Monday, December 11, 2006

"So how was the conference?" I really dislike having to answer this question. It is an invitation for me to be boring, even to myself, because I am tired of repeating the same stories to everyone who asks. And even though the person asking the question knows that they are also going to be bored by my answer, having not experienced the stories themselves, they feel they have to ask anyway. It is a pointless yet necessary performance of having-been-awayness. But here are some random answers for you:
I have been feeling ashamed. Comprehensively ashamed by my institutionlessness, the shortcomings of my body, my lack of social skills... But especially by the retardation of my paper. At best, it received an ambivalent reception. I was worried that I'd be crucified in question time, because I had written the paper in such a vacuum of fatigue and institutionlessness that I had no way of knowing if it even made sense or if I was using the wrong terms and theories.

I felt it went poorly. I felt I rambled in the question time and missed the point of all the questions. I felt richly ashamed at being the object of my own paper, the layers of bungled irony enveloping me like filo pastry. Afterwards I avoided people in case they wanted to attack me personally.

People have told me that I am beginning to carve my niche. But right now I don't see myself or my ideas belonging anywhere much. This makes me angry, like when I read the paper yesterday and it was full of annoying subbing errors, such as spelling "horde" as "hoard" and "flair" as "flare". Nobody ever seems to get as annoyed by these as I do. One of the worst offenders was the editor who commissioned my hipster-hop story and then just never ran it. I still don't know what to do with that story.

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