Monday, March 19, 2007

MALAISE.

It was only a matter of time before this was the title of one of my posts. For the past three days, I was sick with a deadly lung pox that’s severity actually convinced me to go to the hospital, as has been suggested many-a-time by my Japanese co-workers. Being bedridden for three days really rubbed it in my face that without teaching, I’ve got nothing to fill my hours but consumption of nostalgia or internet garbage or whatever else. Always consumption, though, never production. Colin creates all the time. He creates songs about cookies he just ate, and all the foreigners love them because they know exactly what kind of cookies he’s singing about. Identification. Fondness. Nostalgia. And so forth. He writes those songs because he has to, but with me and writing, we have a much more complicated relationship. Actually, we’re not really on speaking terms at the moment. But with a little time, things might heal themselves.

Sidenote: Right now, I’m at the office, and the place is filled with kids diligently washing the windows. Saori’s helping, too. Everybody’s washing the windows but me. It’s unlike me not to offer to help. But I’m not helping, because I don’t feel like exerting myself while I’m still recovering. I’m also bitter. I just realized that I’ve cleaned the office nearly every single day since January, and I teach ONE class a week here. That’s right, ONE. That essentially makes me a maid, cleaning up the messes of other teachers and their students.

Anyway, back to Colin and his song about cookies. Colin performed in a crowded bar, and for his forty-five minute set, he got to be loved by a whole room of people. I always wanted to be in a band, but it turns out the euphonium isn’t such a rockin’ instrument. My personal views toward art are more conducive to performance. I want everyone looking at me, I want them to respond as I perform, I want them to appreciate it and tell me so because I’m ever so self-conscious about my art. Look at me, no, don’t look at me. I’m hideous. But really, love me.

I used to be into theatre. I felt completely at ease on stage, being someone else, playing, so to speak, but I was always hoping that the audience would not just see the character but the process behind it, which was me, and be able to appreciate it. I quit theatre by the time I was in college because Grace saved me the pain by going through the Macalester Theatre Department herself. I realized recently that one of my life goals, to be in a Greek chorus, will probably never be accomplished. I’ve missed any Greek chorus chances I might have had. But I guess the fact that I wanted to be anonymous behind a mask with a large group of people saying the same lines as me shows that my ideas on performance aren’t entirely egocentric.

I’ve often wished that I could write poetry. Poetry can be performed, can be shared with others in an open forum, and everybody claps or snaps or whatever people do nowadays, and breathe their snide comments quietly to their friends. But if it were me reading, I wouldn’t want to read it unless everyone would love it. I would hope they love it. But I can’t write poetry. At least pithy, clever prose would be sufficient for performance, but I don’t do that either. I’ve got nothing but awkward, unwieldy prose, all somewhere between too long and seventy pages. What I’m getting at is that this stupid little blog is the closest thing I have to art as performance. I’m sharing it with you, my community, in hopes that you’ll approve and respond. But no one ever responds. Do you want to know how I know people have read my posts? Within the next day or two, several of my friends will follow suit and update their own blogs. I’m shouting into a black hole now, listening to my own egocentric echoes. I know I'm not interesting, I know I don't write what others want from me, but I have to know, can anybody hear me?

11 Comments:

Anonymous Eileen said...

Don't stop blogging Cassie! I think I know what you mean about blogging, it's the easiest way of writing for me since I'm too cowardly to do any other kind, yet I still want people to read me. It's complicated I guess.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write what I want from you: a cleverly written narrative of my daily life. It is incredibly satisfying to have one's own dull experiences transformed into well written prose so that other people think that we actually lead interesting lives. Clue to Cassie's greatness - we do not lead interesting lives.

Signed,
Mystery Man

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you ever stop writing Cassie! You have made your and Colin's lives in Japan completely real for me...would you like me to bring you over some Cadbury eggs when we come visit?????
julie

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, we’re not really on speaking terms at the moment." She says she writes one of the more interesting blogs on my google reader page thing.
And secondly, the euphonium is the most rockin' low brass instrument in the high school band.
Mike

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap. snap.


-peter

8:09 PM  
Blogger GLE said...

No one comments on my blogs unless I bribe them with pictures of puppies.

I won't tell you to not stop writing and give you a lecture about art and pain because I gave up on my art. But that's me, you're you. I personally don't think you should quit writing because I LOVE reading everything you write. I got discouraged because you hadn't posted for a long time but now you're posting a lot and I really enjoy it.

I didn't comment on your need for school names because all mine were really dumb. People just don't comment on peoples blogs anymore. At least that's what it seems like to me. I once posted asking everyone who read my blog to email me or comment and not one person did. And I know at least 3 whole people who take a gander and my mutterings.

I don't know what advice to give you on art. It's 7:30am and I need to get dressed and sit on the over crowded train to get to my office job in the loop (PS I totally rock business casual). DId I tell you I applied for an intership at the Goodman Theater? Well I did, don't know if I got it yet but I've already decided to turn it down. Why? Money. So, you probably don't want to hear my thoughts on art...

9:44 PM  
Blogger Zachary said...

I read and enjoy! I once sent an e-mail.

meep.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I also really like! Please to keep posting, please.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Um, did I mention that I sold your euphonium and put the money in your account?

I love your blog, and you can use it for performance! Look at David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell. At my Writers Workshop last year we had to read a selection of our work in a "Readings" night. I read my lengthy divorce poem, which was actually more prose than poem and they LOVED it. They said I should start giving readings at Open Mike nights. But I haven't. I'm getting better at Blogging, and I also can tell that I am writing it for others to read, not just for myself. I don't know if it's the connection, or exibitionism. But I do fear critisism. I think that's part of the thrill of exposure--danger.

Lots of love, Your Mom

Ditto on the Cadbury Eggs?

12:24 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Hi Cass. I know I don't count, being that we grew up in the same home and I share half your genetic material, but I read and abjectly love your entries. I'm not sure "abject" is supposed to be used as a modifier for "love," since usually it seems to perfer the company of such words as "poverty" and "misery," but the only other word I can think of is "totally," and that totally does not live up to how awesomely awesome I find your entries. "Awesome" totally does though, so ther.

I know how you feel right now about creation- especially being around amazingly creative people who actually create things... many things, all the time... but, hey, at least you are employed, and in such a terribly exotic and romantic place as Japan, where giant robots roam the streets and small children regularly attain by sheer power of will the destructive power of a small nulcear-weapon-posessing state. That makes everything you say automatically interesting. BOOM!!

2:14 AM  
Blogger GLE said...

I was actually calling myself a Zombie since I'm so tired but thanks for insulting my dog. J/K. He actually looks more like a dinosaur to me. These also aren't the most flattering pictures of him.

I wouldn't bash people adopting from shelters. I just think people adopt or buy without knowing what they're getting themselves into.

11:49 PM  

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