Last evening I was so tired for no reason at all, and this morning I woke up with a blistering headache, the kind that makes you feel like you’re on the edge of throwing up. Taking a pill and a drink had to be done in close proximity to the bathroom, because I didn’t know what that hit of water would do.

So… just now, twenty minutes ago I woke up, gave a ring to the answering machine at school to say I wasn’t coming to school today… and now I suddenly don’t feel anything at all. I will have to decide in the next half-hour whether I should actually try to go to school in three hours. If I’m coming down with something, I should stay at home. If it was just temporary, I’d miss a lot by staying home.

Also, I basically fell asleep early, and didn’t do any homework, so now I have to give some thought as to whether I should sneak out of the bedroom and go and do them. If I go to school, I have to do it. If the headache was a shot across the bow that something wicked this way comes… I have about fifteen or thirty minutes to decide whether I’m actually probably sick and hit a lucky pill, or whether it was temporary.

If I had lived in Texas, this is the point where the School SWAT team would break down my door because as we know, teenagers in Texas are horrible creatures that must be watched; with electronic tags so that the authorities know their every move. I mean, they could go down to the local chippy instead of to the school cafeteria, and that would mean that the school would lose funds. Which would be a horrid crime against all that is decent, and which is why it would be motivated to break down my door with the school SWAT team. It would probably be best if the SWAT team sniper shot me too, or that they would tazer me.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. It should be against the law to have to make decisions this early in the morning. It’s 04.12. Even Watson is snoring in his basket downstairs. I can hear it all the way up here, and that says a lot because the dog outsnores the sawmill that’s in bed next to me.

***

Hah! How everything changes, and everything remain the same…

satyriconThose who are brought up on such a diet can no more attain to wisdom than a kitchen scullion can attain to a keen sense of smell or avoid stinking of the grease. With your indulgence, I will speak out: you–teachers–are chiefly responsible for the decay of oratory. With your well modulated and empty tones you have so labored for rhetorical effect that the body of your speech has lost its vigor and died. Young men did not learn set speeches in the days when Sophocles and Euripides were searching for words in which to express themselves. In the days when Pindar and the nine lyric poets feared to attempt Homeric verse there was no private tutor to stifle budding genius. I need not cite the poets for evidence, for I do not find that either Plato or Demosthenes was given to this kind of exercise. A dignified and, if I may say it, a chaste, style, is neither elaborate nor loaded with ornament; it rises supreme by its own natural purity. This windy and high-sounding bombast, a recent immigrant to Athens, from Asia, touched with its breath the aspiring minds of youth, with the effect of some pestilential planet, and as soon as the tradition of the past was broken, eloquence halted and was stricken dumb. Since that, who has attained to the sublimity of Thucydides, who rivalled the fame of Hyperides? Not a single poem has glowed with a healthy color, but all of them, as though nourished on the same diet, lacked the strength to live to old age. Painting also suffered the same fate when the presumption of the Egyptians “commercialized” that incomparable art. (I was holding forth along these lines one day, when Agamemnon came up to us and scanned with a curious eye a person to whom the audience was listening so closely.)

I was reminded of this book earlier, and took the book out from the school library. The copy is very thumbed by the multitudes of Latinists before me who have come to this book, and the look that the librarian gave me suggest that she found it amusing that I selected it. I hope the stains on these pages are from coffee or drinks or something not so suggestive, considering the nature of the book.

I did have to explain to Mark what sort of book it is, and he was a bit amused. Particularly that I had borrowed it from the school library. In his school, he says, the book would most likely have been in the Head Master’s safe. It’s not that bad. It’s not like it’s erotica or something. Or maybe it is, I’ve only just begun it. Maybe it’s a steaming pile of lust and debauchery.

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