Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Family Portrait (by Rachel's)

For the first time in almost over a month I sat down and read the lives of my friends. It's funny because, while that sounds totally disjointed, like a phantasmic sort of intimacy, I've sorely missed it, and them. Two men, both of whom I've loved, and in a sense, still love, one whom I work with and see all of the time, and one who I rarely see. One single, and the other seeing someone. One in between, in that state of becoming where, as Holderlin states, "the possible becomes real everywhere, and the real becomes ideal, and in the free imitation of of art this is a frightful yet divine dream." The other stretched between worlds, two competing ambitions, perhaps mutually exclusive, and where the change must be self-imposed, the willful art of a creator and a destroyer. I forgot who is who... for all my love, I love my love most.

I live in a world that is too fast, a 250 character world, the Writer says. How brilliant! Yes, I've already bored you. (Try reading [...] all this before you go to bed!) The absurdity of such a compression. The violence of the demand! I need time, to slow down, to think, digest, clean, sleep, walk and feel myself touched by the wind, to talk to people. This desire is already too much. Too long(ful)...

I want to theorize in real-time. I want to be meaningful, what I write and think and say to be urgent. I have become this, in a sense, in a space (a certain space). But where I accelerate ahead, so many pages per hour, the home I need to return to every night gets farther and farther away. (I initially typed "farther and father away." A parapraxis, I suppose. A slip of the tongue, which isn't really moving. A slippage of control.) I miss a certain pace to my life, a certain rhythm. My fear was that I wouldn't be able to work, have a boyfriend, go to school, and have a life all at the same time. I've been pretty decent at 3 of 4. But I miss my friends. And I miss dancing at Berlin, drunk and loving the bizarre and beautiful bodies all moving in time together, against bodies with which they may briefly merge. In front of all those mirrors. And the physical pulsation of the music feeding the rhizomatic build of desire. I want to think like I dance. Thinking, however, is solitary: just you and so many mirrors.

My friend, the co-worker, would have had to have fought the desire to smack my b/f if he'd seen him, and part of me hated him for saying that. He's right of course, on a certain level. And I would have hit J. the night I left him had he not begged me to. I could have, but I knew I'd feel guilty for it, so I didn't, and I walked out. He asked me who he was going to wake up next to or who he would talk to about his day? He didn't say this to me. He said it to my voicemail, in the 2:50 time slot allowed. I listened to them later that night, once he had already walked into my apartment and waited me out until I was drunk enough to beg him to stay when he said, well if you don't want me here I'll go and then got up to walk out. He didn't take his jacket off until I did it for him. On my knees. And I should have hit him then, to remind him what he wanted from me. But we went to bed, and I quivered in his arms, with knowing, and then we woke up and fucked.

Outside the Walgreens near J.'s apartment, where I woke at 3.30pm, there was a man proselytizing. I had in headphones and Radiohead's "Bodysnatchers" was playing ("...I've no idea what I am talking about//I'm trapped in this body and can't get out..."). In his hand was a tract, the cover of which said: "Lonely But Never Alone" in bold and dramatic lettering. I read it, and, without really looking at the man, said, "That's interesting." "I've got others if you want..." he answered, but I had kept walking, throwing my interest over my shoulder as I passed. But it kept after me, like a yappy stray dog who had somehow noticed I'd looked at it too long as it darted back and forth on a noisy street corner, and which was then instantly at my heels refusing to be kicked aside.

In the Starbucks J. texted me and I replied and he called. I told him about this tract. It's not right, I said, because you can be alone without being lonely. Yeah, he said. That's human happiness, I told him, to be able to be alone and not be lonely, to not need anyone. Yeah, he said. You sound exhausted, I said. Yeah, I was going to take a nap, he said. Where are you, I said. And he said, on a couch in the rehearsal room. I never thought I would say this, I said, but you should buy a Monster or something. I don't have any money, he said. I was surprised, and my voice said so. Don't worry about it, he said. And I started to worry about it, but then I stopped and said, OK, I'm not going to worry about it. I let him take his nap.

I was wrong, though. Human happiness isn't about being able to be alone and not get lonely. You can only be alone without being lonely when you know you have people to go to later, when you know that there is someone who you can talk to, and listen to, and tap your foot to jazz music with or watch a campy porn with. When you try to be alone for too long, all the thoughts you had, which were born out of the company of your friends and grew over time, these start to become thin, almost translucent, ghastly reminders of what they once were. When you read, the ideas that excite you do so because they remind you, but memory only conjures ghosts.

Loneliness, Heidegger argues, is a public condition which is only felt in private because what would have accompanied one home--the stimulating morsels to digest--are wholly absent: one is fed a diet of McSociality. Overly mediated, hyper-accelerated: we will service your coffee/call/orgasm as promptly as possibly, and if we forget to recognize you in a wholly impersonal and punctilious manner, "Mr. Smith," you get a complimentary.... Oh, how the desire to be IGNORED is built into the structure of interface exchange! So that what we get and, ironically, are to be satisfied with is to be a shell, a formalized, homogenous pronoun interchangeable with the next, a singular and miniscule unit of interface in an 8 hour shift. I, "_pronoun_," am recognized. (as all too recognizable, thus: ignorable: the system works beautifully: our incentive package, the desire to be ignored, satisfies itself in a perpetual feedback loop. We return again, and they ignore our desire to be ignored! "Here is your movie/receipt/ID/, 'Mr. Smith'." Fuckers!) I go home with the taste of defeat on my lips, which I lick regularly, the speed: so quick, as if it never happened. Blink. Find keys. Open door. Open browser. Open fly. Masturbate. Close a certain window. Pee. Light cigarette. Open fridge. Moan. Open beer. Drink. Lie down. Moan. Close eyes. Sleep. Wake. Open eyes. Blink. (Repeat.)

Anyway, I read the lives of my friends tonight, and I don't feel so lonely. Which is funny, because I hadn't realized I'd felt lonely until recently. Maybe yesterday. Maybe today, waking up and realizing I'd only seen my boyfriend for an hour before passing out, that being there in his apartment meant nothing. Maybe because he slept in his bed while I slept on the couch until he woke me as he was getting ready for class and moved me into his bed. I don't know. Maybe because this whole thing is getting thin and translucent. Which means I'm getting thin and translucent, some how excavated, hollowed, sapped, drained, siphoned, bled, exhausted, mined... Tired.

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