By: Samwell Rockhouse
How did I end up here? I don’t know. Why am I wearing these clothes? Because I need to. Who was it that said, “Alright Cody, when you’re born you can walk around for a little bit naked but then once you start going inside buildings and meeting with people who have worked 40 years and somehow gained respect from other people who are trying to get to that same person’s totem, it’s time to put on shirts and pants.” I’m a literature major. Hm. A literature major? A lit-ter-a-ture major. It all sounds so funny.
My whole college career has been chiseled into analyzing books. I hated reading in school. I hate it even more in a credible institution. The professors are sexually driven by sentences and mildly irritated if you have an opinion other than their own. I go day after day, class after class and the result at the end of the day isn’t knowledge, its confusion. Somehow, I became stubborn, bullheaded, bat-shit crazy over professors telling me, “Read this. It’s going to be on your final.” I have done what they told me to do. Now, where is this going to lead me? I have no idea. I have people and other species come up to me at parties, on campus, through the air, flying over me, slithering through me, biologically changing me, asking the same question, “What do you want to do after you get out of college.” Oh if one question could be written on my shirt so that it would be a warning to not ask it, it would be that. Truth is, I don’t know what I want to do after college. I am kind of floating along right now. My high school peers seemed to have it down before they even went to college. I wonder if they still feel that way. I wonder if it was for the money or to be happy. I wonder if they are saying now, “Was it worth it?” Over the years, I’ve had my parents shoot down my plans saying that’s impossible or be realistic. It’s a battle. I was given bad directions to the survival of the fittest party because no one seems to understand, including me, what I’m even going to do. Fuck, where does that leave me? I’m a real live Winnie the Pooh just looking for a bowl of honey but all these conflicting ideas make me say, “Oh bother.” I’m on the edge of graduation and I feel like I should have a brake on my shoes. I have a chance to take over my parent’s business but I don’t know if that’s the pursuit I want to take. They say the living is great and I’d be an idiot not to take that opportunity. I don’t know about that. I don’t even know how to brush my teeth properly. What is that? I got told one time that you shouldn’t brush sideways but to make circles as you brush your teeth. Come on, give me a break. It’s brushing my teeth not creating Zen. If I end up with a cavity because I decided to brush sideways, I’ll just blame it on the candy, not the technique.
So, how did I end up as a literature major? Well, the answer is simple but also annoying. I was originally a creative writing major; I had spent the first two years at community college getting all my basics out of the way. Within, the middle of my sophomore year I receive a letter from the University of Arizona, saying I had been accepted to their institution. Now, I would have rather gone to ASU but the idea of being at a real college and seeing the activity that goes on at such a place, gave me the shivers and a little bit of a mental boost. I moved down to Tucson, declared myself as a creative writing major and it was all gravy. I went there, decided to live in a dorm. I made some friends, made some enemies. Gained the weight, tried to lose the weight, tried to make that a success, it wasn’t a success, decided to make it a lifestyle and go with it, and enjoyed myself in the process. Life is all about choices. You choose something and hopefully you land in the right place. If not, well you aren’t going to die, you’ll just probably yell a lot which will harden your heart and then you’ll die but that’s a choice too! I ended up not going to see an advisor the year and a half I was at the University of Arizona, thinking the classes I was taking were fine, they weren’t. After my junior year, I decided to live closer to home, help out with the family business and get into ASU. I got to ASU, with all these classes that I surely hoped would help my major but they just kind of looked at my transcript and assumed I was a book worm, I was surprised I had been through so many courses that were divinely literary. Refer to earlier in the post, actually just know I hate assigned books, I don’t want you to lose your place. I had 90% literature credits, no form of any creative writing classes at all. Jeez, now I understand why I got rocked with research papers and a bad case of the reading from the left to the right’s, top to bottom. I found out the creative writing program at ASU was also a little more difficult to get through, it was based entirely off of a portfolio that the department of English graded, thus basing off their own brains that sat in a head of baldness and coffee resin, if that specific person could advance to the next level which would be creative non-fiction 300. It was bullshit. I decided to save myself the time and use the literature credits to turn myself into something different, something less environmentally fiendish (I’d leave it up to the publishing companies who put page after page into another slightly glossier piece of paper), something more docile, and something where I would use my hands even less. I would become a literature major. Yep, I’ve been reading books as a job now for longer than I care to remember. I’ve got a cabinet stuffed with books, I will never read again. Maybe I should take them to that mountain in the Lord of the Rings and just toss them into that lava. Yeah, destruction! No, I wouldn’t ever do that. First I’d blow my nose with them then send them on their way. I think you all understand now how much I dislike being a literature major. The formality and being overrun by the rules and regulations of MLA and other English correctional facility workers makes me want to gag up a piece of art I call why I hate using commas, semi-colons, colons, and being taken away from my friend—run-on sentences. I’m sure that very line wasn’t even correct but I’m still getting my point across and that’s all that matters. Henry James would surely join the puke fest. Hey, I opened my ears for that guy, at least he wrote the way he wanted and he’s being read by thousands a day.
The days are dawning my friends and the light of a new tunnel is coming into view. I’m halfway to 40 and I have no clue what that entails. The environment around me consists of lucid dreamers. The kids are okay with their expensive clothing and fluid exchanges at the bar. The Matterhorn timber is everything we wished for. The cabin was for sale for years and we invited everyone in for free. The sky is built as a tax relief to Godiva. The trees are burning with bark tears as another one like me needs more paper. The world is still young and we as human beings must realize we are all going to be okay. The self-help books have sold millions but the problems will always be winning by one. The reality is, there are no problems. There is only air, water, birth and death. Air is to breathe. Water is to drink. Birth is to see. Death is to know.