Despite what the illustrious Dooce says, eventually I am going to write about my job, and the last one, and the one before that. I just got a great laugh outa her blog.

Thought I Might Mention

I received The Time-Traveler’s Wife as one of my presents on Wednesday, and I’ve totally doven into it. Unlike Lightness of Being the naration in this novel is non-existant. The whole story is narrated by the two main characters. I’m very impressed with it so far, and I’ll post more as I get further along.

A Brand-Spankin-New Poem

In the close-leaned alleys
of Zaragoza, outside the hotel
rented for the shower and private
pulp walls, and the breeze across
open skylights of the top floor.
Not for the view, all TV antennae and
medieval church steeples of brown
and black stone. In the alley
the hotel empties on silver-worn
cobblestones, and there, beside
a miniature studio-apartment stove,
is Jeremy in his white sailor’s
liberty uniform versus the dingy
dusty rusted stove. One hand
leans on top as he bends over
in the manner all our generation
knows: the way that bemoans,
I have drank a recoculous amount
of alcohol at the Irish Bar, and here
I stand/lean/crouch/stumble/sway
in a sootened alley on silver
cobblestones smelling the foreign
sewage, wasted.

The first day

Of classes finally over. I’m taking a Poetry and a Composition class, so I should be much more prolific during the semester. Also (hopefully) a lot less drunk.

uuuggghhh

I just woke up. Ended the night stumbling home. Haven’t been that drunk in years. Litterally. I think that things might be coalescing. However it’s spelled. I need to stop drinking so much all the time. More on that later.

The Virginia Evaluation For Intelligence

This is a story I am currently working on revising. I got lots of great comments from my workshop this summer, and I’m just opening this to a (hopefully) wider audience. This is how I turned the story in to class, without further revisions.

The Virginia Evaluation For Intelligence

“Will the following students please report to room 171 for VEFI testing…”

Oh please, oh pleeaase don’t let them call me…

“William Johanas Mossbourge,

“Ronald Justin Clearwater,

“Joseph Frank London,

“and Kristian Alissabeth Rutherford. Again, please report to room 171 for VEFI testing.”

“Oh no, no, it’s not fair! I won’t go, I won’t I won’t!

“Kristian, look at the boys, they aren’t complaining, why don’t you go along with them and take the test?”

“It’s not fair to take the test with three boys!”

“Well, you’ll have to realize that life is not fair; besides that, they don’t have any advantage over you, you are very smart.”

“Yes they do! They’re boys, they’re bigger and stronger and smarter and they’re all better than me and I’m just gonna fail next to them!”

“Kristian, go with them right now. You have no choice in it, the test is required.”

“It’s not fair!”

“Go on, now, and we’ll discuss the fairness of it later.”

“Hello?”

“Hello, Mrs. Rutherford?”

“Yes, what can I do for you?”

“Hi, my name is Mark Davies, and I’m calling from the Virginia Population Centre. The results from your daughter’s VEFI test are in.”

“Oh, really? She didn’t tell me about it. How did she do?”

“Well, yes she did take it. Unfortunately, she did not do very well in comparison to the other test takers. I regret to inform you that she has been scheduled for cessation because her scores do not fall above the fiftieth percentile for all five test scores and is therefore classified as a non-contributing member of society.”

“Oh my God … Oh my God. It can’t be. You have to let her take it again. She is much smarter than that. She… She just… Please, I’m begging you, you can’t take her she’s all I have, all I live for. Please let her take it again!”

“Kristian will be picked up tomorrow at eight a.m. I am sorry.”

“please, please don’t do this.”

“Dad?”

“Virginia! Hi Honey, how are you?”

“Dad, we need to borrow the cabin for a while. You still have it, right?”

“Yes… what’s wrong? I can hear you’re upset, what is it?

“Dad, they made Kristian take the VEFI and… We really need a place to hide, they want to take her, and we’ll never see her again and they’re going to kill her! I’ve got to do something.”

“But can’t you appeal the matter?”

“The Population Courts never grant appeals. Unless we do something, Kristi is dead!”

“Virginia, you’ve never been against the population policy before… Why suddenly are you—“

“Don’t you know how dangerous it is to say that kind of thing? They’re easier on you old people cause you lived with freedom, but they don’t put up— Dad, won’t you help?”

“You know I would, Honey… but I have to think of my life, too. You’re gonna have to handle this one yourself.”

“Dad, they’re going to KILL her… Dad?”

“Michael! Michael, you have to come home now… Screw work, we have to leave as soon as Kristi gets home.”

“Virginia? Slow down, honey, what’s wrong?”

“Michael, they want to take Kristi… she took the VEFI test… and they called today and they’re going to get her tomorrow morning and…

“Michael, they are going to kill her.”

“…”

“Michael?”

“I’ll be right home, honey”

“Did you call your dad about the cabin?”

“Yeah, he’s not going to help. Bastard! Can’t trust anyone who’s not your own blood. I tried, but he just doesn’t care. He’s never even seen Kristi… how’s he supposed to care?”

“We’ve got to figure something out. I knew we should have moved to Quebequois when Kristi was born. What about the Andersons? Did you try them?”

“No! They love the Commonwealth and the Republic. They’re real Patriots. No chance there… don’t we know about anyone who’s gotten away? The ISP’s block all the net feeds about that… but don’t we know someone? Anyone?”

“I’ve heard people making it to Quebequois or the United European States, but I don’t think—“

“No, Kristi’s on their list and we won’t get tickets. I don’t know anyone who can get id’s for us so quickly either. We have to drive, and as far as possible as soon as she gets home.”

“Well, we could make the mountains, and maybe Kentucky or Tennessee…”

“Let’s get ready, she’ll be home soon.”

“You know we can never come back? This is it.”

“Yes. She’s worth it. You know I can’t have another…”

“I know.”

“Mommy! I’m home…”

“Kristi! Bonjour Ma Petite!”

“Daddy, you’re home early.”

“Yes, honey, we’re going to go on a little vacation. I want you to put your favorite things in your backpack, except your computer, you can’t bring that, okay?”

“Okay, where are we going? The beach? Oh, I want to go to the beach!”

“No, I think we’ll be going camping for a while in the forests in Kentucky. We’re going to drive for a ways, so I want you to bring some games and books and stuff, okay? Go on and get your stuff ready now. We need to leave soon.”

“Okay!”

“Do you think she took it okay, Michael?”

“I’m not sure she even understands.”

“THIS IS A POLICE RAID. DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAVE THE AREA. VIRGINIA RUTHERFORD, MICHAEL RUTHERFORD, AND KRISTIAN RUTHERFORD ARE TO EXIT THE BUILDING AT ONCE THROUGH THE FRONT DOORS. ALL OTHER EXITS ARE CLOSED.

“YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR ATTEMPTING TO EVADE A STATE-ORDERED CESSATION. YOU WILL BE TAKEN BACK TO VIRGINIA AND HER CESSATION WILL PROCEED AS SCHEDULED. THE MANDATORY SENTENCE FOR THE CHARGE IS TO OBSERVE THE PROCEDURE. THE COURT HAS FOUND YOU GUILTY AS CHARGED AND ORDERED SUCH SENTENCE BE CARRIED OUT. YOU WILL THEN BE RELEASED. FURTHER, YOU ARE FINED SUCH AMOUNT AS REQUIRED TO REIMBURSE THE COMMONWEALTH FOR THE CURRENT ACTIONS. APPROXIMATELY TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS.

“COME WITH US.”