That’s the view from my freaking desk. I mean if I turn my head to the left and slightly back from the spot where I am sitting at this moment (July 11, 2007; 739 am) that’s what I see. Carol and I have been living a lie—the lie that we were somehow organized. We are not organized and I am not sure we will ever be again.
Books—my god, so many books. There’s one there you can just make out: Games Nations Play by John Spanier, 8th edition. I don’t know why that book is there or how it got there. I remember it was the textbook for a class in “International Relations” called “USA-USSR Relations.” That class is now defunct, dead as the dodo, because the Cold War is over and nobody cares enough about USA-USSR relations to devote a class to it. In fact there is no USSR anymore. That damn book is pre-end-of Cold War. Maybe 1985 or something.
I think I will throw out, take it to the recycling place. I hate to destroy a book, but I must. Otherwise I will be buried under dusty books. Under that book is another—that you can’t see—called American Government, 2nd edition. It’s a textbook that was used in a like introduction to American Government class. I have it because, as with the USSR class, I taught a writing class that was linked to the American Government class. For the writing class I went to all the lectures and read all the readings for the class my class was linked with—so I sat there and listened to lectures on American Government. Damn, that was like 1989 or something…
I can’t remember, but I was the person mostly responsible for setting up the links classes. I went around and sat outside professors offices during their office hours and waited till the students were gone and asked them if it would be OK with them if the Writing Program linked a writing class with their lecture class and mostly they just shrugged and said OK, when I made it clear that the writing class would in no way, shape, or form increase the work for their class.
That red thing sticking up to the left may be my flag of the Soviet Union. When the USSR fell apart, I ordered the Soviet flag with its hammer and sickle and stuck it up on my office wall as an ambiguous sort of joke. Or maybe I was being perverse. But then I took it down when I saw that the damn flag scared some of my students from Viet Nam. Back then we were getting students who had been “boat people.”
This one young woman had suffered a great deal. She was terribly thin. I think her ordeal had stunted her growth. Pirates had boarded their boat and stole their food and valuables. One of the pirates, she said, had picked up a baby and killed it by smashing its head against something. So they all ended up on an island, just lying their starving to death until one day a UN Helicopter flew over. Her eyes lit up remembering. Like for her, the UN was God.
Damn, our condo is like some sort of archeological dig. Ever layer is another layer of history. I need to remember this stuff like a hole in the head.