I found this blog when I re-opened my even further back blog, “Heideggerian ideal.”
It’s made me realize that the pinnacle of my intelligence was probably from ages 19 to 20. I guess I thought I would just keep getting smarter and more creative from that point on, with the added bonus of more wisdom and experience. Nope. I just got dumber and more jaded.
The things I have now that I didn’t have then are:
I am more patient
I am more ruthless
I am more confident
I am more stylish
I am better in social situations
Those are all nothing to sneeze at, but re-reading these entries has made me want to get back into that state of mind I used to live in, where philosophy and history and linguistics were all interesting, and fiction was something to lie down and snuggle with. I hope I can apply these hard-won lessons of the past 3 years.
But this is all a chasing after the wind. The essence of the suicides consisted not of sadness or mystery but simple selfishness. The girls took into their own hands decisions better left to God. They became too powerful to live among us, too self concerned, too visionary, too blind. What lingered after them was not life, which always overcomes natural death, but the most trivial list of mundane facts: a clock ticking on a wall, a room dim at noon, and the outrageousness of a human being thinking only of herself. Her brain going dim to all else, but flaming up in precise points of pain, personal injury, lost dreams. Every other loved one receding as though across a vast ice floe, shrinking to black dots waving tiny arms, out of hearing. Then the rope thrown over the beam, the sleeping pill dropped in the palm with the long, lying lifeline, the window, the oven turned on, whatever. They made us participate in their own madness, because we couldn’t h elp but retrace their steps, rethink their thoughts and see that none of them led to us. We couldn’t imagine the emptiness of a creature who put a razor to her wrists and opened her veins, the emptiness and the calm. And we had to smear our muzzles in their last traces, of mud marks on the floor, trunks kicked out from under them, we had to breathe forever the air of the rooms in which they killed themselves. It didn’t matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them and that they hadn’t heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together. - Jeffrey Eugenides
My results are meaningful, my results are worthless, who even cares about my results? I sort and resort the datapoints to find meaning in the curve of a pixelated line, in the difference of a bar charts. Still the error bars denigrate my search - the signal is lost in the noise. It’s picking petals off of a flower - does he love me or love me not?
When I saw Lucas again I was almost amazed - this is the person that I’ve pined for all these weeks?
There’s just something about him - his curiousity and his sense of humor. We don’t always get along. I like to have these jokes that are crude and stupid sometimes - they’re just funny when you share them with another person. Aaron above all understands this about me. Lucas thinks they are crude and stupid. He says, ” I wish you wouldn’t be so obsessed about that.” He doesn’t understand that I’m not obsessed with any crudeness of itself - it’s just a token of familiarity between us.
But you know, he really is smart. I remember when Matthias was at home and I was just getting to know him. I had always thought he was this ridiculous and clownish person, but we were sitting alone at the table in the kitchen and he was talking so normally - he said about Lucas that sometimes he displayed an unnerving and surprising depth of understanding - that it always seemed somehow out of character when he would come out of the blue with something deep and true in the course of a trivial conversation. But of course it is his character - all of it is his character. The parts that I don’t like as well, the parts where he pushes me away.
Maybe I need to be pushed at this point. Sometimes I feel like pushing him away myself when he makes me so angry, but I love him and feel keenly the closeness of our permanent separation so I cling all the same. Trees need to be pruned, for their health. So do emotions?
Also on my bike ride to work - I fell off my bike. I’m not hurt. In fact it felt good - a sharp shock to the nerves. To get to the bike path there is this narrow, fenced walkway. As I came up to it on my bike there was this young woman walking slowly down it, and it’s so narrow that I thought I would just let her pass … I sort of stopped on the curb, but it was so slippery from the rain that I slid into the dip of the curb and fell over. “Ah!” I cried. She was so calm, it was almost like she was on drugs, she asked me if I was ok. I said “yes, yes,” and she came up to me, peering owlishly through glasses and asked if I needed a hand up. I said no. I saw she wore braided pigtails, and then she walked away.
In the morning
Through the windowshade
When the light pressed up
Against your shoulder blade
I could see what you were reading.
The person that I have been seeing for some time is coming home in a few days. I don’t know how I will feel to see him again, and if I want to. I missed him so much while he was gone, but now that I’ve lived without him I don’t know if it will be the same: I don’t know that I actually need him and his physical presence anymore, now that I’ve gotten used to his simulacrum and grown accustomed to my melancholy. I used to have a certain feeling when I would think of him and his characteristics: his face, his voice, our conversations - but now that warm feeling is gone when I think of him. I just don’t feel anything, but the empty space is palpable and frightening. I don’t know if the feeling will return with him - if my fuzzy hormones will surge upwards to fill that space and things will be just as they were. Just thinking about it makes me want to close my eyes and sleep for a few days or a year. I feel similarly ambivalent and exhausted thinking of the other romantic prospect that I have cultivated in his absence. It’s as if my mind could only hold one romance at a time - and the actual person of the missing person is unecessary now because I have this fake person in my head who never leaves me.
It’s not so much this separation as the prospect of the separation to come. I want him to feel enough for me that he’ll want to continue things when I leave … (or do I?)
But accomplishing that will apparently require me to play these stupid games of not being available, of pretending that he doesn’t matter to me and that I don’t want to be around him. It makes me SICK.
Wishing to take her by surprise, to ravish a little of her pride, of the prestige and power she had acquired over me, to diminish her, in short to humanize her a little and reduce her to our paltry proportions, I would go into her room when she was sleeping.
At such times, Sophie offered a very different sight - more commonplace, yet surprising and reassuring as well. Without ostentation, almost uncovered, lying crosswise on the bed, legs every which way, skin moist and relaxed, she was battling with fatigue.
In the depths of her body she dug into sleep, so hard that it made her snore. That was the only time when I found her within my reach. No more enchantment. No joking. This was serious. She toiled as though to pump more life out of existence… At such times she was greedy, drunk with wanting mroe and more. You should have seen her after those sleeping bouts, still swollen, her organs exultant, ecstatic under her rosy skin. At such times she was funny, as laughable as other people. For some minutes she’d reel with happiness, then the full light of day would come to her and delivered, as if too heavy a cloud had passed, she’d resume her glorious flight …
Louis Ferdinand Celine
I don’t really want to go on this date; I actually want to sit at home and mope about how I miss that someone and my lack of a master’s degree or German speaking ability.
I miss you so much it hurts