|I had some trouble finding a hijab |
that didn't flatten my hair too much
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
From: Dr Kirk xxxxxxxxxx
Subject: your safe return
Date: February 22, 2011 9:45 AM EST
Just a note to wish you a safe return from Cairo, and
reassure you that we at the University--and especially
those of us in the Art Dept, who have adopted him--
are aware of your situation and the stress effects it's been
having on your son, Jamie. We're happy to overlook his
absences these past couple weeks and grant extensions
on his written and studio work. We'll all be looking
forward to reading your piece when it runs in Harper's.
And may I take this special opportunity to say how
compelling and bold his work is. We consider him one of our
Well, that apparently would be "Kirk" the studio art prof who so admired Jamie's graphic
novel, "Stick Man: My Spermbank Dad." [see http://tinyurl.com/4jowk4p ].
And I apparently have been on assignment in Egypt, the stress of which has been concocted
into an excuse for some apparently ongoing non-performance performances on the part of
my son, Jamie. This has me so distressed me I am holing up in my office and not attending
the department meeting. At least he didn't give me a wasting disease but Egypt?
"Teenagers lie." That's what Miriam said when I called her in my initial stage of freak
out. "Especially college-student teenagers. They come up with excuses all the time." Like I
don't know that.
"Like I don't know that?" I said. "But Christ, this isn't a excuse. It's a mini-series. All he had
to say was 'personal issues' but this is like the first 10 minutes of a Matt Damon movie. God,
maybe it's some kind of borderline personality disorder. a cry for help. I've been a shitty,
lying mother and I'm reaping what I sowed."
Sometimes, I escalate fast.
"Stop it! enough! Come over tonight for dinner. Must go now because I'm due in the
courthouse in 10 minutes. You are making way too huge a deal over it."
Okay, so maybe I am over-reacting. College students bullshit me all the time, and I guess
I've swallowed a few whoppers in my time, whoppers that would have been exposed if I
were the sort of professor who cared enough to contact a parent stranded in a part of the
world undergoing spasms of revolution. Man, I don't know how to answer this email from
Kirk--do I collude or bust my own kid? me, who has spared scores of college students from
being parent busted? Do I call Jamie out on this one, right when I'm feeling pretty shaky in
the truth-telling department myself?
And is it such a terrible thing to confess that I admire the inventiveness of Jamie's lie?
Its sheer expansiveness, boldness. Its considerably greater panache than the generic, "I'm
having, you know, like, personal issues right now," usually uttered by an utterly forgettable
undergrad slouched across from me at my desk.
There's something to be said for panache, after all. It's hard to be a rising star without it.
Posted by JF at 3:47 PM