Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Walk of Shame

I spent the first hour of my office hours rearranging images for a lecture on Vietnam and answering email. After that, it was time to proofread the actual pages of the print edition of Marvin's Book.

It was real. 167 pages of real, with just the right font and perfect footnotes on the right pages. I didn't swoon, I didn't gloat. I got out a pen (red) and hunted for my own bloopers.

Because Marvin's Book is partly a book of grief and loss, I'm kinda drained from writing it. So there, I said it. It was hard to write about losing students and a friend, and re-reading the stories doesn't take a bit of the sting of grief away.

But today I have to read it, it is time. This book will be in airports. It will be available in at least 31 countries. I can't have my own bloopers.

So I read. And my eyes danced on a few funny things I forgot, then stuck on something new. I write about chocolate eclairs and carrot cake in one chapter.  Chocolate fudge Pop Tarts play a big role in a different chapter. Oh my gosh, I skim the pages. I wonder whether to be ashamed or not, then decide I'm hungry and continue to lament nobody feeds me.

This is a problem that one day will solve itself, I am sure. Until then, there is the Student Union. So I gather myself and stroll off to Subway for breakfast and forget myself and order lunch (why?).   After the awesome guy goes to the back and finds me a pack of the sacred jalapeno chips, I tuck my money in my pocket and march back to my office, stomach rumbling, and mildly confused on why I wasn't holding grits and eggs.

After I eat my lunch (happily) I realize there is cash in my back pocket, which is strange because I know I brought my wallet to the Student Union.

I hunt in my purse, in my computer case and I even open my office windows to see if it could have fallen out the window and onto the hedges below. Nothing.

I call Subway.

Its there.  Sigh. I ready myself to march back.

Dr. V is now in his office across from mine and he sees me rush out.

I stop myself and collapse a little with humility as I admit to him I was  about to do "the walk of shame" to go pick up my wallet. I shrug, salute him, and head out.

He sees I'm frustrated and calls after me,  "Melissa, you can't do the walk of shame. You're Cuban!"

That makes me perk up a bit.

I've already turned the corner and done a little three step salsa to cheer myself up and call back cheerfully, "That's RIGHT! I'm CUBAN! VIVA!"

His deep laugh fills the hallway behind me, "No! I said HUMAN! I said YOU'RE HUMAN! It's HUMAN to make mistakes"

I heard him and giggled, thankful for the timely reminder.