My conversation with The Professor, &c.

(Scene: yesterday, at West Village Coffeeshop.)

"But at one point, you were talking about love [with The Poet]."

"Yeah, but I pulled back from that--all of the sudden, I was like, wait a minute, what the fuck am I doing even entertaining the idea of that?"

"So that cryptic post wasn't about [The Poet]?"

"No, it was about K."

"Then he's the one you're in love with."

And that's when I started to cry.


I don't really remember much about yesterday after I met with my committee chair, a meeting that was mostly about my exam in 11 days but I kept slipping, almost schizophrenically, into these other modes--I will have to pull myself together before the actual exam, stop taking all of these poems so damn personally. (Seriously, though, Augusta Webster is *amazing*: "The Castaway" is what did me in on Thursday night.) It makes me a good Victorian, but possibly gets in the way of my being Victorianist. And then it was back in the lounge and there were all these people there (there always are around that time on Fridays, but still) and people were showing these amazing art projects and it was all very warm and fuzzy and smart but I was feeling a bit shredded. Somehow managed to stay and have a long conversation about Mary Wollstonecraft and madhouses with a guy from my program who I don't know that well and then to dinner with more people I don't know that well, and I know I was *not* entertaining because all of the sudden my life doesn't feel all that entertaining; it hurts and it hurts bad and I know there isn't anyone I can really blame, but tell me: how can you really control who you fall in love with? If I could, I absolutely would...and I've tried, don't you realize? I vowed I would never love anyone like I loved The Professor (and I've even told him that before), and I have stuck to that. But there are apparently a thousand wrong ways to fall in love (and to be loved) and the odds of hitting upon the right one and the consequences of more and more wrong ones--what's a girl to do? How do you go back? I'm not sure I can. I wouldn't know how to be first in someone's life. Even with my ex, I always played second to him. It almost seemed safer just to go along with K or The Poet--trying to live out a certain always already, but that's clearly failing too and I'm no longer sure that I like The Poet enough to go through all of this, to risk so much, to put up with so much. But what do I do? I'm not playing to win, I'm playing to keep myself in the game rather than curled up shaking in a corner.

The weather was horrible yesterday, in part because that cold, pissing rain makes it impossible to maintain one's dignity of appearance, and that's all I had going for me yesterday. But the consolation prize is that you can explain a lot away by having walked there in the rain without an umbrella.

I'm hoping that today will be better. Got all of my TV watching over when I got home last night. And then even watched a movie (The Usual Suspects--damn, Gabriel Byrne is hot), which I never do. So hopefully all the goofing off is over in one blow. Today and tomorrow I'm doing a big theory push: Bataille's "Hegel, Death and Sacrifice," de Man's "Rhetoric of Temporality" (which I'm hoping to be able to actually understand), and three Derridas: "From a Restricted to a General Economy" (great theory, hard way to live, as The Professor and I also noted yesterday), "Psyche: Invention of the Other" (an all-time favorite with me), and "No Apocalypse, Not Now." It's hard not to be cheered by this list, which will allow me to put off grading, thikning too hard about Aurora Leigh and hopefully will let me get the churning in my stomach under control. I'm supposed to get some important medication today as well, but I' not entirely optimistic since it's coming via UPS and I've had really bad luck with UPS in this neighborhood. But maybe.

I have a feeling The Poet will call. He often does on Saturdays, while he's running errands or just done surfing or something. I don't know yet what I'll tell him. I don't have the mental strength to break up with him right now.

I did a lot of snooze button pushing this morning and ended up waking up to this Weekend Edition story on Charlie Brown. When they post the audio, I want to listen to the beginning to figure out what the occasion for it was. It was kind of a sweet piece, nothing too offensive, but now that I'm looking at the website, I'm a bit troubled by their pitching it as "Authenticity and Honesty." I think even for Charlie Brown, it's more complicated.

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