(un)certainty: August 10, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

So I’m back at my alma mater to work. I listened to Asher Roth’s I Love College on the way to work this morning, because it was appropriate. Roth raps “Do I really have to graduate or can I just stay here for the rest of my life?” I’m here to tell you that you can, indeed, stay for the rest of your life. I’ve been here for more than a third of my life span (four years as a student, seven and a half years in admissions, 3.5 days in this new position). Just can’t quit it.

(Pro tip: don’t actually use two condoms like Roth suggests. The friction between the two can actually cause a break.)

Being back here also means I get daily exposure to some of the best graffiti in the world. I’m really hoping there’s still a penciled picture of Raptor Jesus in the bathroom of the main academic building. Perhaps I will go check after I finish eating my lunch. I’ll report back.

This particular piece I’m about to show you isn’t in my top ten list, but I’m going to use it to illustrate a point. It’s in the bathroom down the hallway from my new office.

graffiti

Okay, so I’m assuming this is an incomplete misquote of the name of an album by Pushmen, The Sun Will Rise Soon on the False and the Fair. Or maybe not. But that’s not the point. The point is that I saw this on the wall and it was INCOMPLETE. Sorta. I’m pretty sure they erased out the word “fair” but WHY. Why is this anonymous scribbler leaving me without an ending? I need to know what’s going to happen next, please.

I spent all of yesterday with such a pit in my stomach. Some of it related to personal stuff, but much of it about the greater implications of world politics at the moment, notably that I feel like we’re all on the verge of dying in a nuclear holocaust. Nothing gives me a stomach pit like the thought of nuclear winter. (Note to self: re-read The Road to pick up some tips about how to survive future America with a kid in tow.)

Given that we’re all living with such uncertainty now, could we please agree to be certain about little things? Like, finishing graffitied quotes on bathroom walls? Or, agreeing beforehand on what we’re going to have for dinner tonight? Maybe giving people verbal assurances that they’re valuable parts of our lives? Things like that? Those of us with anxiety would be so grateful. It will allow us to concentrate all our big anxious feelings on nuclear weapons.

Your personal assignment, though, is to tell your boss to back the fuck off the big red button.

D

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