Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nothing To Say

Two strangers hired to stomp around my attic in hopes of repairing the AC circuit board that was fried by lightning three weeks ago. The cost of the replacement board: $550. Too bad they have to shut the AC off during their repairs. I’m starting to sweat just sitting at the dining table typing.

Yesterday during my first Pilates class I was drenched in sweat during the first five minutes. I was out of breath soon afterwards. My core muscles—or lack thereof—are all vying for attention, wanting me to drop another hit of acetaminophen and skip tomorrow’s class. I was the only person who showed up yesterday. I hope nobody else shows up tomorrow.

Watched a documentary on John Cale the other day, one I recorded a few weeks ago off Ovation. I found myself mesmerized by his voice and his string arrangements and his composition for the Nico ballet. And bizarrely enough, by his lightened hair. I couldn’t find Dance Music on iTunes, so I instead purchased the first Velvet Underground album, the one with the Warhol banana. I figured that was as good a place as any to begin. I can’t wait to spend the afternoon with Lou and Nico and the old gang.

My recent trip to Germany was great and quite relaxing considering the amount of walking I did and the quantity of pollen I inhaled while walking. My sinuses are just now starting to get back to normal. When I’m in Europe, especially during my most recent trips, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time wandering among Roman ruins. It still amazes me that these people were so powerful and important just slightly more than 1500 years ago. And there’s some beautiful symmetry about every time a new Marriott Hotel is being built, we stumble upon an old amphitheater or forgotten Mithreum. I laugh that in 2000 years, while the people of the future are excavating for their own buildings, they’ll discover the ruins of a Starbucks or Pier 1.

Last night I was feeling particularly embittered about recent events and relations, so Stephen took me for a walk around a recent development out here in the suburbs of the suburbs. Even though it was surrounded on most sides by undeveloped prairie, I felt nauseatingly trapped by the hegemony of chain restaurants and shops and big box department stores. The world is too flat for such as you and I. I hope I never return there.

Afterwards, while eating our double-dip cones in the Braum’s parking lot, I reflected on that personal/professional goal I had all those years ago that drove me to be the kind of person I am today despite the fact that that goal was unreachable: to be a diplomat. I haven’t been the kind of person to wear a wristwatch in several years, but I promised myself an expensive and elegant watch as soon as I got my first diplomatic posting overseas. I studied all those languages, all that history, all that political theory. And I lived overseas; in fact, one of the main reasons for my stint in Japan was because I thought time in a non-European setting would set me apart from other wannabe diplomats. Sure, I’m an interesting person, but I still do not wear a watch. And I’ve basically given up that dream for the loftier aspiration of being a philosopher.

1 comment:

  1. What's more diplomatic than the life you've led? And further, isn't philosophizing also diplomacy of a sort?

    You don't need the State Dept. to validate your skills, experience, or position. They're all bureaucrats rather than true diplomats.