Miraculously, I did not have a debilitating hangover today, just a slight fog behind the eyes that dissipated soon after waking. As it turned out, James’ birthday celebration was an entirely civilized affair, and, since he forgot to invite people until just before eleven PM, quite an exclusive one. In any case, James has successfully reached the age of thirty-four, a feat I hope to replicate in several weeks time.
I have heard nothing from my mother or my brother since Saturday, which is probably just as well, as it allows me to maintain the illusion of distance. I have spent a lifetime learning how to keep my family at bay, a skill I have by no means mastered, but which I have always instinctively understood to be essential to self-preservation. At least, that’s what my therapist tells me. She has had less to say about the raging currents of guilt it causes, but I’m hoping we’ll get to that.
To belabour the point, why is it that every graduate student on earth, or in the humanities at least, eventually winds up in therapy? Is it because the university functions as a homing beacon to the congenitally fucked-up? Alternatively, does academia drive otherwise happy, well-functioning individuals to the brink of despair? Whatever the cause, it seems that we are all writing, or not writing, the same PhD thesis: “Self-Sabotage: Personal Discourses of Extreme Negativity and the Denial of Satisfaction.”
Obviously, I am stuck on chapter one: “Procrastination.”
1. Oblivia. “I feel the heat.” The Public Ineffectual. http://thepublicineffectual.blogspot.com. 05 July 2005: 1.