It was a weekend of event after event, until I made it so there was no event, and then today I feel somewhat empty. I’ve crashed out of the groove I got into upstate,so quickly that I’m shocked. The office is free of students for once and cheery co-worker comments fall on the bed of computer/cooling/lighting buzz.
There are times when I feel undone by life, This is one of them. There’s much that I’m capable of, and yet I’m pained by every instance where I am inept. Is today’s mood due to the fact that this morning I finished rereading Djuna Barnes’ Ryder, a book whose last chapter is titled “Who Shall He Disappoint Now?”
(This and one other of the novels I’ve read recently were published by Dalkey Archive press and if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket you could do far worse than to contemplate this . It’ll run you less than a flat screen tv and keep you entertained for a couple of years. Or there’s this, which comes with free shipping and is my idea of a good wedding present)
For every appointment kept, there seem to be four other missed. I am unable to reconcile myself to what I am. Another way to state this is that I am attached to what I am not, that I am somehow projecting another more capable self that should be here in my stead. This self would be nicer to all, would do the things they said they would do, cook and eat and fuck like a bawd. Hamlet says:
“I am myself indifferent honest;
but yet I could accuse me of such things that it
were better my mother had not borne me: I am very
proud, revengeful, ambitious, with more offenses at
my beck than I have thoughts to put them in,
imagination to give them shape, or time to act them
in. What should such fellows as I do crawling
between earth and heaven? We are arrant knaves,
all; believe none of us.”
There is a sin in loving perfection so much you’d rather imperfection didn’t even exist, especially your own.
I can happily plan my future good acts, set up systems for efficiency and compliance, but all this is merry skating across the the dark waters of my emotions. And as long as I do that, I give them the power of absolutes, rather than allowing them to be the weather that I rationally know they are. So today I’m supposed to be cheery and bustling -and instead I’m frail and incapable. I want to be loving, and instead I’m sour. I’m wrong to think it won’t pass, that I won’t feel some other way soon. In fact even here I’m letting my judgments about my emotions trample the heels of my emotions themselves, a tidy device that allows me to ignore the origin of those feelings.
Some one recently asked me about therapy, and if after eight years of it I’ve gotten “better”. I’d have to say that i’ve gotten “more”. Is it better that as I got ready to head to work today the song “Midnight Radio” made me blubber? At least I let it happen. Only now do I indulge that snarky voice that encourages me to see myself as a mawkish middle-aged man moved by the spectacle of his own response to pop music to imagine himself as somehow special. And the time lag between that feeling and my self-lacerating description of it is what we call progress, children.
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Other bits of cultural input from the past week:
Movies seen: Rize, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Hunger, Land of the Dead, Resident Evil Apocalypse
Play: The Whore of Sheridan Square
Hours spent with Ape Escape, the PS video game.
Began Gary Indiana’s Schwartzenegger Syndrome: Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt
Read three short stories by Lynne Tillman.