Being Alienated, Together

So I’m sitting here at the Latino inaugural gala, and there some two thousand people here, mingling, drinking, doing whatever it is that normal people do in a ballroom-ful of other people.

I, on the other hand, have neither the inclination, and more importantly, the capaility to do those things. So I can only sir back and observe the jockeying for posiion as a DC celebrity approaches, listen to the din of intermingling conversations, and observe the mind-boggling amount of schmoozing around me.

Worst of all, I’m too cheap to pay for a drink at the cash bar because they don’t pay me nearly enough to indulge. And if there’s one thing I dislike more than schmoozing, it’s schmoozing while sober.

Sure, I have no real cause to complain: after all, they paid me to come to this damn thing, although technically,I’m “working” at this event.

But what I would rather do is watch the AFC championship game at a bar with a cold one on my hand and chomping down some wings. Or better yet, listen to the Charles Mingus record I just got last weekend and reorganize my LPs–High Fidelity style.

No, instead I’m stuck here–the only Asian person at what is otherwise a fairly diverse event. Or at least as diverse as a DC political/social mixer is going to get.

And sitting here, I am becoming fully cognizant of the realization that this scene is just ultimately not for me. I can’t make small talk: my idea of small talk is whether consequentialism is a viable ethical theory, or which Pixies record is the best, not this inside-the-beltway gossip.

This is possibly the most alienating experience I’ve ever had, an that’s coming from someone who reads Kaka durig his free time for leisurely reading.

Who knew that being with some 2000 other people couldbe such an adventure in isolation.


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