Going to Silverado (gay strip club) takes on a whole different climate when friends show up or people are actually interested in what I'm reading once they find out why I'm there (the most common reason/excuse to speak to me there). It's strange being somewhere I am not in the slightest likely to end up going on my own, and since I am trying to entertain myself by reading or writing, I present a strange picture to the lively and excited crowd who is there to drink, dance, have fun and watch naked men. Sitting alone at a table or in the corner, intent on my book only to look up every so often to assess my surroundings or check on my client, I am comfortable. I have been an outsider my entire life. I have watched silently as those around me played and were merry, myself content to observe and contend with the relationship between myself and them and them amongst themselves. So, this comes naturally to me—to sit alone in a place, buried in my own world, or held captive by the extraordinary otherness of my surroundings. But, it's different when the olive branch is held out. I feel welcome to socialize without fear of intrusion, I am comfortable and I am wanted. Otherwise, I just keep on keeping on, and that's usually an act I carry forth alone.
Yode was there tonight, and it was good to see him and have conversation to break up my reading of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I have a knack for reading things that seem particularly appropriate or out of place when I go out with my client to the gay strip club.1 (Or does the environment just make anything I'm reading more surreal?) Perhaps it makes everything more/less real, but regardless it helps me make a connection with the external world. When people are astonished that I can read in such a place, I always reassure them that it actually makes it kind of easier to focus—lost in a sea of sound unaffected by conversation, crowds milling, lights flashing—it's a noise barrier, and I can just sink right in. It's nice to have a job which demands I read for at least 3 hours a week. Yes I generally read more (whether at work or not), but the requirement is nice.
But, my ears are ringing, and I have to be up at 7am to go back to work, so good night.
1 - Past selections list includes, but may not be completely comprised of: Morris Berman - The Reenchantment of the World Phillip K. Dick (yes the joke was made—I have a coaster to prove it, and yes Evan, I still have your book)- Minority Report Haruki Murakami - The Wind Up Bird Chronicles Joseph Heller - Catch-22 Aldous Huxley - After Many a Summer Dies the Swan Amir Aczel - Probability 1 T.S. Elliot - The Wasteland and Other Poems C.S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letters R. Buckminster Fuller - Intuition William Gibson - Neuromancer Neal Stephenson - The Diamond Age Alexander Pope - Essay on Man and Other Poems Ariel Levy - Female Chauvinist Pigs Wallace Stevens - Collected Poems