10 September, 2008

in the company

A grim, rainy afternoon. I was standing under a lamppost, waiting for Catherine, watching the streams of people go by with set faces. Emily somehow spotted me and laughed, telling me I looked like a creeper. Catherine soon converged with us and we came back to our room and ate an assemblage of things (sandwiches, hummus, pita, carrots, pistachios) while listening to French and Arabic rap. As we sat in separate spaces of the room, making random remarks, I thought about how good it is to be merely in the company of others. We didn't have to be making conversation; it was fulfilling to just sit in the same room with the two of them, looking occasionally at them, asking a varied question or two, sitting apart and yet we were very much together. That was my impression, anyway.

Received a hilarious update from home from Grace, who informed us that Dad, since learning the triple-step swing at dance lessons with Mom, is convinced he's slowly becoming gay, and that Sam ("Little Bro Peep," as we like to call him), since getting braces, is convinced that he can only eat liquefied foods. Mom is fine and normal and "exceptionally fit," as Grace says. "Doesn't it suck to have a mom in better shape than yourself?" Good to know that things are progressing as usual on the homefront.

Triumphantly finished Moby Dick last week and am now trucking through Uncle Tom's Cabin for the third time. It hasn't much improved. But I find I am more tolerant of Stowe's stock characters, so Dickensian in their black-and-white moral compositions, because, hey, it was 1851. And she wrote something culture-altering, which is more than most of us can say.

I am going to a career fair for English majors later this afternoon. "Isn't that an oxymoron?" Catherine asked. Yes, it is.

I like The New York Times, but sometimes they are ridiculous. Is Kim Jong Il suffering from a stroke, or is that just rumor? Why is the fact that Salman Rushdie was not nominated for the Booker Award newsworthy? Do we really need a full article on how McCain embraces and kisses Palin and Mrs. McCain, contrasted with how much things have changed since Geraldine Ferraro? Probably not. Ladies and gentlemen, the American Press: a dying industry that I hope will still make room for another superfluous voice -- mine.

Playing frisbee is gratifying to the soul. As is a block of medium-sharp cheddar cheese.

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