When the English professor who torpedoed my doctoral-program applications seven years ago walked into my gym this morning, I had two simultaneous thoughts, and neither was based in vengeful hatred, as they well should have been.
One: any other time I would launch off this erg and choke you for costing me a chance at an academic career when I was still considered of viable PhD program age, but your gross incompetence and callous disregard for your promises allowed me to find a couple of great professors at a college I never would have considered and gave me the window during which to have my son. So fuck you, but I can’t even spare a “fuck you” for you.
Two: I’ve always pictured you, in my pathetic, depressive, post-academic-door-slammed-shut slump, as a bilious monster. You’re actually quite pathetic in your fisherman’s sweater and nylon track pants, there on the treadmill in broad daylight when you could be out walking the world and observing how real humans live.
And for the record, I am right now reading something that, in addition to being far superior to anything you published back in your productive days, has inspired me to return to academia, allowing me to forget for a moment how traitorously you abandoned me one day before your letter of recommendation was due. Did I mention fuck you? And I’m better than you? And you’re pathetic? And I’m not a big enough person to forgive you, but I am big enough to keep working out right next to you, complete lack of recognition on your face, knowing that I’ve lost almost seven years of my dream because of you. I don’t really care about you anymore. I don’t have time.
But the funniest part of seeing you? When the ladies from the early morning dance class tittered that you should join them and you said, “I would love to, but I just don’t play well with others,” I actually bit my tongue to keep from agreeing aloud. At least you’re self aware. Remind me again why that assuages my wounded pride and remedies my incomplete education?
Oh, yeah. ‘Cuz I have a cute kid. Okay. Hope that gets me through the day. And the next day. And every day for about six years until I take your job and laugh at your shriveled hull.
See ya then, treadmill boy.