I apologize hugely for being so negligent, dear Diary, dear Kitty, dear darling, silent, virginal public, white as new milk or new snow or the sheets on a bridal bed or the teats of some awful albino cow or the creased, scented skin or hair of a lovely grandmother, the kind they celebrate in memoirs. But, you know: no, I don't. I can't remember why I've been so lax, but it scarcely matters; little has happened since we last spoke, except that the air has chilled suddenly & a real whippersnapper of a wind has swept up and made it essential to wear little gloves and little hats, like a real lady, and always stockings that are dark rather than pale. Though I reserve the rights to uncover my winter whites when the time is right. Anyway, where did I leave you? My foray into Providence to observe my subject in his natural habitat? That was a long time ago, but I feel obliged to report: I think it was a success. I slunk into the back of the venue at 10 or so, wearing a slouchy fedora and a shapeless suede coat over a complicated and invisible blue dress, ordered a small and inconspicuous beer, and positioned myself at a little table where I smoked quietly and made notations in a little tiny booklet with a little tiny pencil. What I wanted was Pernod, for some reason, but of course they would never have that. Paul was milling around with a gaggle of excitable teenagers and his girlfriend, whom I have interviewed, so I had to keep a low profile lest I was noticed and my data contaminated. Paul and his girlfriend seemed fond of each other. I took note of her movements and did a few hasty calculations about the geometry of her mouth: slope from apex to lip-corner, depth of groove in lower lip, distortion created by quirky pursing of lips, angle of tongue as it disposed of excess lipstick. (I compared this data to other visual data at home, with interesting results.) Also noted function of of their distance from one another times their frequency of blinking as time approached 11:30. This too was interesting. Thermal analyses were inconclusive. At 10:34 they embarked on a walk, and I trailed them for a few blocks, noticed their embarrassment when a homeless man told them the rosebushes behind them were romantic, but then lost them in a crowd of Providence Renaissance pleasure-seekers, who had come in droves to see these weird flaming braziers hover over the dark waters of the river. I was reminded of my honeymoon. I considered briefly whether to make an auxiliary study of Paul's bosom friends and their girlfriends, one of whom was wearing a very skillfully modified T-shirt and also was in the band with the friends, and the other of whom was a new girlfriend and seemingly not sportive but rather fond of shopping, but I lost both of them in the crowd, as well. I contented myself with watching the teenagers flail charmingly about and allowing myself to draw on my cigarette as if I truly were a private dick. Also the band was good, and you can learn about them here.
This is all relevant because on Friday of this week I attended a little private conference at a local-ish hotel and gave a sweet little paper about my current research, complete with wry little quips and elaborately plotted facial structure analyses. It was a moderate success, and I was congratulated by various mild-mannered social scientists over free bagel wedges and wan-looking sliced fruit in the reception room. I also had a nice Japanese lunch with Eunice, who works in a building on the same block. I dropped in on her unannounced, and she'd made plans with a couple of people from work already, so we all went together: me, Eunice, a couple of funny women in unremarkable suits and tastefully funky jewelry, and a quirkily handsome guy with a little, elfin, Irish face and a quick mean laugh. I made a half-baked attempt to send some charm his way, but he was completely unreceptive, volleying loving sarcasms and inside jokes at Eunice and the other two, and smoking cigarettes in a clipped, masculine way that made me want to ask him for one just to show him I smoked. Instead I slurped my miso soup and crunched the little circles of green onion with great private pleasure and trailed hot mustard through the duck sauce (it was a Chinese restaurant, too) so I could dip the little crispy twiddles in it that they gave us for appetizers. I can't keep up with Eunice and her friends in any situation, but I usually don't mind: they're always warm and amusing.
ALSO related to that conference: this nonsense. Unable to focus on some computery task at hand, on Sunday I idly did a Google search for my Christian name and the name of the hotel. Ordinarily nothing comes up on Google about me, because I'm so skilled at preserving my delicious anonymity, but all this work in the social sciences requires some degree of frankness and straightforwardness, & I wanted to see if anyone had praised my deft analyses. What I found was some insane young riot grrrl activist bitch's weblog: she mentioned stopping by the conference for the free bagels and muffins and coffee and being favorably impressed with my project, which she believes "really pushes the fucking boundaries of fucking gender issues in this shithole society we live in, all true love and fucking heterosexual monogamy, but when you come down to it monogamy in all senses is a fucking myth and we're all just fucking the multiplicity of ourselves, which if you want to call it homoeroticism or autoeroticism, you can, but I just call it like I see it just like this chick" Which, by the way, is not how I was calling it at all. What upset me was not, however, this girleen's interpretation of my interpretations, but her "cold" memory of me: "what was really weird though is that I totally recognized this chick, and not in a good way like 'oh she was so cool' or 'oh she was so nice' but because I totally think I went to college with her. I remember her as a particularly pretentious literary creature, always clutching poetry and wearing velvet and being too mature, oh dear me, just TOO MATURE for college." She goes on to talk about various neuroses she has about rockabilly or something, but I don't get it. Who is she? And why did she think I was mature in college? Or that I wore velvet? I did have one sort of verdigris stamped velvet jacket that I thought looked kinda Wildean, but mostly in college I wore babydoll dresses and Kennedy-style thickframed glasses and went around rocking the vote. I wrote some poetry, but fuck that. Anyway, it's just odd.Posted by anonymousblonde at octobre 16, 2002 01:16 AM