"Oh, yeah. That dude. I met him at an anthropology workshop. The workshop kind of confirmed the awfulness of current anthropology as a discipline."VERONICA:
"Hmm." [five minutes later]ME:
"What word can I use in this chapter that's like 'supernatural' but doesn't carry the extra Eurocentric garbage connotations of 'supernatural'? VERONICA:
"I feel like...there might be a whole discipline dedicated to solving this problem...it's on the tip of my tongue..." ME:
"If only I hadn't thrown that baby out with the bathwater!"II.
The Dude circulated his dissertation to his committee on Monday, following the most manic spurt of writing I've ever witnessed. (He claims to have written his conclusion in two hours.) Following that, we've witnessed various stages of euphoria and depression from the Dude, and we haven't been a particularly reassuring crowd. (When the Dude tells people about writing the conclusion in two hours, I think he is expecting a different reaction from the one that he inevitably receives.) But we went out drinking with a motley crew Tuesday night, so that the Dude could alternate between venting about academia and gushing about high-school-era hip-hop.
I have experienced many, many hours of venting in the last week, so whenever the Dude began to vent again (usually about how his advisor hadn't been over-the-moon when the Dude began their meeting that morning by talking about writing his conclusion in two hours), I could feel myself entering a disassociative fugue state. As an added bonus, the Dude had invited an acquaintance who has now made good in a way that doesn't affect me (insofar as I like her a lot but I don't need to impress her with my CV), but in a way that really mattered to other people in the booth with us. (Which is to say: I gave Lockwood some shit about her overly correct pronunciation of LaTeX
and Lockwood reacted in such a way that suggested that I was HUMILIATING her in front of her IDOL.)
What I'm saying is: I spent a lot of time at that bar looking for an opportune moment to leave.
But I stuck around, and I'm glad I did, because eventually people peeled off, and it was just me and the Dude and Veronica and Betty, and someone said "thorough," and I said, "He's a good man, and thorough," and the Dude clutched his hands to his chest and asked if we could watch The Big Lebowski
So we bought some Kahlua and take-out Korean food and tromped back to Veronica and Betty's house, and we watched The Big Lebowski
. And at the end, as the credits rolled, Veronica and Betty and the Dude all sang along Townes Van Zandt's cover of "Dead Flowers."
And I thought, This is nice