Monday, September 7, 2015

Illuminations 9/7


So recently I've found myself at a new level of weird when it comes to my perceptions about other people. About a year ago, I became fixated on the idea of seeing other people three-dimensionally - that is, to say, seeing them as not just "my friend" or "a person in my class" but rather as complexly as I believe myself to be. Obviously, this is an impossible goal; there's no way to view everyone equally and with equal depth. Though that temporary obsession died down after about a week, like most of my obsessions, a new one recently popped up.

Lately, it's been manifesting itself in imagining entire hypothetical scenarios of the leisure time of my professors this semesters. And this, I think, is because I've been very interested in a person's leisure time, and what it says about them. Recently, I've visited many friends; when they asked what I wanted to do or see, my answer has been the same: "I want to spend time with you in your spare time to see what it's like." They were all nice enough to allow me to observe them like a zoologist in the wild.

Now, enough introduction. Let's go through some recent anecdotal examples, shall we?

Granted, this has nothing to do with anything. But maaaan isn't he a cutie?
About three weeks ago, I stayed overnight in a hotel in Manhattan with someone. In the morning, we went to get brunch, then down to the Lower East Side to meet a friend of his for a scheduled period of time, then back up to Midtown Comics, then over to Sephora and Muji for items he needed to pick up, then up to the American Museum of Natural History, then over to his old school. And then I needed to leave. Throughout all this, we packed in as much side stops as possible in as short amount of time allowable and we didn't stop moving. Granted, we didn't have many days left together (he left a few days after that on a plane), but most of our days together were like that. I share that fast-paced do-everything mentality, so this was right up my alley - but for different reasons. The person in question sees time as the enemy, is constantly battling the feeling that he just doesn't have enough time. And so he always packs more into his day than humanly possible; his spare time is rather a lack of just that.
Photobooths are the shiznit.
Two days later, I went up to visit a friend in Syracuse. We stayed up way later than expected, especially considering we were supposed to go running with an old professor of his the next day at 6am. At 5:45, my friend was not having the whole "waking up" thing. I'm one of those awful morning people, so I was more than functioning. However, being that I'm very much not a runner, I told him that his professor would probably understand if he skipped once. "No!" He said, as though I had suggested genocide, "If we don't go running, my schedule for the entire rest of the day will be altered." The thing to understand about my friend here is that he joined the U.S. Air Force so that he could try to learn structure and discipline. His entire life now centers around trying to establish these things in his life, and swaying from a scheduled day is simply not an option for him.


Two days after that I went to visit my best friend from high school in Long Island. I went straight from closing at work to her house, so by the time I got there it was late. In the morning, she was going to do yoga and zumba at the gym she frequents. I wake up early, though, and so I assured her I'd be on a walk by then and we could meet up after. In the morning I left, and she went to the gym. Afterwards, I ended up back at her house and she told me she needed two hours to decompress because she had spent two hours working out. When she ate lunch, half of the meal was savory and half sweet. Since I met her, she's been preoccupied with balance, and living as balanced a life as she possibly can.
This is Denise. She's perfect.
All I've found from seeing people in their natural habitats, so to speak, is that we constantly try to conquer that which haunts us, and so our free time is spent battling whatever it seems to be. Now, do I think this is a bad thing? Hell no. But I am curious what someone could observe by watching me; what haunts me most?

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