Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Dorm Room Spy

A decade ago I spent a few years travelling around Asia on my own. I loved how the language barrier forced me inside my own head. It was fantastic for my writing. In journal entries from those travels I refer to myself as the Dorm Room Spy. I was always looking, looking, recording.

It's not very often that I can tap into that objectivity, but last night I could.

I spent the night working at a wedding with my friend B. We wore long black aprons and poured drinks, cleared plates and called everybody Madam and Sir. I wondered beforehand how I'd find it (I loved it) and if I'd cry in the speeches (I did).

I was as interested in my own reactions as I was those of the formally dressed guests.

It felt like theatre; the proclamations, the conventions, the sentiment, the ritual. I observed the intimacies with tenderness. They made me soft, a softness I observed with exactitude. It fascinated me to look at myself looking. Taking note of how I was taking note.

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