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Three things that are hardest for me to deal with:
1) When life gets all Sisyphian on your ass
2) Feeling empty
I feel all three of these things right now, so I'm complaining. Law school is an uphill battle. It sucks the life out of you, and you're tired and you want to reach out for support and comfort, but this is not my strong suit. And I am in limbo. Waiting to hear when my dad's surgery will be. Waiting to find out if I'll have summer employment. Waiting.
And I want to say: I am not this person. I am not this person who accidentally sleeps through Con Law, who hasn't done the reading when she gets called on, who is pushy in needing news from my family, when I'm sure they don't want to talk about this any more. I am not this person who is sulky and always an inch away from tears for the first half of every day until the routine of school kicks in.
But. I guess I am. At least for today and tomorrow. Thank goodness my life isn't Project Runway, all coming down to one collection. I've got years to alienate everyone I know. Yay for Sisyphus!
I think it's the (godawful) rain that makes me in the mood for poetry.
The Monstrous Marriage
William Carlos Williams
She who with innocent and tender hands
reached up to take the wounded pigeon
from the branch found it turn
into a fury as it bled. Maddened she clung
to it stabbed by its pain and the blood
of her hands and the bird's
blood mingled while she stilled it for
the moment and wrapped it in her thought's
clean white hankerchief. After that
she adopted a hawk's life as her own.
For it looked up at her and said, You are
my wife for this. Then she released it.
But he came back shortly. Certainly,
since we are married, she said to him, no
one will accept it. Time passed.
I try to imitate you, he said while she
cried a little in smiling. Mostly,
he confided, my head is clouded
except for hunting. But for parts of
a day it's clear as any man's — by
your love. No, she would
answer him, pitifully, what clearer than
a hawk's eye and reasonably the
mind must also be so. He turned his
head and seeing his profile in her
mirror ruffled his feathers and gave
a hawk's cry, desolately.
Nestling upon her as was his wont he
hid his talons in her soft flesh
fluttering his wings against her sides
until her mind, always astonished at
his assumptions, agonized, heard
footsteps and hurried him
to the open window whence he flew. After
that she had a leather belt made upon
which he perched to enjoy her.
The Words of the Prophets Are Written on the Subway Walls
Tonight I got completely caught up on Contracts (hallelujah!) and even started an outline, so I treated myself to a little TeeVee and found The Graduate on Oxygen. Listening to the Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack and watching Benjamin drift from the swimming pool into Mrs. Robinson's bed I couldn't help but wonder where the girl went that first watched that film and promptly learned to play "The Sounds of Silence" on the piano. Where did the girl go that protested her high school's ban on hats (as a necessary harbinger of gang activity, duh) by joining FISH, a fun gang of Folks in Santa Hats? Where did the girl go that wrote her college thesis on a new discursive paradigm re: the tropes of slavery? Where did the girl go that really believed that the words of the prophets were written on the subway walls and went to New York to find them?
Now I have two cats and a fish and I live in LA and I'm 28. I've fully embraced bikini waxing, and my toenails are always painted, sometimes in Chanel. Sure, I vote dem 100% and will never mind giving whatever percentage the government needs for taxes, but one of my favorite pleasures in life is Jeffrey Steingarten's food column in Vogue, and I have highlights in my hair. What happened? And will it end? Will I swing the other way, like the pendulum that I hope will swing us back to an age of reason and free us from unwinnable and untenable wars? June, she'll change her tune?
That's how much I had in my checking account until I deposited my student loan check today. I haven't been down that low since I was in college and used to charge assorted sundries to my parents' gas card (just one of the many bright ideas I garnered watching Reality Bites — the other most prominent one being A TOTAL LIE, that tortured, ill-washed artist types eventually come to Jesus and you can have a nice, meaningful relationship with them).
Long Life Is in Store for You
Lately I have been hating the fortunes in fortune cookies — things like, "You have a good head on your shoulders," or "Patience is a virtue." What happened to "On Thursday Matt Damon will ask you to Madrid for the weekend and you will fall madly in love and have very attractive children?" On Wednesday, however, I received the hackneyed, "Long life is in store for you," and have never been so happy. That's the night my dad called to tell me he'd be undergoing a sextuple bypass. This is not good news generally, though the survival rate is around 97%. For my dad, it's a little more complicated because he has a severe latex allergy stemming from his years as a surgeon and a lot of the equipment used is rubber-based. So when I opened my fortune, I was ecstatic — sure, it was technically for me, but considering all my mindpower was focused on my dad at that moment, I knew it was for him.
Last night I went to dinner and my friend Trip's friend Laurie's house. Laurie's boyfriend is French, Arnaud, and each of the other couples attending was half french, half American. It's there I learned that the old soap opera, "Santa Barbara," had a theme song with lyrics in France, one of the lines of which refers to le universe pitiable. This is why the French are so cool. Sure, they may love cheesy soap operas — but only because they view them as larger social commentaries on the harshness of the world. Americans are missing the irony gene.
Yep, It Was Prom!
So I totally did go to prom. Again. Complete with a hot-roller disaster, pre-party avec les dacquiris, Miss America stylie evening gowns and a conga line.
The evening didn't start out well, what with the hot-roller disaster and then waiting over an hour outside in the rain, THANK YOU YELLOW CAB. BUT it quickly got better when we made it just end time for the end of the open bar PLUS the girls in the first cab had our first round at the table for us. Then there was some dinner, a lot of drinking, a lot of dancing, and a little lovin'. How hard does that rock?
The photographic evidence (credit to Neeta for the photos):
So I'm totally going to prom. Again. As if to complete the "junior high with bigger books" experience of law school, we've got Barrister's Ball, a prom-like event held this year at the Sheraton Delfina. Fortunately, this time I am not going with an ex-boyfriend who slept with his ex-girlfriend LESS THAN 8 HOURS after we slept together for the first time. In fact, I'm not going with anyone... because NO BOYS ARE GOING. It's hilarious. Apparently only girls can't resist the impulse to get dressed up and corsaged past the age of 18. In any case, I'm hoping it will be fun. 2-hour open bar, a gaggle of girls on their own just three days before Valentine's Day -- it could get very crass, very quick.
p.s. If you need PROOF that law school is junior high with bigger books, today I experienced the following phenomena:
- This guy Beowoulf in my Con Law group (disclaimer: normally he is very nice) told the rest of us, without prompting, that while he'd be happy to speak for us (because God knows the rest of us are mute), he didn't really feel like he should also be having to write the outline for our assignment. Um, yeah, and we asked you to do that Hal. You know he was the kid in eigth grade who ended up writing the whole damn group report on Bull Run.
- As I was talking to my (ok, I have to cop to my own junior high behavior here) crush in the hall, all my school girlfriends walked by and each managed to give me a little eyebrow raise, knowing smile, etc. If it were eighth grade, later I would totally be on the phone: "like, you guys, he could totally see you. I can. not. believe. you did that." But it's not, so instead I just think it's cute and relay the ridiculousness to the Internet ether.