Saturday, October 15, 2005

Set To Solsbury Hill

Maybe I've been in a deadline-induced haze for the past week, or maybe I'm just plain losing it, but I'm aware that the songs I've lately been listening to on constant repeat (like this one) have been really soundtracky. You know, the kind of songs you listen to on your iPod that make you feel like walking in slow motion, that make you feel like you're in a movie and everyone else around you is just an extra or an audience member.

And if the last week of my life was a movie, the kind that ends with a white-hazy, slightly-slowed montage of all the pivotal moments, the tangible emotional ups-and-downs, the scenes included would be the ones in which I...

...made my weary, overworked way toward the last remaining seat on the El, then stopped dead in my tracks and did a very obvious about-face because the guy next to whom I'd be sitting was petting his snake. I wish this was a euphemism. It's not. It was an actual snake (garden, probably harmless) — no cage, no box, just wrapped around his wrist, poised to slither away (and, inevitably into the next seat) at any moment. I opted to stand instead, and kept raising my eyebrows at my fellow passengers. None of them seemed to get it.

... consumed cheese pizza smothered in Lousiana hot sauce for five meals in a row.

... got drunk with my new coworkers for the first time, in that all-too-vulnerable "we've been cramped up in this room with each other for nearly sixty straight hours, let's get plastered" scenario that rarely leads to admissions you don't regret the next Stella-cloudy morning.

... got over it, and subsequently felt thrown right back under it... Woke up one morning with violently passionate convictions about it, and the next morning with an absolute indifference to it... Embraced the feelings of "something's missing" as good for the art, then, shortly thereafter snapped out of it ("nothing's missing!") and worried about the art suffering... Listened to this and thought "Fuck yeah!" and then "Really?" And "Uncle Joey?"... Listened to
this and thought "That's more like it" ... Vacillated, wavered, ran hot-and-cold, got over it again... Stayed over it. Resolutely.

... met a boy who had this* to say about Virgina Woolf (who I categorically detest, but may have to explore again outside the realm of academia) and who had a hand in this... Felt a bit coquettish for the first time in a long time... Giggled a little.

... baked a cake and received two marriage proposals (both accepted) because of it.

... caught myself belting out a few bars of this out loud on the train (lucky for me — and the rest of Chicago's public-transportation patrons — it was late, a weekday, and relatively uncrowded on the Red Line).

... Wrote the most random, linkcrazy, abruptly ending blog post.......

* "The Waves and Between the Acts, especially, do very special things to me, as do her belletristic nonfiction portraits. And even though the sexual politics of Mrs. Dalloway are basically odious and smug and retrograde, there's still a wrenching perceptiveness and prettiness and maybe even honesty to the whole thing that makes my distaste both that much more intense and entirely beside the point. She's one of maybe 7 or 8 writers this century that make me so jealous when I read her prose I'd be slitting my wrists if my knife were sharp enough."