I am sitting on my wobbly green steno chair which is currently inside a wobbly box-like structure made up of a desk stacked with file folders, book carts and books. The walls of my box are in one or another stage of processing for course reserves…coming down from summer term, going up for fall term. Someday. When the system is online again.
“The system” is our name for the software from hell which, on a more-or-less regular basis, screws us all by failing to operate or requiring extensive downgrades (referred to as “upgrades”) that make simple tasks impossibly complex. For example: I need to hammer a nail. For this, the system provides me with an approximation of the space shuttle. It can defy gravity and vacuums. It will orbit distant planets and record scientific data. What it will not do is hammer a bloody nail.
Outside my box, where I am not working as my workload piles, my student assistant is slumped at the circulation desk. Her eyes are not quite open and her mouth is not quite closed. You could be forgiven for thinking she has smoked a nice fat joint before arriving at work, but she’s stoned on Neo Citron. Stand there a minute and she’ll snuffle for you. I have a sneaking suspicion that the same virus partying in her respiratory system is about to host a fiesta in mine. I’m pretending to myself that it’s only…
that just as I drifted off to sleep, the muscles in the arch of my left foot went into spasm. I tried, oh-god-i-tried, to relax the cramp without getting up, without fully waking up. And I was rewarded for my efforts by an additional cramp starting on the top of my foot. Nothing to do but get up, walk it out, drink water, wait, walk etc.
Fine. Okay. Back to bed. Only to wake twice for trips to the bathroom…stumbling out of bed still half-in, half-out of a series of hideous dreams. Nothing I clearly remember…except one detail I repeated aloud to myself. I said, “artist holocaust.” Miles of dead artist bodies. Thank you, subconscious, for the memories.
At , Cat was possessed by the devil. Instead of his habitual early morning activity (dozing beside me, taking up more than his half of the bed) he launched a running leap from a few feet off and galloped violently across my back and shoulders, howling.
I sit in my box. Eyes not quite open, mouth not quite closed. Praying for to come.