Absinthe and Ecstasy, Hummus and Hemingway

Sometimes it seems as if I am the only person I know who is neither in grad school nor a rock and roll band, who has never been to grad school nor in a rock and roll band. Even my mom is in grad school. Even the ten-year-old I tutor is in a rock and roll band.

Not being in either grad school or a rock and roll band means that I have to do all my reading and debauching without the benefit of deadlines or European tour dates. Only the spidery tethers of email keep me situated in any external schedule of thought, action, creation, destruction, rock or roll.

In response to the request I made via email of my friend on tour in Europe to

>bring me back some absinthe wouldja? xoxo, emily

I received the following reply:

>i was going to buy tons of absinthe in prague but then i drank a bunch and took a handful of ecstasy and stayed up all night instead. see you soon…

How ironic. The very people who have the opportunity to pick up liquors full of illegal drugs are too high on liquor and illegal drugs to do it.

In response to an email to everyone I know requesting that one of them sublet my apartment this summer so that I, too, can ignore my friends’ outlandish requests to smuggle foreign liquors for them,

Another friend took time out from his end-of-semester schedule to write this ode to final paper-writing:

I overuse commas. I listen to early REM. I answer emails as soon as they come in. I eat hummus.


Bereft of seminars, discussion gropus, internet posting boards (besides this one) and reading lists, I prefer to use email correspondance to tease out the finer points of my arguments. On procrastination, and the overuse of commas:

Procrastination is an art that works partly in the medium of hummus. The taste of hummus is the taste of procrastination.

I also use so many commas, and have to go back and take them out, except I can’t decide sometimes whether they should be there or not, or whether I should break all the comma-delineated fragments up into short sentences like Hemingway, and then I think of how Joni hates Hemingway, and maybe I should call her, or read some Hemingway, or maybe I should go to Paris, to be like Hemingway, but a female Hemingway, and is that an oxymoron or a good idea, and did Hemingway procrastinate, and did Hemingway eat hummus, and would Hemingway have been able to focus on his controversial short sentences if he had the internet to read, and maybe I should Google Hemingway to see how I can be more like him, and maybe I have ADD, and Hemingway was so much more decisive, did it come from being in the war, and he was such an egomaniacal bastard, but so are all great male novelists, Kundera too, and Joni hates Kundera, Joni loves Pynchon, Pynchon writes complex sentences, I doubt Pynchon has ADD, and all of these men wrote about wars, I hate war but I love war novels and war movies and fictional war television, without war there would be no war movies, no war novels, no war television, without everything terrible in life there would be nothing beautiful written about it, is it inhuman to think that suffering has a purpose and its purpose is to be the raw material of art? Is it trite?

I’d love to ramble on, kids. But it’s the first truly gorgeous Tuesday afternoon, and you know what that means. Joni and I are due for a picnic.

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