of course they aren't. no one is paying the slightest bit of attention to me and I do recognize the inverted egoism that paranoia actually is. but still I am afraid of making a fool of myself in public or making a mistake and someone noticing or admitting to something I'd rather not the whole world knew so for instance I visited the fundies anonymous site very quickly unable to remember if the support forum is entitled WALK AWAY FROM FUNDAMENTALISM in big letters at the top of the page and it is. so I hit the space bar immediately upon loading each page.
I know people who have written their dissertations in cafes. I have no idea how that is done. I mean how do you twirl in your seat when you write a particularly compelling phrase without people staring at you? how do you pace up and down and snap your fingers and alternately frown and laugh? C for instance went to a cafe with a number of dissertating students when she was nearing the end; they all went there at the same time and worked. this is a type of sociability I cannot comprehend. I can barely keep my mind on what I'm writing now.
I also know people who work on their novels in cafes. I don't understand this either. back when I had no computer of my own and had to go to the computer lab at school to write my papers I would bring my walkman and baggie of espresso beans and do my best to pretend no one else was there. I'd blast classical music in my earphones because that is the only kind of music I can write to and I'd try to narrow my vision so that I couldn't see the students typing madly on either side of me. even so it was sometimes harrowing although often I would sneak glances at their screens and see what a hard time they were also having and then I didn't feel so self-consicious. of course I was always paranoid that someone might do the same with me but after awhile it just got to the point where you couldn't care.
lisagail will be off work sometime. eventually. then I will stop writing about writing and go drinking about drinking.