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.
everything’s fine, though; you know me: dramatic, I guess.
The air starts to feel really heavy with everyone’s annoyed breathing and anger… I looked around and everyone’s faces were so miserable that I had to bite my cheek to stop myself from smiling.