The other day, I was extremely happy. No particular reason. I was sitting on th edge of my bed in a button down shirt and sports shorts, reading Herzog by Saul Bellow*; when suddenly, I felt a rush of joy course through my body. It was a nice departure from the- Hm. I haven’t felt like a failure and I haven’t necessarily been depressed, but whatever this emotion was, it was akin to those two. It felt like a mixture of loneliness and indigestion.
I generally have a rush of inspiration and a surge of good ideas when I get feelings like these. I generally back out on them or just give them up in time, but one idea was to bring my journal with me everywhere. I have decided to truly become a writer. I feel like writing in public would keep me motivated. If I truly cultivate a visible and deliberate writing persona, I will be held accountable by the public.
I even had an urge to get business cards printed, but I know the likelihood of me doing that is very low. Well, that is, unless I began working for a business after I got back home. Speaking of that, thinking of “the future” and possibilities has always energized me. I wonder if I could get a job in copy-writing when I get back. I feel like that might be fun. I could probably even use my Art Degree! I wonder where life will take me.
My friends in the Peace Corps decided back in training, that I would probably have a normal job and write on the side. I feel like that’s probably true. I think the writer/professor gig might be nice. What is it with writers and their urge to teach? They also seem to have an inability to maintain normal relationships.**
My writing professor in college was an exception to the relationship rule. She was married to my zoology professor. I took zoology when I was still an undeclared major in college. I thought it might spark something in me. Also, I worked at the zoo.
I remember a particular Friday afternoon class. The class was ending and he cruelly told us to have a fun weekend. This was a mean statement, because he knew good and well we would be studying for one of his notoriously difficult exams. We all stared at him incredulously.
He laughed at us and said, “Well, if it makes you feel any better, I have big plans tonight!” He told us that he and his wife were probably going to go eat somewhere fancy like home or Applebee’s, they would then spend a wild evening in Barnes & Noble. Then, if things go well, he just might “get lucky”. Our silence spoke volumes. He continued, “I might get lucky and get to buy two books tonight!”
It is my belief that even though it took two majors to get there (Radio/T.V./Film and Design) this event was the catalyst that transformed me into the English Writing scholar I am today. Because, after he described his night to us, I might have been the only student in that class who scoffed and thought, “Lucky bastard”
And now for something completely different…
Mangenuity. Yes, man-ingenuity. I’ve realized that I’ve come up with a few creative solutions to problems since I’ve been here in The Phillies. If I had a camera I could probably post some of them here. I shall write about a few of my accomplishments.
I fixed a broken sandal. – I found the bottom of a child’s sandal on the ground and attached it to my own. The new hybrid sandal wasn’t pretty, but it fixed the problem!
I fixed a loose bike seat. – I took the shoestrings out of a pair of shoes I rarely wear and tied the seat to my bike frame. I’m sure it is slowly morphing the seat, but it fixed the problem!
I bridged an electrical connection. – A light in the English Department kept blinking, so instead of fixing it, my co-workers just kept that particular light off. I took a rubber band wrapped it around the light. The bulb bent into a position that kept the connection stable. Psh! And they said we needed an electrician. I’m sure the rubber band will eventually melt, but it fixed the problem!
I fixed my boredom. – My latest feat of mangineering was simply to fight boredom. My idea wasn’t original, but I’m pretty sure my execution was. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that a hanger wire, a pair of boxers, and bandage tape can make a pretty decent “basketball hoop”. Also, a tightly rolled bundle of socks make a pretty decent “basketball”.
I have been a little stuck on the “man” thing lately, haven’t I? Sorry about that. I blame it on this.
– Brandon Holly –
p.s. – It might be a couple of weeks until my next update.
*It’s a great book. It was written in the sixties and I have found myself strongly moved by parts of the narrative. However, I can’t stop giggling every time Bellow uses the phrase “the business” i.e. – He affectionately gave him the business” Hahahahaha!!! That phrase doesn’t mean the same thing to my generation.
**Saul Bellow, the writer of the book I am currently reading, was married 5 times before he died.