But now shrinks the place where you stand: Where now, stripped by shade, will you go? — Paul Celan

Discussing Claude Lévi-Strauss with a girl

I once met a girl at a cafe who gave me her phone number. I looked her up on the internet and learned that she had studied anthropology at a nearby university. I liked the girl and wanted to impress her with my knowledge of anthropology, especially of Claude Lévi-Strauss. A few years prior to meeting this girl I had gone through a Lévi-Strauss phase and even fancied myself a Structuralist.

Back to the girl. We texted each other back and forth. We planned to meet up but it always fell through. I invited her to a popular physics talk that I was supposed to give. She said she would be there but never showed up. I suspected she had another date she had decided to go to. She also missed a breakfast appointment we had made.

Time passed and I stopped thinking about her. One day I got a text from her advertising a room in an apartment she was renting. Quickly, I realized that it was part of a mass text.

Almost a year later I ran into her again in the same cafe where I had first met her. It was our second face-to-face meeting. During our brief conversation, she told me that her boyfriend had asked her to move in with him. As I write this today, I imagine that she is married now and has a couple of children.

I never saw her again and never got to discuss Claude Lévi-Strauss with her.

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