Thursday, November 20, 2008

Central Nervous System



Right now I am trying to figure out how you tell the difference between your life's one big mistake and your life's one big regret. Is it possible that they could be one in the same?

The first two times I did laundry, here in the dorms, I mixed in a brand new deep-red hoodie with the rest of my laundry. This led to my socks (and white boxer briefs) to be thoroughly engulfed in a pinkish hue. I did this twice because the second time I washed my clothes I figured that the dye had finished bleeding the first time around and that it probably wouldn't happen again. Wrong.

Last week, Lev and I were discussing masculinity, which is what guys talk about when women aren't around (well that and cars, sports, and ninja turtles). Lev claimed that my socks were feminine. My response was that a real man knows how to fix a washing machine and a woman knows how to use it properly. Therefore, it is manly to have pink socks because it shows the owners lack of knowledge when it comes to operating washing machines.

Yesterday I had to read an essay on gender, written by Myra Jehlen, for my English 200 class. There was a passage in the book that reminded me of my pink socks. Jehlen writes that "threading is what men skillfully do-not-do". Keeping my socks white is something that I very skillfully do-not-do.
In case anyone is wondering, the quote is a reference to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, in which Huck attempts to convince Judith Loftus that he is a little girl.

Now that I am a man, or pretty close to it, I have noticed a distinct difference between the way that I treat my acquaintances from my friends. When I am trying to be friends with girls, whether it is a pursuit of friendship or a pursuit of more than friendship, I treat them all the same. When I am pursuing a friendship with a man, on the other hand, I find myself making a conscious effort to not be overly friendly. For some reason if a man is nice to me I feel a wave of skepticism. I feel like maybe they would like to be more than friends and that if I am too nice to them, they may get the wrong idea. This reaction is probably a mix between mild homophobia and a desire not to hurt the other persons feelings. Now that I think about it, when I am sure that a girl is being overly nice to me, I treat them in the same manner. It makes me want to go back to fourth grade when things like gender and sex and intimacy don't matter. There was just you, that one girl in the class you never talked to because she was far too cute and smart for you, and everyone else.


It is getting increasingly colder outside. There is one way, I've found, to slightly overcome an unbearable windchill. All you have to do is let the wind flow through you. Just relax your muscles and picture the wind as water and yourself as the jumbled net that it passes through. This may also work if you are being threatened by a polar bear.

The eggplant sandwich falls within the taste spectrum somewhere between chicken and vegetable. Defying logic. Defying reason...and a little piece of it just fell between the cracks of my keyboard.

Speak easy,
Neil

Today's Playlist:
Love: Part I (or A Solemn Ode To Devotion)

1. Feist - One Evening [Gonzales Solo Piano] (Open Season)
2. Broken Social Scene - Anthems For a Seventeen Year-Old Girl (You Forget It In People)
3. Weezer - Always (Island In The Sun Single)
4. Iron & Wine - Love and Some Verses (Endless Numbered Days)
5. Saves The Day - She (In Reverie)
6. The Decemberists - Red Right Ankle (Her Majesty)
7. Death Cab For Cutie - Passenger Seat (Transatlantisism)
8. Bright Eyes - Kathy With a K's Song (Oh Holy Fools)
9. The Mountain Goats - Love, Love, Love (The Sunset Tree)
10. Ben Folds - The Luckiest (Rockin' The Suburbs)
11. Cloud Cult - Love You All (Feel Good Ghosts)

4 comments:

Dell Smith said...

Regret can be a feeling about something you didn't do, while a mistake is a feeling about something you did and screwed up. But, this can lead to stasis: don't end up regretting not doing something just because you thought you might make a mistake.

aquietchaos said...

Love, Love, Love (Love Love)-As Tall As Lions

bella18337 said...

Real men fixing washers...?

Selina said...

"My response was that a real man knows how to fix a washing machine and a woman knows how to use it properly. Therefore, it is manly to have pink socks because it shows the owners lack of knowledge when it comes to operating washing machines."

Don't you love it when people quote you to yourself claiming that YOU have deep knowledge?? Well you do!

I think there is a distinct difference between a major life regret and a major life mistake, in my opinion anyway. A mistake is something you learn from or can look back and realize what you did wrong whereas a regret is something you long to change. I don't regret any of my mistakes, because without either I wouldn't be where I am now!! :-)