End of Day Report: 24 September 2007 and A (Very Short) Excerpt from a Short Story

Self is alive. That is a good thing.

(Self, you idiot. Why would you not be alive? Is there anyone of your acquaintance who is not alive? But, once again, I digress)

Here are some not-so-good things that happened to self today:

    Mike from repair shop called and said that he thinks the problem with self’s car is the timing chain; it needs to be replaced. And the bill for the labor alone, he’s pretty sure, will be “at least $1,400.” “But, can you give me the total including parts,” self insisted. “$2,000” was Mike’s succinct reply. Self is amazed, simply amazed that after receiving this information, she was still able to conduct a class at xxxx community college.
    Dentist called: she would like to see self tomorrow. This, as loyal blog readers know, is not a good thing. Especially since self left her electric toothbrush behind in Marriott at Sherman Oaks, and has had to resort to manual brushing, which does not have the sonic “boom” effect of her trusty Sonicare (Similar model costs $139.99 at Costco, self has decided to put off this expense for the moment — that is, until she has finished paying off car repair) which is supposed to dislodge food particles from hard-to-reach crevices of self’s mouth. Self realizes she is straying into “gross” territory. Self will hold her tongue now.
    Self, after circling college parking lot at least 20 times in a fruitless search for parking, decided that it would be better to get a parking ticket than to be late for her first class of the quarter. Self was still late, and yes, she also received a parking ticket.

Here are some good things about today:

    Self does not have to teach a 6 PM class on Ethnic Literature, as class was cancelled due to low (Read: 2) enrollment.
    Hubby had to work today. Which meant self could switch channels from ESPN. So she watched, in this order: “The Lake House”, with Sandy Bullock and Keanu Reeves; Oprah, a special on Bipolar Disorder; Jerry Springer, where self was able to watch someone in a white wedding dress getting completely banged up in fistfight with her fiancé’s other girlfriend; and Paula Deen on Food Network.

Self pulls out one of her old stories (one that she never succeeded in getting published) and decides to share it with loyal blog readers. See, she was going to quote from “A Shinagawa Monkey,” but decided that Dear Haruki has enough people tooting his horn for him. Whereas, self has no one except self. So self might as well toot her horn for herself as much as possible. Even if it does strike some readers as obnoxious.

Let’s see, the last time self posted excerpt from this story (“Dumaguete”) was several months ago. So loyal blog readers will have forgotten all about how it began. Self will present brief re-cap below:

This story focuses on a nine-year-old boy traveling with his mother. And the mother, who is in all likelihood suffering from bipolar disorder (undiagnosed, hence self’s interest in Oprah today), keeps forgetting that she is with her son, and keeps running off here and there, leaving son anguished and panicky and feeling abandoned, and by the way the mother doesn’t even bother telling her husband where she is going, and so no one knows where the nine-year-old and his mother are, and the boy is homesick and wants to see his father. So, this is the situation:

Will I ever see him again, Carlos asked, and to his horror tears began to well up in his eyes, though just a little.

Of course you will, his mother said, patting his back. Her hand was cool. He could feel the imprint of coolness on the back of his t-shirt.

Of course you will, his mother said, looking intently into his eyes. He was again caught in that gaze, that green-eyed gaze that seemed to speak of nothing so much as time and sadness. He didn’t know why his mother should have the green eyes, when all his classmates’ mothers had brown; why she didn’t seem to love his father and threatened to leave him after every argument.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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