Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A recent scene from my apartment

FADE IN.

INT. KITCHEN - EVENING

THE TEACHING ASSISTANT, clad in a hooded sweatshirt and assorted cold weather clothes that are causing her to bear a striking resemblance Lyra Belacqua, cups her hands around a candle for warmth. THE NANOTRIBOLOGIST, for some reason, finds this hilarious. She LAUGHS.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
It's so cold in here. D'you think there's any chance our landlord will turn the heat on tonight?

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
No. It's supposed to warm up a lot in a few days. No chance.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
(bitterly)
Fantastic. I wish I could make cookies so I could justify using the oven to heat this place.

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
So, are you going to make cookies?

TEACHING ASSISTANT
I don't have the time to make cookies! I have to do a critical reading of several hundred pages of El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega tonight, may God have mercy on my soul!

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
Okay, then. I could make cookies.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
You WHAT?

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
I have time.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
(shock registers on her face)
How? How do you have time? It's the middle of the week and you have TIME?

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
I'm a dissertator.

The Teaching Assistant is temporarily rendered speechless, and then it starts to dawn on her that she has not seen Nano crack a textbook for months and that maybe life does change for dissertators... in the sciences, anyway.

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
(cont'd)
Dissertators don't have homework, and I'm done at the lab for today.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
(wails)
I WANT TO BE A DISSERTATOR!

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
(laughs)
You will be... eventually...

TEACHING ASSISTANT
(mutters)
Yeah, well, not if I fail my exams, and even then I'll have to teach.

NANOTRIBOLOGIST
(pretending not to hear what her roommate's been repeating pessimistically for months)
So, what kind of cookies do you want?

FADE OUT.




Epilogue: the Nanotribologist is now in possession of a picture of me reading Comentarios Reales de los Incas and shivering while sitting on the floor in the kitchen with my back pressed to the oven door. Great. It had better not surface online, is all I'm saying. In my defense, I was cold and it's the closest thing I've got to my parents' glass-enclosed gas fireplace, and that's several states away.