7: dionysian

Because one of my best friends is leaving the country this Friday, I skipped class today to spend most of the day with her. She and I have a strange relationship — we are uneasy together, but we also have a profound connection, an understanding. I think I feel the strangeness and the uneasiness much more than she ever does because the danger of it, the risk of it, is all to me and not to her.

What I mean to say is this: we are very similar, almost the exact same sort of person, except that she is more extreme and more self-destructive. She’s a fine writer — if she lives I am sure she has the seeds to be a great writer — because, in part, she is so extreme. I see potential versions of myself in her, I see myself as I have chosen not to be, and so I am uneasy, wary, guarded against too much time and intimacy with her.

Despite all this, I love her dearly, and would have been devastated not to see her before she leaves. I mostly helped her fulfill the strange errands and requests given by the friend she is going to live with, but at the end of the day we ended up at school, our errands done, our pockets full of cigarettes (mine) and weed (hers), our bags heavy and clanking with beer bottles and books. Because I had an hour to while away before the one class I could not miss, we sat in the small graveyard plot of the school’s founders and smoked and drank and poked fun at how ridiculously “poetic” and “depressed” and angsty-early-twenties we were being. I refused to say goodbye when I ran — late — to class. I offered to drive her to the airport on Friday specifically so our time today would not be shadowed by the expectation of a goodbye.

I am not convinced that she will ever come back. I don’t want to say goodbye at all.

As a result of our late-afternoon debauching, I was half-drunk and half-stoned throughout my aesthetics class — surprisingly unproblematic. In fact, perhaps even conducive to philosophical thinking. I don’t know if I truly understood Nietzsche better than I ever have before, if the altered state of my brain was just fooling me into thinking I understood, or if I was just too out of it to care, but at least I suffered none of my usual despair. Perhaps I should make a point to get drunk before philosophy from now on. Perhaps I should start filling one of those sports water bottles with vodka. I’m just sorry I didn’t realize this earlier in the semester — this discovery could possibly save my grade.

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~ by Not Alice on November 7, 2007.

4 Responses to “7: dionysian”

  1. Isn’t it interesting the levels of “friends” that populate our lives? I have a friend who’s a little like this to me, too, and I’m not quite sure how to negotiate the relationship – it’s something I work on all the time…

  2. There was a guy in one of my philosophy classes freshman year who’d fill up a water bottle with voldka (or actually, I think, a water glass — this was back before bottled water was so ubiquitous). “No one can tell it’s voldka!” he’d brag. “There’s no smell!”

    Yeah. We could all tell.

    That said, the only time mdern philosophy ever made a lick of sense to me when I was an undergrad was when I was profoundly hung over.

  3. Um, vodka. Not sure where that ‘l’ came from.

  4. Nora: I probably would have been carrying vodka on my person from day one this semester if I weren’t (wisely!) too nervous about mixing even the slightest inebriation with driving. If I were living on campus I would probably be a total alcoholic wino and go to classes tipsy all of the time — seriously, the difference in my understanding was that impressive. I might take the bus on Wednesday to allow for more experimentation of this phenomenon.

    Mrs. C: It’s really strange to be deeply connected to someone and yet constantly wary of getting too close to them. I, too, am really interested in the different types of friendship. Sometimes I think that relationships are the central problem of the human condition — learning to negotiate them in a way that’s healthy for all parties involved really seems like a lifelong task.

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