my first application for graduate school i due in less than a week. i am in brooklyn every night apartment hunting. i cut my hair like carol brady.
i bought a new winter coat. i have a 20 page paper about sin and syphilis due monday. i am still around, just very busy. so, in lieu of a substantial post, i present you with the essay: On Nothing, or rather On Atavism, by one Caitlin P. Me. enjoy the eel part.
On Nothing, or Rather, on Atavism
A friend of mine once showed me this video of two Japanese women using live eels as devices for sexual pleasure. Woman A was using a funnel to insert the eels into the puckered anus of woman B. Once all the eels were in, the funnel was removed, and woman B used all her strength to push the eels out of her anus, in some sort of strange shooting fashion. Woman A then rubbed the eels over her naked body, and ate one of them. The entire video lasted only about four minutes, but I will never regain those four minutes I lost, watching eel porn. While I believe my friend to be a good person, I sort of resent him for thinking that not only would I enjoy watching such a video, but that I did not have anything better to do with my time.
About a week later I confronted him on the issue.
ÂReid,Â I said, with an inquisitive nature only common in those who donÂt know if broaching a question is a good idea.
ÂYeah?Â He said.
ÂWhy did you gift me the eel porn?Â
ÂI thought you would think it was funnyÂ
it is funny, isnÂt it?Â He stared at me blankly, as if there was only one response I could have.
ÂWell, yeah, I mean, itÂs strangeÂ
and I donÂt much appreciate the idea of people being forced to put slimy creatures in their bums.Â
ÂUgh,Â He sighed. ÂWell, now you can say that you saw an edible eel enema. IsnÂt that good enough?Â
I laughed. ÂI suppose so.Â And we went on watching cartoons and eating Tostitos.
What Reid was getting at, and what I do believe to be true, is that the time we spend wasting is often the time we spend doing things that are not entirely relevant to our systematic lives, but ultimately crucial to our personal development. That is, while I may have neither gained nor produced capital in those four minutes of eely-squealy, I did however see something I never really expected to see. And this, while irrelevant to school, money, reproduction, or health, is ultimately still an undeniably important asset to our own happiness.
It has been noted that I often spend too much time doing nothing. I can sit in front of a computer screen for hours and be entirely unproductive. I am often caught Google image searching things like tacos, puggles, and giant squids. Occasionally, I find a picture that sparks my fancy, and I save it to my documents. To date, I have an irrational amount of random pictures that are just too irrelevant to deal with. My closest companions and inamoratas are aware of this, but if some lucky stranger was to ever rummage through my hard-drive there is a good chance that they would later consider me one of the strangest, most asinine, useless people our gracious God has ever produced. But I am an artist of boredom, and a queen of procrastination. And puggles are absolutely adorable. And I reckon that once you are done reading this essay, you yourself are very likely to Google image search the glorious puggle.
Humans, especially Americans, tend to spend a lot of time doing what a standard drone would consider absolutely nothing. Lazing about, dirtying their hands and mouths with sloppy food, staining their knees on grass, watching the same repeat episode of The Ashlee Simpson show for the umpteenth time. Of course we donÂt take pride in this unless we are in a competition of who is more unproductive than whom. And in a competition like that, we may consider the winner to actually be, the biggest loser of all.
But are we to feel guilty for this? For our fort building, our coffee drinking, our extracurricular protected sex? I donÂt believe so, no. It is truly common, and I would argue, entirely human, to want to laze about and to relish in a day of nothing. Some of my best days have been spent with the knowledge of a lack of responsibility, followed by a sense of freedom only youth can grant. Dangerous and unpredictable is this freedom, but all together worthy of praise for it is the greatest things that come out of having a day of guiltless laxity.
IÂd hate to have you think I am lazy and somewhat useless. I do think that productivity is relevant to the equation. I am just trying to help you conceptualize a world wherein Âdoing nothingÂ is as equal as Âdoing somethingÂ. But as the very least, you are doing something for your own tattered psyche. You are in away curing your mundane with boredom; if that doesnÂt make any sense, you are napping with your eyes open.
What you gain in the time where you are not really doing anything of importance is a sense of clarity about your own place in the world. Reid might argue that those four minutes we spent together, watching eels as snacks are four minutes that nobody else was telling us what to do and we did not feel guilted or shamed or enslaved into a productivity only inherent in capitalism. We were outside playing kickball, we were indoors staring at the ceiling. We were laughing, we were young, and there should not be guilt associated with the dumb things we do out of boredom.
In a perfect world, this boredom leads to creative surges, and ultimately productivity. However, we should not feel it necessary to be brilliant in our free time, nor should we find it common. Brilliance comes and goes, but boredom always remains. And in that concept we can finally come to terms with our fort building, our Google imaging searching, and our eel fetishes.