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Detritus: “Kind of social… Demented and sad, but social.”

I’m having a maudlin evening in which it seems all I can think about, one way or another, is my relationships with people.

I asked a friend the other day what he’d be if he wasn’t a person who felt driven to be a producing intellectual. I don’t think he understood the question, because he didn’t answer. I don’t think I phrased it well. I know, though, that my answer is I would be someone whose life centered around caring for her friends and family.

Yes, I know they’re not mutually exclusive, but they’re partially exclusive, or I wouldn’t be planning to spend another three years in New York when some part of me wants to run away to Seattle to be with Robert and Jen.

* * *

My sister Sylvie has this way of dropping her jaw in an open-mouthed grin which I find totally incapacitating. She does it when she’s trying to bolster an obvious lie, or put an amusing face on a pathetic situation, or just when she’s playing around. I think I actually do it too. I know one or two other people my age who will; Wade is one of them. But our parents do not do it. Where did we learn this gesture?

It’s a Muppet thing. Imagine Kermit the Frog introducing an act of shambling monsters which he knows hasn’t practiced well. Imagine Ernie trying to joke around a cover-up of how Bert’s favorite lamp got broken, or Fozzie delivering a punchline. We were raised by furry little homunculi without the facial muscles to turn up the corners of their mouths, and damned if we didn’t learn a thing or two from them beyond G sounding like “guh guh guh guh” or “juh juh juh juh.” (It’s the latter for Gillian, the former for Gus, thanks.)

* * *

I did not ever want to become the kind of person who dreads their birthday, or thinks birthdays are not worth making a fuss over, but it looks like maybe in adulthood it’s inevitable. Even with a rather warm response about the Kissinger pinata I’m dreading dealing with this birthday party. If I don’t hear from someone soon I am likely to cancel it.

I just can’t organize parties. Sokin tells me it’s because there’s no booze at my parties; I don’t know how to overcome that, because I don’t drink and even if I did I bet I’d like something obtuse or parochial which everyone else wouldn’t see fit to gargle with. Sometimes I think it’s maybe because there aren’t enough beautiful women at my parties. Or rather, that there are almost no women at all, because most of my friends are guys.

That can’t be all that’s wrong. People just don’t show up when I invite them. I don’t know why. I make really cool invitations. I have good ideas for things to do, and I know lots of interesting people who have not-initially-obvious things in common with each other, who I like to introduce to each other. Still I had one party where the three people with the very least in common showed up and literally — literally — stared at their shoes a few hours and then left. And then I had a rather calamitous birthday where some mostly unrelated people showed up to an Ethiopian restaurant, were served homemade green-frosted-alien-with-marshmallow-eyes cupcakes by a roommate I barely knew, were briefly joined accidentally by some local swing dance so-and-sos who quickly turned up their noses and fled, found the brainlike Ethiopian food not at all to their liking, and proceeded to maraud around Chinatown loudly and with very little direction. It was not half so exciting as I make it sound.

That was three years ago. Two years ago I was among near-strangers and in the process of nearly losing a job in Virginia. I can’t remember what I did last year. I will bet I am repressing it to avoid remembering how I mistreated James that day.

I don’t know what happened. Birthdays when I was a kid were fine, aside from the love of my life, Larry Perkins, never showing up to ride the ponies with us at Griffith Park. Teenage birthdays were bolstered by the mutual love of my very good pack of high school friends. I’m not sure what went wrong, aside from moving so far from home.

* * *

I’m thinking about getting a cat if I move. A quiet, aloof cat. In the long run I think this would make me incredibly happy, but a great deal of guilt would accompany the decision. My first own personal cat, who I adopted during my last year in college, now lives with my mom. By rights, I ought to take her back. I was an important figure in her formative early months (which were unfortunately spent in a Hampshire double). I feel irresponsible, and guiltily uncomfortable with the responsibility, like a teen mom. But that cat and I really didn’t get along. You’ve never met a more clingy animal. Even Mom says she’s just weird.

By now she has a symbiotic relationship with the other family cat, anyway.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not even cut out to have a cat, much less a significant other. I have a hard enough time with the turtle.

* * *

Despite all this birthday-triggered melancholy, this is my High Reserves emotional cycle. I’m generally feeling pretty buoyant and willing to reach out to other people. This particular week I tend to have a boundless capacity for taking on others’ troubles, so if you need someone to talk to, remember I’m here.

(Funny, my capacity for empathetic support seems inversely proportional to the thickness of my endometrium. ok, ok, TMI, I know.)

* * *

God damn it, I really keep meaning to write about what goes on in my office, but I honest to god need to get more sleep.

so I can go be more awake to do some PHARMACEUTICALS ADVERTISING BUM BUM ***BUMMMMMM***… fuck *that* noise!

well, I’ve started, but I’m going to have to post it later, it’s my bedtime and the piece isn’t done.

* * *
Gus’s Top Five Favorite DDR Extreme Songs right now
1) Love this Feeling
2) Miracle Moon (LED Light Style Mix)
3) A
4) Janejana
5) 321 Stars

Gus’s Number One Top Dance Game Song She Can Play Right Now But You Can’t (for technical reasons)
1) Boogie Down

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