I think I’m still on Seattle time. Either that, or I’m so far gone that it doesn’t even matter anymore. Got waylaid in Houston on my way home, and didn’t make it back to the MIA until nearly 1:00 am. I literally teared up in the airport as I lugged my bags to the taxi stand, but refused to cry in a public place, on the last day of vacation no less. Up at 6:00 to teach school, go coach a soccer game, and “lesson plan,” all of which was far, far too quickly followed by a day we like to call Tuesday. As some have said, I’m hard core.

I don’t know quite what to do with myself. No, scratch that; I know exactly what my body needs: sleep. Unfortunately, guilt pangs about my aimless Reading class, my as-of-yet-unwritten graduate paper, my midterm exams (due to department chair 12-10), and compulsive consumerism which attacks in weekly fits, have stalled my sleep in a state of limbo. I can’t quite sleep because I feel guilty sleeping, but I can’t quite work because I’m too tired to be effective. Instead, I brood, I watch ALIAS, I shop. All of these things are deliciously justifiable to my conscience, in its present state of self-pity. The shops in Seattle, long plane rides, and Season Two are marvelous enablers in this whole endeavor, so we all get along swimmingly. Right.

Getting a grip on life just doesn’t get any easier when at least every day another new, completely unforseen problem comes my way. This morning, for example, circa 6:00 after I get out of the shower, get dressed, and finish making worksheets for the terror-children in my 2nd period, Cervantes has a meltdown. Cat comes sliding off the desk, dropping ass-first to the tile floor. Fortuitously, there was a plastic cup of orange paint to stop his fall; one little hind paw shoots through two layers of saran-wrap, two inches deep in pumpkin colored pigment. Shit.

Clearly, as all felines do upon contact with cold-ish liquids, he freaks out, just about like I did whenever I think about the extra hour added to the school day starting in January. Of course, his next impulse is to run frantically around the house, shaking the sodden paw and sliding around on smeared orange kitty paw prints. Thus, circa 6:03 am, the apartment’s tile floors look like a battleground. Containing the damage by encarcerating the naughty animal in the bathroom, I spend 20 precious morning minutes sniffing paint remover while scrubbing the most offensive of many stains in our living space. Does any of this ever get any easier? Will my children ever be able to recognize a noun? Will teaching ever be truly fun? Who he hell knows.

It’s now 9:00, and my indecision has brought me to another late evening with little productivity as far as teaching, school, or exercise is concerned, so I think I’m just going to throw in the proverbial towel. Or did the cat already soil that this morning? I’m confused.


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