by Sam Buntz
[Yeah—the title’s a bad pun. But this is the Internet. We’re not about quality here.]
I have mixed feelings about going to school (though, I’m out of school, now). The external, socialized part of me supposedly likes school—after all, he (or is it more of an “it”?) opted to sign on for another two years of grad school after finishing college. But a deeper part of me—the Freudian Id, the primal bundle of impulses that make up my perennially un-socialized, un-tutored core—totally hates school.
This is basically because the deeper part of my psyche is an Eternal Five Year Old, and furthermore, school, in the final deduction, is… school. Like, screw that, right? Who wants to go sit in school all day and listen to some goateed scrub babble on about Dickens’ minor works, when you could be throwing snowballs at other five-year-olds and attempting to tackle them and wash their faces with snow, before having that attempt brutally reversed due to your own physical softness?
The Id naturally wants a Snow Day everyday—whereas the conventional ego pretty much is a goateed (or, rather, bearded) scrub, who would probably really “enjoy” investigating Dickens’ minor works for a substantial amount of time, and would actually agree to pay someone else for the privilege of writing a twenty-five page paper on Our Mutual Friend that no one is going to ever read after the Professor skims it and gives it an A-. Sometimes I can’t help the feeling that the part of me that actually wants to do all this is already showing cracks, its fragile, genteel egg-shell of an existence about to shatter—as the Beast re-asserts himself.
But, with an ageless sigh, I know that’s not going to happen. The conventional ego is titanium—very light, but invincible.
Nevertheless, given the claims of my more primal being, it feels sort of weird to have to pay off college loans. (If any loan providers happen to be reading this—yes, I’m going to continue paying up. So, calm down.) Yet, on this more instinctive level, paying off college loans feels like a bullshit scam.
It feels like someone—some charismatically malignant vampire—convinced me to take out loans in order to purchase several dump-trucks full of brussel sprouts, so that I could eat a dish of brussel sprouts every day for six years (meanwhile, with this mystery villain substantially increasing those loans in the last two years of that period), and then, when the whole process has concluded, the charismatic villain says, “Pay me”— to which the Core of my Being, the Eternal Five Year Old, proudly wishes to respond, “Pay you for brussel sprouts??? Sure, I’ll pay you for sprouts—with FIRE. And then I’ll become a pirate, kidnap Beyonce (respectfully—since I’m five years old and have very indefinite ideas about sexuality anyway), and live happily ever after on my own private island, called ‘Sam Island’ (because, again, I’m a five-year-old).”
Yet, nonetheless, civilization rears its ugly head, and a hushed silence reigns. The government extorts its supposed “credit” from another humble and cowed customer, and the sadistic forced march of Time continues. “We beat on, boats against the current…” You fill in the rest.