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Thursday October 19, 2000, 18:56

As a self-described elitist pig, one of the things that I miss the most about attending my prestigious university was not the education that I received there, nor was it the aparent endless stream of beautiful women wearing Prada and North Face. Instead, it was the brilliant inclusion of a main green area on the campus on which these beautiful students could congregate.

I found myself sitting alone in my apartment today thinking that it was lovely out and that really should grab the latest issue of Wallpaper* and head out to read. I would enjoy the brisk autumn air and the smell of wood fires burning, as they inevitably do in New England in the fall, and I would watch and be seen as the world went about its merry way. Being uniquely employed as I am, working perhaps a month or so out of the year (which does not provide much income, but does provide for a much more relaxed attitude towards life), I found myself in the position to go out into the world at a time when most of my contemporaries were stuck inside their offices, most likely staring at computer monitors and wishing that they could be me.

"But where should I go?" I wondered almost aloud, until I realized that my window was open and that my neighbor was standing in his underwear across the alley from my living room and had shut off Abba just long enough to watch me contemplate my options while pacing about my sparcely decorated apartment. I did not want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that I, of all people, did not have all the answers, so I remained silent. But I was still thinking, pondering my next move.

The nearest university has no green, relying instead on a major roadway to serve as the artery upon which the institution was built. I have been told, in fact, that the school is so large that one can not schedule classes in adjacent time blocks at opposite ends of the campus for it is impossible to travel that distance in the time allotted. I thought of this university as I was remembering fondly sitting out on the grass at my Alma Mater watching residents of the neighborhood with their children and their dogs, or both, passing through the campus, stopping to sit on a bench and read, or play catch, or some other recreational and not at all stressful activity. And I thought about how fabulous everyone there was, the quaint locals, and the intelligent and stylish students.

I realized that there was nowhere that I felt that I could go in order to both read and people-watch in the real, non-academic world. Half of the thrill of going out was the knowledge that I would run into an acquaintance of mine and we would sit and share a moment in the midst of this intitute of learning. There was a feeling of community there, and the feeling that everyone around was my friend. I am finally realizing the harsh reality that everyone is not my friend and that the world is not a welcoming place.

But maybe it is deeper than that. Recall, once again, that I am an elitist fuck. Also note that most of the people with whom I associated for the majority of my life were intelligent and fairly well-to-do. Then come with me as I am suddenly thrust into the reality that everyone else in the world experiences. That is, the world where most people are idiots and where I must always have my idiot-filters on lest I find myself deep into a conversation that will leave me at the end of the night feeling like I had just licked the inside of a toilet. Indeed, the majority of the people that I have found in this "real world" have not held my interest at all.

Which is not to say that I am any great mind of the (still) 20th century. And I only say that because I am humble. But I have been used to surrounding myself with talented and brilliant1 people, and when it comes to my attention that most people out there are not talented and brilliant, well it just saddens me to the point where I no longer want to associate with the world at large.

This conclusion has been slightly swayed by the fact that there are some interesting people out there, and that I will soon be moving to a city that has so many people that the odds of my finding at least some pocket of talent is a bit higher. However, I am still seeking a community, a pre-formed community, that will filter out all the dead wood for me.

Updates to follow.

Update (October 22, 2000, 03:04): As point of clarification (thanks Maura), I mis-spoke when I said that I wanted this pre-formed community to filter out all the dead wood for me. I understand that any pre-existing community will still have some number of people that I would still consider to be outside of my threshold for whatever it is that I am trying to escape by entering the community to begin with. However, with most of the bullshit out of the way I could focus on forming relationships with people without having to worry about fundamental flaws, such as the possibility that the person with whom I am speaking is a complete moron.

This happens far too often in the real world.

Filters, man. Filters.



1. This coming from a computer science/theatre person. Go figure. Indeed I believe what has gotten me thinking about this all again, besides the fact that I had nowhere to go read my magazine, is the union of my recent work in the theatre and the fact that this work has brought be back to the university that I left so recently. Theatre life operates at an accelerated pace, and I find myself wondering where this past week has gone. Now that the work has gone, I find myself noticing that the world can not keep up with the pace at which I am still operating and as such I long for it (it being theatre) more and more. Much like a drug, it is drawing me back in, and I am afraid that if I lose my momentum this time, it will be gone again. Or perhaps it's that I miss the fun people with whom I once associated and just want them back. And they're all far away. And I'm going to be with them soon. But not soon enough.

Oh the pain.

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