It’s raining outside. I like when it rains. It’s raining and my suite-mate is watching Friends on my floor and I am type type typing on my keyboard, updating my blog and drinking Twinings Wild Berry herbal tea and contemplating life like one giant stereotype. Where’s my cigarette?
On the desk behind me my Social Psychology textbook is open. “The Social Self,” Chapter 3. The final is in two days, and I have never spent a week more antisocial than this past one.
Did you know that chimps can recognize themselves in mirrors? We know this because we put chimps in front of a mirror one at a time and put red ink on half of the chimps’ foreheads, and just touched the foreheads of the other half. And by “we” I mean a bunch of male scientists in white lab coats. You know, humans. Well what happened was this: the chimps with the red paint on their heads looked into the mirror and began trying to rub off the red paint. The ones that were merely touched on the forehead just looked at themselves and maybe picked a bug off their shoulder and scratched their butts.
Now that’s science for you.
Last night I dreamt I got a Dalmatian. He was soft and always happy to see me. I think he was hypoallergenic. Or at least I’m guessing so since I didn’t wake up with a runny nose. I’d like a Dalmatian. I’ll probably get a rescue dog, though.
On Friday I hop on a plane from New York to Chicago (spoken with a Chica-a-go accent). Then from Chica-a-go I hop on another plan to Portland, OR. I’ve never been to Portland. I’ll be there all summer.
There are a lot of things I’m going to do in Portland. Swim in water that’s too cold. Wear blazers to work. Hike. Go to farmers’ markets. Maybe hunt down an author (shout out to Craig Thompson) or two.
But that’s all in the future. For now I’m just sitting near my desk and looking out the window at all the rain.I can see the reflection of my suite-mate laughing to herself and readjusting her left earbud. I’m about to read about the Social Self. Somehow I’ve never felt more alone.
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I felt your breath surround my neck.
“I like to make girls moan,” she cried, then released a wail of her own. “Every girl has it in them. Even the quiet ones.”
Then the curtain closed on the Vagina Monologues.
You moaned. I didn’t cause it. I couldn’t have. Maybe it was the tequila. Maybe it was 4 am. Maybe it was Kitty. But you moaned, and it wasn’t me.
“I’m gonna go.”
“No, stay.” “No, stay.” Simultaneously.
“something, something, like a good girl,” she said to me.
I wanted to be a good girl. I didn’t have it in me. So instead, I moaned.
I moaned and I moaned and I moaned.
Then 5:20 woke us up.
My neck has a splotch of purple.
Boston Gardens, April 2013. Photograph by Josh Block.
That’s my body’s way
of keeping me alive.
I stand at the edge of somewhere high and my body just…
I’ve had to learn not to judge.
Not to assign positive and negative value judgments.
We are mortal and we need to breathe to live.
and we could
We spend a lot of our lives
not thinking about how scary life is.
We are alive. That’s all we are.
Be that honest.
Focus on a point, a mantra.
Have a good one.
Everything starts to go more quiet.
I just asked,
I can want something to be what it is.
I tend to do that,
when I overestimate the significance of doing what I want.
It’s something you’ve already done.
The harder we try…
…it doesn’t work.
We are allowing ourselves to abandon something
when it is simply not working.
We may as well beat ourselves.
Oxygen and breathing are the most vital things in your life.
It happens whether or not you decide it will.
It both happens when you’re not paying attention to it
and when you’re paying attention.
It all seems very natural.
But I think of it as kind of random.
Seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.