George Weaver thought I was in Mensa. Mensa’s that group where people with high IQs commiserate about explaining stuff to those of the dumb. I basked in the glory of being seen as somebody really really smart, but I don’t want to mislead anybody, so I immediately told George that I was dumb. My About page says that I’m published in Calliope, a journal printed by Mensa. That’s how she got the idea that I was a genius. This is her fabulous photography site.
I went to Columbia University and got an A minus average. I feel like I can tell you that because I was old (25) when I went back to school after a drunken stint at community college; and also because I dropped out after two years of credits. Once, I asked this girl what college she went to. Embarrassed, she cast her head down and said Yale. I gathered that it’s bad taste to brag about going to an Ivy League school. But only if you did it when you were supposed to do it. It’s okay if I tell you where I went to school since I’m one of those handicapped cases who goes back when they’re old.
Somebody said I probably got into CU because I was black and at that time black people were ‘in’. Maybe. Plus during my college interview, I had a platinum afro, a nose ring and my college essay was about being an alcoholic. They thought, Aw the freaky black chick’s trying to improve upon herself – let’s give her a chance. Besides, I’d give them diversity. They wanted to throw somebody freaky into the mix y’all!
I got a scholarship and took out a loan to pay tuition. After the second semester, I decided to work there because they offered tuition remission. This was 1988 when you could get jobs anywhere you wanted. For the youngins — back then, you could have three jobs, jobs coming out of your ass – nowadays, you can’t buy a fucking job. Anyway, after working there almost five years, I was laid off at the same time I was offered to be published in an anthology. I would get leverage in my field of interest. So my anti-establishment ass says, ‘Fuck it, I don’t need no degree to be no writer, plus, it’s more romantic to be a rogue writer. Why, I’m an auto-didact, I am!’ You see folks, why I could never have been in Mensa? These are the kinds of backass decisions that those of the dumb make daily.