November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008

First, I just wanted to say that my drug and alcohol rant yesterday was just to clarify some things about myself that this blog might have made unclear.  It was not a judgment of anyone and I really have no problem with either of those things in moderation, but did want to make my relationship to them more apparent (mostly for the sake of my parents.)  While on the subject, I got a call from my mom at 7:30 this morning to tell me that she had received an email from my dad, caught up on the blog, and wanted to talk to me before she called him back.  Basically she just told me how proud of me she is, that she loves me unconditionally, and that she might not really understand all the project but she doesn’t judge me at all.  I appreciated the call, minus the part where (in the message she left before I called her back) she talked about how I’m taking this time to experiment because I wasn’t able to experiment properly in high school due to custody issues.  That’s not really true at all… I pretty much did what I wanted in high school and (even if I hadn’t) custody issues were settled long before that / were never really a serious hindrance.  People reading this as some kind of natural self-exploration is driving me crazy: I did not do this project in the hopes of “finding myself” or making up for some lost experiences or something.  Like I said yesterday, I am quite aware of who I am / what I believe in–obviously that’s going to be in flux since I’m 21, but please don’t just explain away everything that I’m doing as some kind of normal soul searching.  It’s not.  It’s a calculated and planned art project.  A friend who graduated last quarter told me that people kept telling her she was “just going through something” because of the work she was making and that it annoyed her immensely.  I didn’t really understand until now.  I’m not “going through something,” I’m just living my life under a different set of rules than I normally do… please give me some credit and don’t just assume that I must be doing this to heal some sort of emotional shortcoming.  On a lighter note, I made it into Alan’s blog after spending the night there the other day… so that is pretty awesome! I love him.

Last night I stayed with Ashley who I used to work with and have absolutely loved since meeting, which made for a nice experience.  I was in the studio roughly twelve hours yesterday, punctuated by talking to my parents for awhile, and was both emotionally and physically drained… so being able to stay with someone I am already comfortable around was very welcome.   I didn’t get there until around midnight, but she and her roommates all came into the living room to say hi and we talked about the project for awhile.  It was much less about “why” and more just about how it has been, which was kind of relieving on some level.  At first it was a little awkward because I was on one side of the room facing the three of them, but they are way too friendly to be awkward and seemed genuinely interested in what I was saying.  Besides the usual project stories (outside, car, etc) they got to listen to me talk about the issue with my parents, which quite a few people have now heard about.  I got the usual reaction of surprise, given that I am pretty tame for a college student, which makes me feel somewhat less crazy about things… even if I do understand their concern.

Everyone was tired and I was kind of interested in eating the macaroni and cheese I had brought with me, so we didn’t talk for long… although I did find out that they need a fourth roommate for the rest of the year (it came up how I was kind of like the fourth roommate for the night, in a weird way.)  Incidentally I happen to know someone who is looking for an apartment for the rest of the year and think it would be amazing if they end up living together as a result of this project.  One of Ashley’s roommates then showed me how to work the TV, which always happens… I’ve never actually watched TV at anyone’s place, but everyone shows me how to work it just in case.  In this particular situation the remote lives in the drawer of the coffee table, but the TV must be turned on manually first… they must have cable because they have a guide once it’s on.  They also set me up with some blankets and Ashley got me a glass of water; the amount of UCLA paraphernalia is great and definitely marked the culture of the apartment as UCLA BAND.  At one point I was invited to come to their post-SC party, to which I responded when and they told me after the USC game… and I kind of just blankly stared at them until they shockedly clarified that it’s early December.  While in the kitchen I noticed a whiteboard next to the fridge where people had left various comments; the trend of letting people somehow contribute to the apartment is something I have seen a few times… like at Stephanie’s, where people were allowed to write and draw all over the walls.  I think my favorite comment last night was something like, “Things to clean:  Everything.”

After brushing my teeth (and finding it really strange that Ashley and Manny have bathrooms that are almost identical) I was ready to go to sleep, but wasn’t sure if I should go back to the bedrooms and say good night or not.  It’s kind of intrusive, once that space has been designated as separate from the space that I am being left to sleep in, so I just laid down on the futon and Ashley and her roommate came back out to show me how to make it into a bed.  That was the most spacious “bed” I have slept on in weeks; stretching out was glorious.  They asked if I needed anything else, which I think I mumbled a “I’m sorry, I’m just really tired” in response and then immediately passed out.

I mentioned before that I see this as tied to being alone in London, where I often wouldn’t say anything to anyone for the greater part of the day and would find myself just wanting to speak for the sake of speaking.  Unsurprisingly, this is the exact opposite and I really just want to be able to just sit and listen.  Having to build a similar foundation of a relationship every day is both strange and draining.   There was a moment last night when we finished the sit-and-get-to-know-me part of the evening and Ashley and one of her roommates were just sitting on their computers talking while I ate my dinner.   They were talking about the various levels of popularity of people and were being pretty critical (I assumed they were on facebook) about levels of sluttiness, etc.   I did kind of question their casual / harsh judgment, but wasn’t going to say anything.  They then realized I didn’t know what they were talking about and clarified that these were various stuffed animals that their friends owned, the sluttiness thus referring to the number of pictures each animal has taken with their various friends.  There was then some joking about said stuffed animals (I guess some inappropriate public sex took place recently between two of the silly creatures) and it was great to be a part of a conversation that was not overly serious, where I was not the center of attention, and it wasn’t about this project.

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