TUESDAY EVENING, 7:29 - Just got here. Only six people be lurkin' in Ronnie Reagan Hall—all administrators, ceptin' for me. We're just waiting for the board to emerge from closed session and announce—whatever. The Prez of Saddleback is on the agenda. So is the Chancellor gig.
Obviously, there's no tellin' when the trustees will finish their deliberations and come out to announce their decisions. Back atcha after a while. (Administrators, left to right: BB, DB, DF, [and, over at the right] GR & LF, murmuring.)
* * *7:50 - Suddenly, board prez Tim Jemal emerges, stage left, and says, "Debra Fitzsimons, can I talk to you a minute?" She follows him through the door.
8:00 - no sign of Fitz. They got her!
Just now, BB went out to his car to get his ax. He's playin' it, unplugged, with LF & DB in his apparent thrall. Little Wing, eh? —Meanwhile, GR is way off to the right, playin' his Rickenbacker iPhone.
8:18 - Just as things and shapes slowly become visible in the darkness, BB's unplugged guitar noodlings have slowly become a racket in my head in this empty hall. His watery strumming almost prevents my reading—about Pythagoras, Descartes, Heraclitus, and about similar such (in Nicholas Rescher's "Anecdotes").
* * *8:23 - All beings, it seems, either are or are very close to being, some version of Gregor Samsa—a cockroach, or a double clutch transmission, or something even more horrible.
Dang! I'd rather be a cockroach.
Yesterday, a friend called me, and we discussed district issues. As he spoke, I thought of an important question. It was damned important. When he at long last ceased speaking, I started to raise my question, but it was already gone. Huh? It was no use tryin' to fish it back neither.
"My mind," I said to him, "is a sieve."
* * *That danged BB: he's off in his unplugged little musical world. Now he's singing! Meanwhile LF and DB ignore him, deep in conversation, but I ain't listening. Nope. Don't wanna know.
I think BB's doing "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom" (John Lee Hooker).
8:42 - Suddenly, as if to counter BB's caterwauling, LF starts playing some pop song on her iPhone. I can't place it. It's odd somehow. Eventually, she turns it off, causing BB to launch into further solipsistic warble und strum. He's ignored by all—except me, I guess—but he's happy, like some little kid with his toy car.
8:46 - Can't seem to read my book. I hear: "Soul Man" (Steve Cropper). Then "Listen to the Music" (Doobie Brothers?!). Now "El Paso" (Marty Robbins). Then "Over the Hills and Far Away" (Led Zep). Meanwhile LF murmurs and Glenn surfs.
9:00 - It's 9:00 p.m., and we're useless. We have all turned into, not pumpkins, but drooling zombies or worse. No sign of Fitz. No sign of Jemal. No sign of life. What the hell are we doing here, anyway? It's some kinda hell, as usual. At least they aren't handing out prizes like they always do. That stuff is Rod Serling meets the well-meaning-yet-hideous Den Mothers and their hungry Weblos.
9:10 - Nothing, really, is at stake for me tonight. I only wish to learn what will be. But, for these others, I think, it matters plenty. Are they vultures? Hopefuls? Dutiful underlings?...
9:11 — AT LONG LAST, THE TRUSTEES EMERGE.
Prendergast, Poertner, Jemal and Wright climb back into their seats. Kinsler, the lawyer, is leaving. He waves amiably, despite his lawyerosity. Some gal—another lawyer?—is also leaving. (I spotted her Merc out in the parking lot. Vroom.) Lang is on the phone with Jemal.
OK, what next?
9:13 - Whitt and Milchiker join the others, taking their seats. Lang is on his phone in Iowa, countin' beans in his head.
JEMAL: reconvening from closed session. Wright will read out actions taken by the board:
Wright: one action, 7-0 vote, approved appointment of Debra Fitzsimons as Acting Chancellor, subject to approval of mutually agreeable contract.
Nothing else to report.
—Good grief! That's it? Could they have done less? I don't see how! Maybe they shoulda reaffirmed Gary's retirement while they were at it!
Wait! Did this episode really happen?
I'm so outta here.