i get nervous in social situations, motherfucker.

on the bus this morning, i read one of those poems on the bus. today's was by angela reid. it's like this:


She drafts her letter of resignation,
Moves to France,
Buys a winery,
Cuts her hair (short),
Takes a lover,
No, two,
Writes her memoirs
And a best-selling cookbook.
Then her stop is called;
She clutches her ticket, memorizes her numbers, thanks the driver,
Who has himself just moved to Spain.

it appears that everyone on the bus is dreaming about leaving this country. and everyone shares the same self-doubt that it's a real possibility. there was a latina sitting under the poem, smiling to herself, as she read from a book called blood and flowers. it occurred to me that almost everyone who lives here hates this country. any time i start thinking, maybe i do like the united states, i end up driving by a whole street full of lowe's, home depots, wal-marts, big-o-tires, dairy queens, baskin robbins, hollywood videos, and all that other good stuff. and it strikes me that this is all we have.

i don't know if there is any other way to feel about living here. in school, all we heard was that the people who founded and ran (and continue to run) this country, were a bunch of rich, white, blood-thirsty men. they killed the indians and became heroes. they killed the nazis and became heroes. they did a whole lot of killing, and that made the country run. what's there to like about the united states? some people will say, it's not perfect, but it's still better than a lot of places. they're probably right about that. but that's just about as pointless as saying, i'm not perfect, but i'm still better than a lot of other people.

yesterday, i had to talk in front of people. it wasn't much. i just thanked the keynote speaker and thanked everyone for coming. then i said, pick up some materials by the stairs. then i said, thanks and goodnight. still, i got nervous about it. i can't believe teaching was an option for me at one point. i hate people looking at me and not saying anything. it just doesn't make any sense. what would i have done as a teacher, anyway? i'd say, this country was built on slavery and oppression, and nothing has changed. then my students would feel bad about their country, themselves, and then they would blog and blog about nothing.

there's a professor here who knows me by name. i find it kind of weird that he does, since he's kind of a big deal. remember the whole alberto gonzalez controversy a few years ago, where he fired a bunch of high-profile attorneys based on nothing? this professor was one of them. while he was the u.s. attorney for the western district of washington, he successfully prosecuted terrorist ahmed ressam. during student orientation, he gave a really good speech that almost - just almost - made me want to become a lawyer. but i'd enroll only if it was free. once, this professor caught me eating free food outside the building. "what are you doing here?" he said. "no tables, no chairs?" "i've got to catch my bus," i lied. the truth was, i would've felt weird eating with the students, since i wasn't one of them.

three law students - all female - approached me yesterday, since they are applying for our work-study position. after a year of interviewing and being rejected, it's strange being on the other end of it. one girl had red guitar-pick earrings. given the choice, i would've hired her based on that alone. i'm not a sensible person. i don't believe in things like g.p.a. or merit and hard work. this whole system is based on luck and knowing people. i don't know why anyone would want to do work-study, anyway. $8.25/hr., part-time? yeah, that's really going to help cover the $100,000 of debt they'll accrue over the next three years.

when it's so code in the d, how da fuck d'we s'posed to keep peace?

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Leaving the United States is not going to change the fact that there are huge corporations everywhere, or that countries are founded on oppression.

In Chile, my friends and I frequent Blockbuster. There are huge supermarkets and home stores and hardware stores and something called the HiperLider, which is essentially a Chilean Walmart. The native tribes of South America were massacred by the Spanish, who then robbed what was left and raped those who were left to repopulate the continent. The US is not the only fucked up country.

It seems to me we should be focusing on the good in these places. It's not all bad, despite evidence to the contrary.