As humans we inevitably have paradoxical characteristics. Someone may have a shirt size that is in between an x-small and a small, or a shoes size between a 8.5 and 9. (Or maybe it was just that irate shoe salesman who was upset he wasn’t going to make a commission and blamed your lack of success in buying shoes on having one foot smaller than the other?)
That may have just happened to me.
Yesterday I saw a speed limit sign say “2 ½ M.P.H.”. (Who was that person who performed the trial-and-error test, driving enough times to know that the speed limit should specifically be between 2 and 3 miles per hour?)
Such experiences like these make us human, I suppose. We seem to rejoice when someone else has a similar paradox that characterizes their life because we feel a mutual human-ness.
My paradox: I’m an unsociable social-being.
I need to be around people when I study.
I can’t imagine living in an isolated suburb.
I love being in transit. In high school I completely immersed myself in the lulling of the NYC bus; I was leaving behind the school atmosphere and heading towards home. The in-between that the bus presented was not the in-between I currently feel as a senior who is not going straight into med-school. No- You see, I knew where my destination was and I was around people. I feel this same way when I’m heading to 30th Street Station, go downstairs to take the train, on my way home, and then step out onto the Penn Station platform
However, when presented with the option of a day out with friends or a day to myself, I would without even a scant amount of doubt, choose the latter. I would love to paint my toe nails (not my fingernails because they would get messed up within two seconds), listen to the songs I love but that I would not be caught hearing in public (I.e. Dhinka Chika), walk outside aimlessly at the pace of my desire, and not having to eat what ninety percent of normal people eat because it would throw off my calorie-count.
I never went out in high school - did anyone from THHS besides the “mean girls/juicy couture all day err'day girls? I do go out in college but don’t go out perhaps as much as the majority. The truth is I am pretty conservative as it is and don’t particularly want to find myself around drunk people, also the majority.
"But so and so doesn’t drink and he/she has fun!”
Great. Jolly good for them but I could care less.
I have never been to a club or lounge.
Honest to God though, I want to go. Someone take me!
I always pictured myself in college, studying yes, but I also always pictured myself in some sort of abercrombie-lit ambiance of a place with non-discernible music in the background and nodding my head with one hand in the air above it - my idea of a club.
If you’ve seen the beginning of No Reservations - I am Catherina Zeta Jones- walking with a slouchie hat, windblown dark curls framing a cold face, a long dark coat on, and walking. I am walking alone in the place I want to forever be - New York City. I am walking in the evening on the sidewalks that are at all times of day and night, patterned with store-lit fronts and constantly moving yellow reflections in the windows that occasionally stop to a shivering, restless, in-a-rush sort of person in the same reflection.
I walk alone and yet am surrounded by everyone - that’s my paradox. What’s yours?