she's writing a novel

a lot of her writing tends to be tongue-in-cheek. this is because she grew up in an evangelical tradition which was more concerned about where else she might be putting her tongue.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Do I know you?

Today was one of those rare days where i broke routine. Instead of my usual trek back to the apartment after work, where I tend to hole up for the duration of the evening, I headed back to the gym for a yoga class. At one point I had reached an intermediate level...but since the accident involving the arm there has been no yoga for me. And this class was not..beginner or relapsed-returner friendly. There will be no standing on my head! I can't even stand on one foot. And all that would have been fine -- really, for I have no pride-- but the yoga teacher was..to put it simply...on crack. If you were looking for someone to guide you through a mentally-cleansing, emotionally-soothing sort of workout--say, yoga--this would be the last person on earth you would recruit. To wit: Loud, abrasive voice - check. Inappropriate comments accompanied by obnoxious laugh - check. Distracting rolls of fat hanging over waistband of spandex leotard - check. Even so, abysmal though my effort was, it was sufficiently encouraging in that, afterwards, I felt fantastic in the way that only a yoga workout makes you feel.

So I took myself to a movie! The nice thing about the Ritz, besides the fact that they tend to play the only decent movies in release, is that it is a theater where it is not only not unusual to go solo, but entirely appropriate to do so. Because really, Ritz-goers are entirely sympathetic to your plight: "Yeah, I couldn't get anyone else to come to this windmill documentary with me either. But I love windmills...I had to see this!" Then there are the tragically hip, who come alone to be seen angsty...and alone. It doesn't matter the movie, as long as it's obscure and makes them seem mysterious and complicated based on their desire to see something so inexplicable. And finally, there are the culturally inquisitive. They don't know what the hell they came to see, just that their intellectual and cultural superiors think its great. And unlike the cultural aspirers, they tend to be honest about their opionion. This can be annoying; like when they fail to appreciate the subtleties of a good film and so decide to provide their own ignorant critical commentary for the duration of the movie. It can also be refreshing; these can be the only Ritz-goers willing to stand up and say "WTF" at the end of a real piece of over-hyped trash. The overally-liberally-educated tend to be too willing to concede that, perhaps, yes, there is some lasting value, some genuine contribution made by the fecal matter we just wintnessed on wide screen.

After the film I made my way to the subway where I did not encounter but observed a former acquaintence, a college classmate. She is a do-gooder somewhere in the city. She was writing something on a napkin and didn't look up at anyone. I doubt she is a writer. Writers never write on napkins. PLEASE. This is a myth. And I'm not saying that just because, when drunk or optimistic, I will tell people I am a writer and so therefore I know these things. What I'm saying is, people who write on napkins are A. people who desparately want to believe that they are a writer or B. people who desparately want others to believe that they are a writer. A napkin is conspicuous and inconvienent. It is never convienent to write on a napkin; this whole idea that you write on a napkin because you were struck with inspiration and the only thing handy was a paper napkin is an invention. In a society where paper napkins are ubiquitous, paper is more so. And if you are a writer, you've figured out by now that inspiration strikes you at odd, unfortunate times, and you're better off just carrying a damn notebook around because if you inadvertantly blow your nose again on one of the most beautiful lines of poetry ever written in this lanugage or any other....well, you might just have to kill yourself.

All that to say, the paper napkin is the accessory of the faux writer. Beware. Writers are lame enough to begin with...do you really want to waste your time with fake ones?

Continuing my story...said acquaintence either ignored or failed to notice me. I made no effort to jolt acquaintence out of faux-writing. I will only flag down an acquaintence if it either: A. serves some sort of personal agenda (this person is hot, saying hello makes me look good to the person I am with; this person owes me money, time to reconnect, etc.) or if B. they are a genuinely interesting acquaintence. Which acquaintences can be. In fact, many of them are, but only because you haven't gotten to know them. They are mysterious and exciting with vague possibility. If you got to know them they would be as boring as almost everybody else you know too well. Which is why acquaintences are an important, but peripheral spice of life... but you'll have to wait for the complete installment of my philosophy of acquaintences. Forthcoming.

In any case, this story ends abruptly, with both of us getting on a train, and then me getting off the train a few stops later in the part of the city where the upwardly-aspring live, and her staying on the train to go to the part of the city where the do-gooders live. I used to live there.

1 Comments:

  • At 8:36 PM, Blogger Jessie said…

    You're writing blogs again. GOODY. The blog world has been pretty sporadic and bleak since you left it a year or so ago.

    Still looking for a place in Philly. The house in W. Philly with Mrs. O'Donnell's friend didn't work out. But something surely will. Maybe I will see you soon? Feel like coming up here for some amazing dessert and a walk down a rich and pretty street? :)

    jess

     

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