Nashville, TN, April 1, 2012

Writing about going to work and other quotidian things is beginning to feel tedious, I wonder if reading about it is too, certainly living it is tedious, tedium all around. Sadly, that’s all I’ve got. With that in mind, after a contemplative walk up to Lover’s Circle, I sat down at my desk to do some serious writing and plumb the depths (it’s not that deep, I’m young after all) of my past for some inspiration. I looked over an essay I’d finished and sent it off to Stewart, then began reading over my latest story, but stopped after a few sentences. Sometimes reading myself is a real chore, you better believe that churning out these Intimate Thoughts every week is no picnic.

An idea for a new story occurred to me but upon reflection it was just another veiled return to the trauma of my last breakup, and god knows I’m sick of that. The following Intimate Thought came to me: what I needed was a new relationship, followed by a terrible breakup (this latter part almost being more important); then there would be new material.

Arriving at work I felt ruffled and out of sorts. It is a shock to be with one’s self all day, to go about in solitude, then be obliged to deal with masses of people ordering coffee. My social faculties seemed to have temporarily left me, and I wondered if I came across rude. One woman, a rather large one with her breasts displayed for all to see, treated me with unwarranted skepticism when I took her order, as if she didn’t understand the basic procedure. I wondered if I had behaved strangely or tactlessly in some way, but Jane confirmed that she had been acting odd. Some people just haven’t been socialized properly, it seems. Jane did point out, however, that on other occasions she observed me missing the mark with customers, and not just missing the mark but the customers being totally baffled by me, a total disconnect in other words. You’re an acquired taste, she said. That’s right, I can’t help who I am, I said, just like some cheeses can’t help what they are. You’re right, she said, that’s what makes you who you are.

But despite the consoling truth in this truism—that one can’t help help who one is, etc. (“One is what one is, partly at least,” Beckett)—I felt troubled because the écart between who I think I am (or was) and what I actually am, as if the latter can be known, is assuredly a far deeper gulf than what I imagine it to be, or can even can conceive it to be.

But in the end, one can only reach the conclusion that there’s nothing to be done. I soon forgot the matter.