Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hell is an institutional hallway

This is the inside of my head. These are the cold white floors where I am being consumed in a miasma of paperwork; forms, applications, credit checks, background checks. I get really f---ing annoyed when I am asked for my maiden name. It's sexist. Maiden technically means a virgin, before marriage. Do they ask men this? No. The word itself is restrictive and I resent it. Why does someone need to know how long I've lived at my present address? I have a Master's Degree from NYU. I've taught in the system now since 2001. That should speak for itself. Look at my record of publications, reviews, productions. That should also speak for itself. Why must my private and financial life always be subject to review. I am not a terrorist. Paperwork. It is the bane of my existence and I am not very good at it.

Furthermore, I've had enough with the hot white light of August. I want to walk in a thunderstorm, the rain pouring down upon my frazzled head, filling up my sandals, running down the inside of my trousers. dripping into my eyelashes, my mouth, I want my hair sticking to my head. I want blue jeans, boots, sweaters, a sunset at 6:00 p.m., a sunrise at 7:00 a.m. I want 70 degrees, and yellow leaves littering the streets. I'm tired of my clothes sticking to my body, of having to wear a hat everyday because the humidity lays it flat. I want to go dancing and drink martinis. I don't want to sit on the 4 train as it roars into the Bronx with the crazy people screaming into their cell phones.


  1. Great point on the paperwork. Whenever I visit a new doctor's office, I'm always asked for my social security number and refuse until they give me the proper technical assurance that my personally identifiable information (PII in techie speak) is secure. I know most can't because most of this information is stored on easily cracked databases with no encryption and/or weak passwords.

    I also know that this is far off point from your own frustration with the sexism laiden in a request for your maiden name, so in that case you have my ear and empathy.

  2. I know it seems like nothing is sacred or private anymore. I can't see why its anybody's business how long I've lived in my apartment--- so they can under-pay me. And yes the "maiden name" drives me crazy. LAS