The Postmodern Blues

rhızomıng mımεsıs▲catharsıs plεats . .The student with whom I am consulting rolls her eyes at the ceiling again. She has spent most of the meeting glaring down at her sandals, which are decorated with bedazzled geckos. I am attempting to assist her in outlining an essay on the Common Agriculture Policy, a subject which is as interesting and sexy as autopsying a basketball.

The look of abject boredom she wears is ameliorated by her unwillingness to assist me in assisting her. Moreover, she has answered her phone twice and sent two text messages in the thirty minutes we have been trapped in my office together. Otherwise, her appreciation flows over like a chemistry experiment gone awry.

Her phone beeps again. She takes it off the desk and, without explanation or apology, reads her text message. Then begins typing.

A response is finally in order.

I remove a carrot out of my snack stash behind the computer and begin singing into it as though it were a microphone. I am not looking at her, but from my periphery see her eyes roll slowly away from her phone to me. Clearly a genius of innuendo and body language, she puts her phone down. However, one doesn’t just end the Star Spangled Banner and I’m only at the twilight’s last gleaming.

I finish with a grand (standing) finale and sit down.

“Are you OK,” she asks.

“I’m great.” I begin eating my microphone.

Normally, I would point out that she asked me for help, or that I am helping her in my free time, which could be spent reading The Oatmeal in my underwear, writing in my underwear or at a pub (underwear debatable). I would probably ask her if she thought her attitude and actions were polite, considering someone was going out of their way to help her. I might even suggest several hiding places right on her own body for her phone or that she have inappropriate relations with her mother, a duck or herself.

But I have been studying for the state exams and this week my topic is postmodern literature.

In very basic terms, Postmodernism started during/after World War II and is an artistic reaction to, among other things, the war and the Holocaust. Its representative writers include Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Paul Auster, Samuel Becket and Don DeLillo.

It is characterized by themes such as temporal and language disorder, black humor, schizophrenia, paranoia, fragmentation, faction (blurring the line between fact and fiction), reader participation and lack of logic.

I have been reacting to the world around me accordingly since this topic of study. In the last week, I have asked a person to meet me three hours before I asked them (temporal disorder) and told my mom that I loved her but that the jury was out on the rest of the gang in my head (Schizophrenia). I became convinced that the waitress at my local pub wanted me to raise her children so that she could join a Russian motorcycle gang. And I was certain that Anton Chekov was directly referring to me (paranoia).

I have covered most of the postmodern ballpark.

As the student now asks questions about an outline she didn’t give a rat’s colon about until thirty seconds ago, I realize that my carrot singing affair has covered ‘lack of logic.’

In any case, as she meanders on about her outline I cement lack of logic by taking a spoon out of my pocket and throwing out of my window.

When she leaves I remove another carrot from my stash, begin writing this blog and sing a few bars of My Way in a perfect impersonation of Frank Sinatra. I even find a fedora in the closet (faction).

Would you, reader, tell me some unusual ways in which you deal with adversity around you? (Reader participation)

We can’t be stopped, even by the secret society of squirrel lovers! (Schizophrenia again mixed with paranoia).

  1. #1 by angela galeone on May 10, 2012 - 3:01 pm

    Damien–this really had me laughing. I deal with adversity in a variety of ways–some include rude hand gestures and cursing in Italian–some just get the “Angela” look–a term coined by your father.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on May 10, 2012 - 3:10 pm

      Ange! I remember the Angela look well, mostly because it was the look Amanda always gave right before we gave her the ‘Angela Contest.’ Haha! Great comment! You had me laughing right through my lunch.

  2. #3 by HL on May 10, 2012 - 3:21 pm

    Woo Reader Participation!
    I sometimes try to bridge awkward silences by attempting a creepy face while lightly scratching on someone’s temples and threatening to tear their face off. Or I just slowly approach their nose with my index finger and try to shove it up there. Oh snap, that doesn’t really fit into any of those categories, does it.

  3. #4 by Andrea on May 10, 2012 - 7:09 pm

    Hi Damien,
    I hope it pleases you that I have paid a tad more attention than your student – have read it all at once:-)
    I used to keep minutes from board meetings at my last employer´s. As barely nobody paid attention to what was being circulated after the meetings I felt just as you during that consultation (I am not sure about the underwear thoughts, though). so once I added a note that the board had agreed on doubling my salary. Unfprtunately, nobody took notice in either way, so no pay increase, nor unpleasant meeting with my boss took place. So did I waste my time twice?

  4. #5 by E on May 11, 2012 - 7:42 pm

    My friend always has a clown nose in his pocket. He usually doesn’t wear it but knowing that he could makes him satisfied. I suspect he keeps it for the world, not for himself.
    It admittedly has one big disadvantage in comparison with carrot – you can’t eat it.

    P.S.: I love your blog

    • #6 by Damien Galeone on May 11, 2012 - 8:58 pm

      E, I think we should carry around carrots wherever we go from now on. Oh, and PS: I LOVE YOU!!!

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