Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First day of school


Last week was the first day of school. I'm not enrolled.

Instead I drove around my new neighborhood. I found my pharmacy. I checked out the grocery store. Their produce is mediocre but always on sale. I rode my bike to work four times last week and both days this week. The weather was perfect and it was glorious to have my body so close to the road and the wind on my shoulders. I am in control of my destiny. Isn't that what you used to say? It was something like that. I am the master of my destiny. Maybe. That's what it was. 

I did the 27-Fling Boogie three times. The kitchen is full of my dirty dishes and I only feel the urge to find a man and make love to him. To pretend that we are in love and on our way to some other life.  Or maybe I should call an old boyfriend to catch up. Where is my head? I haven't met anyone who meets the height and weight requirements. But, then again, I haven't been looking.

Last week at work a coworker chided me for using the screen name "Scientist Maggie," claiming that I'm not a scientist. "All you do is filter fluids!" he insisted. I was dumbfounded and focused on the trash cluttering the middle of the table. Maybe I could burn it away with my television. Sending it through the air like they did at the Willy Wonka factory and when it arrives at its destination, it will be much smaller as well. Less waste. I think about this a lot. This always seems like a logical fix. If I could only stare at that great Pacific garbage patch long enough. I'd send it all to my trash can. Then I'd stare at my trash can, and send the minuscule left overs to a Tic Tac box. You know how much I love those.

The conversation at work drifted from the fact that bats were mammals to weekend plans, but I was recounting my love and obsession with Fibonacci numbers during my senior year of college. I am a scientist. I filled up my bedroom with pinecones and flowers--anything remotely symmetrical--and counted the rows when I was unable to focus. In the next beat, I was imagining I had stumbled upon the most massive specimen of fruticose lichen. I am a scientist. I envisioned standing on the edge of a village that was once ravaged by cholera. It had undergone a transformation because of the work of epidemiologists. I am a scientist.

"I think we're all scientists," I finally replied. 

"Yay! Animal science!" another coworker added, tossing her hands into the air as if throwing the whole field, scientists and animals alike, into the air as confetti.

This is my reality, Mom. It isn't perfect but I'm making it work. I'm entertaining myself with science inside my brain, even if my technical title isn't "Scientist." I am still a Scientist and I am grateful to you as you were the first to recognize me as such. I'm preparing myself for school. I'll be getting a desk this weekend and I bought a chalkboard. I've written two things on it so far:

One thing at a time. You're only human.
A mental mind fuck can be nice.

However, I'm not so sure about the last one. (Don't worry, it's a quote from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and I found it the idea of it so appealing years ago. There's just something about the way those words fit together. Plus, sometimes it can.)

I love you,


  1. You are very much a scientist in my world. I would think the coworker is unimaginative and perhaps not happy where he is right now.

    Keep up the excitement about what you have around you and a smile on your face regardless of boorish coworkers.

    ps: it makes you so much more interesting to talk with.

  2. Thanks, Ana! I was surprised at how offended I was but you're right. It wasn't about me.

    Also, I think about you and Bob often. I hope you are well. Every night I am warmed by your beautiful quilt. Oh yeah! We've located the 'Love in Chocolate' (was that the exact title?) quilt--Katie has it!

  3. all scientists do is filter fluids, then write about it

  4. I'd say you are a scientist and a WRITER. Just beautiful.