Thursday, March 13, 2008

self-indulgent thought

Today Papagayo and I got to talking about how nobody seems to have time for anyone anymore, which got us to talking about the spatial and social conditions that are feeding into this phenomenon, particularly here in The NY.

It got me thinking about the way we connect with people, and how, with the shortage of time, space, and money, we tend to whittle down our social lives. I know that for me, I assume that my close friends read my blog, and it's kind of like a grand, sweeping, update that people can read at their own convenience, so I have to call people less to tell them where my head's at. It's kind of a modern-day version of the much abhorred family newsletter that goes out with the holiday cards.

Three cheers for blogs: letting you keep up with people without having to make time for them. I don't even know if I'm kidding or not. But that's kind of where it's at for me these days, particularly since me and my computer are pretty much joined at the wrists.


Today I ditched class and spent all day at the Herbert Gans conference. It was great. I'm getting really into grad school, and being around all these big heads. It makes me want to swear a lot for some reason, but it also makes me want to read and learn more just to able to ask good questions. I often find myself totally lost, but so lost that I can't even ask a question, just make a statement: I don't get it. That doesn't really help anyone.

I was surprised to see that there were only three other people from my department: the chair, who was a panelist; a PhD student who left at lunch, and my PhD crush! I was so "happy" to see him that I was unable to concentrate for a long time.

I've been thinking about my love obsession a lot lately, because I think it's unhealthy. Anything that fucks with my head so much has to be unhealthy, right? Also I had such a strong physical reaction to his mere presence in the room that I kind of felt sick. That isn't "happiness." It's more like a physical addiction, and the closest approximation I can think of is the way you feel right after you take several wide rails up the nose, except you replace the accompanying feeling of sudden intelligence and wit with an anxious, dull, stupidity.

When I left the conference this evening, I felt ridiculously happy. I put on some music, and "Livin' on a Prayer" came on, which is such a jam--what a tribute to love!--that I really couldn't have cared less that when the train stopped, we all had to cram in around someone's puke, conveniently located just inside the door that I had chosen to use. You gotta love New Yorkers though, nobody said a damn thing beyond, "Whoa, don't wanna step in that!"

This feeling of crazy being in love--which is not love at all, I know, but intense hope pinned randomly onto a male body--is enough to make me fear its loss. I fear the discovery that he has a girlfriend, which shatters hope. And I fear its eventual crescendo and waning period, which is depressing and filled with self-reproach.

We hung out for a little while during the conference break, and we made some tiny connections that will give my hungry little heart enough to hold onto for the next 10 days, since I won't be running into him probably for that long...this makes me sad.

I'm happy that I get such a kick out of love, but I wish that I could find something a little more...well, controllable.

1 comment:

Luis Celestino said...

i think some communication with friends, whatever the medium, is better than none. As long as it's not infiltrated with booty-licious Market and/or State domination !

asking a good question is the hardest (and best) part about graduate school. whatever your motivations, that you were one of few people in your department at the conference means you're more curious than most. curiosity, contrary to popular belief, infused the cat with wisdom and peace, if also at times pernicious anxiety about what the cat still doesn't know.

love! lurve! can't replace it with anything, much less something more controllable. best you can do is take turns submitting to it and then stepping outside yourself (as you do so, so well in this blog and elsewhere in your lifeworld [three cheers for habermas]) and learning more about how you, as a unique and yet not-so-terribly-unique human being, go on changing through life. Cuz that's for sure: we all do change if we're open to it, and that's just nifty, i think.

by the way let me know if you want to borrow Theory of Communicative Action.