25 September 2017

2 hallmarked

today garebear called and read aloud to me what i believed to be the tv guide description of a new hallmark movie.

as garebear would say: WRONG-A-DOODLE.

what he read to me was the plot of a hallmark movie that he- with consultation from debo- is developing, entitled lost in hallmark.

his reading it to me was apparently just the marketing pitch.

so there's your concept, bear. will you write it for me?

oh my.

18 September 2017

0 the t-mobile moment

when i was preparing to move to london, debo was in charge of telecommunications, as she always is. she took this task very seriously, as she always does.

she consulted with others. she reviewed plans. she hatched schemes.

which is how we wound up spending 1.5 hours on the rainy day in the week before i moved to london having an existential crisis at a t-mobile store.

an agony we endured until, at a moment when it appeared we were about to pay $750 to commit to a 12 months of a phone plan that neither made sense nor appeared to work internationally, looking into debo's eyes welling with tears, i said, we do not have to do this. we need to leave.

leave we did and, predictably, sought refuge in the warm embrace of sprint.

it was one of the rare moments where we collectively identified a negative feeling whilst we were having it and successfully removed ourselves from the situation. it was also a moment wrought from literally weeks of discussing a length a subject about which we knew nothing and a situation for which we, truly, could do little to prepare.

i was moving abroad. until i actually did that, there was really no dealing with the matter of my phone.

right now, we do not know what will happen- whether i will be moving back to the US in two months or moving to another country in two months or remaining here. it is all radically unclear. there are very limited ways in which to prepare.

though it is so extraordinarily tempting to ignore that, so many rabbit holes to go down.

how does one ship a library internationally? how will i get out of all my contracts and obligations here?

intellectual exercises that are, at this point, totally useless because they consume energy i do not have, time i do not have- as i continue cranking out academic talks and articles and going about the business of looking like someone who is imminently employable and a tribute to the humanities.

even so, the mind goes where it wants. and debo says, grimly, wisely, t-mobile, cupcake. t-mobile. don't waste a moment on t-mobiling. 

it is a grand irony that my research is about the things people do when they do not know what will happen to them.

17 September 2017

0 :)

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11 September 2017

0 grenfell


oh my god. oh MY GOD. an elderly woman on the tube exclaims to the woman sitting next to her, as we slide by. it's not at all what i expected. 

and i wonder, how in the hell did she imagine it to be? because it is pretty fucked up.

this thing looming over us, this burnt out coffin shadowing the tracks.

in three days it will have  been three months. a crane is going, floor by floor around the building, like a sundial.

i've not written about this because i do not know how to write about this or even talk about it really because it doesn't involve me, except in the most passive sense.

in the sense that grenfell has been a part of my life in west london all along, something of which i was entirely unaware until it burned. now, it is impossible to ignore. it demands my attention.

the week after the fire, i was telling N how horrible it is to see it, how different from reading about it, and she says, well, you can't feel that horror all the time. some things you have to let go. 

perhaps it is because i am contrary. or because i live in west london and it is a wholly different thing to live in east london and never see versus living in west london and seeing 6-10 times per week.

N has never seen. i think maybe it is different.

grenfell is about presence. in contrast to 9/11, which is about absence, grenfell is about presence.

the building is still here, strangely beautiful in the abstract, harrowing in its reality.

i look because i want to imprint it in my mind. because i may not be here forever, it will not be here forever. but also because it is here. it seems important to look, to witness- in my capacity as an academic who studies memory and culture and narrative as well as a human being.

but also because it is constantly either sliding by or on my horizon- to the right when i'm crossing the road, to the north when i come out of shepherd's bush tube, to the left when i walk to church. this building in which all those people lived and died.

maybe i'm giving myself a choice where there is none. i live in west london. i am here, grenfell is here and it is in my path. it has become the beacon by which, when walking west, i find my way home.

07 September 2017

0 7 september

it's 7 september.

a day i've spent the last two months trying to commit to memory because it is the day that n.muh is submitting her phd.

so now it's finally here and i remember and inundate her with britney gifs because that is what seems right to do. and there comes a point in the day where i lay eyes on the date, where i see it there.

7 september.

from that point, i feel so wiped out. and i assume it's because the last three days have been spent on emotional high alert, helping n.muh solve citation crises and helping N solve all her problems, which is gratifying because they are problems which seem solvable, problems relating to fellowship applications and diplomatic emails, while my own problems- ie. The Immigration Problem- do not.

it's not until i'm on the tube after work that i realize.

it is 7 september.

there comes a time where you no longer remember in the way that you once did.

donovan died five years ago. he did not know i was moving to london.

yesterday was the fifth anniversary of his death. i do not know whether i will be able to stay.