Today I am multitasking. Goddess help us all. I am writing my thesis, this blog, a sketch for my Second City comedy class, and making a carrot cake for a 1 year old, from scratch. Do I cook? Nope. But for some odd reason I have stumbled upon a hidden talent for a pretty alright carrot cake. I think it’s because I make it with love. And a shit-ton of butter which is more fattening than love but less intrusive.
Here’s the scope for today:
Sagittarius Horoscope for September 14, 2011
Getting in touch with your inner child involves more than just goofing off and turning away from your current responsibilities. It’s also about remembering that feeling of possibility — the feeling that anything can happen, and that you can be anything you want to be — and bringing it back into your everyday life. There’s no point in obeying self-imposed limits anymore. Do what you want to do today — you will be a success!
Seems applicable in that I’ll be on my knees later finding my inner-child while playing doggie and kitchen and pull-lessa’s-hair-out with the little girl who is going to be eating cake for the first time. But it’s such a lovely way to spend the day because she’s simply spectacular. And her turning one makes me think about new days and new moods.
As for my sketch I’ve chosen to put Dorothy and Toto from The Wizard of Oz in the reality show Hell’s Kitchen. We’ll see how that goes.
For now I’m thinking about carrot cake and loneliness. It’s funny how food and being lonely have been so interconnected in my life. Eating is often a social experience and food triggers memories of me being in houses and on beaches surrounded by people I know, like, love, eating chips and drinking beer and feeling utterly lonely and happily so.
Food is also a reminder of the everydayness of the expectation that we should not be lonely, that loneliness is for others, not us. To eat alone in a restaurant is fine, but to look lonely while doing it is not. The presumption that sadness is immediately connected to both solitude and then a loneliness that is implied because of this aloneness is ever present. Loneliness and pity are like salt and pepper.
So as I make this carrot cake for my little buddy on her first birthday I think about how she’ll smile eating it, with me, with her mom, with her friends and other family members–her toy dog, her leggo blocks, her baby-piano. I wonder about kids who don’t get these moments or who get so many of them that they can’t cope when they do find themselves feeling alone or lonely. How the feeling feels odd or strange to them. For me, loneliness is my everyday. I’m not drowning in despair or collecting cats (just yet, though my close ones often have to talk me down from taking in “strays” with collars). I have amazing friends and a wonderful family. I have nicknames that make me feel delicious and a list of numbers I can dial when I just need to talk, have wine, be cared for and around care. And I’m still lonely. I guess it’s like eating for me. I get up, eat some Triscuits, have some lonely, and get on with my day.
I’m wondering how loneliness interrupts the cultural imperatives that tell us to be happy at all costs? If loneliness risks “dwell[ing] at length on the ‘dark side’ of modern queer representation” (Love 4), as Heather Love has it, is it possible that we queers can use our loneliness to create spaces for multiple futures for the lonely in us all? While Heather Love’s book Feeling Backwards seeks to retrieve those lost lonely subjects which our modern culture has forgotten – those bodies that have been accused of “backwardness” and “lagging behind” such as “gender deviants [. . . ] women, colonized people, the nonwhite, the disabled, the poor, and criminals” (5,6) – Love’s project understands loneliness as a mark of specialness, “a condition of singularity” (108) that makes the lonely subject unique. A person who is a stand-out, or who stands alone.
Although I think Love is brilliant, I actually am interested in the boring everydayness of loneliness. Instead of feeling special, I want us all in the West to feel ashamed of our propensity to believe we are special or unique in any way. Loneliness, then, brings us back to the everyday, past our senses of entitlement, to the extra-ordinary that conditions our lives. I hope it can help us see how we mistreat others (people, countries, continents) just to secure a false sense of happiness.
No one is too “normal” or “special” to escape loneliness; it is every subject’s inheritance of loneliness, as well as loneliness’ sheer indifference to bodies, boundaries and borders that makes loneliness itself the most common trait we all share. Loneliness is connection and if loneliness is a failure, we are all failures.