This is not a post

OK, so it’s quite late in the evening, and I can’t think of anything to write, so we’re just going to report the entire text of a conversation I overheard at the Steelhead Brewery tonight while drinking root beers.

THE WAITER: Another root beer, sir? It’s happy hour.

ME (indistinctly): Bring it over here and put it right in front of me, where I can reach it. I can’t lift my head.

PERSON 1, A GUY WEARING A STELLA MCCARTNEY MAN’S SUIT: Do you think that a person with possible ties to an academic blog must always write academic essays for their blog? Things didn’t start out that way, back in December.

PERSON 2, HIPSTERETTE: Well, you can see the argument, right? I mean, now you have people following links right over. It’s getting serious, Fashion Nugget.

PERSON 1: Right you are. But I have very serious objections. My first objection is that K. is not funny. He’s hardly even droll, nowadays. Whereas most academic blogs are extraordinarily droll because academics do have a playful side. When you get right down to it, they’re as playful as puppies.

PERSON 3, THE PROUST SCHOLAR FROM LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, EXCEPT THE ENGLISH VERSION WHERE STEVE CARRELL IS PLAYED BY RICKY GERVAIS: We shouldn’t ignore the very real danger of schizophrenia, either — of being unable to reconcile various voices within the self except through a performative — Oh my God! Fashion Nugget!

PERSON 1: Yes, it’s true. I’m standing on a lawn, in the middle of the night on a Tuesday. The police have broken up the first party extremely early — say about ten-thirty. It was a welcome week party for new graduate students.

DRUNKEN BARBECUER: Are you really not on speaking terms with someone in the Department? Why, for God’s sake? The voices of the past will come back to haunt you!

THE VOICES OF THE PAST: Everything’s exactly the same as it was in June! Only there are more speed bumps. But what seemed to be possible in the desert is not possible — life is uniform.

DRUNKEN BARBECUER: Don’t you think you should also finally empty your Burning Man suitcase and put those clothes in the laundry? You’ve been wearing stuff that would embarrass Gary Glitter, and all because you can’t bear to use the new laundry cards. You’ve even been sleeping next to a big pile of unfolded socks and blue jeans.

PERSON 1: It’s true. They often malfunction. I was sneezing today when I put those clothes in the hamper, amidst a cloud of the dust ported home.

PERSON 2, BREATHLESS, JUST ARRIVED FROM THE PREVIOUS DREAM SEQUENCE: It seems like a long time since the first essay on Burning Man.

PERSON 1: I could stand to reflect on a quote from Proust.

RICKY GERVAIS: “I myself who, without wishing to boast, have lectured to my pupils, in all innocence, on the philosophy of the aforesaid Immanuel Kant, can see no precise directive for the case of social casuistry with which I am now confronted.”

PERSON 2: Kant is the least of one’s concerns. I might add Stendhal’s On Love is proving viciously unhelpful, since it makes one very distrustful of the emotion of love.

RICKY GERVAIS: There is a contradiction between authority on the page and confusion in the apartment.

PERSON 1 (Now transformed into the woman from the end of Uncle Vanya): We cannot understand these things. We can only have faith. We must work — we must take out the dusty clothing to the laundry and consider making use of the gym. There is peace in working.

LIL FROM “BARTON FINK”: Fish! Fresh fish! Let’s spit on our hands and…

PERSON 2: What about K.?

LIL: He’ll be alright. Much ado about nothung. Except one man show.

PERSON 2: But why be so bad at living?

LIL: Oh, Hipsterette, never you mind. It’s only graduate school.

(I finished my root beer. I was the only person in the Brewery; the lights were out and the stars tucked behind a layer of smog. I paid my bill with useless laundry quarters and went home, bumping slightly whenever I picked up too much speed.)

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