Tuesday, August 29, 2006

won't weigh you down with good intention

This is going to sound ridiculously hypocritical coming from someone who keeps a blog, but I am really loathe to string together sentences that describe me. Describe myself. Seems a simple assignment, yet it made me arch. I do not mean to sound arrogant, but just exactly how am I supposed to do that? Maybe it betrays a real lack of self-awareness. And maybe it will be viewed as subterfuge that I chose to describe myself by writing about stem cells. As Stephen Colbert would say: deal with it!

Speaking of Colbert, what is it about men showing affection for each other that just warms the cockles of my cold, black heart? When The Daily Show beat The Colbert Report to win an Emmy, the camera panned to Jon Stewart. Colbert, sitting behind him, leaned forward and gave Stewart a hug/kiss on the cheek. And I melted into a puddle of goo. I know that is absurd, but really, you know you did too. Usually, you see those plastic reaction shots when the winner is announced: four other nominees clapping mechanically, wildly, while a smile is frozen into place across their lips. The Colbert-Stewart exchange, on the other hand, was so deeply sincere. And it was welcome, because I expected Colbert to stay in character and throw a hissy fit. Of course, he did that later, to hilarious effect.

I wish I was better at fixing problems. Seized by frustration at my own uselessness, I am moved to spend hours in my kitchen tonight. It's foolish, but I somehow equate baking with comfort, even if no one else does. As if somehow, I can bake someone a cake, and all their troubles would disappear. Some of my friends are in a bad way right now, and with good reason. They are in situations for which there are no consolations. I know that feeling well, having been on the other end. I have felt the mounting ire as a friend tried to rationalize that everything was going to work out, when I knew for a fact that it wasn't. And of course, the friend knew it wasn't going to be okay. But we find ourselves at a loss for words, and simply saying, "wow, that sucks, I am so sorry" just doesn't feel adequate to us, even if it is the only response that the person on the receiving end really wants to hear.

But it's funny how you can know some things rationally, yet your instincts just rail against you. Something in my head keeps screaming: be of use! It is incessant and it tells me that going home and making a cake is somehow going to solve something. I know in my head that this is rubbish, but I do not know if I can quell the urge with cold logic.

Oh I have another instinct: it involves not working tomorrow. I am going to have to buck that one.

My cousin S, former teeniac, called me last night to tell me about her first few days as a college student. It is that time of year again. Given that today is the anniversary of Katrina, and there are other gloomy dates approaching, there is something hopeful about the beginning of the school year. I saw the kids crossing the crosswalks this morning on my way to work, and within a week it will seem a commonplace, unremarkable sight. So, the forward movement of time is a great comfort.

No comments: