They were going to get her at last. Who? Why, the goons of the military-industrial complex she had been warned about so many years before—by WBAI, or was it Laugh-In?
She saw the events of the last few weeks building inexorably to this climax; she saw today as merely the culmination of an elaborately contrived plot, an accretion of disaster upon disaster like the layers upon layers of wallpaper she had tried to scrape off the walls of her pre-war apartment when she moved in. (Finally she had given up and added her own beige textured layer, one that had popped away from the wall in recent days.)
Each event, each mini-crisis had seemed nothing out of the ordinary, another full moon sung to the tune of “Blue Moon,” another bad day at Black Rock. One more transfer candidate on the edge of the ledge, one more exasperated doctor-supervisor, one more administrator in over her inexperienced head, one more hebephrenic giggling in Reception or unsuspecting registrar waiting to be walked over to the inpatient psych ward. One more illogical request from a department chairman, one more human rights commission questionnaire, one more joke, one more verbal bludgeoning by Merry Terry or more macho posturing by Doug, one more cosmic joke.
But like the wallpaper coming unglued after years of staying in place … .It was a crisis, that’s what she thought. And she certainly knew how to handle crises—that was her job. Was her job. Was her job.
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