My Beautiful Wickedness


Go, Tigers, go.
September 21, 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A former student (hi Ben!) is working on filming a documentary on George Schultz. Ben’s job is to play an Iranian terrorist (helllloooooo, racial profiling — but he’s a good actor and wants work, so I totally understand that) for the “recreated” scenes. Unfortunately, when he told me last night that he was doing a film about George Schultz, my first confused thought was “Peanuts? What does cartoons have to do with Iranian terrorists?” Luckily, I kept my mouth shut long enough to let my brain catch up.

Here’s the problem, though. I know all about Schultz’s checkered career and all (having lived through the 80s), but the thing that my memory retrieved first is that George Schultz has a tattoo of the Princeton tiger on his ass. Schultz is now 88 years old. I have spent many an idle moment since my conversation with Ben last night thinking (unbidden, because that’s how my brain works, ineluctably straying towards the idle, base, and gossippy) about the saggy, wrinkled, toothless condition of George Schultz’s tiger at present. The way of all flesh, etc.

Anyhow, last night was very cool. A colleague had a cook-out for our former and current students. I love it when they come back with their dates, fiancees, spouses, telling me all about their lives. Many of them are working in the State Legislature and making careers for themselves in politics. Some are high school or middle school teachers. I didn’t appreciate, when I came to my college, that I was going to get to watch my students launch and have the pleasure of watching them use what they made in my classes to build their lives.

I tell you, today I feel lucky and rich. Last night, I got to see friends that I haven’t seen in months (and got my first IRL “hey! I found your blog!) and there were many children and a litter of kittens and music to dance to and smart people all over. This morning, I have accomplished that lifelong ambition of having enough bookshelves for all of my books. I walk around sometimes feeling like I have few friends and that my life is sort of a disorganized mess of workworkwork and no payoff in this cold northern place then I go and have a day when I realize that having a good life here has sort of snuck up on me.

Now if only I could stop thinking about George Schultz’s ass…

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