Liars Freeze in Hell
A glaring sun
which hath no heat
is not the sun
nay, just a cheat
– Myself, written in arctic springtime temperatures (title credit given partly to the wit and witticism of Rachel Zmak)
Greetings from the North Pole,
How is it possible to have sunshine and be so cold? Maybe I’m not wearing a thick enough jacket, but my sun has been deceivingly bright lately. I hope you enjoyed the poem. Rachie helped with the title.
“Are you a Rhino or a Donkey?”
First off, don’t ask me questions at 2am. I recall staring with blank, squinty eyes, thinking hard, very hard. My brain was as fried as burnt bacon. So I continued to stare, slowly developing a tension twitch in my eyelid.
The speaker, a fourth-year Political Science student, is the kind of person who oozes ego. I mean, a lot of ego — the kind of ego which is quickly inflated but crushed oh so easily. Some people would call him a bulldozer; I would call him a politician.
“Are you a Rhino or a Donkey?” He repeats.
Rhino or donkey. Donkey or rhino.
Then it hits me.
Elephant or Donkey.
Republican or Democrat.
I have lost all faith in my university’s political science program.
I burst out laughing — snorts, tears, drool. You know when the actor on TV throws his head back to laugh? And pounds on the tables with his palm? And stomps his feet? Yes. This is essentially what happened.
This student, however, is not used to being laughed at. He is especially not used to being snorted at, and his ego was receiving a thorough battering.
“Do-” gahahaha “you-” heeehee “mean-” *breathe deeply* “ELEPHANT?” I resist an asthma attack with difficulty. “Elephant or donkey?” My cheeks were sore.
I often align with the Republicans, but at that moment I qualified as an ass. Nonetheless, I chuckled for days.
A few weeks ago, I did not feel like things could get worse. I mean, Boston blew up, Texas blew up, the Middle East continues to blow up, and my school work was blowing up too. The only saving grace was Rachel’s 20th birthday, and then I realized we were getting old, which also sucks.
And things continued to go downhill. Not on a global or national scale fortunately, but definitely for TWU students. You know the old idiom, “Things get worse before they get better”? Well — the week of explosions was followed by an ugly, sleepless week of exams.
And so—with a heavy heart for America, a burnt-out mind from term papers, and a food-deprived body (we joke that I go on hunger-strike when mother is out of town — however, hunger-strikes are, by definition, voluntary)—I dove into exams.
I HATE STUDYING. It’s not that I can’t study, it’s that I won’t study. I cannot get motivated, even to save my life. This often means that at 3am on the morning of my exam, I crack open my textbook and mutter the same phrase: “Dear God, why do I do this to myself?” Then I change gears to: “Emily Joan, I hate you.” These are pretty dark times — well, at least until the sun comes up at 5am. Then they are just miserable times. Eventually, clutching my pencils and pens, persuading myself that matching socks means a put-together mind, I enter the exam room. Then I fight tooth and nail.
For some people, exams are stressful times. For me, they are annoyances.
I sit there and hear the metallic tick, tick, tick of the clock; I hear the much-faster scratching of the pen next to me, rushing me through the next answer; I hear a Canadian goose on the lawn honking louder than a Canadian moose ever could; I always hear the snot-sniffing boy behind me, and my vivid imagination clings to the echo of his slime-sealed nostrils; and finally, I hear my own hungry stomach, which decides to make the sounds of a mating whale.
Once my stomach has informed my spine of its hunger, I’m convinced it begins to consume all of my body heat. My fingernails begin to turn purple for cold. I always have to put my jacket on, which (fortunately) also acts as a sound insulator. And once I think I have properly contained the beast within, I find that I am the one making the wretched crinkling sound as my snack leaves its prepackaged, chemically-preserved baggie.
To all of those who have cringed as I pull food from the swish-crackle-crink-crink-chick-ching-crackle bag, I apologize.
Truly. I understand your pain.
Fortunately, things improve.
Improvements are one of my favorite parts of life. They’re little blessings to remind us that things get bad and things get good. And things do get good! I am, afterall, on my summer break now. I survived exams. Freedom is here, a social life is here. I finally got to do laundry — which, I can assure you, is a very good thing.
When I choose to think—which isn’t necessarily as often as it should be—I like to put my feet up on the desk and strike the most presidential expression I can imagine. Needless to say, I either look pained or constipated. BUT: the other day, when relaxing Obama-style, I realized something:
I am once again an unemployed, homeless bum.
I have no job and I am moving.
That’s right. Today was my last day of work as Communications Assistant at the TWU Alumni Association, and my family is moving to Montreal. If I keep on my current projections, I might move out of my parents’ basement in 2020. I’ve got hopeful aspirations to break the cycle of travel-employment-unemployment-travel-employment-unemployment-travel by 2019 at the latest.
But I do like their basement.
This is all just another adventure, however. Furthermore, this ensures more funny stories, more little journeys and jaunts, and more blog updates. Until next time, I will be packing the house, preparing for a garage sale, packing for a trip to Oregon, and preparing for a wedding in June.
p.s. Can February March? No, but April May!