I sat in my cloffice and ate my reheated dish of last night’s dinner, read for pleasure before diving into a long afternoon of making handouts upon request, teaching night school, prepping for the morning meeting. Oh you again, you pat pattern of a day.


Things must be as they may says Nym to Bardolph, talking, I think, of cuckoldry. And it’s true, all of this we can’t control. The variable heat of the microwave, the next song on the Ryan Adams Pandora station, the confusing paper-feeding-apparatus of the ancient office fax machine that compelled me to throw up my hands and use an envelope, the work processes that run inside out, the gentle and insistent knocking of a colleague on my cloffice door, people who still call me on the phone, a tool I almost never use. But I do believe I cooked those mushrooms correctly last night, they resisted my teeth just enough to still taste like solid food.

There’s a whole class of things I would never eat if left to my own devices but will devour with alarming speed when offered up at an office snack table: taffy, Italian butter cookies, more than one bagel at a time. And those pale little cookies that come in the round blue tin, nested in fluted white paper cups, all different shapes but (I think) they all taste the same. I ate a squared-oval and and a pretzel while waiting for my pasta to heat up in the microwave. Then I took my dish back to my cloffice and forked peas into my mouth while finishing the last of my play for this week. I can’t tell what would best restore my masculine honor: to show mercy to a scorned rival, or to stab him multiple times in the heart and legs. I’ll surely know more after class discussion tomorrow.

Should have cut this cauliflower into smaller pieces last night. I said it after every awkward bite, just glad I was alone in my cloffice with noone to see the unseemly jaw-stretching required to funnel lunch into my mouth. I read as I ate, this book I’m reviewing about the history of documentation. It’s about footnotes and endnotes and parenthetical citation, marginal notation and the apparently Great Debate over whether and when maps and illustrations are ancillary or central, and it’s more interesting than it sounds, mostly for the voice of the author. It’s all so dramatic to him, everything is bizarre or madness or imperiled by Borgesian lunatics, and I’ve spent more time with my dictionary while reading these few hundred pages than I can remember.  Makes me miss the good old days when B. would call, frantic over some last citation or other, always treated me like a magician because volume and issue numbers aren’t hard for me to find.

If I was the sort of person who did that sort of thing, I would have picked up something heavy in my office and thrown it against the wall. But I’m not that sort of person, so I ate my lunch angrily instead, stabbing my cauliflower angrily with my angry angry fork and shoving it into my mouth, angrily angrily scrawling in the blanks on my health insurance claim form, had I been using a pencil I would have torn right through the paper, stomping it upstairs to the outgoing mail, all growly and mad. I ran into B. reheating her lunch at the microwave. I’m so grouchy I said. I’ve been grouchy all day. Turns out that’s why she’s been in her office with the door closed too. You know what really makes me grouchy? she replied as her plate of rice and beans and plantains turned around and around. This is a Pepsi campus, and this lunch really calls for a Coke.

Just got pounded with a wall of fatigue when I sat down in my cloffice with my reheated pasta in the slim gap of time between teaching and desking, just so tired. It must be all these late nights watching heterosexuals cavort on television. I ate hunched over and worried about friends and the economy, staring around and watching the time.

I packed a spoon instead of a fork with my roasted cauliflower over pasta this morning. I had a flash of panic as I slid my dish into the microwave: How will I get my lunch into my mouth! Turns out the particulars of the utensil don’t matter very much, though I’ll confess I held my face closer to my dish than usual. I read my favorite advice columnist (MFAC) as I ate. Good column today, about the virtues of pulling up a chair and having a cup of coffee and giving up on destinations, and it all felt quite resonant with a particular half hour I spent over the weekend, on my back with my head bent towards the window, watching a tree branch get darker in a sky that changed from blue to light blue to slate gray to almost white on its way to black, feeling myself to be in no hurry, no hurry at all.