight talker who believes in God and Margaret Atwood.
What’s the climax? When does it get interesting?
Harold: Interesting? It’s all interesting. It’s about one woman’s struggle to combat the…overwhelmingness of everyday life. She’s an everyman–or every woman. Sometimes she does some really great stuff, and sometimes she forgets to pay the phone bill.
WP1: So nothing happens?
Workshop Participant Two: WP2 is sexually-frustrated, newly divorced woman in her forties. She migrated to Boise from the Boston fifteen years ago, which was long enough ago to lose most of her accent, but recent enough to retain a sense of superiority over native Idahoans.
Sounds like classic Anne Tyler to me, without any of the human interest.
Harold: Well, the story gets more tense, see, because she’s got this deadline for her thesis. And she worries that she should be spending more time with her kid, and less time doing schoolwork.
WP1: Does she get divorced? Hire someone to kill her husband? Start hearing voices? Graduate?
Harold: Well, I haven’t gotten that worked out yet. No one gets killed, and I think she graduates. Then she gets to sleep more and see her kid. And she should get a job.
WP1: What kind of job? A skip-tracer? Bail-bondsman? A flenser?
Harold: Well, she’s going to school to become a librarian, but it’s hard to find a job where she lives so she might have to move.
WP2: My God!
WP1: Sounds like watching the cross-town bus to me, Harold.
WP2: You, sir, are no Michael Crichton.
I am feeling rather Howard Hughesian today–instead of germophobia I have obsessive cuticle trimming, and instead of the Spruce Goose I have only a vibrator. I keep walking into the kitchen and staring at the butter dish. Every time I come in the butter is a little softer…the crumbs glisten atop its surface. Looking at a sad stack of papers on the floor, next to all the books I have out for my thesis. I could run off and sublet these books in a pay lending library. I could keep renewing them every quarter and the university would never be the wiser. Cuticles…Spruce Goose…call the crazy house, because I am going to make the servants taste my dinner before I eat it. C’mon, August!