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Very bad today, dear Diary. Overwhelming feelings of loneliness and… - Dr. Holiday Wednesday
November 30th, 2007
12:47 pm


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Very bad today, dear Diary. Overwhelming feelings of loneliness and failure. Almost could not get out of bed.

I'm pushing forty and I've nothing to show but a sheaf of esoteric research papers which briefly pique interest before the next trend in research comes along. Sure, I've won a major award. It is not better than nothing... a tease is not better than nothing. The fruits of my research are a set of cheap party tricks which are of little use to anyone but myself. I expected I would be much further along by now in my work, my so-called 'great' work. What kind of role model am I to Nicole? What am I doing to the poor girl? The acts I've made her a party to... worse still, what have I done to her academic prospects? There is a certain dubious prestige in working with me, I know, but at great cost.

My personal life is characterized by failure. I can't make an intimate relationship work unless I bind the other party to myself in some sybaritic ritual, and even then it's bound to fail... Greta was as tied to me as an individual could be, and in her I perceive little save loathing and contempt, if I'm feeling optimistic; otherwise, indifference. I can only lose my lustre to Nicole as she becomes more aware and confident. And what basis is that for a relationship, and how can I expect an intimate relationship of my laboratory assistant? (sigh) I'm ruining the poor girl. Is there any possible outcome beside her becoming discredited and untouchable? The greatest kindness I could render unto Nicole is to pass her into the tutelage of a more stable colleague... any will do. I cannot explain to her. She will not understand, she will be hurt, but better than to pull her down with me.

Is this dilemma one which Moreau faced before me?

And I have no parents in which to confide. No family worth speaking of. My mother died as a result of my neglect. Not fair on myself? That is a matter of opinion. I knew better. I knew what sort of individual my father was. Perhaps I blame myself so I may retain some vestige of familial association.

I know my thoughts seem incoherent, but this is, perhaps, a moment of true clarity.

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)

What then, if I may ask, is the great work? What is the final target, the ultimate goal?

Your assistant must be familiar, as younger members of acadaemia are, with the issues of time management in progressing over a few short years to a thesis; perhaps you need to revisit the creation of a timeline to find your purpose again?

A goal; a raison d'etre; the future you are going toward, and taking your assistant to - not the 'failings' of past and present, which I suspect you are being a trifle harsh in the dismissal of. What is your brass ring, Doctor, and how will you plot your approach? And are these doldrums, perhaps, a symptom of concern at what may transpire when it is within your grasp?
[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Oh doctor how morose. Your very person is an achievement that none can deny. Why worry about an arbitrary milestone? Despite the strangeness of your relationship with your lab assistant all you're really doing is complaining that if past relationships haven't worked out, then why should this one? What a telling lack of self confidence.

I know what might cheer you up a little, though. Mx. Magenta, in her capacity as a useless socialite has received an invitation to one of ςεΧ (Sigma Epsilon Chi)'s notorious pillow fights, held at their palatial sorority house near campus. Night time lingerie, and a decent singing arm are a must. It would be quite a coup if I could get you to be my +1. I'm sure you've flunked more than your share of ςεΧ sisters in your time, they aren't known for their academic achievement after all. Wouldn't it be gratifying to quiet your mind for an evening with some substances that make your head feel like its full of bubbles and pillow pound some of these troublesome undergrads?
[User Picture]
Date:March 28th, 2009 05:56 am (UTC)
That sounds like a simply delightful picture you know... Do tell me if it goes about.
[User Picture]
Date:March 28th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
There's a sports car dealership not too far from the campus. I hear such vehicles are popular among people in your age group. Usually men.
[User Picture]
Date:March 28th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
Loathing and contempt? No. Indifference? No.

[User Picture]
Date:March 28th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
Doubt is destructive you know. You of all persons should have more bravado then why your words state. But could simply be one of those days. To much gloom and post family blahs.

Still, I find this amusing, not in a contempt way, but in a enthralling way. A open, remorseful, worried for others side. Never would have thought giving your general outward actions and mask.
[User Picture]
Date:March 29th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
The opinion of a sycophantic and inexperienced thing with an obviously complimentary research inclination is certainly not what you need at the moment. Nevertheless, forgive my intrusion.

Your work is far from flash-in-the-pan doctor. It has significance and merit beyond 'party tricks', without a doubt. I will admit that a broader application of your research might be far removed from what I would implement, but still, it has meaning. Perhaps the larger issue here is that your exceptional work has more or less existed in something of a vacuum. In order to be of lasting significance, the research must be incorporated, molded, reinvented, modified, and overall adsorbed into the community. As petty, shallow, and ridiculous as the community is, it is only as a whole that is has any impact.

I daresay you need a collaborator. One of your level and intelligence, who can expand your findings.

As for Nicole and your interpersonal life, I wouldn't sell yourself short. Nicole will be fine, I believe. Academics are usually free to forge their own identities after leaving their place of education, less than being discredited. Do remember she stays with you of her own volition. I'd say she genuinely cares for you.

I hope this cloud passes for you soon, doctor. But, as I said, my words are tainted. I shall halt them here.
Date:March 29th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
Though you know, there was a time

I'm not even sure what to think anymore, but I seem to be responsible for thinking something, so I suppose thinking is what I shall do.
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