As I prepare to leave this place, I realize that I have made very few good friends in the past four years here. Good friendship is almost always based in a shared sense of humor. Although I have built some strong, close relationships, they have not come close to the friendships I have found in my undergraduate years, my first graduate degree, or even my era as a part-time adjunct teacher. Some of the best potential here has been with married men, with whom I have no interest in being close. Not at this time, anyway. Maybe I blame the program. The Program has taken too much psychic energy to really allow me to find those close relationships. Anyway, I do not blame myself.
Last night at dinner, a weekly ritual with people for whom I have warm and friendly thoughts, I stumbled in the conversation. I wanted to talk excitedly about the art, the times, the sexual exploits of Patti Smith’s 1970s New York City. The conversation fell flat, couldn’t really get off it’s feet. Maybe they weren’t interested. Maybe I was being inarticulate.
Oftentimes, I try to put to words the surprising role that capitalism plays in my psyche and deepest pleasures. This was a profound realization that came after spending a few summer months in Europe. It was the same kind of realization that one has after realizing her or his own participation and complacency in, say, institutionalized racism. As I try to share these thoughts, I get strange looks, like, she must be a republican or something, then disregarded.
My own inarticulateness (and to be fair I am getting worse) and the lack of humor (not altogether missing, but not what it could be) has been a defining aspect of friendships and the last four years.


2 thoughts on “humour

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