Thursday, October 27, 2005


Bimonthly posts are less than I had hoped, but then this semester has taken me by surprise. No matter as I don't imagine there to be much of an audience. In any case, I plan to write more even though I'm not used to this steady employ, and the amount of work required to wade through the muck produced by a handful of literary pretenders is astounding. What's more, I still have not secured a teaching assistant.

What would he do? my department director asks.

She would grade prose, clip her nails, type memos, fetch espresso, &c, &c, &c.

How would a grad student judge prose from other grads with similar or even greater experience?

Easy, she would judge it while sitting on a stool by my office window, twirling her straight blond hair in her finger while wearing tight jeans and one of those second-skin tops cut short to expose dainty love handles in the manner that is fashionable among the youngsters these days.

A nonresponse from the director.

A shitty grin from the trout.

And so on.

But fuckitall. Until I secure an assistant I will refuse to drown in this sea of coming-of-age-sagas, childhood angst, pale apings of Nelson Algren, the venerable Faulkner, giggly softcore porn, &c. &c. Okay, maybe the giggly softcore porn is tolerable for a sensual, aging fatty like me. But the rest is intolerable. Overwork has never benefited the trout.

My first marriage ended after I invested far too much time in two novels; it was for naught as they were both roundly rejected by the critics. But I was young and ambitious, and Lila was younger and lonely...and that's a story for another post.

Incidentally, I spotted Lila at the Irish Catholic funeral of a mutual friend last year. Though I should have been mourning our lost O'Higgens, I couldn't help but notice how the black dress hugged her hips, which had filled out with age to a not-so-unpleasant circumference. I stared at her robust fanny through the weepy testimonials and by the time the priest gave the benediction I had a full-on erection. I remained in the pew until the church emptied, feigning penitence.

The funeral was, thankfully, not catered but potluck. There are plenty of gourmands among our crowd, so the dishes were even lovelier than Lila's ass, but of course, being an Irish funeral, it was beer and no wine. I keep an emergency kit in my truck, so I fetched a bottle of Vouvray and two of those screwtogether camping wineglasses. I shared the vino with my ex, though it wasn't enough to coax her back to my motel room. The tart had remarried, and I, the cuckold, returned to the church to weep and stare at the bloody Catholic Christ.

The upshot is that I've re-earned a spot on her Christmas card list. And Lila is still remarried. And I now weep inconsolably over the loss of my first (and best) wife more often now than before the funeral. And O'Higgins is still dead.

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