The adjunct comes home

from his other job at the winery.  He sits down and examines his setup, the total lace of his placement.  Bills; childcare then COBRA then mortgage then groceries, gas for the cars, and everything else.  Something had to be done, he knew, but what WAS the next move?  Semester to semester coupled with a part-time fly in wine’s eye.. huh?  The job the job the jobs!  He’d design his own jobs, and not care what the possibilities were, are, are going to be.  He wouldn’t write out a business plan, he wouldn’t budget, he wouldn’t project or measure…  He wouldn’t do any of that shit.  Not after being let go from the last winery job for the tightness of their budget (among other things..).  He’d just leap.  The adjunct.. the lecturer.. the part-timer–  New thought: the running, Big Sur, I think they have a marathon or ‘half’ down there. Should do that.  Will be running tomorrow night after work, driving straight to gym after first day– or second day, of last weekend of barrel tasting.  Sipping the night’s cap now, Sculpin, not first sip yet–  There.  And the adjunct goes to dream, day dreams after the workday and that’ from all the enabling of my wit, somewhat slouched or scripted but it’s there.  How to react, the point, the coin in my pocket, lost in thought because I wish for travel, I wish a wish list and every item on it is a destination; on for each continent then repeated.  And I’d write, in Morocco, in Paris (my city, again), then Greece, then Russia, South Africa, and wherever.  Sip fast to make imagination more viscous, but it doesn’t work, I just need to put every word out there till I’m out there.

The adjunct looks at his remaining weeks, 10.  And thinks of what to do when back, back from Spring Break.  People ask the adjunct why he does what he does.  “That’s crazy,” they think and sometimes say.  ‘Yeah I know’ he thinks.  But that’s what he went to school for.  That’s what he knows and wants to do.  He doesn’t want to be in a box as he was at the last place, that winery, the instruction the orders, the dictatorial tightening.. what does he do?  Arrested…  so much order and commanding conversation, he’s an adjunct.. part-time, just a nickel-a-novelty.. he wishes he was a dime-a-dozen.  But he stops and looks at the notes he made today in the tasting room for Tuesday’s lectures.. he wanted to enjoy his night but couldn’t.  Time was accosting him.  What could he do?  THIS, for the rest of his life, with a son and a wife and the wanting of another soon, before he’s too old?

The adjunct writes, imagines other paths he could have taken so he wouldn’t have to be here, there, back and forth between two identities–  The forced, the coerced, the manipulated pond of transfused professionalism.. a deadend, obviously.  “Transport me to Big Sur,” he thought.  He saw it.  And it offered a key, imaginarily.

And up, 6:24, in dark, with allergies.  Officially Spring, I think.  Should get some of those allergy pills at the store and not the ones that promise to work on the commercials I mean the really strong stuff, so I’m assured proper breathing.  Right now, I can barely through my nose, and I’m frustrated, hating hearing myself sniffle and snort down here in the dark quiet.  Jackie not yet stirring, nor is Alice.  I yawn… want coffee but not yet.  Not bringing backpack today, just the little pages, capture what I can when I can on the secondtolast bbl tasting day.

3 days, two months till the Santa Cruz 26.2.  I’ll do seven at the gym tonight, then 5 on Monday, then 14 on Wednesday.  NEXT Wednesday, I’ll go for 20.  They say, other runners I’ve met, that if you can hit 20 you can do the 26.2.  Well, now I’ll try for it.  Need two pairs of socks to wear, ties shoes tight, and start slow this Wednesday and next.  And cut back on certain foods, beer and wine, and the icecream that I usually sub in as a nightcap when I’m trying to be good.  But I’m not.  Alice is a great wife and gets me the good stuff; the mintchip by.. can’t remember, but it’s not ‘low-fat’ or ‘lite’ or any of that nonsense.  Like I said, the bad good stuff.

Think I hear little Kerouac upstairs, headed for his door, any minute I now I should hear ‘Daaaaaddyyyyyyy’ like he’s summoning his butler, or chauffeur, or orderly.  His sentences commands and rejections grow stronger and more cogent by the day.  Soon we’ll have our first true exchange of ideas, which I’m sure will be like Hem and Bumby.

