Tuesday, April 27, 2004

From Hell’s Heart I Stab at Thee!

The Chase - Day Five

Call me Lazy-as-Shit.

It has been nearly a week and still no sign of the paper I’m supposed to complete by Tuesday. Morale runs low and even the distractions are wearing thin. Today, while ostensibly preparing a gloss on the Scylla and Charybdis named Nollan and Dolan, I drifted magnetically to the pile of magazines on the sofaback table.

After half of an article (about frogs), I grew so faint and insubstantial that it became necessary to take a thirty-five minute shower - though my hair was clean. Only Starbuck remains to give faith in my enterprise, and he at exorbitant prices and somewhat middling quality. I think he uses too much sugar in his mochas.

Internet internet everywhere, but ne’er a drop of research.

Spied an albatross dancing in the currents spun off by my desk here in the loft. Looked a bit like an outline, sketched on a yellowpad. Shot it.

Spent an hour or so composing monkey-grams to my friends. May have been a bit hasty with the albatross.

To Queequeg, in the guise of my wife: hell is an idea first born of a required essay due during finals week and repeated by the act of watching reality television.

To produce a mighty essay, you must choose a mighty theme. I have - unfortunately - chosen "art exactions in Culver City."

There, nailed to the mast, glinting in the sun, is the coin I would spend. Let us call this coin “Studying for my Comparative Legal Systems exam on Wednesday” and let us imagine that winning this coin (by filling the white paper marked “Local Goverment Essay” with six, double-spaced pages of text) is something I would like.

But the coin is nailed to the mast like Ulysses before the sirens, and I, working the oars but futilely above the slapping waves, have stuffed my ears with video games and Tivo and Springsteen albums.

(Here let us imagine an entire chapter about chowder)

But lo! A cry from the crow’s nest! A spouting, fragrant, introductory paragraph! Deploy the boats before he sounds!

Toward thee I roll, Great, Breeching, Snow-White Paper, scarred only superficially with the scrawlings of essays begun and deleted by others.

And I go down with the Leviathan, to the watery hell he keeps called “Westlaw” and “Lexis” and for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at Law School.

Like Satan, this paper will not sink until it has dragged a living part of my week along with it and helmeted itself with it. And even should I succeed in the coming days and hours by extruding something thick and oily like a paper onto the printed page and lashing it to my boat, it’ll probably only be eaten by the red-tipped, correctionist sharks that savage exams on the way back to grades.

God help me if the devious-cruising Rachel of Alcohol doesn’t pick up this surviving orphan and bring him back to Port.

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