February 20th, 2002


I'll find someone new without you, somebody just like you but not you. I'll be alright. Said I'll be alright. But I'm breaking apart inside

The scars she left without even trying linger still. I can't hear anything in French, anything about the country without wincing internally. I even feel a twinge when I head into the library because I remember the first time we met there and when she followed me out to show me the Butler Echo (which I'd seen before which is besides the point.) That was back before anything had started, back when I was still sort of avoiding her, back when I thought I had gotten LUCKY when our names had been pulled out of the hat together for the oral project.

Back before I learned my lesson.

The thing is I feel GUILTY for feeling bad, how's that for neurosis wrapped in circular thinking with a bow made of twisted values? I mean I have absolutely no emotional claim on her, I had a wisp of a hope and it floated away, not a big deal. Nothing wrong went on, just another case of me being socially dyslexic. So every time I think about her or see a mane of hair across a darkened quad and wonder if it's hers or write about her here I feel like I'm being unjust, unreasonable, unfair. Like I've appropriated her to be symbolic and important in my life without her consent. It feels sleazy. But how does one avoid doing that? How do you deny it when someone breaks through powerful, old, entrenched defenses like they were paper mache walls and touches you in a place that you long ago thought you bulldozed and erected an emotional parking lot over. She woke me up from a daze and I never even got close enough to thank her. Not even close enough to merit an excuse before she just stopped writing. I have no rights there, not even those of grief. I am appropriating as an important figure in my development someone who blew me off like dandylion fluff in a typhoon, and how can I justify that. I don't think I can, although some may say that emotions don't require justification. I may say that. That's not the way it feels.

I run through the memories looking for where I slipped up, remembering that warm night on the rooftop where I chatted to some junior advertisor while she talked to some other guy, eating the longing like little shards of glass that cut my insides to shreds on the way down. I remember staying for 3 hours after she left because when she was gone I was able to actually HEAR what other people were saying. I remember a sunny summer day on campus and feeling like THIS was what life was supposed to be with, how the inexplicable joy of BEING was laid out before me like a magical carpet promising untold heights and giddy, dizzying views. I remember the flood of memories back then of time with my father in the woods of Maine where lakes stretch out as pure as they were a thousand years ago and the air is so light and soft it feels like a different substance than the thick polluted stuff that gums up our lungs down here. All the parts of life that I have REVELED in were back in that moment, all the things that were stripped from me like wings off an angel sending me crashing into the harshness of the ground.

Now I remember that last day at the breakfast table, fighting against a man who expected, nay, DEMANDED so much of me. Feeling like he'd never understand me, like I was trapped. Not remembering just what he meant to me until my mother looked at me with an ashen face and tell me that she didn't think he was going to survive.

Nothing seemed real for 8 years after that. It was all just a horrible mistake. My life was one of those marvel "What If" comics and any day now they were going to get back to the REAL storyline, you know the one where nobody's ACTUALLY dead and the traditional order of good and bad were as they should be.

The problem with life is that while you're waiting for that day to come thousands of others slip on by, the sands of time don't obey the whims of mortals and pots CAN boil right under your nose. I found myself adrift and though there were some lights to orient myself towards they were just shards of brightness in the fog. But she lifted that, for a few shining moments the world was VIBRANT again. It was like someone had rubbed me down with pumice, I felt raw and vital and in TOUCH with things. She strode through my clouded state like a colosus the mist receeding in awe of her. And she strode off without a second thought to leave me alone in her wake watching the fog drift slowly back in.

She woke me up and now I'm ready...to do what I have to to find my way out of this interminable gray, but although I'm thankful for what she did I don't want her image in my mind anymore. I want to release her, let her go back to her happiness without idle ramblings of some long forgotten aquaintance infringing on her right to privacy and choice of association. I want to release myself, face the things I can do something about instead of watching the horizon for a glimpse of chestnut hair. I don't want to dance away from the things that remind me, that's not fair to anyone. I want to forget and let go.

But how do you get away from someone who haunts your dreams, who'se privy to a part of you so intimate that even YOU don't understand it? How does one release someone you never even had in the first place? How do you move on without anywhere to move on from? She sucks me along in the vacuum behind her like so much dust in the wind.
  • Current Music
    Chris Isaac Speak Of The Devil

Come sit next to me pour yourself some tea

You know sometimes it confounds me just how much pointless stuff people do and how much credit they get for it. I'm talking now about student government organizations. Although on occasion they have been known to do worthwhile things, like deal with faculty unfairness or generic bad policies, but mostly they seem to sit around and think of idiotic things to spam everyone's email box with. This is not just the generic whining of a perpetual outsider (though it is that in part) because I've had several friends who've been in student government and they've basically said it is pretty much as moronic as it seems. Anyway I really do wonder why it is that people see participation in student government as such a strong positive on someone's transcript considering all the things it should do and all the things it doesn't.

