Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Go Ahead, Make My Day

My friend Moira is about a week away from her defense. She is very stressed, understandably. The defense is a huge deal; it is the end of a six year struggle against inner and outer demons. Freaking out is a natural response.

I am 38 days away from my defense. I sort of wish I were freaked out. Instead, I have this weird serenity; the same serenity that comes from hiking 20.5 miles around Waldo Lake. I'm exhausted, but looking back on a great achievement.

I feel a bit like Dirty Harry: Clint Eastwood's cop role. Dedicated moviegoers must remember the scene. Dirty Harry has been chasing this evil-doin' punk through streets and traffic and city rooftops. The punk is cornered. He's on the ground. Harry's got a .44 magnum in his face. Did Harry shoot 5 or 6 times? Is there a bullet left in the chamber? And Harry says,

But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

Had lunch with a friend today. I was trying to explain that I really ought to be more freaked out than I am. I should be like Moira. I should be working 10 hours a day finishing up all these tidbits and loose ends. I should be trying to publish one more paper. I should...

But somewhere between the DickHeadAdvisor, the weekly acts of sexual discrimination, and living in a over-pollinated, narrow-minded hell on earth, I'm just too tired to care. And then I said, surprising even myself,

"They are just going to pass me. Of course they are. If they don't, they better know that someone's gonna get pushed down the stairs."

Ask me again when I've got 10 days to go.

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