june 04, 1999

12:14 am

it's been a while since i've written in this journal. or any journal at all. i've been writing a lot of emails though, and i feel like somehow that's been taking the place of journalling for me, that's how i've been expressing myself. in private. i don't always feel like being as public as this webpage is. though i'm not sure that's really the reason i haven't been writing in it. i feel like it has a lot to do with what i was just writing to aryani. which is that the way i've been living these past few weeks since i got home, it's like floating, not really happy, not really down, just sort of taking life as it comes, just living. i told her i think that's okay right now. i mean, i think i'd prefer to feel the way i did for those last few weeks of school, happy, excited about everyone and everything, trying to suck every last drop out of my time at swarthmore. but i don't feel that way right now. it's not bad. it's just different. i feel as though there is so much ahead of me this summer, waiting to wash over me. there's that water metaphor again stuck in my head, in the way i see myself.

like this trip to korea. we're leaving in 2 and a half weeks and i don't think i've even let myself contemplate it yet. it's like i don't even know how to. i've never been to that part of the world before... haven't really travelled with my family since 1988, when we lived in mexico, and anna wasn't even born then. i'm sure it will be an amazing experience for these very reasons, the sheer newness of everything, and the fact that we'll all be together. i know i learned a lot about myself and the people i was with when i was in greece, and i suppose i expect the same will happen in korea. that's what i expect, if anything at all... reminds me a little of the "this american life" i heard last week. the theme was road trips, and how people have this expectation from them that they'll somehow change you, change your relationship with the person you go with, bring you some new sort of spiritual understanding or something. it doesn't always work that way. it was all too appropriate, too, because talia and tim visited over the weekend, a couple days stop on their road trip from san francisco to new york city. it was great to see them. email is one thing, but being able to actually see and touch people, staying up late talking in the dark, waking up to tell each other about your weird dreams... it was really good for me. i miss my roommates and my friends at school. still, i don't want to knock email too much. it's what's going to keep me sane this summer in a town that seems more boring each time i come back. i love it, i love the memories i have of all the things i've done here, i love the people here who've known me forever, but there really isn't that much to do. the first night allison and i hung out was nice, we're always comfortable right away with each other, but still, we've missed out on so much of each other's lives... we went to the junction, had coffee... which i don't even really drink anymore, except for occasionally. it's so weird. addicted from the age of 13 to 20, and now i'm trying to stay off of it. just because i couldn't deal with being addicted at school, i just don't have a set schedule, where i can drink coffee at the same time every morning, and so i'd get this evil headaches... so no more addiction for me. at least not caffeine; who knows what else i'm addicted to. so we sat talking and drinking coffee for maybe an hour or two, and it was about 10 pm at that point and we just didn't have the stamina like in the old days to sit in the junction for six hours at a time. so we left. and then it hit us, all of a sudden, like, where do we go now? and it was this huge revelation when we realized,

there is nowhere to go.
there is nothing to do.

we drove around for a while. then we went back to her house and watched a video. this is why i spend so much time emailing people. i don't know. i mean, things aren't what make a place exciting. that's what it's really about; that's what it was always about. it's people that i get excited about. it's new friends, old friends, good conversation. and that's what's hard about coming back here. i have some connections... my family is really important to me, and it's good to be with them... i had fun playing trivial pursuit tonight with my brother and sister, and last night i took my parents to see the matrix. i'm glad to say they really liked it. and it's great to see allison, to look back over our 7th grade yearbook together and recount old stories, or to have lunch with suzie and catch up on each other's lives, or to see old friends at a bonfire, but none of these things erase the fact that my real connections are at school now. not my only connections... i don't really know how to express it. except to say that when allegra, sitting on the bed amidst piles of stuff to be packed, looked around and said, you guys really are the best friends i've ever had, i knew it was really true. they always say that about college, you know you'll make friends that you'll keep for the rest of your life, and you'll make the best friends of your life, and i remember looking around during orientation, when talia and justin and ben tiven and i were staying up til 4 every night talking about our lives and our beliefs over alphabet noodles and ramen, wondering to myself, am i meeting people who will be important to me for the rest of my life, and at the end of the year i'd made connections, but it still didn't really feel true to say that i'd made the best friends of my life. and then this year, i really really had. in the quint, we could tell each other anything. i knew i could come home crying, not just from some event, but because i was really and truly depressed, and i'd have arms to fall into and people to talk to. we could wake up in the morning and tell each other our dreams, even our strange erotic ones, and we could admit what things about us annoyed the hell out of each other, could honestly say, if you don't wash your dishes right now, it's going to make me very uncomfortable, or whatever... we became a family. only we weren't a family.

i think i expected to keep in touch with people last summer, better than i did, and it didn't work very well because it wasn't a priority. except with ben, which is another sort of odd thing about this summer... that last summer he was such a part of my life, letters, phone calls, visits in boston and boothbay, and now it's like we've dropped off the face of the earth for each other. i guess i didn't want to think this would happen... and then part of me realized that it probably would, and that was part of how i knew the relationship wasn't working. the whole thing makes me sad sometimes. i don't know. i don't think about it that much. anyway, this summer i am keeping in touch with people. it's so much more important to me now. i really feel like i need to know how my friends are doing, need to hear from them and tell them about my life. we called allegra the other night, when talia and tim were here. talking to her felt so, so good. better than email. it was so great to hear her voice again. somehow just that makes such a difference. aryani is back in the usa i think, so maybe i'll be able to talk to her soon too. jessica is in thailand, so email will have to suffice.

i just hit a blank moment. i'd been writing nonstop till now, and just now i paused and looked down at the keyboard for a moment. the keys are sort of see through, you can see the buttons underneath. i'd never noticed that before; i thought they were opaque black, but in this light you can see. i don't know. i should probably go to bed. i'm still on a college schedule, staying up til 3 every night. there's a train going through town. one of the things i still love about dekalb. train whistles, brick streets, big skies. sometimes i wonder where i'll end up. i love the midwest, but i love the ocean too. who knows. back to my attitude again, this floating that i'm doing. "...opened myself up to the benign indifference of the universe..."--the end of the stranger by camus, the stuart gilbert translation. the new sexy vintage one by matthew ward, i like parts of it, but that line, changed to "gentle indifference of the world," i can't deal with it. that was the first time i realized how much translations mattered. i guess it never hit me before that two people could see different things in a text, different ways of bringing it into english. it's probably part of what got me interested in ancient greek. which i'm struggling with now. i've got to improve over this summer if i don't want the greek historians seminar to kick me in the butt next fall, and it's a definite challenge. i haven't really begun studying yet, though i've been rereading herodotus in english to get myself in the mood. yeah. just another summer project.

it's probably time to end this; i could write all night if i let myself.

may 18 | journal | home

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