A year ago, as I engaged in the mind-numbing, soul-sucking profession that is termed “administrative assistance,” contemplating my own death (or at least unconsciousness) by repeated bashing on the head by a stapler, I penned the below alternate reality. I was tired of answering that endlessly repeated question “now what are you doing?” especially as the answer was so horrifically depressing and so removed from my actual interests. Not to mention that it reinforced the fact that, yet again, I had failed to be accepted into graduate school.
“As you all well know, I have been thwarted at every turn in my dream to become a marine biologist. And so, after much pondering and thought, I have come to the decision that my way lies in the exciting and often overlooked field of highway robbery. I anticipate that this will be a highly lucrative and productive career move for me. One of the many benefits of this employment is its flexibility. I can continue during the day to pursue my leisure activities, and should I have a family, I can spend some quality time at home. Nor, will it take up the majority of my evenings. A few times a week robbing the gentility will more than adequately supply my needs.
However should highway robbery not be all that I anticipate, there are some stimulating options in piracy as well. Actually, one might say that piracy is the more natural progression from marine biology. I have knowledge of handling water craft, I don’t get too violently ill aboard ships, and while I am not ravaging the high seas and pillaging quaint (but prominent) seaside communities, I can continue in my naturalist studies. Plus it is well acknowledged that the sea air is very healthy and cures a vast many complaints.”
Ironically, now that I am graduate school, those two options continue to remain remarkable attractive. I have found myself repeatedly questioning myself whether or not I am cut out for graduate school and have discussed with my friend, J, alternate career paths should we fail in our attempt. While his careers tend towards practicality: volunteer fire department, construction, etc. Mine are crazy and fantastical: piracy and highway robbery. Perhaps though, I can take up writing; maybe some “silly school girl romances” or a “humorous vignette of stories of [southern Maryland].” Well “what will be will be” and “God knows best.” Plug along I must. Though, it is so comforting to know that I have backup plans. Arrrh Maty!
To my two or three faithful readers, I have a random question of the day. If you were to pen a “silly school-girl romance” consisting of two words: the protagonist’s name and a noun, what would it be….oh and remember the alliteration. (Avril’s Atonement and Rosemond’s Revenge are unfortunately taken.) My candidates: Serephina’s Sanity, Euphemianna’s Employ, The Dauphine’s Duel, and Percival’s Phantom. “[They] sound so inspiring” don’t they?