abby’s out of town; this is a rare day for me, this sunday: alone at the moment, a cloudless sky through the windows, music bouncing off the ceiling, nothing owed, no one watching.

it is not because of abby’s absence that I say that; she isn’t an oppressive presence of course. it’s rather that some neighbors, with whose apartment ours has an unusual physical arrangement which means that sound in one is easily heard in the other, moved out. it’s is the most alone i’ve been in ages, alone enough to feel a slight thrill.

the dog and cat are sleeping.

last night on the plane, I watched barry lyndon and felt embarrassed at barry’s familiarity: the emptiness of his desires, the almost imitative and unfelt longings which seemed to come from nowhere, attach to anything, and depart like signs sped past too fast to read. the arbitrarity of what we think we want, what we choose to orient our lives by, is one of the great, mutually ignored embarrassments of the species. that our identities could just as easily be quite different is something none want to admit; it is offensive. but chance exposures are as effectual as the putatively “deep” elements of our characters in shaping who we become.

i was also touched by barry’s naive selfishness, and frightened by the quite realistic brutality of reality’s collision with the self-indulgent fantasy life of the escapist, the craver, the self-flatterer. i was nearly reminded of match point, in that the horror was one of recognition, but recognition of something general and human in someone whose actions one despises, whose person one rejects.

i liked it a lot.

a report from nowhere

  • running out of time
  • not really handling multiplicity of demands well; constricting mentally; find myself hard to understand or predict
  • know that I don’t belong here, really; should probably leave and pursue a cheaper, simpler, less stressful life in some smaller town with lesser pressures and more compassion and mutuality
  • not changing, not growing, not different than I was in 1994: my first year of high school, when I made things harder for myself than they needed to be
  • feel fortunate to have brain problems in a sense because I can’t really “get outside” of them enough to feel bad about them: they are who I am; what’s to lament? my self? but shouldn’t I control it rather than lament it? and if I cannot: shouldn’t I “give up” and admit to myself and to society that I cannot be an adult and will never be any use? where would this admission take me? I am 33: they don’t continue to take pity on you indefinitely
  • feel extreme guilt and sorrow about many things, not really able to communicate any of it with anyone except Abby, who truly is my innermost friend, I noticed, the one in front of whom I will act as I am: like an animal responsive only to sudden instincts

everything’s fine, though; you know me: dramatic, I guess.