Saturday, May 28, 2005Absence-Minded
Apologies to anyone who has tried to contact me without success during the last two weeks, or whose functions I have failed to attend, or who just feels generally neglected: it's not you, it's me. I've been aggressively disengaged since I got back to Memphis, and only the most immediate concerns have gotten much attention from me. It almost seems as if my Vermont reclusivity has become a bit entrenched; up there, days can go by without my speaking a work to anyone, and while I acclimatized myself to solitude somewhat grudgingly, it's not entirely against my nature so some effort is required on my part to re-acclimatize myself to being sociable.
Because I am, after all, very much an introvert, although an introvert of that odd kind that really loves to be around people -- just not unfamiliar people, and especially not groups of unfamiliar people. New people exhaust me, and I seem to have a deep-seated need to be invited into social groups; I'm rarely brazen enough to inject myself into the lives of strangers (although it happens on rare occasions.) Still, I do deeply love my friends, even if I don't tell them so often enough, and it was a bit of a wrench to go from having a just-right social life here to living on a barren social tundra in Vermont... which isn't to say that I don't know anyone there, just that I wouldn't call any of those people friends exactly. I think of them as something like life-scale passers-by.
I did go to midtown tonight to see a few more people I've missed (though not all the ones I was looking forward to seeing), and was quite touched to discover that they'd missed me as well. It wasn't exactly an overt welcome home, but it kinda felt like one. A few more days of reclusion (is that a word? well it is now) would do me good, but I'm feeling more like re-engaging with my old Memphis life, if only for a little while.
On the drive home I listened to Elvis Costello's "Beyond Belief" like fifty fucking times. I'm one of those people who picks a song and obsesses over it until I'm so sick of it I can't bear to hear it again for years; in this particular instance I was concentrating rather deeply on the pattern of hard and soft syllables in the first verse, the way the harder sounds become percussive and the softer ones slip between them. I can only make out about half the words (I intentionally avoid the lyric sheets for this one), but I'm pretty amazed by the song. I used to love it when I was thirteen or fourteen, and subsequently forgot about it for more than a decade; then, a month or so ago, a fantastic radio station up north (which plays a lot of Elvis Costello, although usually only the obvious songs, which are invariably not the ones my subconscious is most eager to hear) played that song, and the desire to revisit the other Elvis, whom I've mostly ignored, took hold in my mind and began to grow. Now, going back over all his classic songs, it's like hearing brand new songs that I already know all the words to.
I don't care so much for his recent stuff, though.
Possibly -- probably -- my Memphian friends will find me gradually coming out from under my rock; kicking me sometimes helps get me back in motion, so feel free.
And yeah, I know, I'm barely mentioning politics on this blog these days (see, I told you I could do it); it's not for lack of anything interesting going on, it's just that I can't bear to think about it anymore. Every now and then maybe, but not on a daily basis -- I have my spiritual wellbeing to consider; and I'm convinced that the fucking fundies and their right-wing lapdogs would love nothing so much than to crush my soul under an avalanche of bullshit. And it's hard to come back down here when you've been in the land of the groovy people -- not that Vermonters are without fault, but at least they're not all uptight about it. |