Three Beers Later…

The biggest problem I have with updating Greatsociety is that I’m functionally illiterate.

I wasn’t always this way, but I think college did something to the parts of my brain dedicated to all of the civilized niceties – like learning from my mistakes and comprehending basic thoughts. Take today’s post, where I suffered from a terminal problem distinguishing the meaning of peal versus peel. With each year, my language senility has dramatically increased.

Yes, blame the booze. Or my dead-end, nowhere job that requires exactly .001% of brain power to perform – even when the building’s on fire and people are shooting at each other. That, of course, reflects largely on my life, which is full of disaster and fear. Generally, I don’t really mind that my brain has been shut down at the source. In fact, some nights, I pray that it’ll just fucking atrophy once and for all. Then I could blindly go through the motions of desperately making money to pay off impossible debt.

Before New Years, when planning my resolutions, one was to write 2000 words a day. Even if they were all shit and I nuked them, fine. Just do it…get back into the habit of writing, which I used to do all the time but have drifted away from over the last couple of years. Partially, my “dry spell” was thanks to heavy depression – I suffered from a chronic condition, now cured, that made my world one of intense and constant physical pain. Throw that on top of the fact that I’ve always hated and mistrusted people, yet have been in the customer service industry since I was 16, and you have a formula for disaster. Why bother writing at all? Back to wishing my brain would just die.

But now, by god, I’m on that healing track. Miracle surgery cured the pain, nobody has died in 13 months… Happy days! But writing, once you’re out of practice, is pretty fucking hard to approach. Especially when you drink so much you don’t even care enough to use the spellchecker.

Let’s return to my college. I loved my professors, I loved the town, but I still think that’s the point where I was cut loose and poisoned. My primary reason for thinking this is the Library Incident. Cold night in West Virginia, big old college library, crying girl being harassed by the only librarian on duty – a filthy redneck motherfucker with crossed eyes, I shit you not – and I step up. A rare moment where I had a pair and did something for my fellow person. (I was pretty drunk.)

I rounded on the librarian and told him to leave the girl alone. When he told me to mind my own business, I confess to being somewhat abrasive. But he wasn’t just badmouthing her, he had hands-on.

The next day, he went to the top, and the Dean of Students (my cousin, though he was involved in a family feud, which burned me later on) wrote a vicious letter to me and my advisors, essentially banning me from the library. That was part of the feud, I suppose. Take out whatever ancient aggression you have on the poor dumb kid who doesn’t know shit about his family.

So my last year at this hideously expensive school was spent banned from the library. They froze my ID card so I couldn’t check out books, or have someone else do so. I had to beg people to go in there and get books for me on their card (I wasn’t even allowed in to return those books – they’d often stop me at the door).

Now, I get being disciplined. Okay, I mouthed off to an authority figure. I’m now at the point of my life where I realize, right or wrong, if you piss off The Man, then you get a good kick in the teeth. But banning a student from the library for an entire year?

I didn’t have some idiot major, either. I was history… I needed to research. I needed books, to use the microfiche, the computers… None of that was available. I couldn’t even go in and read the newspaper.

I won’t mention the school, because I get in trouble when I talk about people on the internet. I will link it, though. The head librarian did pull me aside and apologize some six years later, blaming the incident on the Dean (who had since left the college after the students burned him in effigy).

I still have $20,000 in student loans outstanding. I should sue or something… But that takes energy and willpower. One of the great benefits of having your brain die is that you don’t care about shit for very long.