…or, My Exchange of Festivus Grievances With Myself
Well, apparently three missed class sessions plus a few times not doing the reading as carefully as I should have plus a 30-page paper that veered dangerously toward the polemic equals A minus. I realize that is technically a good grade but I cannot possibly stress enough how important school is to me, specifically how important me excelling at school is to me. I am miserably inept at just about every other endeavor I’ve attempted in my ever-lengthening life: I was a joke in publishing; I was a doomed dot-commer; I was enraged at Esquire; I was a nabob at NYNMA; I was an absolute dolt as a theater producer; I couldn’t sell a book even when I did sell a book; I am a certifiably insignificant columnist. And don’t even get me started on how shitty of a wife I was. It takes a lot of total life ineptitude to be married and divorced by 25, but I fucking managed it. I’m just saying, it would be nice if I could be good at something now and then (besides fucking up, which I am an absolute expert at, duh) and for the most part I am good at school.
So here at the end of my MA coursework, with six A’s and two A minuses, I should be rejoicing, but instead I am smacking myself in the forehead Kafka-style ("Bachelor’s Ill Luck") for all the tiny transgressions that brought about those two minuses. I will have nightmares tonight about giant minuses digging a grave and then me looking closer and closer at the headstone and realizing my name was on it (Kafka again, "A Dream"). It’s funny because I am far from being an overachiever in every other aspect of my life: I am a complete failure at locating a pair of $200 jeans that fit my ass; I could give a flying fuck about my job (I’m blogging at it right now, for example); my apartment is a sty; my finances are woeful; I never finished In Search of Lost Time, blahbety bloo. Some people would even consider me a "slacker." It is perhaps this "slacker" moniker that has caused me to morph into an academic nutjob; in college I was more of a "slacker." Now as I wait for these PhD programs to pass judgement on me (hopefully no sentences of "death by drowning," Kafka again) I can only hope that they see more of new type-a student freak me and less of old slacker me. Every once in awhile when I venture out on a social occasion, I solve conversational lulls by making people reveal something about themselves that may or may not be sincere. I often say: "I am not nearly as self-loathing as I seem. It’s my schtick. Truth be told I think I’m kind of awesome." This, of course, is insincere; self-loathing is a highly underrated personality trait and makes for good citizenship. But as a student I am normally very confident. I’m sure that when I begin my thesis I’ll resume confidence; I’m excited about my topic, which is entirely Kafka-related and will be discussed at length on this blog. I was initially disappointed that theses aren’t graded in my program, but now that these minuses are coming to bludgeon me in my sleep, I guess I should be grateful.
My Festivus grievance to myself: I am a great disappointment. Happy Festivus! Now who wants to wrestle?