I wonder how many stranger’s stories we make it into? You know, maybe someone saw you in passing and told their friends about how pretty the girl in the lavender sweater was. Or maybe they overheard you say a joke and repeated it to their friend, confessing that they heard it from some guy at the store.
I think about this all the time
I went to a party one time and a girl mentioned “the girl on [her] bus who keeps changing her hair colour” and I was just like “… the Lansdowne bus?” and then it turned out she was talking about me. And she called over her partner and was like “hey, this is the girl I told you about!”
Sheila Heti on making friends
JL: I guess just by going to talks, to panels, to parties, and by trying to pay attention to the people I met who I wanted to keep around. Your idea of working friendships sounds a little like a version of networking (a truly noxious term) but fundamentally different—more about figuring out yourself in the context of others and learning to identify certain qualities that matter to you. Could you talk a little more about what you mean by it, and how it’s happened for you?
SH: Oh god, not networking. I mean something closer to love. Like, who are the people who I art-love? That means admire and want to share my brain with and make part of my brain. It’s not like there are a thousand people I can have this ongoing sort of relationship with, as with networking. There are a dozen? Maybe dozens? It’s like having boyfriends, except instead of things lasting six months or a year and then you break up, it lasts indefinitely and it’s not exclusive and it’s less concentrated. I’m in a serious monogamous relationship, and I don’t want to keep having different boyfriends, and I have this instead— with men and women. It’s better. Instead of having sex, we have art.
- from Should I Go to Grad School? An Interview with Sheila Heti by Jessica Loudis