I don’t really understand the appeal of college parties. I found myself at one last night/this morning. It was what I expected: crowded, perspirant, and loud. Drunk for the first time in their lives, they waddle, stagger and shout. The standard male greeting, “Whatdup”, elicited responses ranging from “Shit… […] …my fucking face is tingly as fuck, man,” to “wobbly.”
Standard small talk like “What are you majoring in?” yielded a similar, disappointing panoply of answers. A girl with whom I was talking (shouting) simply stared at me as if to say, “What kind of bullshit question is that?” I stared back, slightly bovine and totally nonplussed. I was floundering, and asked her what she did over the summer. She didn’t respond as she was busy kissing a young gentleman who just seconds ago passively admired and semi-groped her breasts. “I Love College” played in the background. Writhing. One to one becoming one.
“2014, REP-resent dat shit!”
“I love it! It’s just like high school! Except better. Like, umm…. How do I say it? Like, the same social groups… It’s neat.”
“Eunomia. It’s Greek for ‘in good order’.”
“Fuck. Why’re you doing this? GREEK?”
“Don’t be such a fuckin’ smug ‘That Kid’. You’re not impressing anyone.”
And neither you me.
I fly back from New Haven, CT today. My cab comes in 6 hours.
I’ve been doing a lot of contemplative wandering around Yale’s campus (particularly Old Campus, which I find the most charming) over the past two days. In the past week, I’ve danced without pants, attended a fraternity party in a house that was–approximately–as hot as the surface of the sun, gone to New York City where I visited art museums and, later, the bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey where TLC films its hit show, Cake Boss. Upon returning to NYC I ate pizza that obliterated the barrier between the theoretical Platonic ideal of what sauce and cheese and basil and crust can ever hope to achieve in concert and this ideal’s actualization.
In this seven days I re-read, for the second time this summer, This Side of Paradise and a short story collection, Oblivion, by David Foster Wallace.
I met some truly spectacular people, had great conversation, and am indebted to the eight or nine (I can’t quite remember) occupants of a house on Dwight for a really delicious vegetarian dinner. I thank the high school and college students both from Yale and other institutions in the courtyard of Davenport College for making snide remarks about- and sharing a deep-seeded hatred for that which might be called saccharine or insipid, i.e. that which leads to severe mental flabbiness or the cerebral equivalent of cellulite-afflicted thighs.
A very special “thank you” goes out to a particularly politically ambitious high school acquaintance of mine, a Beirut-spectating encounter with whom at the aforementioned hotter-than-Hell fraternity party led to one of the more satisfying taxi rides of my life the following morning… at his expense.
I promise more ruminations on my experience visiting Yale are forthcoming. In the meantime, keep a lookout for a post that goes live tomorrow morning at h600 CST. It is a co-blogging effort with a couple of close friends.