At work one is expected to not only BE there, which is dreadful enough, but constantly be doing something productive, even when there might not be anything productive to be done. Yesterday I surreptitiously read Tuesday Morning Quarterback while waiting for my boss to ghost-write a letter for me to send out to potential forum goers. Thanks to the inadequacy of the Macintosh computer he saw it on the screen, with my reading happening to be at a point where Mr. Easterbrook was discussing cheerleaders and there was a spot of awkwardness that we both chose to ignore. So from now on I have to find work related things to do even when nothing springs to mind. Urf.
And it's not just work that's encroaching on my time either (although it is right now, which is why I'm switching to a more conventional writing style.) It's also a bunch of extra-curricular commitments. The class, the writing group, appointments, it's nigh impossible to get the stuff I want to do for myself done when I'm leaving the house at 10:15 AM and not getting back home until 11:30 PM. Yesterday after work all I wanted to do was go home, take a nice quiet bike ride in the park, and write a lengthy entry correcting some of rpeate's misapprehensions about Israel. What I ended up doing was going down the writing group because I'd said I would and even though I was exhausted and irritable I felt obligated. On the way down I grabbed a Diet Coke, missed a train, and took out my anger in my notebook in an entry that I'll probably type up and post early tomorrow morning.
The group itself was okay. I was the youngest person there but not the only unpublished person, which is a good combination for my fragile ego. It was a more even split of men and women than I'd been told it would be, and that was nice as well. The only woman of my approximate age range is clearly Jewish, and taken, so there's no threat of attraction either. Bonus. I sat between a gentleman of about 60 and the boyfriend of the woman who was hosting the event, who is approximately 45, if his birth certificate taped to their refrigerator is any indicator. Yesterday was mostly just breaking ground and establishing rules, getting to know one another. We did one incredibly stupid writing exercise of little import and that was about it in terms of things actually accomplished. I had a decent time. I wasn't cranking on all cylinders because I've been under sleeping recently (due to being so fucking busy) but I was on enough that my wisecracks garnered laughs aplenty and my suggestions were good and helpful to the group at large.
After the group we left, vowing to return in a fortnight. Three of us headed up towards the N and the R subway station until the girl realized, with horror, that she was going East. (If this were a novel it would read "I'm going east?" her eyes widened with terror as she realized the easterly direction of the path she was on.) Then we all headed to the 2/3 line, safely located to the West, until the guy in the group talked about girlfriends who cut themselves and tying them up and spanking them with electrical cords, and I channeled my rigorous social scientist persona in response, at which point she fled South, possibly to drown herself in the ocean but more likely to find a cop.
The guy and I continued to hand out. He's 26 and from Milwaukee, which led to me making approximately 17 cheese jokes per minute. We met up with his girlfriend and hung out for a couple hours wandering around the Washington Square Park area. I was really "on" at that point and had them cracking up quite a bit and even doing the old 'laugh and then repeat the joke as if to savor it' routine, which is always a good sign. Around 11:15 they decided that they wanted to go fool around and/or fuck before he went back to New Jersey and that I wasn't invited, so I showed them to a Gray's Papaya where they could get a juice and headed home. On the train I thought about the fact that I'd never in position to want to break up an evening to go fuck somebody, and about a film script I want to write in my thirties but probably ought to start now because there's no time like the present. I also thought about my overbearing personality and the way I tend to dominate social situations like that. I'm not sure if it's because I'm insecure or because I think I'm the most interesting person there. I have to consciously wait for other people to talk, and while I do pay attention and probe them on things that I find interesting it's somewhat unnatural. I am a natural born bore.
It was a decent evening. I wasn't actually lonely going into it, writing about the voids in my life always seems to fill them nonetheless, but it was nice to spend time with people in a social setting and remind myself that I'm not actually a scale-covered monster from a bubbling swamp, whose foul smell and acid touch sends young damsels screaming into the night. I just have the romantic track record of one. The group is also one more step along my path of getting serious about my writing and from what I could tell while there I have the necessary talent to at least not be the weakest link. Perhaps more importantly, the 45 year old with his birth certificate on the fridge is apparently a film maker who wants to start writing his own screenplays. He and I struck up a nice aquaintenceship and I'd love to get a contact, especially if I can demonstrate enough ability for him to want to write with me. The young Jewess had also done some screen writing, but if you think I have problem with just plain old regular vanilla white bread women then you don't want to know how I interact with those from my ethnic group. We already clashed once over The War of Art and it will probably happen again. I'm going to steer clear of that potential charybdisian imbroglio as well as I can.