28 November 2008

Changing, Again

Today I slept late, went into two stores and, after deciding that I had better things to do than wait on the line in either one, went home.

Somewhere in there I went to a nice little pizza shop that's been around forever and not far from me. But I hadn't gone to it before because it's not on the way to or from other places I usually go. The sauce on the slice I ate was thick and tasted like not much time had passed since it was whole tomatoes. And that was on a slice that was reheated!

Finally, I went to one of those cheap stores along Broadway and bought a knockaround pair of sweat pants and a few pairs of pantyhose. And, before I went home, I stopped at my favorite street-food vendor. Three very friendly Palestinians make some of the best chicken on basmati rice, shwarma and falafel I've had anywhere. Probably the only better shwarma I've had was in Istanbul.

Just what I needed: more food, after yesterday! Maybe I do need to eat for the self to whom I am going to give birth. Several women--including three who have given birth--have told me, in the exact same words, that I am doing just that: giving birth to my self.

Does that mean that the people who know me now are seeing an embryo?

Maybe that's the reason I've thought about changing careers, even moving someplace far away, after the operation. In spite--or maybe because--of all that's been happening at the college, I feel that I will have no place in it, or in any academic institution. Take that back: I feel out of place now. In fact, I feel more like a stranger than I did the day I started to work at the college. That, in spite of how much time I'm spending on, and effort I'm putting into, my work there.

Sometimes I feel that college, and education as I've known it, are irrelevant and obsolete. The schools I've attended and in which I've taught have taught me to be the sorts of people I imitated for all of these years; none could--or probably would--teach me anything about how to give birth to myself, and to put what I have been to a peaceful, respectful rest. Everything, especially gender, is part of some binary system or another. And that is the idea I represent every time I stand before a class.

Great stuff to think about on your day off, isn't it?