The Messy Ephemera of Day-to-Day Life


By Melanie Williams
Melanie printed her diploma on sheepskin using an HP OfficeJet 6500, the beast of home printers. The diploma states that she graduated in 2006, with a B.A. in Anthropology and Religious Studies. Since then she has been a cook, server, deckhand, goat milker, office assistant, and general itinerant laborer. Tomorrow she will mend the fence (it makes the neighbors better.)

I don’t know what it’s like to be a college freshman today but I still like to pretend I can empathize – I walked into my first class unsure that I could stand the gaff, but hoping to glean some particle of cerebral sublimation just by breathing in the atmosphere of all that erudition, like a contact high.  I could wax nostalgic now about my subsequent years and the candles I extinguished with my mind, the epiphanous power of staring at a diagram of Crow kinship structure, or the life-altering effects of the countless times I heard some permutation of this: Continue reading