Escapism, Privilege, and Reading

Hello! How’s everybody doing? Hope you’re all doing well… or at least coping enough to get by.

I went to the grocery store to get supplies because I’ve been thinking of making Japanese Cotton Cheesecake for weeks now. Anyway, when I did get the ingredients, I decided not to bake. Looks like the cream cheese will end up on my toast instead. Hehe.

Metro Manila dramatically changed over the past few months. It’s unsettling. Poverty is unsettling. Privilege makes me feel guilty. I’ve been working remotely since January, I quit my job in the academe because of my ‘promotion’ (or lack thereof). I started working in a startup and saw how an employee deserves to be treated. Not everyone can leave a dead end job. I‘m in a constant state of guilt and paranoia – oscillating between toxic positivity and impending doom.

any ARMYs here?

So why didn’t I bake? Because I picked up a book and read. I’m still reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. I think it’s been a month since I started reading it and I’m still at chapter 4. The pandemic didn’t help my reading habits. It completely ruined it. I guess, it’s just one of the small things that went down the drain. But I’m trying. I’m listening to the audiobooks while arranging my island in Animal Crossing. Which reminds me: you might want to add me. Here’s my friend code: SW-0443-0198-5228.

please add me!

After a few paragraphs of Le Guin, I picked up my Switch and played again. It’s one of the few things that make sense right now. I mean, I know that it’s starting to become unhealthy. It’s the purest form of escapism right now that has the least potential to harm. But still escapism nonetheless. But you can escape with your friends. Hihi. That’s the best part.

Let’s pretend the pandemic isn’t happening as long as we have adorable background music.

Reading gives me the same feeling. Or at least, it used to. My reading habit went downhill when I started looking at it from an academic point of view. During my undergrad in Physics, there was a clear demarcation line between leisure and study. I love literature but I’m also working hard for my MFA degree, where does leisure begin and academics end? I can’t read anything without thinking in terms of ‘how can I write like this?’ or something like ‘how can I use this structure in my work?’

So there, what used to be an escape for me became something I am escaping from.

too tired to function

Please take care of yourselves! Love, Dyne 💜🥺

Item #1

It was green, hardbound, and 500 pages thick. The gold embossed letters gleam when the lights hit them. Its paper’s substance is impeccable, truly presentation paper, which costs five times more than the ones they use for photocopier machines, because it is five times more satisfying to watch the ink kiss the surface.  It immortalizes a year’s worth of mental labor on radiation simulation, something that would scare regular people, not exactly a conversation starter at a party, it could turn champagne cold and bitter.

There are 7 copies sitting on the table, each one ready for submission, the library, the physics department, their laboratory, and the other three for posterity, possibly glimpsing back into the days when it was all the author of this thesis ever thought about. Looking back at the rush that kept them going, the synthesis of all they ever learned in college, to open a path to conferences, publications, the essential road to graduate school: where everyone must go.