A Trivial Comedy for serious people archives

Are you getting closer, now?

It's a rainy day, so rainy that I can leave the lights on during the day. Those are the only kind of rainy days worth having. During an awkward conversation with my major advisor, as we walked across the quadrangle, I recounted a lame New Yorker cartoon. "It had Noah in his arc, saying 'Well we needed the rain.'" She laughed weakly, and said "Well, we do need the rain."

It has been a day of meetings: dean, Major Advisor, study abroad dean. I asked for a recommendation, got approval to go to Bangor, and mostly got warm fuzzies. As is my wont, when I receive ambiguous news about my study abroad project, I burst into tears, choking and wanting to throw up. That was me yesterday - gagging in tears on the verge of losing my lunch. It isn't so much that I handle disappointment horribly, which is what I used to think my problem is, it's that I imagine the absolute worst until I'm seriously ill. I wouldn't know disappointment because I freak myself out.

Enough of that, it's such a bore. On the way back, when we were laughing and shiverring and speaking in broken, half-learned German, I said "I want to go swimming wicked badly."

"You can't say that," said my friends. "I thought it was a Boston thing."

"I'm a New Englander!" I can't make a big enough show of this. I wear it proudly, and it's more than a little silly. "I can say 'wicked.' It's only concentrated in Boston, not exclusive to Boston."

"Consecrated?" one asked, mishearing.

I laughed, and without missing a beat said "Consummated."

Shrieks and laughter. We are loud and we make a scene and we are nonsensical.

My dean is the best even though she inevitably makes me wait fifteen minutes or so. Whenever I see her, I want to say "Hello Dean I love you!" in one breath, like that. So I met with her, and she asked me about my foot. The public safety report had come to her, and she was concerned about my wound. I said "Oh, it's such a little wound and I am fine now." But she pushed me to show her the little wound, and so I took off my thong-sandals, and showed her the cut. "Oh, yes, it's my mothering instincts, show me the cut, there, it isn't so bad!" I laughed, I knew it wasn't so bad and it is fine now (nearly done twinging!). She makes just the right kind of fuss over me. And when she says that I'm not in such bad shape (and that she's seen worse!) I believe her, and leave feeling calmer and warmer in general.

I am collecting pictures of a woman. She is always filmed in black and white, and she is pale with severely chopped black hair. The pictures are always blurry. I call her by a word for silence. I have two now, one from a student's gallery show, and the other from a photograph that appeared in the New Yorker. If you see any pictures of her, let me know.

I am going swimming now. I expect there will be much plunging into deep water until I can barely bear the weight of water. And also, perhaps, some laps. I like the feeling of being supported by fourteen feet of still water. The water in the pool is slightly salty, and I leave feeling euphoric.

2002-09-26, Rain

before / after

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