For anyone who follows my blog (a.k.a that one guy who lives in his second cousin’s basement and dreams of owning a cat Glamour Shots company), don’t worry, I’m not dead yet.
I disappeared for a while. Things got a little hairy.
I should have known this week was going to be total shit when I returned from a trip to visit my family only to be greeted by my cat with a dead snake hanging out of her mouth. Apparently she managed to catch and murder it in my basement. My cat is basically a serial killer – spiders, centipedes, mice, human babies – you name it, she’ll eviscerate it.
Usually I just ignore her, but a dead snake on my rug requires a minimum amount of attention and squealing. Anyway, this dead snake was clearly a harbinger of the week to come.
This week was the gnashing teeth of my cat and I was the limp, dead, gnawed-on garter snake covered in its saliva and malice.
Why? Grading. It’s always grading.
On Wednesday I graded a mere, manageable 15 essays. Chump change. Candyland. Thursday I graded 40 essays. Yesterday I graded 46.
Every day I felt like I was being drowned in a toilet filled with student waste. All my mental energy was dedicated to NOT collapsing into a puddle of tears, self-pity, drool and incoherent babbling as I slogged through one essay after another.
First, let me explain that it takes me on average 15 minutes to grade an essay. So, yesterday I spent 11.5 hours on grading alone. Do you know how much bad television I could have watched with that time? That’s like 8 episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras
and 7 episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo
(Sweet baby, I could have totally used some special juice while I was grading, and by special juice I mean whiskey – lots of whiskey.)
Anyway, in short, this week was nightmarish. Hellish. All I wanted to do was watch bad television while I channeled my inner Liz Lemon and worked on some night cheese:
Instead, I graded and I graded and I wept and I graded and I slept a little and I graded and I almost died. For real. About halfway through, as I stared at the endless stack of essays, gazed around at my dirty apartment, as I smelled the death juices of a week-old bag of apples (from my sweet grandmother’s backyard) liquescing on my kitchen table with no hope of ever being baked into a pie, I felt like Artax in the Swamps of Despair:
(Ugh. Right in the childhood. Damnit Artax, move your giant, depressed, horse ass!)
Eventually, though, I became delirious and I could have graded all night. Lord help the students whose essays I graded during that period of sleep-drunken insanity. Here’s the comments I imagine I made on their papers:
“You get an F because there are WAY too many tiny dragons crawling all over your paper. Next time, I require that you submit your work sans dragons!”
“You get an A because I like you and your paper tastes like vanilla bean and cuddles. Oh God! Why did your paper turn into lava?!? It burns!”
“Aardvark. Butthole. Poststructuralism. Goethe. Here C+”
To let off some steam mid-grading, I decided to go for a walk, but here’s the thing – I live in the hood. Prostitutes perch so regularly outside my friendly neighborhood Kroghetto that a neighboring business owner made a sign out of poster-board and a half-dried-out sharpie that said, “If you don’t pay, they won’t stay! Say no to prostitution!” He also drew a very subtle, RIP tombstone on the side. I guess it was the headstone for a dead prostitute? I don’t know. Dude means business, apparently.
What I mean is that I live in the kind of neighborhood where walking is sometimes relaxing and sometimes it is sexual harassment. Here are some of the phrases that have been shouted at me while out running/walking in my neighborhood:
1) (From a gentleman wearing an A-shirt and Hello Kitty pajama pants) “Mmmm! Hey girl! I’d loooove to catch up witchu sometime!”
2) (From a pack of degenerate, loitering youths who are probably now in prison for lighting kittens on fire) “Sup shawty? I’d hit it!”
3) (From a man in one of those windowless vans I Iike to call rape’n wagons) “I’mma smack dat ass! You look good in dem pants!”
4) (From a man driving his car slowly beside me as I walked down the street) “Mm. Mmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmmm” – he just kept saying that. I think he was hoping I would acknowledge him. Maybe he’d accidentally glued his lips shut while huffing a bottle of wood-grade Elmer’s and was just trying to solicit help from me. Too bad.
Here’s my response to each scenario:
So my walk didn’t quite relax me, although I did get to walk past an entire busload of schoolchildren singing “I Believe I Can Fly” at the top of their lungs. My first reaction to this:
Second reaction: Space Jam was a modern masterpiece. I must acquire and watch it right this minute.
Third reaction: If I were that bus driver, I would swerve that bus over a cliff.
When I got home, no magical, naked elves had graded my remaining essays for me (Maybe I should take out a Craig’s List ad – “Seeking magical elves. You grade my papers, I’ll sew some really shitty elf clothes for you. Nothing sexual. Some light nibbling from my cat might occur.)
I started to get viscerally angry at the stack of essays that never seemed to shrink. Rather than stacking them neatly as I finished, I would fling them into a haphazard pile on the floor that my cat soon claimed in the name of snake-murderers everywhere. Sidenote: Next to murdering and eating olive oil, my cat loves lying on paper the most. Even if there is a tiny post-it stuck to my desk, she will curl up on it and purr orgasmically for hours. I think she might actually be this guy from Waterworld:
I let her do her thing and secretly hoped that some of my students had cat allergies.
Then, when a stink bug landed next to me, I dug out the essay of my least favorite student and used it to scoop the little bastard up while laughing maniacally.
I thought about squishing him on the paper just a little, just a little, but I managed to contain my crazy.
The moral of the story is that there is not one, but just know that I had 0 free minutes or brain cells for blogging. So I’m back now, and I’m not dead yet.