Monday, June 04, 2007

don't know

There's something missing, and I don't know what it is.

I'm sitting in Omst's high-ceilinged living room in the Mission District. He's kindly letting me use one room as a temporary SF weekend crash pad. Mariachi music is coming in through the street-facing window. The other side of the apartment thumps with a dance beat from the bar below.

Forgive this post, gentle readers, for not being organized. It's past midnight, and the witching hour runs high. Tonight I will blog the way I used to, when no one else was going to read it. Aimlessly, recklessly.

Last night Christina and I went to two parties. We tried to go to a third, an Asian dance party at Ana Mandara, but the club wanted a $30 cover for one hour (we got there at 1am). Christina says we might've gotten free tickets if we took off our coats and flirted with the bouncers (while shivering in our party outfits). But I wasn't in the mood. Sometimes that feels like you're prostituting yourself, and very cheaply at that.

Our flirting is worth at least $40! Plus tax!

On the ride back, Christina pointed out how the party looked fun and maybe there were really amazing Chinese guys there and now that I'm all into Chinese guys, perhaps it was worth $30.

I thanked her for making that helpful comment after we'd already driven most of the way home. And I pointed out that I'm dating a Chinese guy already. But of course that particular basket is full of obstacles and complications, and doesn't seem safe for putting all my long-term eggs into. As it were.

But he is very sweet.

Extremely sweet.

This afternoon I went to the Asian Art Museum. I felt surprisingly tired. I went straight to the ornate Samsung room, and sat on the couch for thirty minutes. Either I'm hung over after a mere two drinks last night, or my body didn't actually recover from my illness two weeks ago. Then I went in the bathroom and sat in there, reading, for fifteen minutes.

After I toured the museum (the manga exhibit was pretty good), I took the bus back to Omst's place.

Now I'm here, and much of my life seems bleached. Where is the color? Yes, the parties are lovely, and the food is delightful, and the drinks are posh, and the people are kind, and the decor is lavish, and what is the point?

Occasionally I get into a mood where it's exhausting to deal with people. Having to talk to another person, in the flesh, is too tiring. I want to tell them to please stop talking to me, and send me an email instead. I can handle crafting a written response.

There are a few people who are not tiring. My brother, of course. And a few other friends that I've known for many years. Maybe I should stop going out and collapse my social circle to five people.

Then I can get my piglet Oinksy, and become known as that weird recluse with the pig.

I don't know how to fix this feeling. It's a weariness, with a dash of isolation. Previously I tried relaxing all weekend in bed, watching movies and surfing the internet. That got lonely. Going to parties, ineffective.

Writing is still good. And reading. But it's like when you stay up two nights in a row, and then you are only able to take a two-hour nap. It just reminds you how much you're missing.

Good thing my readership is not the type to suggest that I look to the Lord to deliver me, lost sheep, into the righteous path.


Joe Goh said...

> Maybe I should stop going out and
> collapse my social circle to five
> people.

That sounds like a pretty good plan. Maybe give that a try - just go out with your close friends and your brother for a change and stop going out for the sake of going out on a weekend.

EMily said...

We all get older....and if we are lucky, wiser.

Perhaps best stated in Ecclesiastes:

"To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun."

phaeodaria said...

Be patient. You'll feel better eventually, and things will again return to a high level of interest. If you are looking for a challenge without any formal commitment, there are tons of small, unsolved problems awaiting someone with time on their hands. Pick one, and spend some time each day by yourself working at it, keeping a private log of your progress and observations. Take frequent walks, or small roadtrips to some of the beautiful parks in your state. Try a new sport like archery, fukiya or target shooting, etc. New experiences provide new perspective.

Anonymous said...

Your ennui is reminiscent of something Malcolm Muggeridge wrote:

When I look back on my life what strikes me most forcibly is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd.

For instance, success in all of its various guises; being known and being praised; ostensible pleasures, like acquiring money or seducing women, or travelling, going like Satan, in the world and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer.

In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, “licking the earth.”

poproute said...

Hi.How do you do! I'm a Chinese college student.Coy, my English is no very horizontal.Therefore I can only use Chinese to have communicated with you underneath, sorry!
The whole family is happy wish you the very best of luck in your job.

xerxes_blue said...

Life is not only finite, but short. We traverse from the complete selfishness of childhood, and the self focus and narcissism of adolescence and early adulthood to hopefully something better. Like most things in life, it all seems to happen sooner than we thought it should. Perhaps your angst is your readiness to pursue a cause greater than yourself sooner than your friends, and sooner than you thought it would arrive. A great scientific puzzle? a good social cause? or perhaps create a new life and raise a family? Time advances inexorably.

Anonymous said...


Recall the Feynman nutating plate story.

ArC said...

"Maybe I should stop going out and collapse my social circle to five people. "

Nooo, that plays right into the cell phone companies' plans!

justapeasant said...

I don’t know either. But I get that feeling too whenever I have a dozen personal projects and none of them seem to be moving forward. Like a dozen cute little “Oinksies” stuck in a doorway. I realize I have to focus on one and push it forward to un-jam the whole silly lot of them.

Step said...

Heh - funny you should end with that. I notice someone already mentioned Ecclesiastes too. :)

God loves you. :D

Emily said...

Oops, my bad. I just referred to Ecclesiastes because the passage is both relevant and poetic. I was not, in any way, shape or fashion, attempting to proselytize. Maybe next time, I will quote Keats instead....

Step said...

Emily, I find your demurral even more amusing. No need to apologize, the passage you chose was, just as you say, relevant and poetic - especially since the book starts out "Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless." ... "There is nothing new under the sun."

I feel that way sometimes too. And I certainly wasn't trying to accuse you of proselytizing - God forbid! ;)

Anonymous said...

So why are you into Chinese guys now? Did you meet the current dude on

How about Christina? What's her flavor of man?

adsott said...


Anonymous said...

Dear Grasshopper,

You are burned-out.

Your symptoms are very clear...

The only way to recover your spark of fire is to WALK AWAY from your job, your home, your THINGS - and go upon a long trip.

What you need is a quest...

Not one that is easily afforded by money or convenience....

But one that will lead you to hunger at times, privation, and perhaps a little bit of danger.

The best quest? One that is not to fulfill YOUR needs - but one that is purposeful to aid the stranger that you may meet along the way....

Anonymous said...

I had the same feeling before.
You just need to settle down and have a real boyfriend or a husband.

AJ Arora said...

Sometimes bumming around alone feels unproductive and isn't a good enough excuse to skip out on mundane socializing when the friends call.

Perhaps expanding on a hobby might help..become known a film-buff or maybe change up the workout routine and start hiking.

Whatever works...just do it alone.

Anonymous said...

try cross-dressing

Michael said...

You should really think about kids.

Anonymous said...

Amazingly, that was the exact realization I(and many others before and after me) came up with around your age, so probably it is time to start developing deep and meaningful relationships with the people you care about rather than hopping around for instant gratifications(from being recognized, complimented, stimulated, etc, etc).

HappyDays said...

You shall try kids. Life becomes so meaningful and colorful when you become a mother. You do not know this until you become a mom.

Cymreig Draig said...

I know exactly how you feel - I study in the US, but I live in India. And I know what it's like to reflect for a moment and ask oneself what exactly the point of it all is? It does get too painful to deal with people. I enjoy being alone, but after a while, that also becomes painful. If you ever do figure out a cure for whatever this strange affliction is, please do tell me.

Oh, as a PS - I only have a social circle of 5 people, and unfortunately, none of them is with me. It's a pathetic situation.