Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fer cryin' out loud!

There is nothing worse than being mugged by a student wanting help when you are on your way into your office, but not there yet.

It has been horribly cold around here, by Bay Area standards (which would make someone from a place like Philly chuckle briefly then snort in derision..."You don't know from cold, pal! This ain't cold.") Whatever. I hobbled in at the end of my hike down from my parking place in the hills, feeling like my face had died six years ago. I clutched my donut and coffee, and mumbled to myself that I could make it if I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. In my mind I saw Nick Nolte at the end of "Who'll Stop the Rain," counting cadence as he stepped his life away on that Mexican railroad track in a grisly homage to Neal Cassady. Oddly enough, I couldn't channel the blazing heat portrayed in that scene.

I had death on my mind as I entered the building and who should loom out of the hallway shadows but one of our classic "Everything is a problem" students. This is a nice person who continually struggles with seemingly everything. So much so that I begin to think most of it is self-generated.

Instead of sneaking into my office by the back stairs and plunging into caffeine and deep fried fat and sugar and nutritionless dough, I had to stand there listening to the same old litany of how hard life has been.


All I wanted was a nice, quiet start to the day. Just 30 minutes of mindless munching and gulping, and reading the SF Chronicle online, and maybe one or two other things. That would give time for my face to thaw, and my upper back to loosen up and thus also my mood. But no. I had to pat this person on the back and tell them to just soldier on and not to worry and blah blah blah blah. In my mind I was screaming "Fuck off!" but out my mouth came "Well, don't worry about going fast, just do what you have to at your place and let others worry, etc...."

I tell ya what! There are moments when I could almost wish to be a sociopath just for that one moment.