Courtesy of Deviant Art
It's been nice knowing you folks. I bid adieu because the POD has come to reclaim my soul.
You are all familiar with the POD. My very brilliant professor who teaches in a manner that is not for the faint of heart. He means well, in his own twisted way.
Well, as you know, I survived his sadistic tormenting last semester. In fact, I guess I must have liked the kink because I signed up again for another one of his flogging sessions.
Oh, Rebecca, what. does. this. say. about. you?
Well, the truth is that this is an upper-level course that I need and he's the only one teaching it. And, ok, he's grown on me. *sigh* And last night was our first class. For the next three months I will be in his medieval torture chamber awaiting the different levels of agony and unbearable pain he will put me through. Truth be told he sees this as a legitimate way to extract that which he wants from us: our blood. And, our crime? Simply that we are shitty writers that deserve the pillory or rack because our submissions could qualify as nothing less than a crime.
But the POD was quite pleasant last night. Very pleasant. Very kind, sweet and charming. Hmm? Where did my PODdy POD go? The man standing before me looked like the POD, his voice sounded like the POD, but it wasn't the POD. It couldn't be. Well, maybe the holidays were kind and loving to him and he was still basking in the light; or, maybe he met some nice lady friend who is taming his fiery temper; or, or, or....
Oh, I get it! New kids on the block! New blood on which to feast! Reel them in with words of sweet. Yes! How brilliant is my POD?! They're young and innocent and believe him to be a nice, elderly professor who is going to be oh, such a pushover and, oh, such an easy A!
HA! Put those thumbs in your mouths right now fetuses because you are going to start crying for your mommies! You have entered his chamber of horrors and you will not leave unscathed. Tsk, tsk. They looked so trusting too, fiddling with their hairs, yawning, waiting for class to end because they had better things to do. Oh, yeah. Next week you'll be like kittens standing before a pit bull. A pit bull who hasn't had a bite to eat in a month.
So, we do our in-class assignment. The prompt is snow or extreme heat. Pick your poison. Write for 15 minutes, let it flow. I submit mine. He loves it. WTF? No, no, no!! This is not what I signed up for! Put me on the rack! Tell me it's shit! Use me as the example of complete suckiness! Yes, I realize this is not a word, but, hey, my story, I get to make up words.
No, he likes it. As a matter of fact, he wasn't critical or mean to one single person. Not one. Okay, this is boring. What's wrong with him? This has to be bait. Yes. Because next week will be different. Next week the innocents will finally meet him. How do I know? Because after a week's worth of shitty, unreadable submissions, all Hell will break loose. And they will get to see him discard the costume of a nice, gentle man before their very eyes and see the devil that dwells inside. Oh, I can see the tears now. "You want to be a writer? You expect me to applaud this garbage? Do you speak English? Can you write English?!" And the POD will once again spew those venomous words that will leave us whimpering at his feet begging for his forgiveness for being such incompetent morons.
And this course is not a free ride. It is not an easy A. We're to produce. At least 100-200 pages of worthy material, not mediocre material, but solid material that could be publishable. Be it in the form of a play, screenplay, novel, memoir, poems.
Well, scratch the memoir because that would take half a page at most and would undoubtedly induce coma in any reader because of the boredom factor.
So now I'm down to a novel (250 pages). In three months. I'm not brilliant and my brain is not that big.
Okay, screenplay. Seems daunting. And do I have time for writing something that I'm a complete novice at while actually doing what I get paid for, preparing for my college's commencement exercises which sucks the life right out of me? No.
Poetry? Please, I'd rather write a novel and a screenplay. Not my thing.
So what am I left with? A play. I can do plays. But I'll write something tragic to keep him from flogging me too severely. He thinks my Pollyanic light shines too bright and thus it is his job to extinguish it and seek out the dark in me. It's how he gets his kicks. But, a 3-act play? Christ!
And instead of using my time now to begin penning my words for this tremendous project, I am here fiddling around and writing this post instead. Okay, so call it mental floss. Because I know the mental beatings will soon begin and I'm ready. I think. And which genre I choose to write is irrelevant anyway. I am now his puppet, doing his bidding. Forget that I have a mind of my own. He's taken possession of it and will not return it until he believes I've earned it. And he will sniff out that which I most fear, that which would want to make me take my brain out and put in a jar for lab rats to pick at. And he will take me to that precipice and tell me to jump and call me a coward if I fail to do his bidding. So, yes, let me have my little moment now, because life as I know it, is now over.
So it's been nice knowing you folks. And I'm off to the Temple of Doom. If I fail to return in one, uninjured piece with my faculties intact, then please know that "the kindness of strangers" has not been lost on me. I like you. I really, really like you. And you've all been very sweet and kind to me. Thank you.
Let the verbal flogging begin.
January 27, 2009