A few more years of strategic grovelling pass by until my PhD completion. I’m being offered a temporary research position under my professor’s far-reaching wings. My tiny working station, located at the university’s lower levels consists of a shabby portable desk, an outdated laptop and a wobbly cabinet filled with mouldy folios. Four dirty plaster walls screen my bureau from the drain waste vents. The sewage pipes, covered by green droppings of the winged vampire squids, burble above my head. Mitch, the janitor, says he’ll take care of the infestation. Later …
I pat the desk littered with heavy organisers, torn-out pages and half-empty energy drink cans, six of them in all. It feels like a dream come true. A foot in the door. A stepping stone. Finally, I could prove myself. I could prove … anything!
My inaugural assignment: taking a closer look at the first piece of the Great Convergence puzzle — Larry. I whip out a tin hip flask and toast the vampire squid hanging from the piping above my head. The squid screeches back at me as I pour my thoughts onto the lined paper sheets.