Friday, April 25, 2008

Deadlines Smedlines (Part I)

The deadline for the next portion of my thesis is (or was) today. I made a pretty good effort to meet it ... that is until one of my friends invited me to a local music festival. Yes, it’s quite irresponsible to go to a music festival the day a paper is due. And no, I never would have dreamed of doing such a thing in high school or even college. But in an effort to be at least a little responsible, I did set my alarm for 6 a.m. to finish before the festival.

I did wake up. I did not finish.

I left my friend at the festival about an hour ago. Now, I’m at the loneliest coffee shop in the world trying to pass the time and get a few lines (of my thesis, NOT my blog) written before going to a bar with another one of my friends.

The coffee man (this is an indie place, so he is definitely NOT a barista) has been watching the game with a sigh on his face. Then, when I wasn’t paying attention, he muted it and put on an old Stones CD. The words, “What a drag it is getting old” blasted at me, the aging only customer in the shop. The abrupt change in music had the effect of seeming like it was part of the game. But then it kept going with its creepy minor key and tales of yellow pills, even after the play ended. Classsic rock is normally annoying in the over-played way. But tonight, alone in this desolate, hot, sticky coffee shop, it sounds new again. And scary.

Perhaps I should have heeded the hand-written “CASH ONLY” signs that were never there before and hightailed it to the Starbucks across the street. Instead I pulled out all the cash I had, tossed three ones on the bar and said, “What can I get for two dollars? I wanna tip you one.” Coffee man filled up a mug of black coffee. And here I am, alone with my thesis, the game, and the oddly terrifying sounds of Mick Jagger.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I want you to know how insightful and brilliant you are, ven if you're not a master...yet. Second of all, I have no idea why I continually make lists for everything. Third of all, this was supposed to be the second of all but here we go anyways, you are such a good writer. I seriously felt like I was in the coffee shop with you. You're going to be a big deal some day...and not just in Europe.

Miserable Grad Student said...

Wow, thank you for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. Living in a thesis cave can get a little discouraging at times.

Rosa Kaylor said...

This story is really similar to what happened to one of my friends. Things always get better. Of course it's hard not to be sad about missing a dissertation deadline, but it's not the end of the world. At least there's no where to from here but up. I hope this ended well.