(... you know... as in Star Trek, I suppose.)
So, several weeks of the stress but not really misery, chaos but not really feeling frantic, the Stäbler book – working on it but not fast enough – and many smaller demands, extra classes coming out of nowhere, paperwork, and so on and so on. With echoes of Zürich and Rome, summer and winter, and other places all mixed up in between.
Today has been rather like the past few days – getting some things done but not the crucial ones – except, well, sometimes.
And tonight there were not one but two parties – one where I was to go with Rumana, one where I was to go with Michael and Andrew – I finally sent negations to both, settled down to... well, mostly to waste time, then had dinner, then actually started the Powerpoint slides for Monday's class. Which aren't hard, and which do indeed need to be finished.
And Michael texts me again, and his party is very near by – so I throw some clothes on and go over... bar, crowd, drinks, noisy music. I order a glass of wine (ah, I am the wild one) and sit down and talk to everyone.
The band gets up to play, the recorded music is shut off – a trio I've heard before, two older guys with one of my former students: basically folk, really. And they're really very good, but –
the problem with folk ballads, especially ones that refer to Ireland and Australia and working and distance and when-she-went-away stuff, is that you start to get into that mood. You know the one – Sad, Alone And Far from Home.
By the third tune I can see it getting to me – well, it is a good band – and drat, by the time I've got my coat and made good-byes and escaped, it's sort of set, and –
That sense of time, and distance, that is simultaneously both abstract and utterly concrete – all of those songs combine some broad concept of place (the outback) with a person who said something (I can still see her face when she...). This is all even more painful when you cross-reference any of this with San Francisco or Australia (because I don't much care about Connemara, do you?) – there is a very exasperating way that concepts of places simultaneously suggest worlds where things went badly, or could have gone wonderfully, and are in any case out of reach. Forever, naturally – not only in the song but also in reality.
Damn. So now I can't do any work at all. Good thing it's midnight, may as well give up on my slides – and we'll see if I can dream the folky sadness away....