21 September 2006

Sometimes I forget where I am

21 September 2006
2114 hrs

I had a receipt from the tea I just bought and I came over to my table and deliberately set it on fire in the candle on the table. Then the whole cafĂ© started smelling like smoke and I remembered smoke alarms and got worried so I had to blow it out and get a plastic stirrer to fish the smoldering pieces out of the candle. Now my candle is out and I’m sad about it but I’m not exactly sure how to ask for it to be relit, given that there are charred, waxy bits of paper lying on the table next to it with a deformed plastic stirrer and this corner smells a lot like burning paper.

Also the internet is not working.

I am consciously trying to relax. No schoolwork tonight, even though I have a long list of things to do tomorrow. I got many emails today about my work this summer and I miss it. I turn out to still be the contact person for several projects. For many reasons, it would be hard to turn them over to anyone else. I’ve got to see if there is anyone who will fund me to continue my internship, because as I’ve mentioned, I need cash. Law school is insanely expensive. New York is insanely expensive. I want to keep doing this work, this work that is the reason why I went to law school, this work that gives meaning to my being in law school at all. I don’t want to give it up to work on something more lucrative but less satisfying. Do not be surprised if you find me back there upon graduation from law school.

While here, though, I have a few things to say. I still haven’t gotten over the beauty of hot water. I am taking far too many showers because it is so very nice to stand under the hot. I don’t care what they say about how hot Liberia is: it is never nice to take a freezing cold shower first thing in the morning. Or last thing at night. I was about to start getting over the joy of the hot water and then the hot water in my building was off for three days. I had to shower at the gym, which astonishingly also has hot water. This was okay because I started another water class and you need to wash your hair after chlorine anyway. It is a harder water class this time. I plan to be buff by the end of the semester.

Also, there are far too many things to buy in this city. I would like to decrease by 4/5ths the number of stores with temptingly-placed merchandise that I pass every day. And I don’t even walk past the store areas that often. It’s just on principle. The less there is looking all appealing in store windows the less I will need to spend and the happier I will be. It’s actually a good thing that it is getting cold, because I can’t afford to replace all the summer clothes I had to abandon in Liberia due to:

  1. My realization that I never wore them, even in Liberia where I had few other clothes.
  2. My realization that the rainy season had destroyed them with rust stains.
  3. My realization that Joseph had destroyed them by washing them with a red shoelace.
  4. My realization that they had become all stretched out and unwearable by being washed by hand.

So no short sleeves left for me. Although I also realized that I have too many clothes, they are just not clothes I can wear to work. Not in the US, unless I work in my basement, and not in Africa, unless I work in my spare room. Not in a real office. I’m going to have to work on that before I, say, graduate and have to get a real job.

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