Monday, March 8, 2010


I am to meet with Dr. Chair tomorrow to discuss the readiness of my dissertation draft for the final defense.  Intellectually, I know (for all the reasons I have already explained in the last post) that there is no good reason to expect anything other than general approval and license to schedule the defense.

But my rising heart rate and sense of existential, soul-crushing dread do not originate in my intellect.  My awareness that my professional fate currently lies in the hands of someone who, for reasons I could not even fathom, might choose not even to meet obligations, much less approve of my work, is driving me crazy.

It's not even 4:00 in the afternoon yet, and I'm already drinking the last of my scotch as I try to self-medicate and maintain some level of composure.  I am seeking for some music in my iTunes that will offer some comfort; I find that I am attracted to those British and Irish folk songs that sing of impending exile.  "Matt Hyland," "Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore," "Bold Riley" -- ones with narrators about to travel or flee, generally in poverty.  They don't really make me feel much better, but I tend to wallow for a while before I work through an anxiety.  And for fuck's sake, I'm keeping this blog to begin with because I feel like I can't talk to anyone in town about this, school colleagues or otherwise.

...With no one to pity for me
No father dear nor mother kind 
To hold up my head when 'twas sore...

I am looking ahead several months, and seeing dire prospects if I don't land an academic job very soon.  The market in DOU-Town is pretty well saturated with people of my non-academic job skills, and getting a job that would really pay my bills -- as opposed to tutoring, which nets me no more than seven hours of work per week -- won't be easy.  And, if I can't scare up anything by the end of my apartment lease in August, I'll have to leave.  You can't get an apartment without a job, which will leave me homeless in DOU-Town.  Either I move back to Hometown and beg my parents to let me live in their house for a bit -- yeah, that'll be another stiff drink -- or I start living in my car.  It's bad.

..."Oh, must I go," to her he said,
"Must I go without my wages
Not a penny all in my purse
Just like some poor forlorn stranger?"...

Either way, I'll be essentially broke by the end of June, so no matter what, I'll have to do something drastic to pay my rent, since that can't go on plastic like everything else.  If I don't have some salaried income by then, I can only imagine that this will mean selling my car, which won't quite leave me housebound, but it won't be far from that, either.  Guess I'd have to put some panniers on my bicycle, then.

Crap.  The scotch is gone.  I wonder if I should hit the tequila next, or have my "it's good for my heart" daily glass of red wine?

It's probably not a good thing that I also find some perverse comfort in songs that extol the solace of death, but there it is.  Not much else to look forward to in my life at the moment.

I'm so weary, so wayworn, why would you retard
The peace I seek in the old churchyard

Yeah...for a multitude of reasons, I'm disturbed that this lyric is actually speaking to me right now.  Maybe I should go with wine instead of tequila.  It's going to be a long and sleepless night, no matter what I do, I fear.


  1. So why can't you talk to anyone in town about this? Isn't anyone in a similar boat as you, or any previous grads who didn't/couldn't/wouldn't leave and move on when they filed?

    Either I move back to Hometown and beg my parents to let me live in their house for a bit -- yeah, that'll be another stiff drink -- or I start living in my car. It's bad.

    Don't go and track through want ads and career plans right now, not if you're feeling like this. Know what you need? Some motherfucking snakes on a plane. I am not kidding you --- if not that movie, or The Big Lebowski, or Monty Python, then something funny and mindless to distract you. It's all that's keeping me sane at the moment.

  2. ^else, dammit, something else. And I'm not even drinking wine!

  3. Any chance your landlord would take PayPal? I'm not even kidding--you could, feasibly, pay rent with your credit card that way. Just pay a little extra to cover the receiver's fee.