Saturday, November 03, 2007

Desperation Pencil

It's 11:30 PM and I've just returned home. I have to take the GRE subject test in English Literature tomorrow morning at 9AM. I have to be there by 8:30AM. Meaning I have to leave Brooklyn at 7:30AM. Meaning I have to get up at 6:45AM so I can wash my hair. If my hair is dirty, I will not be able to concentrate.

I pull my admission ticket out and take a cursory look to make sure I know the address of the testing center. I see a section labelled "Special Notes."

"Note: Only #2 pencils allowed. NO MECHANICAL PENCILS ALLOWED."


After a brief period of "I'll just buy them in the morning, wait but then I won't be able to sharpen them, then I'll have to wake up at 5:45AM and nothing will be open," and "I'll just wheedle myself a pencil using a knife, my teeth, and the holy spirit out of one of the legs of our dining room chairs, oh wait, those don't have LEAD in them," I went back out to buy PENCILS AT MIDNIGHT.

Bodega #1. No real pencils. Only mechanical.
Bodega #2. Real pencils, but totally not real #2, they say "CHINA" in big black letters. BLACK AS MY SOUL.
Bodega #3. Closed.
Bodega #4. Jackpot. Motherfucking #2 pencils.

"Hi there," I said to the man through the bulletproof window. "Do you have any pencils?"
"Oh, pencils. Um, yes! Here's one (laughs)."
"Could I have, uh, four?"
"Sure. That will be three dollars."
"Well, I can just put them back . . ."

I need a drink but I can't have one. I have to go to bed now so I can take a test which reviews my RECALL MEMORY OF ALL OF ENGLISH LITERATURE FROM BEOWULF TO THE PRESENT.

I will work the sweet love of GOD out of these pencils. I will channel fucking Virginia motherfucking Woolf and fucking James Joyce. I will speak in fucking tongues, god dammit, and I WILL ACE THIS EXAM WITH THESE MAGICAL PENCILS. I will be the goddamn HERMIONE GRANGER of ENGLISH GODDAMN LITERATURE tomorrow. I WILL SEND FUCKING HENRY JAMES AND ALEXANDER POPE SPINNING IN THEIR GRAVES.

Holy God, is it over yet?

1 comment:

biblio-tica said...

There is something delicious about the fact that I read this while proctoring the SAT for some high-schoolers.

Hope you are kicking ass and taking names... of English authors. :) Best of luck!