You know Ive realised that Ive fallen into a habit. It has to do with lunch. Most people when they go lunch either arrive with friends or arrive alone and the scan the hall for their friends. When I enter the lunch hall, however, I automatically search for the nearest empty table. Ive been doing this for two years. How did I get here?
What can I do tomorrow to make things better?
Make the most of tomorrows LGBT meeting.
I need to feel twenty. And Im going to start by taking a page out of Sarahs book go to New York.
* * *
Well itd been several days since I wrote those three paragraphs. The second meeting went very nicely. We adjourned early because there was a frat party at a queer friendly fratority that we were invited to. I went with three people who Ill call Taylor, Jon and Helen. It was pretty surreal in the frat house; the party was in a fairly cramped basement with a low ceiling. One of the more amusing things I remember was the girl at the door asking the mandatory question Are any of you law enforcement officers? to which, of course people would answer yes.
We ended up leaving the party after a fairly short time and walked to the car park. Taylor was kind enough to offer me a lift home and also gave me his views on frat boys. I found it interesting that he considers the institute of the fraternity both homophobic and homoerotic. Apparently a lot of fraternity members have gay experiences and even come out when they graduate. Almost makes me wish I could join (although Im not sure theyd be too accommodating to a black person).
I realize that I havent talked too much about what I exactly Im doing here in NJ, Im not really sure why. I have learned though that research (why Im here) is a very different beast from school or a job. In college or work, you usually know what it is that youre supposed to do. You may find that you have considerable leeway on how you get the job done, but you normally have a job to do.
That is not the case in research.
One of the problems I had when I first arrived was that I was 100% sure what it was that I was supposed to be doing. Things were ill-defined. At first it was really frustrating. Then I realised that this presented an excellent opportunity for me to spend this time doing something I wanted to do that was a bit different from what I might otherwise have attempted. So now Ive got the idea and Im going to make a presentation to the research scientists Im working with here. This will probably happen early next week. In other words Ill be able to tell you what happened by the next column.
Still on the subject of work, Im a bit concerned that I havent received my pay check for this month yet. Early last month I got a phone call to say my check had arrived but its now midway through September and I havent heard anything yet. I guess Ill have to go down to the appropriate department and find out whats going on. In the meantime Ill just have continue messing around with the HP Pocket PC Ive been asked to write stuff for. Word to the wise, choose Palms over Pocket PC devices. Many Pocket PCs arent even wireless so you basically need to connect it to your PC if you want to browse the web. In addition, they basically rig the machine so you can only go to web sites that the manufacturers want you to (so they can sell you stuff). I dont know about you, but I dont like being forced to visit someones web site.
This could just be me, but there seem to be a large number of well built guys in the US, at least in NJ. I was walking home from work today when I saw a well built guy and I couldnt stop my eyes from lingering as I walked past. We made eye contact and then he stopped and asked me if I was interested in attending a Christian meeting. Before I knew what was happening I heard myself actually agreeing! Ive never thought with little Eric before. Anyway I gave B. my phone number and instead of enjoying the season finales of Angel and Buffy, I will be with a group of people who arent exactly known for their tolerance of people like me. What the hell was I thinking?
Well this America thing is supposed to be about trying new things.
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