Thursday, July 06, 2006

POSTPARTUM POVERTY

I am brain-dead. I have postpartum PhD dissertation syndrome. I worked obsessively on this ungrateful 600-page motherfucker for 2.5 years, gave birth to it, and then passed it along for a trio of 'superiors' to judge, who will eventually then pass it to an even larger panel of judges. Is this process really acceptable? You wouldn't pass along your newborn baby for judgment, would you? I mean, unless you were a shallow mommy obsessed with beauty competitions.

I don't even want to think anymore. Especially analytically. Now I just want to be stupid and rich. I want to speak in cliches and buy mass-marketed clothes and furniture and be a silly sheep, lost in a flock of other clones. Ok, maybe not - just typing that last sentence made me queasy with conformative shivers.

I had to give up my baby for adoption! And now I'm supposed to start producing new ones immediately? Just when I thought I had beat the career system with workaholism and over-ambition, I have realized that the career system has turned me into a big cheap whore.

Yesterday afternoon, in attempts to procrastinate researching and writing the book chapters I must compose that have deadlines within the next month, I instead decided to pack. Really. I am still here for three weeks but yesterday I packed up my life. I have two coffin-sized suitcases sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor, both stuffed with clothes, books, shoes, and more. Then I have two (surprisingly not-so-)mammoth boxes stuffed with similar contents, both waiting for a shipping company to claim them - but I sort of need a definite Manhattan address before this can happen. Having a destination to ship my costly winter wardrobe to is probably necessary. Years ago, one morning when I was 22 and hungover (perhaps this is superfluous?) I accidentally wrote only Grandma on a birthday card and dropped it in the mailbox, blondly forgetting that the card would not actually reach my grandmother because I don't live in a Disney film. So, I wouldn't put potential retarded shipping mistakes past me.

My flatmate is out of town this week but when he returns on Monday and sees my empty closets, bookshelves, etc., it will be fascinating to see if he breaks into tears, or if a smile slinks across his face. I'm a leetle bit over-emotional and ridiculous right now. It's the postpartum depression. (And also the fact that I HATE HATE HATE when I have no control over and security with my future endeavors.)

My friends keep asking me if I am a leaving party. And when I say No, they all begin shrieking about my apparent insanity. Uh...most of my friends don't even know each other. And I am quite convinced that they are all so different that should I mix them together, they will explode. Or implode. I've always been that guy who has friends in every single disparate social circle in the world, rather than having a group. I don't do groups. Groups scare me. So instead, I suppose I'm having three weeks of leaving parties since my friends have made elaborate plans during the remainder of my time here. I really prefer this anyway, because whenever I've tried getting automatically repellent friends together, it's so stressful for me, the host.

My friend Kate just moved here from the Netherlands, so I must go meet her now. I am still very poor. She's going to be rather surprised when I explain to her that the best activities to do in London are free - like stealing tourists' drinks in Covent Garden pubs; pretentiously pretending to shop for expensive artwork in fancy galleries; perhaps swimming the Thames; and whatever other free things I can invent this afternoon.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
We were so poor my daddy unplugged the clocks before we went to bed. - Chris Rock