Cookie or Shock

Sometimes life gives you a cookie. Sometimes life gives you an electric shock. (Look, it's a variation on the old "carrot and stick" trope - just go with it.) Usually these little alternations come at random intervals, surprising us, pleasantly or not, with a syncopated rhythm. It's rare that life settles into a stately 4/4 time signature, predictably laying down a marching cadence of pain and pleasure, but it can happen.

Monday, I was interviewed for an editorial internship with a scholarly journal on campus. This is a job for a serious grammar nazi - precise, persnickety, literary nit-picking for profit. I felt the interview went well, and the faculty members who recommended me for it spoke in glowing terms of my obsessiveness where language is concerned. It's odd to meet people who applaud your anal-retentiveness, and yet there was a panel of them, verbally patting me on the back for it. (Cookie)

The following day, I heard a very credible rumor that I was "wait listed" by the MFA Creative Writing program. "Wait listed" is a polite way of saying "if the people we actually want in the program catch diphtheria and die, we'll take you." Suddenly, the next two years became free. (Shock)

Yesterday, my second diploma - the one for my BA in English - arrived at my office, hand-delivered by one of the employees of the Registrar's office. I was filling out my monthly time card at the time, so I set that aside to check it out. My name and major were spelled correctly (Cookie) - not always a sure thing here at UW; ask the "Women?s Studies" majors of a few years back - so I put it back into its rigid envelope, and went back to accounting for my time. It was then that I realized that after four and a half years in Laramie and two BAs, I am making just slightly less than I was making in 2000, driving a forklift for WalMart. (Shock)

While walking across campus today, I was approached by a stranger who wanted to know if I was coming to the slam, and if I was going to read her favorite poem. (Cookie) That I am recognized on campus is understandable (with the kilt, and the "all black, all the time" clothing format I have going on) but she has a favorite amongst my poems? It really hit me oddly. I don't even have a favorite amongst my poems...

So now that the pattern is set, I am waiting on the next shock. Perhaps this is the bridge of the song; neither verse nor chorus, but a related theme that leads to a key change. Perhaps this is the beginning of another movement, or perhaps I have pushed this music metaphor too far... but the point is, I can hear this chord coming to resolution. The end of something is near, and the beginning of something else is just ahead in the next measure.


Big Gay Jim said...

Cookie - You are a true friend to all, and are loved even by those whom you don't know well. You have a job that pays the bills. Your cost of living here is lower than when you were driving a fork lift. And you can whoop up on just about anyone in handball (fresh meat coming soon to a lockerroom near you...hmm...a court near you, a lockerroom near me). It's not all shocks, my good man. I'll even be nice and not leave you with a dirty comment.

Mark Travis said...

Which poem was her favorite? Just curious.

My favorite as you probably know is the Crusty Bagel, but that's because Religious satire has a special place in my heart.

"For your lord god is a frugal god..."

His Sinfulness said...

Her favorite was the M&M Rant. Crusty Bagels remains a crowd pleaser, whenever I do it... :)

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