Gallstone #5

March 16, 1999

I'm eating a stale jelly donut, drinking my second room-temp can of pabst blue ribbon. my school, arguably the finest dental school in the states, has kicked my soul into the shitcan. it is a mathematical impossibility for me to graduate on time in june. there are not enough appointment slots left for me to do the work i must do. the gravity of this predicament struck me broadside today. i won't be a doctor in june. i may be a doctor in september, but only after losing three months' income and spending several thousand extra dollars taking the board exam in another city (long story). i broke down in tears today in my office. i cry at movies but i don't cry over myself very often.
i've also become notably more hateful. last week, i started a running joke that the next obstacle to my success would get a bic pen in their neck, and i'd bleed the fucker out. it seems less like a joke than when i first said it. the next person who really pisses me off will become everyone i ever hated- every callous administrator, every shit-smiling upper management douche bag, every tight-ass bean counter, every high-school jock, every cheating girlfriend. I've known the feeling before, of teetering on the edge of control, and not caring if you fall off. It's coming back. i feel a little more hardened, a little less like spending the extra second to be polite. ten years ago, a friend introduced me to party guests as the embodiment of nihilism (a girl with a cheshire-cat tattoo was trying to ball me on the bathroom sink at the time). i feel like i'm back on the job. i quit last time when a gang member stuck a knife into my left orbit. i won't abandon my post so easily this time. i dare anyone to stop me from being me. i've always needed someone to hate, and now i need someone to crush.
third can open now, no time to put them in the fridge. someone in my school, who is a human being, warned me before i came here- the school would try to bleach the individuality out of someone like me. i viewed this as a challenge, but a wise man would have walked away. i have persevered until recently, doing the finest work possible and treating my patients like people (even if I hated them, and I have). I've taken the extra challenge, done the difficult work, worked with the impossible patient. my rewards have been slow progress and chronic behindedness. i've tried to convince myself i'm getting a better education, subconsciously fabricating a cushion for the blow i've recently felt. can four.
meanwhile, all the assholes, all the hacks, all the rule-breakers and opportunistic scumbags, will be marching down the aisle in June. i question the value of my degree since immoral quasi-literates can earn it faster than i can. i question the value of my education when such frankly defective students are earning the same degree i'm earning. i used to care, and i used to be proud to be getting my training at ucla. used to. can five. six.
sometimes i wish i was an immoral piece of shit, so i could graduate in june and start earning a living. virtue is not its own reward- it's its own fucking curse.
precious advice to those who know me personally- don't piss me off. smile and walk away. i could turn on you like a cornered animal. i feel like i've spent four years and $110,000 pissing into a headwind. the satisfaction of being an exceptional student is worth about four fucking cents when all the retards are graduating ahead of you. everything i valued seems worthless now. yup. nihilism.

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