Still so dark outside.  This always happens around daylight savings, and it confuses people, workers that rise early and stayathome moms, yes, but especially us (writers).  I want the sun and how it slowly climbs to perception and is coy but ardent and knows I’m watching, looking left just to the fence and whatever openings it allows for that day’s sun.  But, as I thought last night, only the dark of this room, and the quiet till the fridge starts its cold, metallic hallow cord hum.

The adjunct thinks of his students often and what he could do for them to make the class more exciting, yes more entertaining, and for himself as well.  He doesn’t like showing too much movie or video as that’s cheating.. he thought…  But what about cinema deconstruction, taking the film apart piece by piece?  Dialogue and color and the concept of mise en scéne?  He could do it, he thought, and be more than critical– be surgical with the observations, have prompts and targets for what precisely to consider prepared THEN have the students find their own idea mines of importance.  “Keep them guessing…consider the rest of the semester, when back from break, like its own movie, its own script.. have the students on chairedge, unable to take eyes from you, that unusually passionate and creative and WRITING instructor of record,” the adjunct thinks, “I don’t want to be like the older full-timers and I don’t want to ‘usual’ in any form, patterned and processed and predictable.  What am I teaching them by doing that?  To be safe.  No.  Don’t be safe.  Be like the sun; everything revolving around the ideas you generate, bright forceful and inviting.”

The adjunct then thinks of that word, his word, where They have him worded: adjunct.  “a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part…” I’m added?  To what?  The college, okay, yeah, fine I’ll give you that, but ‘rather than an essential part’?  Why not make me an essential part?  Wait…  Aren’t I already an essential part?  I look further into the definition provided by the dictionary that was stock with this laptop, and I’m bulldozed by an example sentence, “computer technology is an adjunct to learning.” Now the adjunct starts to feel his venom bubble, being likened to a piece of technology in the arena of learning.. the only reason his students were learning was because of him and his lectures and ideas and plans for day after day.  He, and others like him, were more than an ‘essential part’.  Already.  Then “connected or added to something, typically in some auxiliary way.” He couldn’t read anymore, the adjunct, up early and about to be a dad and husband then go to the winery.  At least there was Peace there and enhanced Personhood there– the fridge came on, growled and hummed and motored.  All its parts were essential, nothing auxiliary there, or ancillary, or supplemental, or added.. pick your goddamn word!

Think the sun’s coming up, as the sky looks back at me with that blue or purplish gray.  That’s when I always know.  The allergies are frankly, and quite literally, harming me.  Still no breathing through nose.  Coffee might help that with those olfactory nudges… we’ll see.  Had one guy get a little snarky with me yesterday, as he found out we weren’t participating in barrel tasting.  I just repeated the obvious, which I just wrote, and he still wanted to make it known he was displeased, and in front of other visitors, two whom were industry.  One of the industry guys, John, from a nearby Dry Creek winery, looked at me and rolled his eyes, then later when the older man was done with his roar of citation, he said to me “That’s when you know they probably don’t need to visit another barrel tasting.” Or something like that.  And I agreed.  Agree.

Jackie up, coffee brewed and in cup, Alice still resting.  Have to leave at 9:15.  Showtime is 10AM but I want to be there early to note in the vineyards, walk around and scribble in the little book, take pictures, meditate, just be outside, be a writing walking and noting and immersing myself– no hate that term– involving and surrendering myself to the surrounding scéne.

The adjunct wakes to find he didn’t pack his bag.  Costs thirty seconds to a minute.  Drive to coffee shop, 5 minutes.  Order and walk back to car, at least 5 more, probably closer to eight.. then campus sit down and plan (no way he’s getting grading done this morning..), who knows.  What if he let them go early, sent them off on some ‘research assignment’?  That’d help.

On campus he sips his coffee and looks at the bag, full of papers he wouldn’t touch, why’d he bring them?  Confusion, tired, not even 7AM.  The day would test him, as they all did, and the assignment was half over, more, week 10.