Alien Anthropology

I had a half-drunk conversation K., one of J.’s roommates, about our hometowns. I had a similar conversation on the balcony with S., who during his father’s military career, lived in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Georgia, among other states, before settling in southeastern New England. These conversations reminded me of the one I had at the punk show in the refurbished Providence Mill, with C. and the stick-thin gay man whose name escapes me, where we also discussed the places we lived and then remarked, in a metadiscursive fashion, on the popularity of personal geography as a topic of conversation between strangers as they locate one another in space and time. I’m from Rhode Island. I went to school in Minnesota. I’m moving to Russia in a couple of weeks. This information weighs more than descriptions of weather (which is also an affirmation of a common position in space and time) but it is still impersonal enough to be polite.



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