sunday post: altitude
– He is becoming differently male. He finds that he, for instance, has less and less to say, and somehow this seems related to his maleness. Perhaps the point, he thinks, is to sit silently, whether alone or together. The other things are for print, for pay. It suddenly occurs to him that there is an economy of speech and writing, and that his economy has been unbalanced on this point.
– He talks to his parents daily now. Yesterday his mother fell in the bathroom. Today, they went to the hospital to x-ray her chest. Abrasions, contusions only from the fall. But beyond that, and unrelated to the fall, a panoply of problems. Two fractured bits of spine. “Nodes” in her lungs that may or may not be…. But, whatever, this is the sort of thing that happens all the time, the three of us agree.
– His friends and loved ones wonder why he has such a complexly dark relationship to his own physicality, even his corporeal mortality. If in an interview he were to be asked about it, he would simply say “Try growing up deep in the shadow of a degenerative disease and then get back to me.” He would then pause, take a drink, and then continue: “Oh, and Roman Catholicism.”
– But it is not only his relationship to his own body, he would not continue in this interview. It’s his relationship to women too that was affected by the same factors.
– He meant to write, finally, a long-planned story today. A quasi-fiction tilting over into an essay, complete with illustrations. Stills from porn. Instead he took a walk and then read Craig Raine’s bizarre Heartbreak and then had a nap and then made a series of phone calls.
– Below his balcony a young woman sits on the bench texting into her phone. She seems to him iconic – a living statue of an indeterminate age.
– The day before, during an anxious morning, he took pleasure and comfort from the sight of a man trimming the hedges at the girl’s back with an electric device.
– A few nights ago, the following notes toward the Sunday Post:
– The end of lurid
– The backlighting that makes the thing. The backlighting, he imagines, even behind the girls on the strip just off the tourist streets, if any actually exist anymore.
– No matter the make of booze, the same red glow. Christmas lights along the bottom, and mirrors.
– Ice carried in buckets. Later the ice will melt in glasses.
– Now the relationship to the television in the corner. Think of the television people, where they are, the studio, the cameras, the air conditioning. All only to place a human animal, animals in pairs, to chat silently above the scrolling sports scores here.
– (Milton on the lurid)
– Later, now, he checks: the word “lurid” doesn’t appear in Paradise Lost, despite the fact that it was available to Milton, according at least to the dictionaries. He feels, as he does this, that he has done this all before.
– The trick of Handke’s Weight of the World – and no book in years has influenced him so much – is that the crisis or the crises (and there certainly must be some) are never mentioned, are held backstage, while the patter of everyday life, its ups and its downs, runs on the foreground, despite the crevasses it has to surmount.
– If he returns to the USA this week, thirty to forty percent of the reason why will be to cure his recent and profound bout of anorexia.
– Yesterday he experience deja vu so profound that it felt as though he had fallen into a temporal house of mirrors. When he said aloud “Ah I am feeling deja vu” he heard himself saying it before, and saying that he said it before, and before that, ad infinitum.
– A story called “Moleskine.” What do you fill the notebook with in certain situations when you write in order not to look alone. The negative space of writing, graphomania driven by vanity, in place of the usual theory of trauma making it all happen.
– He asked himself “If I took another pill would everything go differently?”
– She says “I am a nurse, actually” and then “It’s my husband’s birthday and that’s why I’m here.”
– Communal psychopathology and glue-stuck semi-vintage porn in a bar. Or is this simply what we might call “Animal Rights”?