I mean what kind of message does it send that the future leaders of this country routinely send junk about stupid little talent shows and date auctions yet almost NEVER mention anything like community service or even student health/stress issues. Stressed out about mid terms? Their answer is escapism or pizza. When my mother was in student government in the 60s they were actually doing stuff. Our version is content to proclaim the second annual "Funky chicken jam" and throw a classwide birthday party for the SC president. And Student council isn't the only example of pointless stuff that people do in college just so it'll look nice on their resumes. There are countless others. Meanwhile to staff the GED program with reliable teachers community impact has to look far outside the college to graduate students, Teacher's College students, and even just random people from the city who want to make a difference.

Speaking of the GED class, this semester's is much tougher than last. Last semester I had a decent group of students who wanted to be there or at least were willing to sit in the back of the classroom and be quiet during class. This semester I have a few students who seem interested, a few who seem uninterested but willing, and a bunch who just don't seem to give a damn. Last night did not go well, I guess I have more sympathy for professors who go kind of slow now because I tried to rush through things at a pace that I would find reasonably comfortable if I were a student, and it failed utterly. My students are all reasonably smart but a lot of them have NO exposure to any sort of science or scientific thinking. I had a devil of a time getting them to understand things that I've taken for granted for a VERY long time, like the difference between a proton and a neutron or how to read equations. I think I did manage to teach some of them some stuff, but I definitly don't feel that I'm teaching as well as I could be and I don't know what to do to improve. I guess it's not ALL my fault though since a lot of them are hard to work with, especially the girl who complained after I assigned 6 pages in the book and several sentences of writing as homework. Yeah she works but I assigned about half an hour of homework for the whole week. If she saw some of the stuff I'm expected to do I assume she'd faint. I think I'll keep teaching until they don't want me to anymore, partially because I DO enjoy it when one of the students actually learns something and partially because I do want at least one extra-cirricular. I'm not imune to that but at least I'm doing my best to do something of actual value and challenge (you try explaining test taking techniques to people who haven't taken a test for longer than you've been alive). Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Truth is I do need another extra cirricular if I want to get honors but I don't have the time this semester for anything else as strenuous and time consuming as teaching this class. *sigh* I should probably focus on just doing my classwork but I'm concerned about this whole honors thing a long with a host of other stuff. Funny how by focusing on the goal I put myself in position to trip up and never get there.
  • Current Music

Live your life restricted

I can honestly say that JUSTICE is falling into a similar trap to that of Memory: Cognition and Stress in that I love the material but am starting to really hate the way the coursework is organized. We had a quiz today which I got an answer wrong on because I hadn't done a reading, however that reading pertained to a subject we CLEARLY weren't going to get to today because we're behind in the lecture. So in other words he is trying to have US maintain the pace he set for the reading while he himself fails to maintain an appropriate pace in lecture (and he burns lots of time on administrative crap that could easily be handled via email) and that hardly seems just to me. Also I asked him today if he was going to be available in discussion section because I had a ton of questions and he said he'd be out of town with a little smirk. Like he was glad to escape the questions. I thanked him and calmly walked away before I started showing just how upset I was by that. I have this paper to do and it's going to be a fair amount of work and now I'm not sure I'll get such a fair shot at a decent grade anymore. I'll stay in the course because I DO enjoy it but...well...it's another case of disillusionment for me. Furthermore I was pretty unhappy with a lot of the comments made in my journal this morning, to the point of deleting a couple of them. When I make what I think is a good post and my high school friends add off-topic or shallow comments just because they are bored...well...I feel like my writing has been sullied. I don't expect people to agree with me on every topic out there, even when that topic is about how I feel, but I do expect the responses to at least ATTEMPT insight, not to be stock from the hip uncreative smears of conventional "wisdom" The only person from high school who regularly comments in this journal whose comments don't bother me is Aaron, because he seems to always have at least SOMETHING worthwhile to say and he says it politely and with verbal skill which makes it entertaining to read. How someone could DEIGN to tell me that I'm "in love with the idea of being in love" boggles my mind considering that I have never CLAIMED to be in love (perhaps infatuated) and I am INCREDIBLY picky about the people I associate with and what my associations to them are. I don't even call people like Aaron who I speak to occasionaly with and know decently a friend because I don't feel I have that claim on them, to presume then that I would say I was in LOVE just for the sake of it is not only incorrect but a FUNDEMENTAL mistake which I actually find somewhat offensive. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, maybe shut down comments for this journal as a whole or perhaps just ask them in particular not to post (although I am egalitarian and don't really believe in censoring people from their opinions) but I'm not going to censor myself and I'm not, which means SOMEONE'S going to get censored.

It's funny how when you're starting to feel good about stuff like the way your journal's going or a class in particular those feelings can be shreded in so much less time than it took to build them up. Is ANYTHING not a sandcastle? I guess after 9/11 we learned that even concrete and steel can be kicked in if the bully's feet are big enough. Oh well I have class now and then I'll come back to delete/respond to the rest of this morning's crops of comments. The thing is that I feel like the type of people I WANT to comment are being scared away by the inanity of many of the people who do which leaves me in an interesting dilemma. In shutting out the problem you close down one of the main reasons it IS a problem.
  • Current Music
    Consumed Breakfast at Pappas