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children shouldn’t smoke

with 6 comments

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Someone recently told me – with all or at least some of the prefacing requisite to such a statement – that I am a bit childish about work. It is not simply that I grumble about having to do things that I don’t want to do. It is that I literally at this point won’t do them. That’s not quite right. I will do them, but I do them incredibly slowly, sulkily, inefficiently. I will read a review copy of a mongraph that should take me a night or two to finish over the course of a month, more than a month. I will allow to weigh down upon me and my time until the people around me are staring in amazement: how can you still be reading that? What else have you been doing? I answer: nothing, nothing – I have been working on nothing but this. And they shake their heads, make prefatory statements about the fact that what they are about to say comes only from a caring and respectful place, and then they will call me a child – a child in a hulking man’s body, but a child nevertheless.

One of the reasons that I smoke, aside from the heroin-level addictiveness of nicotene, is because it gives me leave to stroll around the neighborhood, thinking about the things I’d like to be writing instead of the work that I’m actually doing back in my office. Today I have been thinking that I’d like to write a piece about the essential if vaporous difference between the sort of life one lives as a semi-bourgie intellectual in London vs. the one that one lives (that I might have lived in New York). The essential, the vaporous. I am not talking about playgrounds and the difference between Sunday Lunch and Sunday Brunch, although of course those things have something to do with it too, are contributory factors or maybe symptoms. It’s hard to know the difference between the one and the other.

So I smoke and I think about that and then I go into the student shop and buy the papers and some mints to hide the tobacco stink when I get back to my department, the hallway, my office. It’s just the sort of thing for Journal X I think. They would love the geography involved, and I am singing a song that their readers, demographically, would want to listen to. Perhaps I should write a bit and send it on to Y.

Back to the monograph now, and my desk, and my fancy computer. The blog allows the smokebreak to linger, to materialize itself. It is definitely a cheaper habit and less carinogenic, literally if not metaphorically.

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

Posted in me

6 Responses

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  1. Do some work!

    Tee hee.

    infinite thought

    February 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

  2. Will do right after a quickcig.

    Oh and you forgot the preface stuff about how you’re not being mean etc and that I’m awesome.

    adswithoutproducts

    February 23, 2009 at 11:34 am

  3. You’re a gigantic child with an oral fixation, and I’m not being mean and you’re a good person…some of these things are no doubt true!

    infinite thought

    February 23, 2009 at 11:54 am

  4. Better. I don’t need them to be true, I just need you to say them.

    adswithoutproducts

    February 23, 2009 at 11:56 am

  5. So you also have an aural fixation!

    infinite thought

    February 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm

  6. I have all the fixations.

    adswithoutproducts

    February 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm


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