Coined  (sketch)

The adjunct prepares for his progression, or his lecture, or his lesson.  He didn’t know what to call it.  He never did.  But he wrote, and emailed students.  He had another glass of wine.  Another—  From the winery he worked at full-time.  There was an uncomfortable juxtaposition in all this.  He loved wine more than he did grading papers and to an extent more than teaching but there he was, in the throws of everything.  His mood soured and sunk, he didn’t want to work on the planning or anything connected to the 8-week Summer course he was given.  And yes, ‘given’, just assigned to him, no choice.  That, how it was as an adjunct—  Or there was a choice!  This was the only one, the only one that fit his schedule, his life, and they’d throw that in his face if he ever raise any issue or inclemency.  He needed more more wine, he knew, and he was all over the place tonight with his thought, should he try harder with teaching or with wine, he had to choose a path, and he felt forced, just like when he called in for his teaching assignments every semester.  This wasn’t what he wanted, he knew.  So many of his former students from years ago had these amazing jobs and he was still in the same fucking spot.  “Fuck,” he said to himself.  And that’s all he could say, or do.  Why couldn’t he have year ago seen what he was getting into?

No more grading, no more.  To the wine, analyzing— or not so much some strict or systematic analysis but a real thought-set about what was tasted.  Blackberry, plum— or chocolate, was this a Merlot or Cab?  It didn’t matter.  This was glass 4.  Nothing left in bottle, that was fine.  Plenty left to grade, but it wouldn’t get done.  That was more than finer’s fine.  He was refined, proverbially inclined.  To do what.  Not grade, that was certain.

Another glass, right on the table next to…  A night, his, he knew the things needed to get done, but so what.  What if they didn’t.  Why should there be that infernal urgency?  There was none from the students, nor the department, surely.  People always told him, other professors:  “Watch what you say, words go way too far in this department.” And what would, could, they do? He was an adjunct— “Fuck them.” He thought.  What could they take from him?  He prepared more, a bit.  Only two notes for Monday’s session:  “Write— readings…  group—  first larger paper”.   What did that do.  Nothing.  He was over it, all of it, the adjunct scam.  10 years in it, and why, ‘cause he was hopeful.  That hope was long ago beheaded.  The next “lecture” would be about purpose, happiness, and not falling for anything.  As he had.  This would be his last, his last term, this summer.  Another glass, the last, to mirror another last.  His rejection, full-time.  But he’d end it all with loud throws of words, teaching, what he was assigned to do.  More truth.