If it’s bad enough for him
you know it’s bad enough for me
— the prophet guy clark
I’m having a dream. This is not unusual, since I’m asleep. But it is unusual because I find myself in Tucson.
I’m apparently taking an English class at the University of Arizona. It’s a night class. To get to it, I park in a dingy covered parking garage and get in a dingy elevator. Dingy appears to be a theme in the dream.
I step out on the seventh floor. It’s a dimly lit food court of some sort. A stand is selling enormous hamburgers. Like you would need a dolly to carry one. I opt for a Coca-Cola, thinking all the great arteests leaned on caffeine. It comes in an extremely vertical bottle. A skyscraper with a straw. I reluctantly carry it to my class.
The classroom is at the end of a foreboding hallway. Inside, maybe 10 or 12 hipsters are hunched over tables in the dark, drawing feverishly. Apparently today’s English lesson is “doodling.” I’m not sure what this has to do with English, but I dutifully pick up a pencil and a piece of paper and get to work.
A twenty-something teacher with round black frames and a jaunty beret walks over. She motions to a stack of plastic cups and gestures that I should pour my Coke into one. I do so, then return to drawing.
I am sketching a runner. A dog is standing by the side of the trail. I haven’t decided yet whether he’s friendly or not.
The teacher walks over once more and picks it up. She shines a tiny pocket flashlight on it. Her brows furrow. She frowns.
She says simply: “This is not the way Hemingway would have drawn it.” She puts it down and walks away. I take another drink of Coke and sigh.
And then I wake up.
And that is how I began Day 1 of the Great Marathon Oblivion March. It’s a rest day. So why do I feel so tired?
I can do this, dammit. I can.
Or maybe I’m just dreaming …