12 May 2010

0 all night long

due to above average planning and time management skills, i have only once pulled an all-nighter. way back in december 2002, when i needed to write what i knew would be a groundbreaking piece of scholarship on- you guessed it- the socioeconomic significance of hats, scarves and shoes in post-menopausal courtship rituals in anita brookner's hotel du lac.

(for the record, there are SO MANY things in that sentence that i wish were lies. sadly, they are not.)

given the monumentality of such subject matter, i- understandably- did not know where to begin.

a loss of direction in no way helped by a librarical shortage in the fashions/textiles/post-menopausal relationships arena- a shortage i, at the very peak of my black bras under white shirts feminist revolution, inevitably attributed to deep-seated sexism in the mississippi state university library book buying department.

thus, i was left to my own devices, a dangerous and sad state of affairs for someone so young and stupid and ill-equipped for weighty post-menopausal matters.

in the end, i ate an enormous piece of cake, stayed up all night and, as every english major does at one time or another, bullshitted my way through. because if it sounds good enough, it doesn't matter what you say.

last night, for the world famous biographess and the booths, i pulled an all-nighter. well, a most-of-the-nighter, which at our advanced age, might as well be the whole freaking night.

at 1 a.m. this morning, as i inched closer to a mental freefall presumably not unlike the one that had prompted the woman one table over to face-plant on her mac while reading her facebook feed, the world famous biographess rubbed her eyes and looked at me and said gently, defeatedly, no one ever looks at endnotes so i guess what we're doing here doesn't really matter, so long as it looks good.

she said that and i briefly gained the philosophical clarity that can only come from the potent combo of a 20 oz cappuccino, a 20 oz latte, a 12 oz black coffee, 8 months of sleep deprivation and 14 hours hunched over a heap of books in a maddening quiet.

and so, near delirium, in that maddening quiet i opened my mouth and said all too loudly to the world famous biographess, but, biographess, this is biography! not bullshit!

her eyes got wide as saucers and her laugh took over the room.

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