I am taking a brief break in the chaos.
The hum in my brain has momentarily paused, a sign that the synapses are pausing to recharge. Recharge with what, I ponder? Alas, I don't exactly know. I should. I studied this a few weeks ago. It's..um...potassium, or sodium, I think. I forget.
The life of an approaching-40 returning-to-college student is filled with exhaustion, frustration, and despair, as I look at textbooks and wonder why college wasn't this hard the first time 'round. Perhaps that was because I never did homework and spent all my time on trains going back-and-forth between campus and Penn Station.
But this time, I am actually paying attention. I sit in the front row. I pay attention, which is depressing because now I know how much I have yet to learn. When my microbiology class causes me to have my last big anxiety attack that finally kills me, I will then be left to decompose, a process facilitated by microorganisms. But I won't understand how it works. I'll just lay there, rotting, wondering if the bacteria present are Gram-positive or acid-fast or whatever.
My entire existence has become engulfed in a mass of textbooks, fighting my way through traffic to get to work, texting my boss to apologize for being late to work, and then going home to read books again. And sometimes I go to Whole Foods to get an oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie, which are delicious. Oh and I stand still and get yelled at, by various incarnations of authority figures. There is a lot of yelling. The other day I met a new professor, who was so immediately disgusted by my apparent lack of scholastic potential he did not bother to ask my name; instead he spent the day referring to me as "That Person." As in, Tell That Person to come here. Where is That Person? That Person should not be here. Loads of fun, it was. I went home and ate ice cream while I watched TV. I figured studying could take a break, for just one day. Bayes' Theorem could wait.
But then last weekend, on my typical Saturday jammed with classes and labs, a lecture let out a bit early; the unexpected break in the day was just enough time to grab some fellow students and go to Little Havana for lunch. Little Havana is not an epicenter of exciting cuisine. But for $5, one can get a decent sandwich and enjoy the warblings of an elderly Cuban gentleman who plays along on his rickety old electric piano and sing at the top of his wheezy lungs. And one can have a laugh.
Laughing: the interior oblique muscles cause the expiration of the lungs, a.k.a. an exhale.
BAM. How you like me now? Back to work.