Tuesday, September 22, 2009

That's Why I Said I Relate (or: Back from Miami)

I'm back from my business trip to Miami's South Beach. It was, well, hectic--lot's of work, a multiplication of responsibilities that I hadn't anticipated. The weather was atrocious--humid 90s--and the scene very touristy. I did my job, though, and quite well. It was an honor to be sent as an emissary, to take charge of a chaotic situation and make it orderly, take account, and write a report of my efforts there. I would thrive, perhaps, as a consultant, or an economic "repair man". If only I could find any passion in it, or, rather, if only I were able to successfully extract the passion I have while doing it from what it is I am actually doing: making calls about people's lives and money. There is no space for passion in the cold calculations of capital. It is a brutal logic, and I am a lover, a Romantic, a martyr.

Seeing J. again when I got back was a relief, but not in the sense of "oh, good! you're still here!" I knew he would be there, he said so, and the relief was almost that there was no need to be relieved. Am I starting to take him for granted? I don't think so. I think, instead, I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea of him in my life as something that won't abruptly disappear. I think we both are.

J. had a good time at his Michigan festival, which was also the last time his band will perform as a band. He is upset about this, and I understand, now, why. Without a band you are just a lone performer on a stage, no context, no grounding. But he's diving into the scene that school is providing for him: lot's auditions for plays, et cetera. This is a good thing, I think. We will both be abundantly busy, which I also think is a good thing: we can be one another's "fresh air," the proverbial "cork". And, with pleasure.

Orientation begins tomorrow. Finally. I register for classes, I begin my regular commute to Hyde Park. I'll see a friend from NY while I'm down there. And the German, too, probably.

At a cocktail party in honor of a friend defending his dissertation I had my first taste of what it will be like to attend parties with academics. What a profoundly insecure type! My Old Man asks me how I found myself handling the dynamics of perpetual cock-measuring. I said, "I take a page out of Riviere's 'Womanliness as Masquerade': I know how to be deferential, and how to subvert that performance without destroying the fantasy of the structure."

I had wanted J. to come along with me, but I was, in hindsight, glad he couldn't make it. He has absolutely no practice interacting with people like these, and he would have felt terribly out of place--and they would have encouraged him to feel that way, too. Still, he was there in spirit. I've decided it is important for me to be "out" while in this program. On the one hand it is a matter of integrity. On the other, it will become abundantly clear given the nature of my work and interests. Academia is such a "boys club"--and as a homo, I'm not really included in that club (after all, the logic goes, he takes it like a woman!). Part of J.'s "spirit" abiding with me meant that his fiercely oppositional character--he is my Nietzschean Lion--was evident in my own posture. Demure, certainly--these are your professors and senior peers--but don't submit: redeploy, subvert, mock--and with a smile, a dancing spirit (like a woman, who only ever loves a warrior!).

I've been speaking with my dear friend from NY, who, interestingly, does not have a "Nom de Guerre" for this blog (I'll have to think ask him what he thinks it should be), and he's adjusting to life in Canada just fine, though life in NY is a bit shaky. He left behind his love, and that means he is stretched along two poles. We will see how that works for him, if it works for him. When I was doing my MA I, too, was in the same position, but the object of my desire was nothing more than a phantasy, and so never was "there" but always "here". We will be reading the late Heidegger together. Heidegger, who changed the game, and who we have yet to reconcile ourselves to.

I'm back in Chicago, which is to say: I'm home. It is very, very satisfying to say that: these streets I recognize, this grime which I familiar, these bums, slums, and squealing taxi brakes, this man's love, this man I love, this apartment's smell, this community I am known in, these friends who see me and love me... this is my home.

1 comment:

grooveadam said...

I am glad you decided to be "out" from the get-go in your career, especially in your discipline. As I email the professors I'm interested in working with, it is nice to be coming out to them at the same time -- which my research interests do quite nicely (I'm interested in the psychology of male masculinity as it pertains to both internalized and externalized homophobia). Not very poetic, psychology isn't anymore, but maybe someday I'll learn how to expand my writing to more than just a couple paragraphs.

Yes, I am interested in the Freud book club. However, the month of October will be quite crazy with applications. November might be better when I won't know what to do with myself.