the shock of recognition

While We're Young

The semester ended recently, and so yesterday I did something I hadn’t done in a long time: I went to a movie, alone, in the middle of the afternoon. I want to say “I took myself to the movies,” though I realize that doesn’t make literal sense. Which half of my bifurcated self did the taking? Which half allowed itself to be taken?

Maybe it's just that a weekday matinee always feels like an indulgence. Even more so yesterday, when halfway through the previews I turned in my seat and realized I had the theater to myself.


It was a difficult semester, for reasons both personal and pedagogical. The kind of difficult in which even minor tasks—especially minor tasks—seem designed to exhaust. You look around at the things your friends have made—books, scholarly articles, home renovations, tenure, babies—and you think: how the fuck did you manage that?