Friday, June 22, 2007


Nothing says solstice like a speculum. And the discomfort was only aggravated by the doctor attempting to distract me by asking about my dissertation; what an odd thing to be championing when someone is scraping your cervix. “Lookin’ good” was the cheerful unofficial diagnosis (not the most glowing review I've received – I once had a doctor tell me “Your vagina is fabulous!” Such things I wish I had in writing).
What else is happening, you may wonder, abstractly, when it occurs to you. Not much, and everything. The diss is behind unofficial schedule and yet, as my supervisor informs me, it's coming together. Constructive criticism at this point (note the qualifier) is largely structural. I'm knee-deep in masculinity studies, trying to understand ‘men,’ which is ironic – not so much work imitating life as paralleling it. As usual, I'm sure to hit theoretical rather than empirical paydirt. I'm taking vitamin D pills. Despite the heat I'm inching back to my winter running time, clocking in lately at 70ish minutes. There’s a road trip for a wedding soon, and I desperately long to go dress shopping yet lack the capital (c’mon, Marx, some praxis here). I sidetrack myself with the biggest novels I have on hand (currently Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and next Perdido Street Station, Infinite Jest having been read enough already and Underworld out on loan). I'm about to relive for the umpteenth time the bane of my existence as a grad student: bidding geographical farewell to a dear friend. Travelling across the city I stare blankly at my reflection in the metro window pondering the possibility of patterns and of mistakes; I wake in the middle of the night instinctively reaching for bodies that aren’t there, and can’t decide whether I'm okay with that or not. Sleep comes later and later. Neighbourhood cats wander in and out of my house with an undeserved but endearing sense of entitlement. Time passes – writer’s block, doubt. Summer.


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