Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Somewhere Else

I envy the characters in Haruki Murakami's head. To them, it is everyday happenstance that their bodies melt into another place, that without much effort they can be somewhere else. They go, because they must, because it's what is done. "Don't look for me," they say; they return when they are ready.

Sadly, I am not one of these characters. My body is too physical; it is not gleamed from a page. When I crave other places, when I want to be left alone to do absolutely nothing, I've no magical realism at my disposal. I've only my little truck and miles of nighttime corn fields. My brain is given no demands. My autopilot drives the little truck, and there is nothing to see. It's the closest I have to sitting at the bottom of a well.

Tonight, not even the little truck will help me. A paper deadline is ominous, and every moment is spent thinking about it, or my pathetic CV, or my ever postponed prelim, or my right butt-cheek that's been strangely clenched for two weeks. Nothing is fun when there's a paper to be written.

Tomorrow, when I mow the lawn, I'll look more closely for an abandoned well.


kb said...

I've only read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. If you were the character in that book, part of your consciousness could go on living the reality of grad school while the other part explored a dangerous, but fascinating, fantasy world of mystery and intrigue...

It does seem tempting.

bluesman2001 said...

As a former Grad student I can relate to writing papers. I think if you can force yourself to write one to two pages a night you will keep from burning out, and hopefully have your rough draft done early. As always though the final draft takes forever, when the professor keeps changing the damn commas:-)

Tom Gary

FemaleCSGradStudent said...

Mr. 2001. Thanks for stopping by.

I agree that having a nightly goal is a good idea.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have a *very* hands-off advisor, so no worries about commas for me. :)

pluto said...

I love that idea of bodies melting away.