The Sweat of the Brow (xxxv)

I need a reason why I should want to rub shoulders with agrahackers. I don’t expect I’ll be interrogated in the back room. I don’t expect I’ll be questioed over hors d’oeuvres. I don’t expect I’ll even have a chance to bring it up. I need it so I will know I have it. I need it for myself.

I build great towers of fancy and fabrication. I stand back and look at them, and tear them down. They are too complicated. They are comic, in point of fact. They will topple under the slightest pressure. So I topple them myself.

I decide to be a retiree who has developed an impassioned dilletante’s interest in the benefits, and implications, of genetic modification. It is simple. It is dull. It is pathetic. It suits an old man.

I set out to study the subject. After a few minutes I force myself to stop. A decaying dilletante, sailing towards his horizon, would not know these things. No reason to put any further distance between the role and the real.

I read enough of the subject to know that I know very little about it. Enough that, were I to imagine myself its master, I should sound like a doddering old fool. Nothing more.

I call the alumni office. I mention my great interest I the subject, my admiration of the honored guest, my desire to become a part of the community. I talk kindly at a very young man until he cannot wait to be rid of me. He transfers me laterally. I talk some more. I am transferred up. I talk to a fundraiser, a biologist, a work study kid. I am patient.

They are not. At length I am offered a ticket, and let them alone.

White tie. Black jacket. Golden perfume. Doors at seven. Cocktails at half past. Dinner at half eight. By ten they’ll be stacking chairs.

I have three days. They go by very slow.


~ by davekov on 24 March 2012.

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