Obsenad: short piece written for the Senad mailing list.
A journal entry.
The sequel to this story is He'll Learn.
With thanks and apologies to Pet Fly, and proceeding under the assumption that forgiveness is easier to ask than permission....
~ From the Journal of Blair Sandburg ~
What the hell is off topic, anyway? Is anything really off topic? I mean, isn't there some sort of saying about how the smallest, most insignificant occurrence will somehow affect the price of tea in China?
And since when has my life had just one topic anyway? Never. At least, never before Jim.
But this is my journal. My rules. That's what my therapist said, all those years ago. Write about whatever moves you, Blair. Whatever you need to talk about. So, I guess for the purposes of this journal, there is no off topic.
The diss is another matter.
I'm way off topic there. So far off topic that, if I leveled with myself (which I've been too chickenshit to do until right now) I'd admit to myself that I should just tank it; simply walk into that committee meeting on Friday and 'fess up to my failures.
The research is tainted. The subject can never be cited by name or validated by performance. And the researcher has "gone native."
Off topic? Oh yeah. I've gone way off topic.
And to make things even worse? Just now, the topic has gone off me.
I didn't mean to get in the way ... I never do. I never mean to make a noise at the wrong time, or follow too closely when I'm supposed to be in the truck, or ask the wrong questions in front of the wrong people, or puke on his shoes. But I've done all those things ... did them all just today, in fact. And now he's sitting on the couch with his back to me, twitching his cheek and staring at the TV. And I'm trying to type quietly, and wondering if the whole question of whether or not to tell the committee the truth about my dissertation will be moot by tomorrow morning when the subject tells me that he's tired of being a lab rat with science nerd puke all over his shoes and that I should just go find myself another subject.
Off topic? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe on topic ... for the first time in my whole damn life.
But you know what, journal? It doesn't matter. Because to him, I'm a sidebar. A footnote. And soon to be an epilogue.
Off topic. Shit. Off to bed.
~ 30 ~